After spending so much time at home over the past year, many people are feeling inspired to improve their spaces with renovations and DIY projects. Sprucing up your home is exciting, but like everything we do, it also has an environmental impact. Today we share six tips from architect Devi Dutta-Choudhury and MindBodyGreen on how to renovate your space more sustainably.
Place your windows with purpose
Use natural light and windows to work with your natural environment, not against it. By placing windows and skylights in commonly-used spaces, you can cut down on energy needs. If you live in a cooler climate, windows can also be used to provide sunlight and reduce heating costs.
Salvage what’s usable
Go into every renovation project with the goal of saving and reusing whatever possible. You won’t be able to reuse everything, but salvaging what you can will cut down on waste and save you money.
Making new changes in your home is exciting, but it’s also important to dispose of old materials properly. Research where different materials should be recycled and communicate with your construction team about where waste is being directed.
Just like food, shopping for construction materials locally will support your community’s economy and cut down on your project’s footprint. Look for sustainably sourced options within 200 miles of your home and research sustainable alternatives to traditional building materials (like bamboo for hardwood floors).
Invest in energy-saving swaps
Finishing touches are often where you can save the most energy in your home. Commit to energy-saving appliances, low flow plumbing, LED lights, insulated windows, and solar panels.
Be smart with your design
It can be tempting to get sucked into the latest design trends, but at the end of the day, your home should be built to be most functional for your personal lifestyle. Invest in a design that will serve you and your family in the long term. If you’re working from home permanently, maybe prioritize a home office over a walk-in closet, or if you love to garden, reserve that space for growing beds rather than a lawn.