Simple and Sustainable Habits to Keep in Mind While Renovating
From fossil fuels to excessive waste and even compromises on food options, there are plenty of unsustainable activities that can take place on a construction site. Many renovations aren’t eco-friendly, in and of themselves.
If you’re considering investing in some home improvements, here are a few tips and suggestions to help you both choose and execute projects sustainably.
Construct with the Earth in Mind
It doesn’t matter what kind of project you’re tackling, the way that you execute the work can often have a big impact on the environment. If you want to be responsible with your remodeling, try to implement the following tips every time you get to work.
Upgrade Your Appliances
Many remodeling projects are focused on things like aesthetics and traffic flow. However, it’s also important to remember the appliances in your home. It doesn’t matter if you’re working with a fridge in the kitchen, a washing machine in the laundry room, or a fan in the attic, there are countless appliances located throughout your living space.
As you work on a space, consider the appliances that it contains. Many older devices are extremely inefficient. Proactively replacing them with modern alternatives can ultimately lower your carbon footprint — and the improved efficiency can even save you some cash while you’re at it.
Dispose of Waste Correctly
Every construction project is going to have some waste. However, disposing of that waste can end up quickly ballooning the unsustainability of a project. You can reduce the impact of your waste by:
- Using materials thoughtfully to reduce the number of scraps.
- Returning unused materials to the store.
- Recycling or reusing unneeded waste into other home projects.
Being thoughtful with your materials is one of the best ways to keep your remodeling projects Earth-friendly.
Plan Your Meals Ahead of Time
Another subtle area to keep in mind is how you fuel yourself during your project. Remodeling can be overwhelming at times, and it’s easy to break down and order convenience food as you go along.
While there’s nothing wrong with convenience, many user-friendly meal options are very bad for the environment. Highly-processed foods and excessive packaging can quickly and quietly eat away at the sustainability of your endeavor. Instead, make meal plans ahead of time and even consider pre-preparing home-cooked meals to make your food as healthy, sustainable, and convenient as possible.
Select Sustainable Renovation Options
Once you’re set up to conduct your renovations in an environmentally sound mindset, it’s time to choose the renovations themselves. It isn’t worth addressing each specific kind of renovation, as every home is different. However, here are three important sustainable considerations to keep in mind as you go about overhauling any area of your living space.
Bigger Isn’t Always Better
Large rooms feel luxurious and cathedral ceilings can make a room feel huge. However, if you’re trying to be Earth-conscious, it’s important to remember that bigger isn’t always better. On the contrary, smaller spaces are often much more eco-friendly.
For instance, if you’re working from home due to the pandemic, you can set up a small home office in an entryway or a repurposed closet that doesn’t require huge amounts of space. This can cut down on everything from furnishings to heating and lighting costs.
Use Colors to Your Advantage
Painting is the easiest renovation option out there. All it requires is a few bucks and some sweat equity over a weekend. However, the way that you choose to paint can still make a difference in how sustainable each project ends up being.
For instance, you can choose a lighter color such as a sophisticated gray or even a crisp white. This can both naturally brighten and cool a space, both of which can reduce your carbon footprint. Shop for paint brands that specifically use lower VOCs (volatile organic chemicals) to ensure that your supplies aren’t harming the environment, either. You can also choose to touch up the exterior paint of your house — even simply the door — to add both pizzazz and value to the house overall.
Don’t Let Down Your Guard with the Decor
Once you’ve finished your basic renovations, it’s time to decorate. At this point, it’s easy to cave under the desire to set up your space in whatever way suits you the most. However, if you still want to stick to your commitment to sustainability, it’s still important to remain focused.
As you decorate, look for specifically eco-friendly decor. Everything from decorating with greenery to looking for recycled picture frames or responsibly sourced furniture can factor into this process. Rather than adhering to specific rules, strive to keep a sustainable mindset throughout the process by considering how each piece of decor was manufactured, sold, and ultimately how it will impact your living space.
Remodeling with Sustainability in Mind
There’s no doubt that remodeling can be overwhelming. Nevertheless, it’s worth taking some time to consider the environmental impact that each project will have. Everything from choosing the right paint to upgrading appliances, disposing of waste properly, and decorating sustainably should be considered.
This isn’t just a nice thing to do when convenient. It’s a tangible way that you can actively work to care for the world that we all share.
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