Modern Australian Magazine



Eco-Friendly Ways to Renovate Your Home

  • Written by Diana Smith


Going green in every aspect of life is not only a lifestyle change, it’s a necessity. The planet is riling up against us and we need to do everything in our power to become more responsible. Therefore, if your cozy household is overdue for some retrofits and updates, here are some basic eco-friendly ways to renovate your home.

Buying reclaimed is good

New and shiny isn’t always eco-friendly. In fact, most of the time, you’ll spend too much money on the material you could have purchased “second hand”, and the quality of the renovation, as well as the end result, would be no different. This is especially a good option if you have a lot of wooden surfaces in mind for the aesthetic update. Just find a certified designer and see your household turn into a custom-made environment you’ve always dreamed of, all made from reclaimed materials.

Buying pre-owned

Of course, purchasing reclaimed materials is not the only way to go – in fact, you can find a second-hand retailer that deals in pre-owned furniture and larger elements – like, for example, the entire set of kitchen cupboards and cabinets. Most such retailers are already part of the large-scale global project of green-living and if you decide to purchase from them, all you need to truly pay attention to is the style and shape of furniture. New colors and tweaks can easily be applied later.

Cannibalize your own home

Another thing you can do, especially if you are tearing down certain parts of your household, is cannibalize your own home. Now, this sounds like a terrible thing to do mostly because the word has strikingly negative connotations, but in terms of house retrofitting, it’s actually an amazing way to save money and be eco-friendly. It’s basically not that dissimilar to using reclaimed materials, but this time, the material comes from your own home. Whatever you tear down in the name of renovation should not be thrown away immediately – see how you can use it.

What you cannot use – donate

Those retailers who deal in reclaimed building materials have to get them from somewhere. This is a good chance to encourage eco-friendly behavior and donate all the goods you cannot use or “cannibalize” so somebody else can purchase them. All the reclaimed material can be processed and broken down to its basic form.

In concrete we trust

Of all the ubiquitous material used for basic construction that is eco-friendly, concrete is by far the best case scenario for you. This is especially true if your renovation entails large-scale extensions to your home’s layout. You can opt for concrete tilt panel construction when dealing with serious add-ons to your home. This is the quickest and the most inexpensive way to erect new rooms and concrete is a very durable, robust insulator that will keep your house eco-friendly for years to come.

More windows

Concrete is resistant to both fire and water and it is nearly irreplaceable as a construction material and insulator. Keeping the house warm during winter or cold over the summer, without spending too much electricity, is the goal to strive for, and more windows is the best green solution for an ecologically-oriented renovation. More windows mean more natural light inside your house and less need to keep the lights turned on all the time. They are also a good ally when you need to warm up the house, as the light that refracts through glass heats it up. If the summer days get too hot, just close the blinds and you are golden.

Install solar panels

Installing solar panels is serious business and it can be really costly. Thankfully, most governments in the western world have recognized this particular financial conundrum and contractors who work on such eco-friendly retrofits have allied with banks to create financial packages that enable people with financial problems to install these panels without necessary prepayment and with very favorable conditions when it comes to payments. Therefore, installing solar panels has become one of the most accessible and popular ways to turn your home into an eco-friendly environment.

Use eco-friendly paint

The market has become oversaturated with low-VOC and VOC-free paint. The term is an abbreviation for “volatile organic compounds” which have been the default parts of the paint mixture up until recently. These compounds produce harmful molecules that can have a harmful effect on your health, plus the production of such paint has an overwhelming effect on the environment.

LED lighting replacement

Incandescent light bulbs have been the default sources of light for quite a while, but this too is slowly changing. LED lights can spend up to 90% less electricity when compared to your regular light bulbs, plus they do not waste energy on heat. The best advantage of LED lights is by far their durability – whereas an incandescent light can last up to four months, a LED light bulb can last you for up to 22 years. If these facts don’t convince you to do a complete light-overhaul of your home, hardly anything will.

Basically, every house is ripe for some large-scale updating at least once in a decade. Therefore, you can use the first opportunity for renovation to invest some extra cash into eco-friendly solutions. In the long run, this is a good way to save money since you’ll spend less energy and your monthly utility bills will be lower by a significant margin. Don’t just perk it up, green it up!

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