We are used to a certain way of living, and sadly, it sometimes includes an over-use of resources.
However, as our planet continues to change (not for the better), it becomes vital to start behaving differently.
Before you say that there is nothing you as one person can do, you should know that this is an all-hands-on-deck mission, and the best place to start is the house you live in with your family.
Eco-friendly remodeling isn’t exclusively about the big picture.
It also brings more direct benefits in the form of creating a healthier environment for your family and reducing your energy bills.
So, if you find the benefits of a green home appealing, here are eleven eco-friendly remodeling projects you can take on to fully enjoy its benefits.
by Faith McGregor, home & lifestyle expert. Edited by Jeff Campbell
1. A leaky home is a costly home
A large portion of your household bills goes on heating and cooling costs.
But did you also know that most of the money you spend on that could actually be a waste? If your home is poorly insulated or there are air leaks around the windows and doors, a huge part of the heated or cooled air can leave the house.
Check for air gaps and seal them.
Want the #1 window and door sealer on Amazon Prime? It’s Door Gasket Window Rubber Seal. It’s well under 10 bucks, is self-sticking and goes on in minutes; no professional installation needed!
Also, make sure your insulation works fine (especially in the attic).
Most importantly in the attic (where most homes lose the majority of their heat/cool), install a Radiant Barrier. The RadiantGUARD ULTIMA goes on easily with just a staple gun, reflects 97% radiant heat, has 5 stars and free shipping on Amazon. That is one of the best eco-friendly remodeling ideas you can implement easily over a weekend.
2. Green up your windows
And since you’ll already be working around the windows, you might as well replace them for double or triple glazed energy-savers.
If you own a historic house, the new windows probably won’t fit into its appearance, but you could achieve a similar effect by installing storm windows.
If you have energy efficient windows but you’re noticing some fogging in the glass, before you go and replace them, know that it is possible to Remove Moisture Between Double Pane Windows.
It’s also possible to Replace Rotted Wood around a window frame too; beautifying your home and increasing the energy efficiency too!
Can’t afford to replace the windows with your eco-friendly remodeling budget? Tinting your windows at home, just like you would your car, is a great way to reduce glare, cut damaging UV rays and reduce energy costs all while keeping your house cooler in summer and warmer in winter.
The Gila no-glue Window Film on Amazon Prime blocks 99% of UV rays, reduces glare 93% and blocks 58% of the suns solar heat. 4 stars and hundreds of reviews tell you this one is a no-brainer! Installs quickly and easily yourself with the Gila Complete Installation Kit.
3. The proven savings of programming your thermostat
Do you ever think about how you spend energy on heating/cooling when you’re away from home, when you’re sleeping or when you’re outside for long periods?
Probably not, but that’s why you can have a smart programmable thermostat which can take care all of these things for you.
Of all the programmable thermostats on Amazon, the Emerson Sensi is truly the best! Change temps on the fly with their free mobile app or on desktop.
It’s a smart home wi-fi based programmable thermostat that even works with Alexa. 4.5 stars, almost 4000 reviews, and free shipping tell you everything you need to know. But if you want more, check out the detailed Review here on Middle Class Dad.
4. Why heat water when you don’t need it?
— BetterHomes&Gardens (@BHG) January 5, 2017
Tank water heaters heat water when you need it AND when you don’t.
Going for a solar water heater which uses the power of the sun to provide you with hot water, or a tankless heater which provides hot water on-demand can save you a lot of money.
The EcoSmart ECO 27 Electric Tankless Water Heater comes with free shipping on Amazon, has 4 stars and almost 2000 reviews. Savings of up to 50% on water heating costs. Digital temperature control in 1-degree increments allows control of hot water.
Not a plumber? You can still save big buying it on Amazon and hiring a neighborhood plumber to install it. This is one of the best and easiest of the eco-friendly remodeling ideas you can implement without breaking the bank.
To learn more, check out this great Water Conservation Guide!
5. Kitchen appliance re-do for maximum savings
If we had to mark one room where the most of the residential energy is used, that would be the kitchen.
This is mostly because of the appliances.
Old appliances tend to use more energy than new ones because they struggle to provide you with the same results.
Going with Energy Star rated units, such as the Frigidaire machines, can bring a significant return on investment in a matter of years.
Believe it or not, there is a lot of great Energy Star 4 star and up refrigerators on Amazon that come with free shipping.
Eco-Friendly Countertops: “Green” Kitchen Remodeling Design Ideas https://t.co/zlpLhI9ZYv
— SODO Home Design (@SODOHomeDesign) May 10, 2018
6. Slash the costs of lighting your house!
If you still use incandescent light bulbs to light your home, a great eco-friendly remodel idea is to replace them with more energy-efficient alternatives like compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and LED lights.
Many of us don’t think about light bulbs. We just change them when they burn out and complain about the high cost of compact fluorescents and LED bulbs. But if an LED bulb can outlast a standard bulb 10 times over, is it really more expensive?
Get a 16 pack of amazing Philips LED Frosted Light Bulbs (60-watt equivalent) in the standard size for under 25 bucks on Amazon Prime! These quality bulbs have almost 3000 reviews and 4.5 stars so you know these are great.
80% less energy use while lasting up to 10x longer!
Prefer dimmable bulbs? Amazon has a great deal on Phillips Dimmable LED Bulbs too!
7. Give your floors an eco-treatment
New flooring is always a fantastic idea for freshening up the interior. But there may be other reasons to change your floors.
If your old floor dates back ten years or more, it is possible that it contains dangerous chemicals, such as formaldehyde.
These toxins are emitted into the air and can be harmful to your health.
When choosing the new material, opt for an eco-friendly solution like bamboo, cork, reclaimed wood, Marmoleum, etc.
Have concrete under that old carpet, tile, tile or other flooring? Take a look at just how easy it is to Stain Concrete Floors.
8. If you don’t want to breathe it, don’t paint it!
Paint color and some material finishes can contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), solvents that can over time be released into the air and cause acute health issues.
Fortunately, many paint manufacturers today offer low-VOC or VOC-free alternatives that are just as permanent; you just need to know what you are looking for.
Check out the complete list of Low-VOC or Zero-VOC Interior Paints at Home Depot.
9. Just like your food; go organic with your fabrics!
Acrylic, polyester, and polypropylene.
Those are all the materials used for your household, including carpets, bedding, and pillows.
Did you know they are often treated with harsh chemicals which get released into the air in the form of toxic fumes?
A recent study by the Swedish Chemicals Agency in conjunction with the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency noted the following:
- They found over 3,500 different chemicals are commonly used on fabrics and other textiles
- Approximately 240 “textile-related substances are considered to be of potential risk to human health.”
- Specifically, they noted “increased risk of cancer and developmental effects” from fabric dyes
- They also noted “an increased risk of allergy” from fragrances added to certain items
Lastly, they noted, “For small children, ingestion of indoor dust, which to a large part consists of textile fibers, may also be an important exposure route to textile-related substances, especially since textiles constitute a large part of the surface in the indoor environment.”
To prevent that from happening, opt for organic textiles like wool, cotton, jute, and seagrass.
RetailerReportCard is a website that ranks well-known brands and manufacturers on the use of toxic chemicals in their products. See how your favorites rate!
10. Don’t waste our most precious resource; water!
Water is another resource we are using like there is no tomorrow.
Start changing that where more than 50 percent of water consumption happens – in the bathroom.
Three important changes you can make are installing a low-flush toilet, low-flow showerhead, and a motion-triggered faucet. But don’t forget the cleaning products!
The latter one can be installed in the kitchen too. This is probably the easiest and least expensive way of eco-friendly remodeling your home.
Wondering if these can be purchased on Amazon with free shipping?
They sure can! Check out the American Standard Dual Flush toilet which gives you the option of flushing either with 1 gallon (for liquids) or 1.6 gallons (for solids). 4.5 stars, well over 100 reviews, and free shipping can’t be wrong! Since most don’t come with them, don’t forget the toilet seat!
The best-selling low flow shower head on Amazon Prime is the SomovWorld High-Pressure Shower Head. 4.5 stars, hundreds of reviews and the #1 selling shower head on Amazon are just a few of the reasons to get this, but it’s also the best shower head if you already have low water pressure.
For your bathroom, check out all the 4-5 star touchless bathroom faucets on Amazon with free shipping.
11. Buy pre-loved and save big!
Finally, eco-friendly remodeling and renovations can be expensive.
You can save some money and the environment by buying pre-owned materials, and by visiting salvage yards. Here in the US, we have companies like Habitat for Humanity which have locations of their ReStore home improvement centers across the country.
These are “nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, appliances, home accessories, building materials and more to the public at a fraction of the retail price”.
Not only will you spend less, but you will also enrich your family home with unparalleled charm and warmth.
Did we cover everything you wanted to know about Eco-Friendly Remodeling?
Renovating a home is a challenging, time and money-consuming endeavor.
So here in this eco-friendly remodeling post, we looked at some simple things most DIYers can do over a weekend to not only beautify your home but also help the environment while helping your utility costs in the process.
About the author of this post.
Faith is a writer, seeking beauty everywhere she goes and finding it in art, nature, family, work, and home.
Passionate about just living life to the fullest, she’s into home decor and healthy lifestyle, trying to be the best version of herself and make her surroundings match.
Want to write for Middle Class Dad too? Check out everything you need to know on my Guest Blog Page.