Going green? You’re not alone. Green home improvements have skyrocketed in popularity over recent years. And there’s good reason, too. Green living is healthy living, for your home and the people who live there, as well as the environment. Live green without sacrificing comfort with these three home improvements.
Build a deck with a small footprint
An outdoor deck addition is a great way to expand your living space. When undergoing this home renovation, consider the deck footprint. Typically contractors will dig an expansive hole that matches the size of the deck platform and fill it with concrete, which makes for quite a large footprint. Instead, create a deck plan that uses singular holes rather than a large pit for the vertical supports.
You can also make your new deck more eco-friendly by your choice of decking material. Composite deck material, for example, is made from a mix of recycled wood particles and plastic. This type of decking material has grown in popularity in recent years thanks to its durability. It holds up to foot traffic and weather much better than traditional styles and composite decking material even decreases the risk of deck rot.
Brighten your kitchen with energy-efficient lighting
Lighting is a key element of a great kitchen. Your old bulbs and light fixtures might not be offering the best light, and they could also be sucking up unnecessary energy. Recycle your traditional bulbs and opt for a new option, like eco-friendly LED bulbs. This type of bulb can uses 90 percent less energy than a traditional bulb. And not only are they energy-efficient, LED bulbs are long-lasting, with a lifetime up to 22 years. They are an ideal bulb to use with recessed lights.
As you assess the lighting in your kitchen, look for areas that are dark or dimly lit. Your kitchen should have plenty of task lighting as well as ambient lighting. Brighten up any dark areas by having additional lighting installed. Experts cite that electrical expenses account for an average of $3,200 of a kitchen remodel cost.
Opt for eco-friendly flooring rather than carpets
Carpeting can pose a serious risk to the health of the environment, and to the health of those who live in your home. There are a number of dangerous toxins that can be found in carpeting, including benzene, formaldehyde and a whole host of other chemicals. These chemicals are added to carpets to keep them stain-resistant and fire-retardant.
And, as if that was not enough to convince you to opt for eco-friendly flooring options, a recent GAIA report shows that 89 percent of old carpets end up in a landfill. Furthermore, GAIA reports that carpet materials account for four billion pounds of landfill waste across the country.
When replacing your flooring, choose a company with a closed-loop production process and make sure that the old materials can be recycled. Choose a responsible manufacturer and consider factors like maintenance and overall lifecycle. Options such as cork, which is made from the bark of cork oak trees, and grows back after harvest, as well as bamboo, are two sustainable choices to consider.
Mindful Choices That Look Great Too
From opting for green flooring, illuminating your kitchen with energy-efficient lighting and choosing sustainable materials when undergoing new additions, these three improvements can dramatically alter your home’s environmental impact. Comfort doesn’t have to be sacrificed to achieve an eco-friendly living environment.
Courtesy TheTopTier Digital Media