While the calendar officially designates a single day in April as “Earth Day”, we don’t have to limit ourselves to celebrating our amazing planet for just one day each year. In fact, we should make an effort to keep Earth Day going as long as possible.
While we’ve all heard about how important it is to reduce, reuse, and recycle, there’s more you can do to help keep Mother Earth happy. When you start a home remodeling project, take into consideration what you can do to keep your home remodel eco-friendly.
Why Should I Use Eco-Friendly Materials?
We only have one planet, and helping her out in any way we can is a huge benefit to the environment. But, while you do help out the planet with your renovations, you can help yourself too! Here’s just a few ways being eco-friendly benefits you:
- Save some money: Eco or green products don’t always come with a heftier price tag. True, some can be priced more than standard materials, but most are similarly priced or even cost less than usual building supplies! Also, consider this – buying NEW supplies isn’t your only option. There are plenty of stores that sell building materials at a reduced price because they’ve been used, or the package isn’t in its entirety. Check these out before you empty your pockets on new materials.
- Health Benefits: Eco-friendly materials can help with your health, and the health of others in your home by eliminating the use of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are often found in building materials, mostly plastics and paints. Traditional materials tend to also hold more moisture, which can potentially lead to mold issues, causing respiratory problems for you and your family.
Add Smart Devices
While it is true that some automated devices can waste energy, there are smart devices that can do the opposite if used properly.
- Investing in an automatic thermostat. This can save on electricity bills and keep your home at an optimal temperature – saving your furnace and air conditioning unit from working only when it needs to. Set your thermostat at your preferred temperature, and your thermostat will monitor when your home needs to be heated or cooled, operating only when it needs to.
- Install a water faucet filtration system. These systems are installed directly onto your kitchen faucet. They help remove 99% of lead in your water and over 70 other contaminants. This stops the need for bottled water, which reduces your plastic use.
- Plug electronics into smart plugs. Lamps and fans that are plugged into smart plugs can be controlled through an app on your phone, or through Alexa or Google Assistant. They can also be set to turn off an on a timer – which saves you from keeping them on all day or night.
Try These Eco-Friendly Renovations
If you don’t know where to start on an eco-friendly project, here are a few suggestions.
- The next time you’re working on a home improvement project, buy recycled materials. Many hardware stores offer these if you ask. You may even have specialty building supply stores around your city that you aren’t even aware of! A little research can go a long way for the environment and your pocketbook.
- Purchase new, but still recycled. If you don’t like the idea of buying recycled materials, you can buy new material made out of recycled products.
- Look for the energy saver ratings. Appliances marked with “Energy Star” ratings are eco-friendly, cost the same as standard machines, and reduce your utility costs over the course of their lifetimes.
- Don’t buy anything larger than what you need. When purchasing appliances for your home, keep size in mind. Bigger isn’t always better. If you purchase an air conditioner or furnace that is too large for your home, not only will it waste electricity, but it will cost you more to run.
- Install more windows for natural light. Skylights allow sunlight to come through your roof. If possible, utilize the sunlight to light your home and save electricity costs while reducing the need for artificial lighting.
While your home does not have to be entirely green, small changes make a big impact on the environment. You’ll notice the change in your pocketbook as well. At McMahon Services, we offer construction crews that can help you implement your eco-friendly ideas. If you live in Libertyville, Wheaton, Naperville, Waukegan, or surrounding areas, give us a call to discuss your plans!