How Do You Renovate Sustainably?

A sustainable renovation can make your home look pretty while reducing your carbon footprint. But how do you actually renovate sustainably?

To renovate sustainably, deconstruction and repurposing items and buildings is better than demolishing and replacing them. Recycling and buying second-hand pieces are great methods for sustainable renovation, reducing waste and saving money. Focus on using materials already at hand before buying new.

There are many ways to make your home renovation project eco-friendly. So, planning to renovate your home this year? Why not go for a sustainable renovation?

What Is Sustainable Renovation?

Sustainable renovation means restoring your home in an environmental-friendly manner. It can reduce the amount of construction and demolition waste while positively contributing to the world’s energy consumption. It also reduces your carbon footprint. Since renovation uses cost-effective methods, it is not as expensive as rebuilding. 

How Do You Do an Eco-Friendly Renovation?

Deconstruct instead of Demolish

Deconstructing allows you to salvage various elements from your home. It reduces waste and saves you money in the end.

Buy Reclaimed instead of Brand New

Do you really need the newest materials for your house? Think twice before buying brand new things for your home, whether construction material, appliances, or furniture. Reclaimed materials are as good as new ones. Visiting salvage yards, antique and opportunity shops is a great way to find used light fixtures, doorknobs, cosy furniture, and more! These are materials you can use in your renovation. They will save you a lot of money. Not to mention the number of Facebook buy, swap and sell groups where you can find plenty of useful renovation items for free!

Donate instead of Dispose 

How you can renovate sustainably

Thinking about getting rid of old wooden furniture or kitchen cabinets? Instead of throwing them away, you can give them to a friend who loves arts and crafts. If not, you can donate them to opportunity shops or Salvos stores in your city. In this way, you are not only being eco-friendly but also giving back to the community. Again, this is an opportunity to also jump onto Facebook or Gumtree to give away these unused and unnecessary items.

Repurpose instead of Replace

If you feel your furniture is old and boring, give it a new look. A fresh coat of paint and some minor changes can give life to the oldest of furniture. You can also move around your furniture. For example, you can shorten the legs of your old dining table to make a new coffee table for the living room. Paint and redecorate it to suit the décor of your living room. And it would look as good as a new table. Your DIY skills would come in handy in repurposing. Repurposing can also be known as upcycling which is when you can get super creative and completely redesign the item, giving it a full DIY effort. The method of upcycling is great for sustainable renovations.

Deconstruction vs Demolition to Reduce Waste

Deconstruction is more effective in reducing waste than demolition. Demolition involves tearing down walls and knocking down entire rooms. This is a quick and easy method, but it creates a lot of waste because everything is just smashed to the ground. But deconstruction involves salvaging reusable elements.

These may include flooring, doors, windows, lighting and plumbing fixtures, and appliances. You can use these salvaged parts in your home renovation project. If not, you can donate or even resell them. Deconstruction is not only eco-friendly but will also save you money. Plus, you can be sure that you aren’t continuing to contribute to the piles of unusable construction waste. This can save a few habitats in our environment by decreasing the need for new materials. Also, it gives you the chance to mix the old with the new in your renovated space.

Are Renovations Bad for The Environment?

Renovation projects can generate a lot of construction and demolition debris. Australia produced 27 million tonnes of construction and demolition waste in 2018 – 2019.  This is 44% of all waste produced in the country. Construction can also pollute the air and water. But if you renovate sustainably, you can minimize these negative effects on the environment.

It’s important to make sure that you dispose of your renovation waste correctly. To properly dispose of builder’s waste, you can try repurposing and recycling building materials from your renovation changes. You should also look at hiring a Canberra skip bin to be sure that any waste is being sent to the right places for disposal.

Environmentally Friendly Renovation Ideas

These are some of our top environmentally friendly renovation ideas you can use in your home:

Eco-friendly paint (VOC-free paint) for renovation decorating

VOC is short for volatile organic compounds. They can result in long term health issues. So, using VOC-free or low-VOC paint can make your home healthy and sustainable.

Adding better insulation when renovating

Good insulation can make your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. This will save energy and money you would typically spend on cooling and heating. Green and durable insulating materials are the best options for your home.

Natural lighting reduces electrical use

Always choose the best natural lighting options. You can use large windows and mirrors to make rooms brighter. If a room does not have windows, install a sun tunnel instead of artificial lighting. Let the sunshine come into your home! This will reduce the amount of electricity you are using and your contribution to light pollution.

Switching to solar energy for sustainable electricity

Switching to solar technology is a good way to reduce your energy consumption. This will have a direct impact on your electricity bill. It is a more environmentally friendly way to fuel your electricity.

How to renovate in a sustainable way

Investing in energy-efficient appliances

When buying electrical appliances like ovens and refrigerators, go for the most energy-efficient options. It can be more costly at first, but in the long run, you will save more money and protect the environment more.

Trying green roofing options

Growing a small garden on your roof can protect your roof from harsh weather. In addition, dry soil is a good insulator. So green roofing can help sustainable renovations by continuing to grow plants and contribute to the air quality while also being a good insulating method.

Green flooring for sustainable floors

Green flooring options will cause minimal harm to the environment. Bamboo, cork, natural stone, and reclaimed wood are some examples of such flooring options.

You can reduce the water consumption in your home by installing low-flow toilets and low-flow showerheads. This will ensure that you don’t wastewater.

Rainwater harvesting for water-saving

Collecting rainwater as a part of your plumbing system can help save water. You can use it to wash your car or water your plants. You can even purify it and convert it into drinking water. It will reduce the amount of water you waste that is taken from other water sources, reverting to a more natural source.

Each of these green practices can make a difference to the environment. If you feel that switching to these methods all at once is too big of a change, do them in phases. It is always easier to change habits and lifestyles gradually. It will give you an ongoing project within your renovations to work towards more sustainable living.

We have plenty more sustainable living tips in our Capital Hire blog, including tips to saving water by using trees in your garden. Did you know you can also recycle and reuse your yard waste? For more information about skip bin hiring and use, check out Capital Hire. We’re always happy to help with your skip bin needs!