If your home is in need of a little renovating, but you are trying to keep your carbon footprint low then you are probably feeling a little torn right now. You love the idea of your home having a fresh look, but you are well aware of the negative impact renovating can have on the environment. Well, these ideas for eco-friendly remodeling will allow you to create a space you love without be burdened by a lot of guilt over the environment.
Hire the Right Professionals
There are contractors who specialize in green-friendly building and renovating. Choose a company that knows what materials and practices they should be using to have the smallest impact on the planet.
Getting Rid of Demolished Material
One of the questions you should be asking builders you interview is about their demolished materials. Where does everything go? Do they recycle everything they can? Don’t let them just tell you they do; ask for specifics. If you handle the renovation yourself, this is something you are going to want to do a little research about.
Ideally, you will look for products that are certified by Forest Stewardship Council, Greenguard Environmental Institute or Cradle-to-Cradle. A Few things to keep in mind include:
Vinyl is one of the most environmentally damaging materials on the planet, so avoid it, if you can.
Linoleum is made from linseed oil, and is a much better option than vinyl.
Choose no- or low-VOC caulks, sealers, and paints. Regular products release volatile organic compounds that are extremely toxic to you and the environment.
Although there are some certified carpets that don’t emit VOCs, most do. Cork and bamboo are ideal flooring alternatives, because they are both made from sustainable sources. If you must go with hardwood, choose a reclaimed product.