More and more people are concerned about the environment and individuals are asking what they can do. While doing a home improvement project may not seem to be eco-friendly, there are ways you can improve your home and be green at the same time. Here are 7 ways you can go green.
1) Use Green paint. No I don’t mean paint everything green. I mean use zero VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) paint. Many leading brands are now using these zero emission paints. You can find these paints in a wide variety of colours and they are available in both interior and exterior grade.
2) Use Eco-friendly flooring. Consider using Bamboo or cork. Bamboo has a modern feel to it and Cork is comfortable to walk on. There are also eco friendly hardwood flooring options that are easy to install and look great. For carpet, look for wool or linen and consider sisal or grass for area rugs.
3) Purchase Energy Star rated appliances. Most of the top brand appliances are offering energy efficient options. They allow you to save time and money and you can get rebates back from the government.
4) Recycle materials you already own. Have fun and get creative with the things in your garage. Break up old tile and create an interesting table top or backsplash. Take old scraps of fabric and create colourful throw pillows or a piece of wall art.
5) Use HardiPlank siding instead of vinyl. Vinyl siding is flammable and toxic to produce. HardiPlank is made from wood pulp and it comes either pre finished or ready to paint. It won’t rot, crack or split.
6) Buy Green furniture. Again I’m not referring to the colour, not that I have anything against a green sofa. More and more furniture designers are getting into the green movement and creating pieces made from recycled materials and eco-friendly fabrics.
7) Change your lights. You can now find a great selection of fixtures that use LED lighting or Fluorescent bulbs. They both use 75% less energy than incandescent fixtures. If you aren’t planning on changing the fixtures themselves you can still be green. Switch the bulbs to CFL’s or compact fluorescent bulbs. They last 10 times longer than the incandescent bulbs.
Hopefully you can incorporate some of these tips in your next renovation project. Ask your favorite retailers to show you their eco-friendly lines. I think you will be surprised how much is out there now in green products.
For more great renovation advice Click Here! Kathryn Haley is the Founder and Creative Director for HOME FOR HER, an online community for women homeowners that offers expert advice on all areas of buying, renovating and selling a home. Join us by Clicking Here! You are free to use this article in your e-zine or website if you include this resource box.