Renovating your home can prove to be extremely expensive. But there are a number of ways in which you can transform your home without spending a fortune. Using our eco-friendly suggestions, you can make your home more energy efficient while changing and reducing the amount of resources you use that may harm the environment.
Choosing your materials carefully
One of the best things about the internet today is the access it gives us to old and reused materials. There are a number of providers you can locate who resell old fixtures and fittings and you should use this as the base of your new eco-friendly home. Using older items also brings with it an instant sense of character that new products do not have, giving the property a unique character of its own.
Reclaimed pine timbers for flooring would become a standout feature in the living room or hallway, while installing salvaged doors and cabinets can also look as good as new after a repaint. The lower cost of buying reused material is also a huge benefit that should not be forgotten. At the same time, they also benefit the environment because there is less energy, material and resources being used to produce a new version.
When purchasing reclaimed materials, check they do not contain any hazardous materials such as asbestos or formaldehyde. The seller should be able to verify this prior to the sale.
For lighting, LED bulbs are by far the most eco-friendly choice. They use around 80% less energy than standard bulbs, while lasting just as long and shining just as brightly.
Use old furniture in creative ways
As with using reclaimed materials around the house, the options for reclaimed furniture are just as vast. Wherever possible you should try to select a local supplier to ensure a lower carbon footprint during delivery. But if that isn’t possible, try to minimise the distance the furniture has to travel wherever you can.
No matter what style of furniture you are looking for, there will be someone able to provide a reclaimed version of it. Much like reclaimed materials, using older furniture allows you to create a space that is completely your own. It enables you to go for a rustic look, an industrial style, or indulge in retro designs from a completely different era.
Upcycling is also another alternative, buying second-hand furniture and sanding down, painting or adding details like decorative handles to make the piece feel new.
Buying reclaimed furniture will also allow you to get much more from your budget. Costs are a lot cheaper than buying new and, in many cases, will last just as long when treated with care.
Disposing of unwanted items in an eco-conscious way
If making your home as environmentally friendly as possible is your goal, then you should also recycle the materials you are disposing of wherever possible. Go online to your local authority’s website and you will find locations of nearby recycling stations. If you are hiring a builder or contractor to do the work for you, check before hiring them that they recycle, or are willing to do so.
An alternative to recycling the material is to continue the reclaimed cycle by donating or selling your unwanted items. Just as you are eager to buy reclaimed furniture, there are thousands of people nearby who are looking for a bargain too. If you do not want the hassle of having to sell something, why not donate it to a second-hand furniture store (they may also buy it from you) or a charity? There are always people in need of low-cost, good quality furniture, and it allows you to create room in your home while also earning some money back.
Heating and insulation
Energy efficiency is the buzz phrase almost everywhere you look. Energy providers are working with the government on a number of energy saving schemes. Product manufacturers now focus on making products that are less harmful to the environment and consumers are more aware than ever of where their purchases have come from.
When looking around to buy new appliances such as fridges, dishwashers and washing machines, take note of their energy efficiency rating. Most products will come with a ‘recommended’ energy saving logo which will allow you to compare it to other models.
Aside from the environmental benefits you are getting, a more economical product will also save you money. Older versions often consume larger amounts of electricity which increases your energy bill. If you can install a leaner machine that operates using less energy then you will see the savings in the long run.
Improving the insulation in your home is one of the best ways to make the property more energy efficient. This is particularly true of older houses that do not retain heat and generate excessively high energy bills through the autumn and winter. There are a number of ways to improve the insulation in the home without having to spend thousands of pounds. It should also be remembered that any money spent on insulation will eventually come back to you as the amount you spend on energy bills will be reduced.
Cavity Wall Insulation
Solid Wall Insulation
Stud Wall Insulation
Solid Floor Insulation
Suspended Floor Insulation