Given our finite environmental and financial resources, going green is an incredibly important lifestyle choice. Green living can mean the clothes that you buy, the food that you eat and, of course, the house you live in. With the right remodeler (us!), you can transform the oldest house into a fiscally responsible, environmentally-conscious home. Here are our 3 tips for going green:
- Cork. We know, it seems like an odd choice but cork flooring is great material for eco-friendly floors! Cork is harvested from the bark of the cork oak tree. These cork trees are the ideal renewable source: the trees are not cut down to harvest the bark and the bark re-grows every three years. Cork has a anti-microbial properties that reduce allergens in the home, is fire retardant, and acts as a natural insect repellent too.
- Bamboo. Bamboo is actually a grass that shares similar characteristics as hardwood. It is sturdy, easy to maintain and easy to install. Bamboo grows quickly, re-sprouting in 3-5 years. It is a beautiful, sustainable alternative to the long-growth cycle of trees.
- Concrete. Concrete is a non-traditional but unusually beautiful option. Pet-owners are particularly fond of it, as it is durable and easy to clean. If it is polished and tinted to the homeowners taste and style there is no need for traditional flooring to be put over it. What’s more, concrete never needs to be replaced!
Other ec0-friendly options include wool carpet, P.E.T berber carpet, rubber, leather, and reclaimed hardwood.
The average consumer uses electricity when engaging in daily activities such as heating water, turning on lights and cooking. A local utility company burns fossil fuel to generate electricity, which it then directs to the consumer’s home. Fossil fuels, such as coal and oil, are nonrenewable natural resources and once exhausted, cannot be replaced.
Solar power, however, is a renewable resource. According to “The Boston Globe,” the sun produces enough energy every second to meet all of civilization’s energy needs for 500,000 years. The “Globe” reports that by switching to solar power, consumers can help conserve Earth’s remaining natural resources.
Insulating our homes is an incredibly important part of home construction, and it plays a key role in energy costs. Heat naturally flows from a warm space to a cool space and our comfort suffers in the process! In the winter, warm air from the inside will move to the outside and make us cold. In the summer, hot air moves from the outside to the inside and makes it uncomfortably warm. Insulation is often made from fiberglass, a material harmful to our environment. Eco-conscious homeowners are now transitioning to more environmentally friendly materials, some of which don’t require major deconstruction.
Some eco-friendly materials you can use for insulation:
Soy-based spray foam