Five Eco-Conscious Ways to Cut Your Carbon Footprint When Building or Renovating
There’s a unique type of excitement that comes about when building or renovating a home – a sort of cleansing brought about by the exchange of the old for the new. Unfortunately, oftentimes, this ambitious project may cause more harm than good. What most people seem to forget is that, while creating space, demolition day also brings an incredible amount of waste with it. Although the debris disappears from your lawn, its disposal still causes significant harm to the Earth.
However, all is not lost. As more and more countries begin to implement green building policies, eco-friendly materials and building practices are becoming widely available. As a gentle nudge towards green construction, here are a few eco-friendly tips for reducing your carbon footprint!
Don’t discard, donate!
When renovating or even just moving house, the first thought on everyone's mind is to declutter. The easiest option is to rent a dumpster and discard everything that's no longer needed. However, just like with debris, discarded furniture won't do our planet any good. Therefore, instead of disposing of it, consider donating.
An abundance of secondhand shops will gladly take even larger pieces of furniture that are in working condition. Just keep in mind that not everything can be donated. Thus, before putting the piece in the donation pile, check to see if it's still alright to use!
Use the right kind of paint
Regardless of the scope of the project, a few buckets of paint are a must-have for any home construction or renovation. Consequently, knowing how to reduce the harmful chemical waste that comes from them could be beneficial for homeowners and renovators alike. For the most part, the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in paint are what make it dangerous for the environment. One alternative would be to simply switch to zero-VOC or low-VOC paint products.
As eco-friendly products are becoming more prominent, these won’t be that difficult to find. However, some people may just have their hearts set on a certain type of high-VOC paint, and that’s alright. The important thing to remember is to dispose of it properly. Therefore, instead of flushing it down the drain, contact your local recycling center and see what your options are.
Dispose of (your) waste responsibly
More often than not, harmful waste disposal is associated with either the energy sector or sizable industries such as fashion or commerce. However, what many seem to forget is that proper waste disposal also depends on us as individuals. Fortunately, this is a fact that many counties are starting to take notice of. Thus, leading world nations such as Australia have implemented policies to help local communities properly dispose of waste.
Alongside classic recycling centers, there is also the option of installing waste chutes to reduce unnecessary waste. Regardless of whether they’re installed in commercial buildings or residential homes, an expert for the waste chute in Sydney should always be consulted. This way, the waste chute system will be both safe for use and safe for the environment.
Turn to greener energy
Green energy no longer refers to just electric cars and wind farms. Rather, renewable energy is becoming something highly available for the everyday consumer, and with its availability comes an abundance of ways to reduce your carbon footprint. The first option is clear-cut – install renewable energy sources such as solar panels and battery shortage systems. While reducing your carbon footprint, this type of investment also reduces your overall energy consumption, leaving your savings all the better for it.
However, it's important to note that greener energy doesn't necessarily have to be a grand investment. Therefore, opting for energy-efficient appliances such as refrigerators or even electric kettles is a great place to start your home's green transformation!
Resell scrap metal debris
Both construction and renovation projects tend to produce at least some scrap metal debris. Instead of throwing it out with the rest of the refuse, designate a box and store it. Once you’ve accumulated enough, most recycling centers will be chomping at the bits to buy it off. The best part is that almost anything goes – from nuts and bolts to copper pipes and metal handles.
Of course, the cleaner the metal, the more it will be worth. However, regardless of the amount, you’ll still know that you’ve done your little bit to keep this place cleaner for just a while longer.
The eco-friendly advice above is sure to help in reducing a home remodel’s carbon footprint. However, there is just a bit more to do – think ahead. Thus, before beginning the next construction or remodel, consider how to limit the amount of debris in the first place. By using recyclable materials, both you and the planet are going to be benefiting from the start!
By Derek Lotts