Decorating & Design

December 18, 2009

10 Green Renovation Tips

Whether you plan to renovate your entire home, redecorate a room or plant a new garden, here are 10 tips for going green in any space. Sustainability, simplicity and smart use of resources such as water are trends that are becoming musts in the building industry.

1.  Reno, don’t raze

Re-do an older home with great bones instead of tearing down and building from scratch. It’s about as green as you can go as a first step.

2. Choose local materials

Select locally sourced building supplies. Help save rainforests by using domestic wood species that don’t contribute as much to carbon emissions created by transportation.

3. Reuse rainwater

Divert the runoff from your downspouts into a rain barrel and use the water on your lawn and garden — a great type of water-saving system.

4. Repurpose materials

Think of ways to reuse materials left over from a space’s demolition process. And when replacing materials like flooring or carpeting, look for green products like cork or bamboo flooring.

5. Get an efficient water heater

Replace your old hot water heater with an on-demand unit that heats water only when it’s needed. For more energy saving tips, visit Enbridge online.

6. Plant a roof garden

If your roof is flat and well-structured, use it as gardening space. A roof garden will keep the interior of your home cool, improve air quality and create a great space for relaxing. Plant vegetable and herb gardens, which encourage sustainable, local food and reduce packaging waste.

7. Bring in natural light

Reduce the need for electric lighting by installing light tubes or skylights. Improve your home’s ventilation by choosing skylights that can open electrically or manually.

8. Refurbish furnishings

Reduce landfill by refinishing and reupholstering old furniture pieces that are in good structural shape.

9. Choose native plants

When it comes to beautifying your home’s exterior spaces, select greenery and flowers suited to your climate as they require less maintenance and water.

10. Turn off the A/C

Create cross-ventilation by installing ceiling fans and by opening windows instead. If you have the yard space, consider installing a small dunking pool for cooling off on hot summer days.

Get more information on being eco-friendly in our Green Materials For Your Home article.