Green Choices For Overhauling Your Home
You're gutting part of your home and would like to choose products and materials that will be kind to the planet. These 10 home reno choices are good to Mother Nature. (And while you're at it, consider whether what you're removing from your home can be donated to Habitat for Humanity ReStore so that it goes to good use rather than to a landfill).
Bamboo flooring is made of bamboo. Techinically it's a grass and is a renewable resource that grows quickly, making it an enviro-friendly flooring option. Style-wise, you have a choice of a huge array of colours and patterns, plus it's simple to install and is antibacterial.
Low-flow shower head
If you're renovating your bathroom or simply just want to make an easy green change for living more sustainably, replace your shower head with a low-flow option to help conserve water, such as with this one from Waterpik. Its flow rate is 7.6 lpm (litres per minute), so you'll save not only water, but money too.
Eco-friendly carpet tiles
These innovative Flor carpet tiles can be combined in any number of ways. They're ideal if you have kids or pets who may cause messes and spills; if one area gets soiled, simply replace that one tile of carpet. It's made from recycled and renewable materials, so Flor is a much kinder choice than your typical wall-to-wall carpeting (which could be harbouring toxins).
Installing a programmable thermostat such as this one from Honeywell will allow you to control the temperature of your home more efficiently. You don't have to keep it at the level you enjoy when at home when you're at the office for eight hours, after all, right? You get to save energy, and you don't have to arrive home to a house that's too cold or too hot; simply program it to get to the right temp for your arrival.
Breathe easy by painting the rooms in your home with low-VOC paint, such as this option from Olympic. VOC stands for volatile organic compounds, and breathing in these compounds has been tied to headaches, breathing issues and more.
Energy Star-rated appliances
When shopping for new appliances, stick to those given the Energy Star rating, such as this Maytag dishwasher, and you can save up to 10 per cent on your energy bill while also being kind to the planet.
When designing your kitchen, be sure to devote a spot for recycling bins, such as this option from Knape and Vogt. It's easy to live greener when you have systems set up!
These simple but pretty Indian cotton curtain panels are certified organic, so they've been produced with minimal impact and won't leach toxins into the air you breathe.
Planning to do your backyard over? Make a spot for a compost bin such as this one from Garden Gourmet. This way you can convert your kitchen and yard scraps back into rich soil for your garden. Not sure how to compost? Check out this step-by-step guide from Home Depot.
If your windows are drafty, they're ratcheting up your energy bill. Eliminate leaks and condensation with high-quality custom windows such as those from Green Window Works, and watch that bill come down and the comfort level of your home go up.