Top Sustainable Practices for Michigan Contractors

All over the world, the construction industry is moving towards better sustainability. The world is coming to terms with the fact that the planet can only sustain our life so far if we take care of its needs and prevent its deterioration. 

So if you want to be one of Michigan’s top contractors, may it be in residential building, plumbing, electrician work, or mechanic work, it’s not too late to jump the best bandwagon produced by recent years, and observe the following sustainable practices in your projects:

Use environment-friendly materials

When you think about the fact that concrete accounts for about 500 million tons of construction waste generated year after year, it’s crazy to think that it’s still the most common choice of material for residential builders. It’s high time you consider using better alternatives like steel, which has proven to have more environmental benefits than practically any other material in the same price range.

Bamboo and recyclable plastic are good alternatives, too, as long as you manage the waste.

Source materials locally

If you’re not a residential builder but a mechanic/plumber/electrician/HVAC professional, you can still practice sustainability in sourcing materials by buying them from local businesses, instead of importing your gear and equipment.

For one, supporting local businesses keeps locals employed and boosts the local economy in Michigan. Additionally, supporting imported goods means taking part in the carbon footprint generated when transporting heavy materials from overseas.

Take pre-licensing courses seriously

In Michigan, you need 60 hours of pre-licensing courses and 14 hours of continuing education every two years to keep your license to charge for any work done. These courses and supplemental classes have to be taken seriously because they do not only teach you the fundamentals of your trade, but this is also where you’ll learn recent trends in the industry, including new sustainable options available for you.

As a professional, you owe it to yourself and your clients to learn everything you can to offer better services, instead of just looking at these educational requirements as something you have to do for compliance or for the sake of it. If you put your heart into learning these things, you can become a more conscientious contractor in making sure that clients get their money’s worth when they contract your services.

Provide services for renewable projects

There is an ongoing rollout of solar farms and other renewable energy projects in Michigan. Now, there could be nothing more sustainable than lending your hand and industry to these projects, should they need your services.

If you are fortunate enough to work on commercial renewable projects, you can even start to offer renewable building services to your residential clients. Helping clients live a cleaner, greener lifestyle is the best thing you can do as a contractor– in the name of sustainability.

Ditch paper

Technology has given us enough resources to completely ditch the use of paper. You can keep your plans and files in the cloud, so as to limit your use of paper, for instance. Even your contracts of engagement can be sent and signed through email, without prejudice to their validity and enforceability. There are hundreds of mobile apps that can help you streamline your business as an independent contractor, too, so you can make use of those while effectively cutting down your dependence on paper.

Be efficient in equipment use

Using electricity-powered equipment cannot be avoided in the construction business, so just make sure you don’t leave any of them on or plugged when not in use. Unless all your clients somehow use 100% renewable energy in their homes and construction sites, the onus is on you not to consume more power than is necessary, for the benefit of the environment. 

Be mindful of waste management

Finally, there is no way to completely eradicate construction waste when you’re working on projects. The best thing you can do is make sure they are disposed of properly, and won’t end up crowding landfills or polluting the oceans.

For this, you must not use materials that are not recyclable. Otherwise, separate and categorize all the waste that gets produced when you’re working on a project, to effectively lay down the groundwork for mindful disposal and/or recycling later on.

These are just some of the top strategies you can employ to become a more sustainable contractor in Michigan. Keep in mind that if we all start taking better care of the planet, it will do the same for us in the future. So if you’re looking forward to a long, fulfilling life of using your trade to good use, you’d be happy to do these things for the Earth.

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.