"Going 'Green' with Environmentally-Friendly Home Improvement
Over the last few years, buying environment friendly products for the
home has become an increasingly important consideration for homeowners
looking to make "green" improvements to their living space. To address
this growing need, products such as flooring, lighting and paneling, as
well as materials like paint and varnish are now readily available for
virtually every remodeling project and every room in the house.
Numerous States have now also adopted legislation that limits the use of
products that contain harmful fumes or chemicals. The good thing about
this is, other than the obvious Green benefits, that many of the
products that adhere to the new legislation are also becoming more
affordable and are therefore more likely to be found on the shelves in
our local hardware and home improvement stores.
See The Light! And Still Save on Energy Bills
It's no secret that energy prices have soared and if you are planning
a home improvement project, one of the simplest ways you can protect the
environment - as well as save money - is to use less electricity.
Lighting and major appliances consume the most electricity; simply by
switching to fluorescent bulbs, you can save up to 30% a year on your
electricity bills. You can save a noticeable amount of money on your
lighting costs by painting walls a lighter color, thus distributing
light more effortlessly as well as making rooms appear brighter.
Leaking ducts can account for a surprising amount of wasted energy - up
to 30%. If you are planning to caulk around ducts, vents and windows be
sure to use a product that complies with recent regulations concerning
the use of less VOCs in its manufacture. These are volatile organic
compounds which contain pollutants that damage the ozone layer, and also
contribute to producing smog.
Paint may be your biggest cause of concern if you are planning a home
improvement project. Read the small print on the tin to make sure it
complies with VOC standards - almost 30 brands are now readily
available. Typically, lighter colors of paint tend to contain fewer VOCs.
countertops are an area where it is possible to help the
environment. A recent innovation is a countertop made entirely of
recycled paper and water-based resin. You can also install countertops
made of paper and cement so that the production involves no quarrying
that damages the land.
The bathroom is one of the most important areas where you can help
protect the environment. Around 75% of all water used in the home is
used by the bathroom shower, toilet and sink combined. Low flow or
adjustable showerheads are easy to install and a dual flush toilet -
offering a full or half-flush - can potentially lower a typical water
bill by up to $75 a year. An estimated 4 trillion gallons of water would
be saved every year in the United States if every household installed a
dual flush toilet.
The Japanese are well known for their inventive labor-saving and
technologically advanced devices. One of their latest innovations may
soon be commonplace in the United States - an ingenious combination
toilet/bathroom sink - you wash your hands in water that is then used to
flush the toilet.
Get Floored! In The Utmost Style of Course
And one of the biggest trends in home improvement? Many people,
especially those moving into a new home, consider installing a new floor
covering as one of their most important projects. Cork, bamboo and
reclaimed wood flooring all have a strong visual appeal as well as
helping the environment, and in recent years, these alternative
materials for flooring have become popular.
Cork flooring has excellent insulating qualities and can save on energy
costs; it also reduces noise and can help keep a home free from
allergens. What's more, it is surprisingly tough as well as being water
And one other thing to keep in mind if you are "going green" when
remodeling or improving your home. Always dispose of old or unwanted
materials safely - many materials can be donated for people to reuse, or
otherwise recycled. If in doubt, check with your county recycling
The next time you are making improvements to your living space be sure
to do your bit to protect our precious planet... Go Green!
Tom Willmar specializes in writing about environmental issues. He also
operates a consumer guide to Cork Flooring. Visit
www.corkflooring.biz for more
information on this environment friendly floor covering.
If you are looking for a
Denver remodeling contractor, please call us today at 303.274.0489 or complete our
online request form.