When you’re trying to keep your home environmentally-friendly making home improvements is tough. Many large projects use a lot of wood that you might feel we can’t afford to use. Other materials aren’t too eco-friendly either. And some liquids, foams, glues and gels contain things that you would rather not be putting into the atmosphere. Not to mention all the waste doing home improvements could produce, from wood and plastic cut-offs to empty cans and sawdust. Making home improvements also uses a lot of energy from the use of power tools and long working days. Plus, there’s the delivery vans and even having materials imported from another country.
You can make your home improvements more eco-friendly. Look for materials and supplies that are kinder to the environment. You can also try carrying out your home improvements slightly differently to try and lessen your impact.
Are you thinking about installing a deck in your garden but don’t want to waste the wood? Look to composite decking for a more environmentally-friendly material. It’s made from wood waste and recycled plastic, so its impact on the environment isn’t as great as building a wooden deck. Composite decking is strong and durable and won’t warp or crack like wood can.
Installing new wooden floors uses up a lot of wood, especially if you’re doing multiple rooms. If you try to purchase wooden products sparingly, bamboo flooring is an excellent alternative. Unlike trees, bamboo is a plant that grows in abundance. It doesn’t take as long to replace as growing new trees, and it still makes flooring that looks just as good as wood.
There are both ups and downs to installing bamboo flooring, however. Some pros and cons of bamboo flooring include the speed with which bamboo regrows in the wild (pro). But there is also the potential lack of quality control in China, where it comes from (con). You should ensure you use a quality supplier. This ensures your bamboo flooring isn’t coming from a source that uses urea-formaldehyde to bond bamboo strips together.
Countertops Made from Paper
Instead of plastic or stone countertops, you can use counters made from a tree pulp. The pulp comes from strictly managed sustainable forests. Although paper might not sound very durable, they are mostly resistant to staining, scratching and heat.
Rubber Mulch for Your Garden
If you’re doing some landscaping, rubber mulch is useful. It’s made from recycled tyres and is a great material for creating a safe children’s play area. It’s also good for preventing weeds growing, and it lets water and air flow through it.
Soy Concrete Stain
For a natural alternative to concrete stain use a stain made from soy. It doesn’t contain any acid, or other hazardous materials, and soybeans are a sustainable source. You can use soy concrete stain inside and outside.
If possible, try to source some materials locally. Cutting down on imported supplies will reduce the impact caused by transportation.