As the green initiative continues to grow, more and more homeowners are beginning to implement measures that will make their homes more environmentally friendly. There are many ways to join the fight toward a more sustainable and eco-friendly future, some of which you can do from the comfort of your own home. Even changes that may seem quite small play a large part in creating a more environmentally conscious society. This guide explores several eco-friendly home improvement projects that can help you join the initiative toward a greener future.
Install metal roofing
One of the larger and more impactful changes you can make toward a more environmentally friendly lifestyle is installing metal roofing in your home. Metal roofing is one of the most sustainable roofing options for several reasons. First, it is highly energy efficient. Metal roofs are coated with a Kynar 500 resin finish, which helps reflect sunlight and heat, thereby reducing indoor temperatures and energy costs significantly. This type of resin coating keeps your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Bearing an EnergyStar certification, Kynar 500 coating maintains a lower energy output year-round. Because metal roofing is composed mainly of recycled materials, you can also recycle it in full at the end of its lifespan. As metal roofing can last upwards of 60 years, the amount of waste it creates is significantly less than other roofing materials. For more information or to install your own metal roofing in Cleveland and the surrounding areas, contact our team at Distinctive Metal Roofing.
Opt for low-flow faucets
Many homeowners shy away from low-flow faucets because they believe they diminish water pressure and quality. With modern models, however, this is no longer the case. Low-flow faucets, showerheads, and toilets can provide the same intense water pressure while significantly cutting down water usage. Decreasing your household water usage conserves one of our most precious natural resources while also benefiting your bank account. Because low-flow faucets use less water, they also require less energy to operate, making such fixtures both energy efficient and cost effective.
Choose energy-efficient appliances
As with low-flow faucets, installing energy-efficient appliances is a very practical and accessible way for homeowners to go green. Energy-efficient appliances can come in many shapes and sizes, from refrigerators to air conditioning units to computers. These appliances utilize a fraction of the energy of other appliances without sacrificing quality or efficiency. When choosing energy-efficient appliances, be on the lookout for products with an EnergyStar certification. These products offer a reduced energy output at the same great price and quality as less efficient models.
Give new life to old furniture
Renovating old furniture is a great way to give new life to old items while also reducing the amount of waste you contribute to landfills. Salvaging older items from antique or secondhand stores is a far more sustainable practice than purchasing brand new furniture from large retailers. Though it may take a bit of elbow grease to restore such items to their former glory, the effort will pay off in the long run. In many cases, older furniture is far more durable and better constructed than new items. As a result, it will maintain its integrity far longer and will need less frequent replacement.
Utilize recycled building materials
Reclaimed wood and bamboo flooring have become increasingly popular interior design trends in recent years—and with good reason. Not only are these building materials appealing to the eye, but they are also a very eco-friendly alternative to more traditional materials. Certain types of traditional wood flooring come from the forests of South America. The manufacturing of these flooring materials plays a large role in the deforestation of rainforests around the world. Reclaimed wood, however, utilizes only recycled materials and is, therefore, a much more environmentally conscious option. Reclaimed wood is useful in flooring, countertops, and even paneling on walls. Bamboo flooring is another popular, eco-friendly building material. Bamboo grows very quickly, and many horticulturalists believe that the regular harvesting of bamboo can actually help improve growing conditions.
Pick low VOC paints
Perhaps the simplest eco-friendly home renovation project you can undertake is repainting your home using low VOC paints. VOC stands for volatile organic chemicals. Common chemicals found in traditional paints may include fungicides or biocides, which increase the shelf life of the product. These chemicals can yield both long- and short-term health effects for the residents of your home and can also contribute to elevated air pollution levels. Repainting your home’s interior with low VOC paints creates a safer living space for your family and has less adverse effects on the environment as a whole. Paints certified by Greenguard Environmental Institute or labeled as organic and low VOC are the safest and most environmentally friendly options.
Supplement power with clean energy sources
Thanks to recent technological advancements, supplementing your home’s power with clean energy sources is now easier and more accessible than ever before. The most popular source for clean energy in residential homes is solar power. Solar panels are compatible with almost any home and can significantly reduce a home’s energy output. Unlike other forms of energy, solar panels do not produce any air pollution. They provide entirely clean energy and are even recyclable at the end of their long lifespan. Another popular energy option for residential buildings is wind power. This type of clean energy is slightly more common in rural areas but can yield impressive benefits for homeowners everywhere. Like solar power, wind energy utilizes a renewable resource to provide entirely clean energy that does not produce any harmful byproducts. These two types of clean energy sources are very effective and, in some cases, can replace traditional power sources entirely. Bear in mind, of course, that weather conditions can affect the efficiency of both wind and solar power. Solar power is most effective in areas that receive a significant amount of daily sunlight and may not be as beneficial in rainier locales.