Green and Eco-friendly home renovation ideas
Many homeowners decide to renovate to make their homes feel fresher, aesthetically pleasing and comfortable. Renovating your home is also an excellent opportunity to make it more environmentally friendly and sustainable.
As people become more conscious of their carbon footprint, eco-friendly home renovations are becoming more popular among homeowners. Whether you’re looking to make small changes or undertake a full-scale renovation, there are many ways to make your home greener and less harmful to the environment.
In this blog, we’ll explore some of the most effective and eco-friendly home renovation ideas. The aim is to inspire you to make better and greener long-term decisions while not detracting from the beauty and practicality that a renovated home can create.
Traditional flooring materials, such as carpet and vinyl, aren’t exactly the greenest of materials to use. Vinyl is made from PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride), a synthetic polymer, which, when manufactured, releases large amounts of chlorine-based chemicals and gases. Some carpets can similarly contain VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) which release during and after installation, so it’s always a good idea to look at greener alternatives.
Eco-friendly flooring options include bamboo, cork, and linoleum. These materials are made from renewable and sustainable resources, and they’re also durable and long-lasting. These natural materials can be used many times over. Reclaimed wood boards also work well as flooring materials.
Eco-Friendly, VOC-Free Paint
Renovating a home often starts or ends by giving the walls and ceiling a fresh coat of paint. Standard, off-the-shelf paint contains VOCs which can emit harmful gases that pollute the air and can cause breathing difficulties and nausea for many people. Choosing VOC-free or low-VOC paint products will go a long way in preserving your health as well as the environment around you.
While occasionally costing a few pounds more, you can expect these eco-friendly paints to produce as good – if not better – results as conventional paints. You can find VOC-free paints in a huge range of colours, with most offering a high level of durability and resilience, improving the look and feel of your home.
Increased Natural or LED Lighting
There are many ways to encourage natural light within a room, by adding mirrors and reflective surfaces like glass. However, some rooms in a home might be darker than others, relying only on artificial lights. You can potentially install sun tunnels or openings in the ceilings or walls to let natural light in.
Alternatively, a cheaper option is to switch your domestic lighting system to LED and low-energy options. LED lights are a low-cost and much more sustainable choice of lighting to have at various points in your home. Lighting makes up approximately 15% of household energy consumption, with LED lighting going a long way in preserving more energy.
Green or Solar Roofs
Adding a green roof can have a positive impact on the environment, improving air quality and rainwater runoff, which can go a long way in flood prevention. While some homeowners like the idea of creating a small microclimate on their roofs, others prefer to keep their roofs clean from any greenery and plants.
Installing solar panels or power systems is a large-scale renovation job that many homeowners relish. These sustainable options go a long way in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Replacing the roof is a time-consuming and expensive venture, but it can lead to incredibly beneficial long-term results.
You can lower your energy bills and improve your environmental friendliness significantly with your home’s insulation. Whether this pertains to your home’s floors, roofs, lofts, walls or pipes, you can find it’s worth insulating these spaces to help you use less energy and save money on your energy bills.
It’s also worth looking at your windows and doors to see how draught-proof they are. If there are noticeable gaps, this could be letting more cold air in, and more warm air could be escaping.
Green Swimming Pools
With the UK hitting record temperatures in the summer of 2022, it’s no surprise that many homeowners decided it was time to invest in a swimming pool, especially with the prognosis that more scorching summers could be on the way. Swimming pools help us all to stay cooler, but there is also bound to be increased energy consumption and water waste when using one regularly.
However, don’t let this deter you; you can make greener choices with a home swimming pool. For instance, you can invest in pools that use natural filtration and circulation systems to keep the water clean and safe, meaning you’ll rely on fewer chemical cleaning products which harm the environment. Natural swimming pools can complement the look and feel of a home garden or outside space, as well as add value to prospective new buyers when the time comes to sell.
Environmentally-Friendly or Reclaimed Furniture
Buying reclaimed or second-hand furniture is a much more sustainable and environmentally-conscious way to shop. Local community groups are usually full of residents looking to offload used products, ranging from sun loungers and dining tables to kitchen cabinets, sofas, or bookshelves. It’s incredible what you can find online which saves the expense of manufacturing, producing and shipping new products.
However, many suppliers are focusing on making sustainable furniture more affordable and accessible. Eco-friendly garden furniture is made from renewable and sustainable materials, ranging from recycled plastic or fabrics to bamboo, rattan, and more. These products are better for the environment, while also being incredibly durable, resilient and weatherproof. Many of them can thoroughly complement any modern or traditional home renovation job.
The garden tends to be an area of focus for many homeowners that renovate, and now it’s easier to find environmentally-friendly options, instead of relying on tried-and-tested garden seating or furniture that’s made from harmful, chemical-emitting, synthetic materials.
Hopefully, the above ideas have given you food for thought when planning your home renovation project. It’s vital to remember that just because you’re transforming your home into somewhere more comfortable and beautiful, it doesn’t mean you should ignore the eco-friendliness of your choices.