Being kind to the environment is on the minds of many these days. If you're planning a renovation at your home this summer, there are many ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint and maybe even save some money.
Here are some tips for "greening" up your reno:
Buy local - Choose suppliers that are close to your home and who sell local products to help reduce the carbon emissions that are produced during transportation.
Follow the three 'R's - Reduce, reuse and recycle! Before shelling out the big bucks to buy brand new, check out online classified ads, antique stores, flea markets or locate a Habitat for Humanity ReStore in your community. You can find everything from sinks to lighting fixtures, paint, windows, lumber and more at a ReStore – the stock is constantly changing. As an added bonus, you can feel good knowing that your money will go toward building a home for a well deserving family!
Choose Energy Star rated appliances - Upgrading appliances to Energy Star rated models can save you up to 40 percent annually on your electric bill. Keep an eye on the labels when shopping for refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers, washers and dryers to determine if they are Energy Star rated.
Eco-friendly insulation - During a major reno when studs are exposed, it's probably in your best interest to replace the insulation, particularly in an older home. First you'll need to find out the R-value of your current insulation – this is a measure of thermal resistance, or how much heat passes through the insulation. Visit the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation website at http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca for a handy chart explaining the many types of insulation on the market and their R-value.
Go low with paint - Low VOC, that is. Did you know that the typical household paint contains more than 10,000 chemicals? Some are quite hazardous, particularly volatile organic compounds or VOCs. Many popular paint manufacturers now offer low and zero VOC products, so choose wisely. Low VOC paints are typically around the same price point as standard paints so it just makes sense to make the switch!