Eco-Friendly Re-models Make Homes Healthier, Beautiful and Cost Efficient

It is clear that our country has finally embraced the concept of “green building and remodeling” American homes. The technology and sciences over the past two decades have developed products and manufacturing processes to dramatically reduce the carbon footprints of our communities. The welfare of our present environments and wildlife habitats are being considered on a grand scale as never before in history, since the beginning of the industrial age. 

We now have affordable green re-modeling materials with zero VOC’s (volatile organic compounds), energy efficiency and sustainability for every kind of project beginning from the ground, or even underground all the way through the home to our roof-tops. Not only do these green products save the environment, save us money and keep our families healthier over time, the materials can last longer and service our needs better than construction and design materials from the past that are becoming yesterday’s old standards.

Ideas for using recycled materials in outdoor projects:

If you are having to re-pipe underground, install new gas lines for a pool or for leakage issues, discuss with your contractor ways to avoid negatively impacting wild animal habitats locally by using recycled glass that has been tumbled to safely replace sand fillers that is usually dredged from local streams, rivers and waterbeds. This process upsets many species of local wildlife every time the companies go in to dredge. There are also “permeable” concrete products that filter waste water run off that can reduce community pollutants before the run-off water reaches local water resources and native wildlife.

Areas of the home that can be remodeled using green materials:

Everywhere from floors, cabinetry, and doors can use beautiful old wood from salvaged/reclaimed lumber sources. These wood products not only save trees, but the custom doors, floors and cabinets made from solid old lumber are naturally beautiful, long lasting and unique to your home.

Every type of recycling, re-purposing and restoration begins by reducing the carbon footprint because it avoids disposing materials into a dump or landfill, and no fuels are wasted producing new products for that project. Another way to save on fuel usage or waste is to buy locally to reduce transportation fuel, especially on large items.

There are good reasons to purchase new materials as long as the decision to buy new is accompanied with researching sustainable materials that serve multiple purposes. For example, people who are concerned for their children or an adult with allergy or asthma problems will benefit from sustainable woods like cork because it is naturally anti-microbial, mold and mildew resistant as well as bug resistant. Cork is sustainable, Cork Oak Trees can live up to 800 years and they are not cut down, but the cork is re-harvested from their bark every 8-12 years. Natural benefits of cork, as an energy efficient heat or cool insulator, no more cold floors on bare feet. It is also a noise insulator which works well in playrooms and home theater rooms.

Using LED Lighting in the Yard and In the Home is Cost Efficient:

Re-modeling outside or inside the home can be simple as adding updating indoor or outdoor lights which can eliminate dark spaces or add a new look to spaces that need re-purposing like a study-area or brightening up the kitchen. Changing light bulbs from regular incandescent to new LED lighting is a difference from 2-3,000 hours of light to 50,000 hours of light between replacements, per bulb. Because LED Lights are brighter than other bulbs, just lower in voltage, the LED choice will cut electricity costs substantially every year.

Try some of these ideas to keep your living spaces environmentally safe and healthy for families, pets and local wildlife plus save money as you go.

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