- Repurpose Existing Space. Instead of adding on to your home consider are planning existing spaces within the original footprint. Moving walls and borrowing space from neighboring rooms could create a more functional and efficient space for your family and provide you with exactly what you need—without adding any square footage.
- Architectural Salvage. What a great place to wander for inspiration. Character abounds in your local salvage yards. They typically specialize in recycled building materials and architectural details from all across the country. You can find fabulous doors, windows, cabinetry, lighting fixtures and scads of architectural details and ornaments all at reduced costs. Use your imagination here and get creative. It’s all in the details!
- Flooring. There’s nothing like hardwood! For generations it’s been one of the more popular choices in flooring. There are many beautiful hardwoods out on the market today that are FSC certified. The Forest Stewardship Council encourages environmentally responsible forestry practices. Check out www.ecotimber.com. It’s a great source for reclaimed hardwoods, engineered hardwoods and the most sustainable material of them all – bamboo flooring.
- Paint. There are several paint manufacturers who have developed low-VOC and zero-VOC paints for the green consumer. VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compounds, which are toxic gasses that are emitted into the air while the paint is drying and even for a while after. A great new product is Benjamin Moore’s “Natura” paint. It’s zero-VOC, completely odorless and is available in their full range of exquisite colors and finishes. So whether you’re painting one room, or your entire house, now’s the perfect time to use a low or zero- VOC paint product. No more excuses! www.benjaminmoore.com/natura. Cost is approx. $55/gallon compared to $40-50/gallon for traditional paint.
- Window Treatments. When it’s time to replace your window coverings look for energy efficient products. They provide great benefits by preventing heat loss in the winter, diffusing the heat of the sun in the summer, and saving money on your pocketbook all year round. www.hunterdouglas.com has a beautiful window shade called “Duette Architella” where the honeycombed air pockets trap the hot and cold air so your home stays comfortable all year long.
- Appliances. As your appliances need to be replaced purchase Energy Star appliances. The blue and white Energy Star label translates into an energy savings of up to 50% compared with traditional products. Most major manufacturers are part of this program, so go to www.energystar.gov and look through the 18,000 products available and choose the ones that best suit you.
Whether you’re planning a home renovation project this year, or just redecorating your family room, going green has never been so simple. Product manufacturers are making it easier than ever for us to incorporate eco friendly materials, finishes and furnishings into our homes. Now is the time to learn how to implement these green concepts and products into YOUR next project. Transforming your home into a more healthful and energy efficient one doesn’t have to happen all at once. Start with one project at a time! Do some research, and educate yourself on all the exciting recycled and sustainable products that are out there on the market? It’s quite impressive. Here Are 6 Great Ideas To Help Get You Started!