Sustainability isn’t just for environmental advocates and off-the-grid campers anymore. Nowadays, more and more homeowners are looking to update their homes to be environmentally-friendly – and hoping to save themselves some money on energy costs along the way. In theory, sustainability is wonderful. In practice, it can be logistically challenging when figuring out where such a renovation project should start. Here, I list a few affordable, sustainable, and readily-implemented renovation ideas.

 

Flooring

If you want to renovate the flooring in your home, consider using reclaimed wood. It will most likely be pre-seasoned, and therefore won’t be at risk of warping over time. Reclaimed wood is also more eco-friendly and cheaper to use than fresh material. Don’t be fooled though: it can look just as good, if not better than the new stuff! Consider making a feature wall or creating scaffold boards for a unique look.

 

Ever thought of using cork for flooring? Surprisingly, cork is another material that works well for flooring and is a renewable source you can feel good about using. You can harvest cork from the same tree for over 200 years and will make your home look wonderful.

 

Eco-friendly paint

Thanks to the rise in DIY-friendly millennials looking for more sustainable ways to finish their projects, the demand for eco-friendly paint has skyrocketed. Shop for low or no-VOC paints to prevent chemicals from being released into the air as the paint dries. These paints are just as good as conventional paints, without the harmful solvents.

 

Recycled surfaces

There are companies out there now that do amazing work transforming waste materials like glass, concrete, and even recycled television screens into beautiful countertops and backsplashes- perfect for that new kitchen you’re looking to create.

 

Utilize natural lighting

Take into consideration the placement of mirrors and other reflective surfaces. When placed correctly, they will bring more light into the room thus lowering your energy bill! If you have a room without windows, look into having a sun tunnel installed. These well-lit portholes are installed into the ceiling. They channel light from the roof and disperse it throughout the space for natural light.

 

Sustainability and aesthetics don’t have to be mutually exclusive. With a little forethought and imagination, you can create the home of your dreams and contribute to a more sustainable world. If you put in the work to make your new home sustainable, you will undoubtedly end up with a unique home you feel proud to live in.