Many of us are becoming increasingly conscious about our carbon footprint and wish to make changes that will make our everyday life more sustainable and earth-friendly. Renovations can be a perfect time for greening up your living space. Since you already need to invest in updating your home, replacing the old material with new, green options can help be a significant step towards a more environmentally-friendly home. Below are five material options to consider as you make your plans and your renovation budget.
Bamboo is a renewable resource that is widely used from clothing to the building industry. It grows quickly, and can be harvested in every three years. When harvested, almost all parts of the plant can be processed and utilized. Bamboo flooring is usually laminated and formed into various shapes and sizes. You can opt for tongue and groove, blocks, or planks, depending on your preference. According to flooring experts, bamboo flooring is in high demand since it is so light, durable, and flexible, which makes it a versatile flooring option throughout your home. It is also a great, easy-to-clean option for kitchens or dining spaces.
Natural stone offers a great option for creating countertops that match your needs, but it is often overlooked as an environmentally friendly option. Yet, natural stone is an excellent green building material. When locally sourced, it does not contribute large amounts of carbon emission during delivery, it can be re-cycled, and it does not require a lengthy chemical process to produce. Due to the great color and texture variety of natural stone, it can also match any décor.
If you live in a climate that makes insulating your walls a necessity, you can consider replacing the outdated fiberglass sheets with new, environmentally friendly options. Insulation has come a long way in the past decades, and now you can use sheets made of recycled denim or bio-based spray foam. Using straw-bales for insulation between load bearing structural elements can also work well, especially in arid, warm regions.
You may find it necessary to build an addition to your existing home, or to place a stand-alone structure to create more living space or added garage or shed space. Using a wood structure can be a good option, as long as you source your wood from well-managed forests, which are a renewable resource. Depending on your style, you can also combine wood with other green material using a post-and-beam building method. For roofing on new structures, you can find metal options that are a durable investment and that can save you on heating and cooling costs.
Replacing worn-out building material with new, green options does not mean you need to sacrifice your style or the structural integrity of your home. Often, environmentally friendly materials are readily available and can be easily incorporated into an existing structure.