An eco-friendly home is a house that’s designed to be environmentally sustainable. This means focusing on the efficient use of energy, water, and building materials.
You can make your home/renovation project more environmentally friendly by considering the following:
1. If knocking down walls/rooms: consider what materials you can re-use (flooring, tiles, bricks, cabinets/units etc)
2. Consider re-facing instead of just replacing
For example, if your kitchen cabinets are in great condition, you could just re-paint them or replace the doors and drawers as part of your kitchen renovation
3. Use recycled/reclaimed materials – salvaged wood or discarded metal
4. Re-use windows or buy new windows made from vinyl
Most used windows end up in landfill sites so if you can, specify in your contract what you want to happen to your old windows – they could go to a recycling/reuse company. If you’re buying new windows consider buying vinyl. At the end of it’s lifespan, the vinyl can be infinitely broken down to particle form and recycled to make new windows either on its own or with a mixture of new vinyl.
5. Donate what you can instead of just putting it all in the skip
6. Choose bamboo flooring
Bamboo is an ecologically friendly, highly renewable material – it grows faster than woodland and growing it uses less pesticides. It’s easy to maintain, is slightly more resistant to water damage and warping than hardwood materials and can be extremely strong, hard, and durable
7. Use zero/low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints
VOC’s are solvents which are harmful to people and the environment. Until recently, they were essential for helping the paint to spread evenly but now eco-friendly paints made from natural raw ingredients are becoming much more available
Having good quality insulation will prevent air from leaking into and out of your house, allowing your home to stay warmer during the winter and cooler during the summer so you can use less energy regulating the temperature. Check that your roof, walls and floors are properly insulated and fit excluders around doors, letterboxes etc to prevent draughts
9. Install solar panels
Solar panels provide clean, renewable energy from the sun which means you’re reducing your carbon footprint and also saving money on your electricity bill
10. Install low-flow toilets and shower heads
11. Invest in energy efficient appliances
Additionally, make sure your boiler is an energy-efficient model and consider upgrading it if not
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