Green Your Style and Save Energy!

Are you thinking of renovating your home? Keep your designs eco-friendly without compromising your personal style! Finding eco-friendly materials and systems that will help save energy is easier than you think. No matter which part of your home is getting the facelift, big or small, there tons of options to "greenify" your reno. Here are three very important words to remember: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle! Read on to learn how these three words can make all the difference no matter what kind of renovation you are doing.

Reduce

  • Reduce your electricity consumption and save energy by choosing eco-friendly lighting. According to the United States Department of Energy, approx. 22% of electric power drawn from the grid every year is attributed to residential and commercial lighting use. Switch over to greener options like compact fluorescent light bulbs to save energy and money.
  • Consider installing a drain water heat recovery (DWHR) system and harvest the warmth from your waste water to save energy when getting your fresh water up to your desired temperature!
  • Install low-flow faucets and showerheads and dual-flush toilets. If low-flow options are not in your budget, try installing a $5 aerator on your faucet to save water.
  • New fireplace? Try an economic and clean burning bioethanol fireplace!
  • Whenever you can, opt for greener appliances such as Energy Star qualified products. If you are renovating your utility zone, forget the second refridgerator and choose efficient laundry machines.

Reuse and Recycle

  • Reuse and refurbish your old pieces! With a little creativity you can breath new life into those old chairs or cabinets with some new upholstery or paint. Having a hard time visualizing that old piece into something fresh? Think of it like they do at Rubbish Rehab.
  • Want to recyle but need a new floor? Look for materials made from recycle products such as FLOR carpet tiles. These tiles are made from renewable and recycled content and come in 20-inch squares, allowing you to get creative and make a floor statement. When you decide it's time for change, FLOR has a return and recycle program!
  • Try cork, another surprising sustainable option. Cork flooring is a beautifully green product that stays warm underfoot without spending money and energy on in-floor heating. Don't worry about harming cork trees. Cork flooring is a recycled product made from the remnants of the cork stopper production process!
  • Want to bring nature into your decor? Look for products that use repurposed materials such as wood or, like Kirei, repurposed coconut shells! Kirei repurposes old coconut shells to bring the tropics indoors with unique tiles and furniture pieces.
  • Always look for the sustainable options and energy efficient designs such as Duette Honeycomb Shades. The cell-within-a-cell design helps to protect your home against summer heat and keep it cool without wasting energy on that air conditioner.

These ideas are just the tip of the sustainable renovations iceberg! There are many more companies, products and online resources full of information about greener options. One last thing to remember: read what your suppliers and manufacturers are doing for the environment. If you've found that perfect tile or chair or fabric that isn't recycle or repurposed, take a look at the maker's sustainability policy. Many companies create new products while helping the environment by using energy-saving and efficient manufacturing methods.

Want to learn more about sustainable renovating? Check out these three sites for great articles and products!

EcoLiving Article Index

Green Living

Inhabitat