Making Environmentally Sustainable Home Improvements


| 9/26/2016 8:16:00 AM



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Green living is the latest buzzword in the design industry, and eco-friendly homes are a much sought-after feature on the real estate market. To bridge the gap between green design theory and practice, every homeowner should carry out eco-friendly updates that will both reduce long-term utility costs and boost the property’s market value. But how exactly do you go green in your home on a reasonable budget? Easy: you just need to know which upgrades and tweaks entail the biggest bang for your home improvement buck.

Go Green with Materials

The choice of sustainable materials for various home updates is the simplest way to do a favor to Mother Nature. Look for materials certified as eco-friendly by relevant bodies, such as Cradle to Cradle or the Forest Stewardship Council. Eco-friendly materials for a partial or full-scale home update include cork, bamboo, and reclaimed wood flooring, homasote fiberboards, hemp-based products, cotton and blown insulation, recycled gypsum boards, and low-or no-VOC paints.

Save Water

Water scarcity is one of the biggest environmental challenges the planet is faced with today, and though large-scale solution to the issue will require comprehensive and intense collaboration between national authorities, there are a few steps you can carry out in your home to help improve your home’s water efficiency. Water-saving add-ons such as low-flow faucet aerators, water-efficient shower heads, and dual-flush toilets cost little compared to the long-term utility savings and green benefits their use entails. Also, turn off the tap when you’re not immediately using running water, i.e. when tooth-brushing or scraping food leftovers from the dishes when washing cutlery by hand.


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The Eco Side of Appliances

When shopping for home appliances, check energy labels and ratings and opt for the greenest products available. When comparing refrigeration products, pay attention to the type of lighting: LED-lit fridges and freezers are a better option than standard counterparts with conventional internal lights. As for ovens and range hoods, your purchase should be based on trustworthy guidelines rather than supplier say-so, so make sure you make an educated choice and avoid greenwashing scams: not everything that has a green label is truly green.



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