Today more people than ever are considering the impact that home renovations and construction have on the environment. While some people are worried about possible additional costs associated with going green, the biggest obstacle most people face is not knowing what they can do to make their home renovation project more eco-friendly. In order to be environmentally aware, you’ll need to know what materials are available and how you should install it, and of course what to do with the waste. This article will focus specifically on flooring.
When you mention eco-friendly flooring to most people, they have a picture in their head of what that means, and often they just don’t realize the options they really have to make their project greener. One very popular flooring option is bamboo, because it is stronger than many hardwoods and is considered sustainable because it is mature enough to use within three years. If a hardwood floor is what you want, but bamboo just doesn’t appeal to you, try reclaimed wood floors. Using reclaimed wood allows you to enjoy whatever hardwood you like without having a negative impact on the environment.
But eco-friendly flooring goes beyond hardwood options. You can also tile a floor with natural stones, or with tiles made from recycled glass or metal. These options are great for rooms like a kitchen or bathroom where you would probably want tile rather than a rug or wood floor. Another option for these rooms is linoleum, which is a natural product made from linseed oil and other natural ingredients. Be careful not to confuse linoleum with vinyl, which is also available in roles or tiles, but is not a green option.
And of course, if you prefer carpeting over the above options, there are options available that are also eco-friendly. You can get carpeting made from recycled old carpets, which is environmentally friendly because it doesn’t require new synthetic material to be manufactured, and it often is attached to a natural backing or at least one that is greener than new synthetic carpets. Another carpeting option is one made from natural fiber such as wool.
When you try to make your flooring project more eco-friendly, you’ll need to be concerned with not just what it is, but also how it gets installed. Many installation techniques require chemical adhesives that are far from green, so you will want to be sure that this is not how you or your contractor are installing it. Many floors can be floated over a sub-floor, allowing them to be installed without the need of adhesive. Other options include tacking carpeting to the floor rather than using adhesive, or making use of more environmentally friendly adhesives.
Going beyond what and how you install your new flooring, you will also want to think green when it comes to the disposal of any waste materials, including your old flooring. You wouldn’t want to install an eco-friendly floor only to dump all of your construction waste into a landfill. Talk to your contractor to ensure that he will dispose of the waste in an environmentally sound way, or you can contact reclamation companies to have them pick up the waste or find out where you can bring it.
Going green is important to the future of our planet. By simply adopting some more sustainable practices we will find we are leaving our corner of the planet a better place than it was when we got there, and that will be your legacy for your children and beyond.
While you are working on your sustainable construction projects, you should consider making a renewable electricity generator. It’s easier than you might think. Using a single home made turbine or solar power system you can produce as much as 60% of the electricity you need. This will go a long way to reducing reliance on fossil fuels.