Tips for small, yet important, green choices bombard us daily: Eliminate bottled water, reduce incoming junk mail, etc. Yet, the principles and tools for applying green living on a larger scale receive less attention. When planning interior or exterior home improvements, consider updating your remodel with green materials and products.
In response to the growing green movement, companies have expanded their products to include environmentally-friendly options. Many of these products are well researched and developed to be high performing, sustainable and efficient, while also appealing to savvy customers who want stylish design choices.
An increasing number of contractors specialize exclusively in green construction and remodeling. These contractors utilize specific building techniques and sustainable products, and are certified in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building. The US Green Building Council’s Green Home Guide and websites like NARI Green (greenremodeling.org) can connect you with these building professionals.
This is Your Chance
Green products for updating and enhancing your home have proliferated, and while I can’t cover them all here, I have chosen a few of the more practical and unusual options. Products such as permeable pavers, recycled glass and tile, and green insulation are all specially designed for environmental preservation.
For interior remodeling, recycled glass products are at the forefront of durable and attractive countertops. They reduce landfills and take less energy to create than many standard choices. Numerous companies have created unique lines of these sustainable surfaces that mix reclaimed glass, concrete and paper, so you should find a color and style that complement your home and please you aesthetically.
Green insulation comes in many forms. Two popular alternatives, recycled denim insulation and cellulose insulation, provide better wall insulation than standard fiberglass. For one, cellulose insulation is made of recycled newspaper and paper materials, and typically requires 30 times less energy to make than fiberglass insulation.
Permeable pavers create a self-draining surface that prevents rainwater from becoming polluted storm water. Permeable pavers provide the same strength and beauty to patios and masonry jobs as other pavers, but are designed to allow water to filter both around and through the stones to the soil beneath. If you are thinking about a renovation project, consider it easy to find green solutions.