Tips for Eco-Friendly Home Renovation With Recycling

Evelyn Long

Sep 24, 2021


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Many perks come with an eco-friendly home renovation with recycling. You’ll help the environment, save money and gain a sense of self-satisfaction. You’ll have some tough decisions to make about when to use materials you already have, when to salvage older pieces and when to buy new. 

Housing and Urban Development (HUD) surveyed single family home builders and found 69% felt a green home brought more value to the property. If you’re smart about the materials you choose, how you get rid of extra items and what you reuse, you can create a green home renovation without added costs.

There are two ways you can complete an eco-friendly home renovation with recycling. You can both use existing materials and donate or sell the items you pull out of your home during the remodel. The goal is to reduce the manufacturing of new materials while also eliminating as much waste from your remodel as you can. 

1. Reuse Items

One of the best ways to help the environment is to reuse what you can instead of buying new. Upcycling not only saves you money, but it reduces the strain on the eco-system because individuals won’t have to cut down trees to make something else.

Paint or resurface old cabinets instead of purchasing new. Buy flooring salvaged from another home. You can even use old barn wood for doors or accents. 

2. Sell or Donate Scraps

Nearly every contractor estimates a bit more material than needed. If there is an error in measurements or a piece gets damaged, there is still enough material to finish the job. However, this also means there may be wasted material going unused. 

If using a contractor in your remodeling project, insist on keeping any leftovers. You can then sell them on a local classified site or donate them to a program such as Habitat for Humanity. 

3. Buy Sustainable Materials

People tend to overestimate how much it costs to go with the greener option when choosing building materials. In a study by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, survey respondents said they felt the expenses of a green building would be around 17% higher than non-green materials. However, researchers found the added fees were at most 2% higher

If you’re smart about the way you reuse items and salvage from other building sites, you may find it is cheaper to use recycled materials. 

4. Make the Old New Again

Visit salvage yards and look for older materials you can refurbish and use in your home remodel. For example, if you are redoing a bathroom, then you should consider resurfacing an older pedestal sink.

Not only do you save on the environmental impact manufacturing a pedestal sink creates, but you take something that would sit in a trash heap and make it gorgeous once again. A bonus is that you have something unique that no one else owns. 

5. Donate Old Appliances

Building debris makes up around 33% of solid waste in America. Yet, people could have recycled more than 70% of the materials they’ve thrown out. Old appliances are one example of things people throw out that could be donated. 

Call local non-profits and inquire about their needs and if they take refrigerators, ovens, etc. Some have repair people who work on the items and get them back into circulation in low-income communities or building projects.

6. Know What’s Recyclable

Understanding what can be revamped and used as something new helps ensure you don’t throw out usable materials. For example, old stone countertops can be broken down and turned into tiles or other home improvement items. 

People can use asphalt roofing shingles for paving or on smaller projects with tiles still in good shape. Wood pieces can be restored and used or broken down and made into something new. 

Get Creative

You may need to think a bit outside the box to fully utilize as many materials as possible both in your home renovation with recycling project. Think about how you can use what you already have or buy existing materials from others. You’d be surprised what a fresh coat of paint does for many different products. 

To renovate your home in an eco-friendly way, you must be open to using something that doesn’t exactly match your vision. You can create beauty from the most common items if you open your eyes to the possibilities.

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