Conversely, factoring in the carbon footprint you are making complicates home renovation. There are five tips that can help to ensure renovations are kept eco-friendly and efficient:
Any product that is in the home that can be recycled through donations or drop-offs should be placed aside in portable storage containers until they can be taken to the proper location. Recycling kitchen appliances, windows, doors and any other fixtures that are no longer needed can prevent scrap metal from entering a landfill. It can also help other homeowners by providing reusable supplies that can help to save the resources that might have been expended manufacturing new items.
Contractors are often used for electrical or plumbing work during a renovation. Finding contractors that follow green practices can reduce the overall environmental impact of the renovation. Some contractors employ eco-friendly materials and techniques that can help to make the entire home a more eco-friendly building.
It is no longer appropriate to simply toss all of the waste from a renovation into a single large container. Each piece of waste that comes out of the home must now be sorted and sent to the proper location. Drywall and paneling goes to one area while insulation and carpeting goes to another. This allows each material to either be recycled into new materials or be disposed of responsibly.
During the reconstruction phase of a renovation it is far more ecologically friendly to visit recycling centers and architectural salvage sites in order to find materials that can be used for the home. Some recycling centers have cans of partially used paint, pieces of reclaimed lumber and reusable nails. Architectural salvage companies have items like doors, switch plates and other fixtures that have been taken from previously renovated homes that can all be used again. This reduces the impact of creating a new interior space.
Home renovations expose the inside of walls and other components that are used every day but that are rarely seen. It is a good idea to take the opportunity to change small things such as faucets, light fixtures and thermostats during this time in order to install more eco-friendly pieces that can save energy.
It can take extra time to perform an eco-friendly renovation. But the more important reality is that renovations can generate a large amount of waste that is not easy to dispose of. By ensuring that each piece of a home that is no longer needed is taken to a place where it can be reused or reprocessed can benefit the environment and members of the community.
Pic by flickr.com/photos/dok1 via CC licence.