Renovate With Taste & Reduce The Waste

Renovate With Taste & Reduce The Waste

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 2.46.32 PM

https://flic.kr/p/64g3Zv

Everybody dreams of renovating their house but are you aware of the waste that it can cause? All those materials that are ripped away and thrown out often end up in a landfill site – or worse. That means that even if you are building the greenest home the world has ever seen, you could be doing damage to the environment anyway.

Also, some materials are notoriously eco-unfriendly to produce, so if you use them in your home, they will be an addition to your carbon footprint. With this in mind, we thought we would have a look at some of the ways you can help the environment better. So, without further ado, let’s investigate how to use better materials and reduce the amount of waste you use when you start renovating your home.

Insulation

There are some eco-friendly insulation materials you can use. In fact, you can insulate your home with almost anything, from shredded denim to soybean foam. Old glass is another good insulator (which is why glass fiber is so popular), as is recycled wool.  Take a look at Knauf Insulation’s Eco Wool range to find out more.

If you live in an older home, then you may have asbestos insulation. Although the U.S. has made great strides in asbestos removal to protect public health, it is negligible how much danger it causes on a house-by -house basis. However, the problems multiply because of asbestos dumping. Rogue tradespeople sometimes dump the material instead of paying for its proper disposal. If you have your old insulation removed, make sure you know where it will end up.

Floors

Flooring and carpets are quite tricky when it comes to being environmentally friendly. On the one hand, many man-made fibers are used to make mats and rugs, and they are filled with chemicals like toluene and benzene. However, they also save you energy – up to 15% of your heating costs. With this in mind, you have a few options. The first is to take up your carpet completely and go for the all-wooden flooring option.

The second is to use an all-natural material such as wool. Finally, you could go for one of the new breeds of green-friendly carpets such as a recycled P.E.T carpet, which is made from recycled drinks bottles. Whatever you choose, don’t forget to dispose of your old carpet properly. Many states offer carpet recycling services so make sure you know where to take it.

Windows

All those brand new windows that you get offered by double glazing salespeople may look fantastic, but they take a lot of energy to make. Instead, you could reduce your carbon footprint by visiting your local salvage yard. Not only will you pick some windows up for next to nothing, but you will also be amazed at the quality that people will be happy to throw out in the trash. Window glass itself can be difficult to find, but it certainly isn’t impossible. Have an ask around your friends to see if anybody knows someone who is taking down a greenhouse. The glass from that can be cut down and used for your empty frames, saving on the waste.

If you have single glazing and want to increase the efficiency of your windows, then look into window film. Solar films are a great idea for keeping the heat in and UV rays out while helping you to keep on top of the temperature inside the house.

Roofs

If you are having a roof replaced, there are a lot of materials that could end up in a landfill site. And, many of the materials that are used in roofing can have a high carbon cost to them. One perfect solution to both these issue is to have asphalt shingles installed on your roof. They can be laid over your existing material, so will immediately cut out the need for landfill.

Another option is to use Polyiso as a membrane. It holds a lot of heat and over a quarter of it is made from recycled plastic. Also, the type of plastic that is used to make it is hard to recycle for any other use so that you will be taking more potential waste out of the system.

Furniture

Many people enjoy taking some time out to visit a thrift store or salvage yard to look for old pieces of furniture. It’s a good habit to get into. Not only is modern furniture expensive, but it can be bland. And, picking up a recycled cabinet or some old joinery can give you some unique-looking pieces that will be the envy of your neighborhood.

Don’t forget about the bathroom, either. That free-standing bath that you always lusted after might be out of your price range, but there is every chance you could pick one up from a scrap metal merchant. As with everything else in this article, it is important that you dispose of your old things in the correct manner. Refrigerators, for example, contain hazardous chemicals that can damage your health and the environment.

Garden

Everything that is in your garden can be reused, so there is no excuse for throwing anything away. Old walls and concrete shed foundations can be reused to create striking and beautiful pathways. Tearing down some plasterboard? It’s a little-known fact, but you can use it to top up your compost. Just make sure to smash it up and grind it down first.

If you ever have your water tank removed from inside your house, consider making a feature out of it in your garden. Not only will it be a talking point, but it will also give you a source of water to keep your plants and flowers watered during the drought seasons. Need any more ideas? Read our article for some eco-friendly landscaping tips.

We hope you have enjoyed this article on being greener when you are renovating your house. As you can see, there is a lot you can do to help the planet, not to mention saving some money! If you have any tips, please don’t be shy and share away in the comments section below.