Planning and beginning an outdoor home renovation can be a stressful time, so it’s understandable that many homeowners temporarily forget to follow
environmentally friendly practices
. However, failing to do so can cause both immediate and long-term damage to the ecology of your area.
By using eco-friendly materials and strategies, you not only reduce your impact on your local area, but also save a great deal of money. Here are five tips for those looking to complete an outdoor home renovation without negatively affecting the environment:
Use Green Materials for Construction
When buying materials for your next renovation project, seek out post-industrial or post-consumer recycled content. Doing so results in a smaller carbon footprint for your renovation and incentivizes key players in the economy to continue supporting recycling measures and products. Alternatively, hire a
green construction company
Resources that are marked as sustainably sourced are preferred, but be sure to look for certifications that can authenticate the veracity of such claims. For example, the Forest Stewardship Council is an international organization that certifies if trees are harvested in an ethical, responsible manner; seek out lumber suppliers who conform to these standards.
In a similar vein, reusing your own old household items in a renovation can minimize the total environmental impact of the project. Put your old furniture and decor to use by upcycling it.
Avoid Pressure-Treated Wood or Protective Coatings
If your renovation involves the use of lumber, be sure to avoid using pressure-treated wood or any protective coatings. CCA-treated wood is commonly sold as “green treated” wood, but there isn’t anything “green” about it, from a sustainability viewpoint;
it leaches chemicals
including chromium, copper, and arsenic (hence “CCA”). There are health hazards associated with excessive exposure of each of these chemicals for both animals and humans alike. Similarly, wood finishes can leach into the environment.
Instead, use materials that do not leach harmful chemicals into the soil or water. If you do use wood, look for natural, low-toxicity coatings to protect your new addition to your home. Alternatively, use a material that is environmentally friendly, such as aluminum. From home additions to boat docks,
aluminum is a cost-effective material that has no negative effect on the environment
Plan for Efficient Water Usage
Water is a precious resource. As mankind overuses freshwater, many species of flora and fauna have been or will be endangered — not to mention the fact that the lack of availability in some areas means humans often go without potable water. Therefore,
a responsible homeowner should plan to make efficient use of water
. If your renovation involves intensive landscaping or gardening, keep the following in mind:
When choosing plants, use species that are native to the area — preferably those that require little water to thrive.
Don’t overuse fertilizer. More fertilizer calls for more water, so
follow EPA guidelines
Don’t overwater your lawn. Follow local restrictions and guidelines regarding water, and be especially mindful if your area is undergoing water scarcity problems.
When setting up sprinklers, ensure that you aren’t wasting water; maximize lawn coverage by facing them away from streets and sidewalks and avoid overlapping.
Be Mindful of Light Pollution
While often taken less seriously than other forms of pollution,
still has a profound impact on the ecology of an area. Excess artificial light in an area upsets the natural balance. For example, it can make certain species of animals more vulnerable to predators (thereby reducing the biodiversity of the area) and disturb the routes of migratory birds. For humans, it can upset our natural circadian rhythms and cause problems like insomnia, which can lead to a bevy of other mental health problems.
When planning your renovation, carefully determine how much lighting the area needs and be mindful of how it may affect the local wildlife. By keeping this concern in mind, you can prevent your home from upsetting the neighbors and local ecology alike.
Dispose of Renovation Waste Responsibly
Waste can build up faster than you might expect during a renovation. Depending on the size of the project, it may grow into an environmental liability. Simply calling a garbage collection service and requesting a bulk waste pickup is a tempting proposition, but it can be an irresponsible solution. Instead, minimize damage by recycling materials when possible.
While working, be careful to keep unneeded materials in as good of a shape as possible; usable items and materials can be taken to a local donation center. Any leftovers should be recycled if possible. If you need assistance, be sure to work with a company specializing in eco-friendly waste removal.
These are some considerations for DIY renovators looking to hold themselves accountable for their environmental impact. With planning and consideration, you can do a service to your local area while improving your home.
This is is a syndicated post. Read the original at www.2greenenergy.com