If you are looking for an exotic way to spruce up your home in 2012, and want to help save our planet, start by using natural and recycled building materials. They are more cost-effective than synthetic, more stylish and better for our planet!
If you are trying to be environmentally conscious in your home redesign, recycled materials should be used whenever possible. You can find carpets made from 100% recycled content, also walls and floors that blend recycled glass with concrete.
When choosing lumber, look for materials that come from certified and managed forests, like Brazilian Cherry or White Tigerwood, (they are beautiful)or recycled or reclaimed wood. Look for floors made from wood and sisal, a natural grasslike fiber….or bamboo!
Another great way to give back to the environment without breaking the bank is with a tankless water heater. They are either gas or electric. Electric tankless water heaters cost less… gas is more cost efficient. Tankless water heaters only heat water on demand, so you never run out of hot water and you aren’t wasting electricity by heating water when you aren’t using it. Install a programmable thermostat, which you can program to automatically adjust to your heating or cooling needs up to four times a day, this can also help lower your electric bill! If you’re thinking of repainting, choose low- or no-VOCs. VOCs are volatile organic compounds, an air pollutant that includes toxic solvents and formaldehyde. These components are dangerous for you, your family and the environment, so try to avoid them if at all possible.
When making your house more efficient, remember to treat the house as a system. Changes to one part of a house affects other parts that make up the house system; which is made up of the “building envelope” including the foundation, walls, ceiling, heating and cooling system, water heating system, lighting system and appliances.
Remember: The earth is what we all have in common!