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5 Eco-Friendly Home and Remodeling Tips for 2014

A healthy interest and commitment to ecological concerns can be best realised at home.  The thinking behind a sensible green home makeover should be to modify and remodel, rather than to attempt a complete restructuring program. A remodeling can be done in a logical manner that makes the most of tried and tested techniques of both money and energy-saving procedures. Here are five of the best ways to create an eco-friendly home.

5. Recycle

When undertaking a large scale home renovation it can be tempting to take an ‘out with the old and in with the new’ approach to remodeling. From both an ecological and financial point of view, this method of simply throwing things away should be avoided at all costs! The key idea here should be to recycle. Home residents should aim to reuse items themselves wherever possible and if not, to take them to a registered charity or ecological group. The dumping of perfectly recyclable electronic items can cause highly toxic waste. This can be easily avoided through the use of eco-companies that can collect and recycle items. Customers may even be able to sell them their old phones, TVs and computers as an extra cash incentive.

4. Sensible insulation

A logical and well thought out attitude to home insulation should be taken by everyone about to remodel their home. Practical methods of keeping the heat in and the cold out can offer drastically reduced energy bills as well as a greater degree of comfort in the home. As well as using high quality insulation materials on widow and door openings, a certain amount of common sense can make a great amount of difference too. Check for drafts and seal them off wherever they appear. This can soon make a home more efficient and can save both money and heat.

3. Eco-friendly home heating

A correctly balanced and green method of heating lies at the heart of every home. An energy efficient method of keeping interiors warm is important not only for comfort but also for the confidence provided by the knowledge of taking the greenest option. Companies such as Dimplex Canada can be a great way to do this. Their range of easy to manage floor and wall heaters can offer the most advanced forms of economical and proficient heating sources.

2. Full energy audit

A complete energy audit is an absolute essential for everyone looking to enjoy an ecologically healthier home. This form of assessment should be realistically completed before anything else, so that the residents know exactly what kind of a remodelling task they have in front of them. The ability to see a complete breakdown of exactly where and how energy is being used throughout the home can point the way to making the best savings. It has been estimated that a great degree of carbon emissions can be effectively cut through the use of regular audits to inform the remodelling process. Energy efficiency should also be central in the minds of anyone installing new electronic equipment. This is especially true of refrigerators, a notorious energy drainer.

1. Buy reclaimed and re-owned

Rather than spending money on brand new items for a remodeling, why not make use of reclaimed and re-owned items? This can have a positive effect on both a bank balance and the world in general. As one of the simplest ways to take a green approach it is one of the simplest, and potentially the most effective.

 

Author Bio,

Jeremy Thompson is a freelance writer from Toronto, Ontario. Most of his article cover environmental issues and what can be done to make the world more sustainable.

Green Kitchen Details

As the heart of the home, the kitchen is a space where many homeowners are deciding to incorporate green elements. Since there are a variety of details involved in a kitchen, homeowners have the opportunity to make eco-friendly choices in a variety of areas.

The countertops in a kitchen play a very large role in the space, and a recent post on Twitter linked to an article that discussed ways for homeowners to get creative with kitchen countertop materials. The article discussed laminate, natural stone and ceramic tile as options for homeowners. But there are several other kitchen countertop materials that are both attractive and eco-friendly that homeowners should know about.

  • Concrete countertops can be made from recycled aggregate. They are extremely durable, can be dyed to almost any color imaginable and can be formed into custom shapes.
  • Terrazzo countertops are a long-lasting green option, with a lifespan of over 40 years. These are also knows as recycled glass countertops, made of crushed stone and glass.
  • Wood or butcher block countertops that are salvaged or left untreated are another environmentally friendly option for the kitchen.

Regardless of the style of your kitchen remodeling project, green countertop options are available.

To incorporate other eco-friendly elements, consider low VOC paint, replacement windows or energy efficient lighting.

The Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb Effect

Flip The CF Switch

If you’re looking for a simple switch you can make to save a little bit on energy bills and get more out of your lighting, replacing the incandescent light bulbs around the house with their superior CF counterparts is an easy move to make and one that energy providers, the government, and environmentalists have been encouraging since at least 2001 despite their existence on the market for more than 25 years.

The cold hard facts are that by replacing just one incandescent light bulb in each American home with a certified CF light bulb, the amount of energy saved would light more than three million homes for a year saving $600 million and significantly reducing the amount of greenhouse gases produced.

Why are CF light bulbs so effective? Continue reading . . .

Composting 101

Household Composting

Reduce Your Curbside Trash

Making the home a greener place to live does not need to be accomplished by eco-friendly construction materials and sustainable resources alone. In addition to standard reuse and recycling practices, composting is an ideal way to make the most of your waste, and you don’t need to live on a farm to Continue reading . . .

Green Hotels For Eco-Savvy Travelers

How to Select A LEED-Certified Hotel

The influence of greener building practices is a widespread initiative among architects, contractors, and suppliers. Integrating eco-friendly building techniques into the home can be a little expensive but because it increases savings in expenses down the road is a realistic choice for home builders and owners to make.

When owners of commercial buildings and public properties choose to go green, there is no doubt they are taking on a costly project but it’s worth it to achieve green building goals. For eco-savvy travelers, it’s nice to have accommodation options that take the environment into consideration.

By following the guidelines and criteria set forth by the Continue reading . . .

Green Building Standards

Building green homes and facilities is supported by more than 15,000 organizations nationwide that are all a part of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The USGBC and its members are focused on promoting the construction of structures that are built and operated in environmentally responsible ways, contribute to minimizing operation expenses, and are healthy places to live and work. The USGBC supports the efforts and financial success of the U.S. market’s green building products and services through a variety of Continue reading . . .

Eight Earth Day Eco-Efforts

earthdaystampIn 1970, the first Earth Day motivated and energized people to take action and think differently about life on the planet. Earth Day itself is about educating, celebrating, and becoming engaged in ways in which we can improve and reduce our impact on the environment around us. Fortunately, the good behaviors of Earth Day have been increasing and spreading for 39 years and things like recycling have become second nature.

As more and more individuals, communities, schools, businesses, and governments become involved in the types of things Earth Day encourages, there is an ever-growing opportunity to make a difference today, tomorrow, and every day. Use Earth Day to jump start even more eco-friendly behaviors in your lifestyle. Need help getting started? Here are eight easy ways you can reduce your carbon footprint and improve your impact on Mother Earth:

Continue reading . . .

Moving to a GREEN Paradigm Provides Healthy Incentives for Home Owners

By: Joe Lederman

As citizens of this planet, we have an inherited obligation to care and nurture the world we live in. For a significant portion of the 20th century, the construction and building industry was plagued with many harmful materials that not only poses many risks for home owners and workers, but for the environment.  Living in the 21st century, we are in the midst of moving towards a green paradigm, away from health damaging materials. With a growing amount of education and resources in environmentally sustainable products, many states in the United States are leading the switch towards living GREEN!

When embarking on the path to home ownership or home remodeling, there are many things that need to be considered and additional responsibilities that will be required. Highly regarded throughout the 20th century, asbestos was considered the pinnacle of building materials, posing many intrinsic qualities that manufacturers loved. It’s fire resistant, durable and versatile components made it sought out by many industries. Asbestos was used in industrial products such as insulation, piping, roofing and flooring products.

Many public facilities, homes and buildings built before 1980 may still be Continue reading . . .

Choose Your Green Products Wisely

Green ProductsThe “Going Green” phase in home construction has many people confused about what “green manufacturing” really means. Many individuals, companies and organizations are struggling to find the balance between renewable, sustainable, recyclable, LEED certified, NAHB Green Program, Energy Star, energy efficient, net zero, carbon foot print, certified products, low VOC, air quality and a myriad of other green words.

So what is the ultimate goal trying to be achieved? Are we aspiring to save the environment, buy cleaner and healthier products, create personal energy efficiency,  live sustainable lives, recycle more trash? Special interest groups want to push their agenda within the green communities and business are trying to gain some profit from the emphasis being put on this topic so finding the proper information is important for balancing our lives in a green world.

Similar to the health and wellness industry that one day says this vitamin is drastically important and then next month it is not, living green is in this phase today. Do some research and understand what “being green” really means. “Going green” is here to stay and needs to be in the minds of every person on this globe if a change is really going to take place.

What is “Green”?

Don’t believe everything you read or hear. Study the basics of what makes a product green, then study the product and make sure it fits the proper criteria. Many companies use the Green catch phase to help promote their product but when looking into the product they are not so green. Many will use recycled products in the manufacturing process but this recycled amount may be very low. Some vinyl products claiming to be green may only have 10% – 15% recycled base in their product. Where as another with a similar product may have 40% – 50% recycled base. Which product has taken “green manufacturing” seriously and which is just using it as a marketing scheme?

Look for green certified products and then read as much as possible about the product. Compare several similar products and see which has made the most effort in “Being Green”.