Green living: Save Our Earth By Living Green

Ways To Go Green Even When Remodeling

Remodeling your home is the perfect time to go green. Renovating your home can give you the new start you are looking for around your house — and affords you a great opportunity to make your home a little more environmentally friendly.

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Image: flickr.com/photos/jeremylevinedesign

Choose Greener Appliances

Your kitchen and bathroom are perfect rooms in which to be more environmentally friendly. When getting rid of old appliances likes refrigerators and freezers, choose Energy Star rated replacements. Energy Star models not only save you money in the long-run, but federal tax credits are also sometimes made available to help with the purchase. In the bathroom, replace toilets with low-flow models and install flow reducers on the shower and sinks to reduce water consumption. And always remember to recycle your old appliances and fixtures.

Buy Recycled Materials

In addition to recycling your old materials, you can also purchase used home fixtures such as cabinets, sinks, and countertops. Visit a resale store to find recycled remodeling materials at a fraction of the price of buying new. Materials are usually priced to move, so check back often for new stock. Not only will you save money by buying used, but you will also help prevent older but still usable home materials from ending up in the landfill.

Use Green Substitutes

Carpet, paint, and vinyl flooring all emit toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are harmful to the environment as well as to occupants of the home. Choose true linoleum, which is made from linseed oil, over vinyl flooring. Try bamboo or cork flooring in place of carpet. When purchasing paint for your walls, select low or no-VOC varieties to reduce the number of chemicals off-gassed into your newly renovated home.

Update Your Landscaping

When renovating their home, many homeowners forget to consider their lawns and gardens. However, the landscaping outside can help a home become greener. According to Pro Tree Service Inc., a company that does tree removal in Mentor, OH, replacing dead or dying trees with new trees suited to your geographical area can offer cooling shade during the hotter months, which in turn can help lower air conditioner use and cooling costs. Choosing the right plants for your weather can also help you go green. If you live in an area that experiences periods of no rain, choose drought resistant plants to cut down on watering costs.

Although remodeling your home might not seem very green, you as a homeowner can take a few simple steps to decrease your environmental impact. By choosing green appliances, buying recycled materials, using green substitutes, and updating your landscaping, you can make your remodel greener while saving yourself some cash.

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