-- Quote of the Day --
“Just getting people together and talking about issues is, I really think, is the most effective way to make changes in this world – sitting alone and thinking about issues is all fine but unless you are actually doing something it is hard to make changes.”
~ Robert Henri
Today’s quote originates from the Conscious Discussions Talk Radio episode that aired back on Feb 12th. Access the full episode via:
Tips For Staying Green While Renovating Your Home
By Amy Sawyer
* Amy is a guest writer from AnyJunk – a professional man and van rubbish removal company in the UK who can clear your home ready for renovation works.
Renovating a home can be a difficult business if you’re trying to achieve the renovation process, as well as the end results, within the boundaries of being environmentally friendly. The process of renovation itself is inherently wasteful and consumes a lot of energy, and it can be tough to stay within your budget if you’re trying to build yourself a green home, as many environmentally friendly methods of lighting, heating and decoration tend to be more expensive. However, there are ways to make sure that your project is as green as it can be – here are a few of them.
1. Don’t rush in.
The secret to achieving all your green aims when renovating your home is to take your time in the planning stages. In most cases, last minute additions, emergency alterations or bad planning will send the green options straight out of the window. Sit down with your objectives and pull everything together into a master plan that allows time for untested methods to potentially go wrong, an additional budget for essential green alterations and going back to the drawing board if something ground breaking just doesn’t work.
2. Work with like-minded people.
If you want your project to be green from start to finish then you need to be working with people who understand what that entails. Find a contractor who can help you renovate your home to be water, energy and resource efficient and keep the project on the green track throughout.
3. Avoid new buy.
Reclaimed and salvaged furniture has become increasingly popular in recent years but it does require a bit more effort than simply purchasing brand new. However, by using and reusing old materials – from 1950s wardrobes, to old pieces of timber - the end result will be far more green than filling your home with freshly manufactured materials.
4. Consider your light needs.
When renovating your home you may be able to make it more efficient by making better use of natural light. Look at the placement of walls and windows in order to get as much light in as you can and opt for energy efficient lighting that accepts LEDs and compact fluorescent light bulbs. You may also want to consider motion sensors in each room, so that the lights go off when the room is not in use.
5. Monitor your materials.
A truly green project will require acute attention to detail, looking closely at everything from paint to insulation. There is no specific formula for getting the green renovation right but try to use materials that are recycled, locally sourced and will age with your home, rather than needing to be replaced frequently. Look out for the Green Seal on paints, the Energy Star for appliances and windows, Cradle to Cradle for fabric products such as carpets and sheets, and Forest Stewardship Council for any wood products that you want to incorporate.
6. Look at the bigger picture.
The ultimate aim for a green home is that it is a construction that doesn’t need to be constantly updated and maintained. Look at how your home will have aged ten years down the line and try to imagine whether the materials and features you’re choosing will still be going strong or are likely to need replacing.
It may seem like a considerable challenge to stay green whilst renovating your home, but it can be done. Those who choose to renovate this way often say that the effort was worthwhile, both because of the end results and the satisfaction of knowing that you have managed to reduce the impact you have on the environment too.
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