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5 Eco Friendly Home Renovation Tips

5 Eco Friendly Home Renovation Tips

1. Reuse or repurpose. A demolition project can yield a home extension, but it can also send more waste to community landfills. If at all possible, save what you can and reuse for your current home. For instance, that may mean leaving one or two walls in place while pushing out the other walls. It can also mean salvaging wood, tile, lighting fixtures, doors and windows. Talk with your contractor about what can be saved.

2. Consider your lighting. One of the cheapest ways to go green is to bring more natural light into your home. This can be done by adding skylights, including more windows and installing a sliding door. With more natural light coming in, the less artificial light you will need. Also, replace your incandescent light bulbs with Energy Star qualified light bulbs. You will pay more up front, but save more in the long run.

3. Use insulation liberally. Homes can leak energy like a sieve, costing you money and wasting precious resources. Wrap your hot water heater in insulation and make sure that your attic’s insulation is in place. Know the insulation’s “R-value” and use the right amount of insulation to get the job done. Your local home improvement store may offer free classes on how to insulate your home efficiently.

4. Use natural and thrifty materials. Wherever possible, make use of natural materials, especially locally-sourced materials. Granite countertops. Wood floors. A solar hot water heater. A low-flow toilet. Wood or composite rain barrels. The list and possibilities go on.

5. Donate your waste. Okay, you really cannot use those french doors in your living room anymore. What you cannot use, someone else can make good use of. Donate your reusable windows, doors, appliances, wood, trim, glass and furniture. Habitat for Humanity, for example, accepts donated items that can be reused in homes that are being built for qualified buyers.