Making Environmentally Choices During Home Repair and Remodel
Materials used for home repair and remodel make a big impact on the environment. Think of how much wood is used around the home for remodeling work, from creating new walls to installing wood floorboards. Paints and other chemicals used also have high amounts of dangerous chemicals that are released into the environment and which are harmful to the people around them as well.
To make more environmentally friendly choices for your home repair or remodel, first consider your materials. Bamboo is a very good choice for wood floorboards as it replenishes itself very quickly; some types of bamboo grow up to three feet in one day! It is also soft and pliable which will keep your floorboards from warping or chipping.
You may not realize it, but carpet contains a high number of chemicals and manufacturers emit a large number of pollutants during the production process. If you can forego carpeting in areas of your home, choose slate or bamboo flooring instead. This will mean less pollution and fewer noxious chemicals in your own home.
If you use natural materials such as granite for your projects, consider using remnants or overlays rather than large pieces that need to be harvested. A granite overlay is a thin sheet of granite that is put on top of the counters you have currently; this uses much less material. It may even save you money!
Choose low VOC paints; these have fewer chemicals that are irritating to humans and that are loosed in the environment. You might also shop for organic lines that use natural pigments for their coloring; these last just as long but contain few if any of those harmful chemicals.
Ask your contractor or home repair specialist about other options you might find that are more environmentally friendly. There are types of insulation, drywall, and adhesives that are made with fewer chemicals and so are healthier for humans and better for the environment. These small changes can all have a big impact on your home, your health, and the planet overall.