An interior remodeling project is a good opportunity to make eco-friendly upgrades around the home and reduce the carbon footprint of both your daily living and the remodeling project itself. And green remodeling can include simple and cost-effective ideas that help lower your home improvement costs and your long-term living expenses too.
Try some of these easy, innovative solutions in your own home to go green during a remodel.
LED lighting: go green by saving electricity. Recessed LED lighting and LED task lighting are eco-friendly upgrades with a higher initial investment than the alternative, but it’s one that produces immediate payoff. LED lighting uses just 6 watts of electricity, compared to 75 watts used by traditional incandescent lighting. Add a dimming system and you can reduce your energy consumption even more. If you can’t afford to make this upgrade, switch your home’s incandescent bulbs to full-spectrum compact fluorescents instead.
Recessed LED lights provide softer overhead lighting while LED task lighting limits use to specific areas. Photo credit: Case Design and Remodeling.
Sun tunnels: go green using solar energy. A sun tunnel or tubular daylighting device is an affordable alternative to a skylight that uses a highly reflective tube to disperse natural light inside your home. The tubes are installed between the ceiling and roof and are often intermixed with recessed overhead lights. Use sun tunnels to light key areas of the home during the day, such as kitchens, living rooms, and bathrooms.
Low-flow fixtures: go green by reducing water use. You can install low-flow faucets and showerheads and dual-flushing toilets to reduce water consumption throughout the home. Traditional toilets account for 30% of a home’s water use, making the switch to dual-flushing systems a very green upgrades. Look for low-flow fixtures with the WaterSense label, which guarantees that they increase efficiency by at least 20% without compromising the product’s performance.
Low-flow faucets aerate more water, so replacing the aerator on an existing fixture can help decrease consumption. Photo credit: Case Design and Remodeling.
Repurpose, Recycle, Reuse: go green by lowering demand. These days homeowners are finding ways to remodel spaces using very few new materials. Some of the parts, supplies, appliances, and building materials removed during the demolition phase of remodeling can be reincorporated back into the modified space. Architectural salvage yards and stores such as the Habitat for Humanity Restore are making it easier to connect consumers with used materials. Locally reclaimed barnwood or wood taken from other structures on your property can also be incorporated into a remodel.