If there are silver linings that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic somehow managed to cause, one of them was giving homeowners plenty of available time to do whatever things they’ve long been delaying. With restrictions in movements and stay-at-home orders in place, homeowners were forced to spend extended time in their properties and find creative and productive ways to get busy.
This resulted in the rapid boom of the home improvement industry as thousands of home-quarantined parents had to scramble to turn their rooms into offices and study areas for themselves and their kids. Outside of homes, property owners are making other improvements such as installing mini pools or constructing playgrounds for their kids. Some decided to build wooden decks or install outdoor patios to make their lawns more relaxing — which is just what they need during a troubling time.
If you’re planning to make some improvements to your property, why not take things up a notch by going for sustainable building and construction techniques? This way, you won’t be spending too much improving your home while making it more friendly to the environment.
Here are five eco-friendly ways on how you can accomplish your home improvement projects:
Hire a professional concrete foundation contractor/builder
If one of your planned home improvements involves building a structure with foundations such as a granny home or outdoor home office, be sure to hire a licensed contractor with years or decades of industry experience. Keep in mind that building foundations are critical in any structure, so you must be picky about which concrete foundation contractor you would hire.
By hiring a contractor with proven expertise and experience, you can be sure that there won’t be any guesswork when pouring concrete. With an inexperienced concrete foundation service provider, there’s the possibility of things going wrong, which could waste precious concrete. Knowing the carbon footprint that the manufacturing of materials involved in concrete foundations, entrusting your project to a skilled contractor is one way of ensuring that nothing will go to waste that could harm the environment.
Repaint using low- or zero-VOC paint
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are present in many commercial paints, which is a worrisome fact. VOCs can lead to short-term and long-term health impacts, none of which are good. Additionally, they are proven to contaminate groundwater, which is the lifeblood for many communities around the world.
As such, be sure to choose only low- or zero-VOC paint and lacquer products when giving your home a fresh appeal with a total repaint job. Whether you’re doing it DIY-style or you’re hiring a residential painting company, make it a point to use harmless paint to avoid contributing to nature’s destruction.
Choose more eco-friendly flooring materials
Are you a fan of carpets or area rugs? While they may be some of the most stunning flooring options out there, they also happen to be among the most ecologically unkind.
This is due to their short lifespan plus high-maintenance requirements. Carpeted floors require frequent vacuuming and cleaning using a special shampoo — both of which have negative impacts on the environment.
The quickest way to resolve this is to pick other flooring options such as vinyl and salvaged parquet. They are easier to maintain, stylish, and both have minimal to zero impact on nature. It also doesn’t hurt that they are both cheaper to own and maintain when compared with carpet.
Bring in more natural light
Lighting your home consumes electricity, even during the day. This is particularly true if you have very few windows or if the layout of your home isn’t oriented to let in as much natural light as possible throughout the day.
One great way to lower your daytime power use, thus, is to make sure that natural light easily reaches your interior spaces. If you have small windows, then it’s s wise to invest in larger ones that will naturally illuminate your home inside during the daytime. You can also invest in a skylight to both let the sunlight and the light coming from the moon.
Switch to solar or wind energy
Sustainable energy sources such as wind and sun are some of today’s most favored energy alternatives to traditional coal-fired powerplants. If you want to make your home more earth-friendly, then invest in installing a solar power system or one that harnesses wind energy (if you’re living in a particularly windy area).
There are now many commercial installers of solar panel systems that you can tap for a custom setup, but you can also buy one of those DIY kits. With such an energy source at your disposal, your home will surely have high points in terms of sustainability and cost-efficiency. Just take inspiration from these five tips and your home will surely be an eco warrior’s haven soon.