Homes can be big material and energy wasters. Everything consumes resources, from the flooring to the furniture to the plumbing. Fortunately, there are easy renovations that can make your home more eco-friendly — and they won’t break the bank.
With the average American already holding $38,000 in debt, not including mortgages, it’s essential for many people to find affordable ways to make their homes greener.
Here are seven simple eco-friendly renovations that could have a huge impact in your home:
1. Update Your Piping
The piping might not be the most obvious place to look for improvements, but leaky and old pipes can be a huge drain. Beyond the water costs, there are also environmental costs to sticking with outdated piping materials.
Did you know that steel is 100% recyclable? Using this eco-friendly material to upgrade your piping can make your home greener while you live there and for decades afterward. This is because galvanized steel piping lasts for 30 to 50 years. You and future owners of your home won’t have to waste the earth’s resources to replace your piping for quite a while.
2. Install Glass Tile
Recycled glass can be an invaluable resource when renovating your home. Not only is it eco-friendly, but you can often find stylish and modern glass mosaic tiles that are made of 100% recycled glass. Recycled glass is a great material for updating a kitchen. You can use it for backsplashes, countertops, and more.
3. Add Extra Insulation
Losing heat can make your home incredibly energy-inefficient. Adding extra insulation or improving the insulation you already have is a great way to make your home more eco-friendly.
There are some unconventional ways of doing this that are environmentally conscious. For example, you can use recycled blue jeans as an insulation material. Denim is not only great at retaining heat, but it’s far safer to handle than things like fiberglass, making it an ideal insulation material.
4. Recycle Roof Tiles
Some projects are simply too complicated for homeowners to have complete control over how eco-friendly they are. This includes things like installing a new roof.
That doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to improve projects like roof installation. Roof shingles can actually be recycled to make new shingles. Check with your local recycle park. They may be able to help with options for recycling roofing materials.
5. Recycle Your Garden
If you are improving your landscaping, there are a lot of ways to be more environmentally conscious while you do it. For example, you can choose rubber mulch made from old tires. It can be more expensive than conventional mulch, but you help the environment by putting those old tires to good use.
And while you’re working outside, you may as well consider your deck. If you are building or replacing a deck, there are lots of options for going eco-friendly. Composite boards make use of a blend of plastic as well as natural products. As with rubber mulch, it helps put waste products back to good use. Plus, composite boards will last longer than conventional wood boards.
6. Make Doors and Shelves
There are many places inside the home where wood needs to be replaced. This includes doorways and shelving throughout the house. Look for recycled wood when upgrading or improving old doors and shelves.
Salvaged wood can save you a lot of money when creating new doors and shelving. Plus, the existing hinges, screws, and doorknobs from your old doors and shelves can be easily transferred to the new ones.
7. Use Reclaimed Wood to Replace Flooring
As with doors and shelves, your floors offer a space where reclaimed and recycled wood can provide an eco-friendly option. Search for local companies specializing in eco-friendly flooring. If you plan to do it yourself, you can source your own salvaged materials.
Whether you’re installing flooring yourself or getting the help of a professional, salvaged materials can provide a distinctive look for your home. It may seem like you’re sacrificing in order to be eco-friendly, but the end result is often a long-lasting and unique floor you’ll love for years to come.
Even if you can’t completely replace your exisiting floor with salvaged materials, consider eco-friendly options whenever you want to give your floors a little TLC. If you want to apply a durable coating to help prolong your floor’s lifespan, for instance, go with polyaspartic coatings.
They have low to zero VOC, meaning they are environmentally-friendly and won’t negatively affect indoor air quality. You can save money on totally rehauling your floors while making your home a little greener.
The Benefits of Being Eco-Friendly
You don’t need to sacrifice looks to make your home more eco-friendly. Recycled and salvaged materials have come a long way. From salvaged wood for shelving to rubber mulch made from old tires, being environmentally friendly has never been easier.
If you’re hoping to be more eco-friendly in your home, get creative. Stay open to unconventional materials like denim and rubber. You can be stylish and eco-friendly by being open to new ideas.