8 Eco-Friendly Ways To Renovate Your Home

Every building needs repairs or renovation at some point. Some people do it to improve their homes and create a comfortable living space while others do it to sell.  Others also want to make their homes more aesthetically pleasing. Regardless of the reason, there are a lot of eco-friendly ways to renovate your home.

Real estate, including homes, is responsible for nearly 40% of carbon emissions. Small, eco-friendly upgrades can go a long way to protect the environment and make your home more sustainable. So, if you plan to renovate your home soon, consider doing so in an eco-friendly way.

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Mr. Misadventures and I had a “green” home for 8 years and in our current home, we try to approach our home, home maintenance, and renovation with an emphasis on being green. Here are some of our tips.

heart made of leaves with a wood house in the middle

Upgrade your design to make better use of natural lighting

LED lights are wonderful additions to any home, as they reduce your energy consumption by 70% compared to incandescent bulbs. But your bill can still go up if you leave them on all day, especially if you have many artificial lighting sources at home.

We use Smart LED lights and control our lights centrally. We are militant about turning off lights in rooms we are not in. Of course, I was also trained by a military father who drilled that practice in me!

pink background with plant shadow

When renovating your home, find a way to improve your home’s design to make better use of natural lighting during the day. The more natural light you can get to flood your home, the less dependent you’ll be on light bulbs and lamps. That also means your light bills will fall even lower. 

So, how can you upgrade your home to get more natural light? One option is to expand your windows or open them more often during the day. Other options you can try include using brighter interior wall and ceiling paint and highly reflective tiles. You can also turn your walls into mirrors with higher gloss paints.

Luxury fashionable modern design studio apartment with a free layout in a minimal style. very bright huge spacious room with white walls and wooden elements

Also, consider replacing some of your interior walls with glass blocks, hanging a mirror or two, adding more reflective design elements, installing a skylight in your ceiling, or creating sun tubes. We have mirrors in strategic places to pull in natural light.

The backside of our home faces a little forest so we do not have any window covers. This allows us to have a ton of natural light. For windows facing the front of the house, we have “blackout” blinds, but in white so that they let in lots of light. We also, only close them halfway.

All these additions will help brighten your interior space during the day, making you less reliant on artificial light. You’ll be able to cut back on your energy consumption while reducing your carbon footprints and contribute your quota to protect the environment. 

Install a tankless water heater

Many people consider adding insulation and installing solar panels when looking to make their homes more energy-efficient. And we have had that in our home before. These are excellent additions, but they’re not the only options available. You can consider installing a tankless water heater in addition to your other energy-efficient upgrades.

With the average home using at least 3,000 gallons of water monthly and spending thousands of dollars yearly on water bills, adding a tankless water heater is highly recommended. 

Water heater hanging on the wall

Some research shows that a tank-mode water heater can waste 24 16-ounce bottles of water every time you shower, just waiting for the water to heat up. You can prevent this by installing a tankless water heater. But aside from cutting down your water consumption, it can also help you cut back on carbon emissions, which is why it’s an energy-saving upgrade.

Unlike a traditional water heater that constantly maintains a reservoir, a tankless option only heats water on demand and takes very little time. So there’s no standby heat loss, you’ll consume less energy, and you’ll be able to reduce greenhouse emissions associated with water heating. 

Turn to bamboo flooring

Bamboo can do more for your home than you can imagine. Most experts advise using reclaimed wood when looking to make your home renovation a lot more eco-friendly. But in cases where you cannot find reclaimed wood, you can always turn to bamboo. 

bamboo flooring

It’s important to tackle one misconception at this point before proceeding. Contrary to what many people claim, bamboo isn’t always more expensive than regular wood. It depends on what purpose you want to use it for. For example, bamboo flooring ranks among the most affordable flooring options, even lower in price than its hardwood counterpart.

Plus, it can look just as good as hardwood and deliver the same quality in terms of protection and durability. But one of bamboo flooring’s biggest drawcards or advantages is that it’s super eco-friendly and sustainable. It’s also fairly water-resistant, and when installed properly, bamboo flooring can last as long as 25 years.

Consider green roofing

Does your home’s roofing system need some renovating? Instead of going for the same old roofing system, consider turning some parts of your roof green (literally). A green or living roof system can be partially done or used to completely replace a traditional roof. It mostly comprises vegetation and a growing medium planted over a waterproofing membrane. A complete green roofing system also includes proper drainage and a root-repelling system. 

I am well aware that this isn't feasible in many, many places, but I can dream, and so can you!

green roofing

The vegetation does more than make your roof green; it acts as a natural insulator, regulating your home’s interior temperature and reducing your need for heating and cooling. That means you’ll depend less on your home’s artificial HVAC system, cut down on your energy bills, and reduce your emissions.

But that’s not all; green roofing also absorbs rainwater, mitigating runoff. Depending on where you live, you have even more reasons to consider green roofing. That’s because some cities like Washington, DC, Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York now offer financial incentives for installing them. 

Upgrade to aluminum gutters

Aluminum is the most popular material for home gutters in America. It’s extremely lightweight, so it poses minimal damage to homes and is perfect for almost any climate. If you’re looking to install a guttering system for the first time or want to renovate your old one, consider installing an aluminum gutter.

Durability, lightweight, low-maintenance, rust-resistant, fire-resistant, and longevity are some of the few benefits of using aluminum gutters. 

Installed rain gutters

In terms of its eco-friendliness, aluminum is recyclable, so it’s easier to promote sustainability. An aluminum gutter also goes through a manufacturing or production process that requires less energy compared to other materials. That means it contributes to a smaller carbon footprint. Additionally, they are designed to be very durable with a longer lifespan.

Overall, aluminum gutter systems have an average lifespan of 20 years, reducing how often they’ll need replacing and minimizing waste as a result. Their corrosion and rust-resistance features also extend their life lifespan, making them a sustainable choice no matter the weather condition.

So, if you want to renovate or upgrade your current gutter system, consider installing an aluminum gutter. You can click here for some examples of high-quality aluminum guttering systems. 

Focus on draft-proofing your home

If heat loss is a major concern for you, focus on draft-proofing your home during your next renovation work. The process involves sealing gaps and cracks in areas of your home where heat is more likely to escape, from under your windows to spaces around your doors.

The more you eliminate draft, the better you enhance the performance of your insulation the better. This can reduce your reliance on heating and cooling systems. That also means you’ll end up spending less on your energy bills. 

insulating a window

Draft proofing will improve your indoor comfort. But beyond that, it will also decrease your energy consumption and lower carbon emissions associated with energy production. The best part is you can do most of it on your own without professional help.

For example, you can use silicon sealant, caulk, weather stripping, vinyl, and polyurethane spray foam to seal tiny areas in your home where heat usually escapes.  

Install low-flow plumbing fixtures

Plumbing fixtures in your bathroom are responsible for a huge amount of wasted water daily. For example, did you know that as much as 30% of the average home water use goes down the toilet? This is something you can easily avoid simply by installing low-flow plumbing fixtures the next time you renovate your bathroom.

Water pipe under sink on White background

Even if you don’t intend to upgrade your bathroom any time soon, you can still save loads of water by going low-flow. 

Changing your plumbing system for low-flow devices should be a must if you want to make your home sustainability-oriented and eco-friendly. You can find some fixtures offering dual functions, with one flush for solid waste and the other for liquid. 

Donate your unwanted items

It may not seem like it has anything to do with home renovation, but it does. Decluttering is an important aspect of any home upgrade project. Whether you want to boost its visual appeal, create more space in your home, or make it more functional, you have to declutter and reorganize.

I am SUPER vigilant about this!

Clothing donation box

That means getting rid of items you no longer need, especially when they’re crowding your space. Some people even consider moving into bigger homes just because they feel they're running out of space when all they need to do is declutter!!! 

But that’s just one part, and what you do with your unwanted items after decluttering is another. The last thing you want is for any unwanted item to end up in a landfill, and studies show that landfills already contribute to 14.3% of methane emissions.

So, donate them instead. Even the items that seem valueless will be very helpful to others in need. 

As you start to think about renovating, remember every small eco-friendly step counts. Renovate with eco-conscientious and sustainability, creating an eco-friendly home.

How about you? Have additional tips for eco-friendly ways to renovate a home? Do share!

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heart made of leaves with a wood house in the middle

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