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14 Ways To Keep Your Reno Environmentally Friendly

Today there is more carbon dioxide in the air than in the past
800 000 years. As global citizens, how we live our lives directly
impact the rest of the world in many ways.  Why don’t we start

an environmentally friendly lifestyle beginning from the
renovations of our home?
2) Use Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) Free Products

VOCs such as formaldehyde and acetone are carbon-based chemicals
that evaporate at room temperature. Many paints, adhesives, carpet,
cabinet finishing and upholstery fabrics contain VOCs. The scary bit
about this is that some VOCs are odourless and all this can impact the
health of the occupants of your home without them knowing.

3) Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

It goes back to the 3 Rs: Reduce, Reuse or Recycle. All the old stuff
that can be appropriated for a different usage can be given some
thought before disposal. Things that are in good condition that you
have no more use for can be given away or donated. Always consider
if you can recycle something when disposing it.

1) Install an Anti Dust Curtain During Renovations

Whether it is renovation of a single room or a whole house, dust
comes along with most renovation processes. Though it can’t be
avoided, it can be contained so that it doesn’t affect your loved
ones and your dear neighbours. Ask your contractors about using
an anti dust curtain during renovations and your consideration for
others will go a long way.
12) Fixing Leaks and Old Pipes

Leaks in plumbing should be one of the top priorities to fix. A personal victim of bursting pipes, I would recommend
looking at all pipes when doing renovations to make sure that you identify any piping that might cause future problems.

13) Draft Proofing

Draft proofing is something that is not commonly done in tropical countries but seeing how reliant most of us are on air
conditioning, it can really make a difference in energy conservation. Areas to look out for are windows, doors and areas
around pipe works leading out.

14) Recyclable and Non Recyclable Trash Centre

Being eco-friendly has to be part of a lifestyle to make a difference. One way to help make recycling part of your lifestyle
is allocate separate trash areas for trash to go into the recycle bin and trash that go into the chute. You can either
purchase separate trash bins for that or have separate trash bins built intro your cabinets. To help educate children
about recycling, you might want to colour code your bins or fix symbols onto them.

Article written by Ms Kate Lim
Dancer / Entrepreneur / Writer
After reading the 14 ways to keep renovations environmentally friendly, I hope this article inspires you renovate your
house in the way that is both ecological and economical. After all an eco-friendly friendly lifestyle is not just better for
the environment, it is a more sensible long-term lifestyle because it also yields in less fuss and smaller bills.  

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Home renovation
can be a very
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but it does not have
to be. Being clear in
what you want and
clear in the steps
needed to achieve
that is vital to
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4) Consider Energy Saving Products

Energy saving products are a sure win because by reducing energy usage, you are looking at a smaller electricity bill.
The only downside is that they are more expensive upfront. That is little cause for concern because in a matter of
months you will see the difference come back in terms of energy savings.

5) Consider Water Saving Products

If you do a little bit of research you will see there are tons of water saving gadgets that are super neat. One of my
personal favourites is the retrofit toilet lid that turns the top of your toilet into a sink you can wash your hands with.  
The clean water from the tap can be used to wash your hands before it ends up in the toilet.
6) Use Salvaged Furniture

You will be surprised how durable some salvaged furniture is as compared to the new products. Unlike our current
generation of products, the older products were built to last and things were repaired until they were beyond repair.
Salvaged products also add an interesting character to your home with style details of a different time and trend.

7) Purchase Reclaimed Wood Products or Bamboo

Instead of new wood products, opt for products made with reclaimed wood. Older wood from trees grown in
environments with have less pollution in the past, tend to be sturdier that our current stock of newer wood. Opting for
bamboo also helps you to contribute towards sustainable consumption since bamboo grows a lot faster.

8) Choose Recycled and Recyclable Glass

Glass can be recycled without losing its quality and strength so the choice for recycled glass does not compromise on
the durability of the product. Make sure that as far as you can, also opt for recyclable glass so that the usage of this
glass does not end with you and the material can have another life if you choose to dispose of it.
Despite all of the damage we have caused the environment most of it is
reversible. We can restore habitats and return species to them, clean rivers,
renovate buildings, replenish the topsoil, replant forests. However, these
activities do not slow the worst affects of the damage made. We still have to
fix the source of these problems.

The Environment is the most important resource for life.
We get water,power and Oxygen from the Environment.
It helps to clear pollution and is a large habitat for animals.
We get lots of resources from there but if we use too much and it doesn't
come from sustainable forests
we may run out of resources.
Which is not good.
9) Work with Nature and Passive Design

Let the sunlight into the house especially in the areas where you need to work or read. Position your furniture such
that you avoid the heat of the afternoon sun where you need to rest. If your home is a landed property, you might want
to consider solar panels to help you cut down on your electricity bill. You might also want to consider having bigger
tinted windows that lets in the wind and keeps out the sun.

10) Refacing Furniture

Instead of installing brand new kitchen cabinets, you can always consider refacing them by changing just the cabinet
doors, handles, or even giving them a coat of fresh paint.  More often than not, it is normally the doors and handles of
cabinets and cupboards that get worn down and broken, it will be such a pity to throw the entire cupboard away.

11) Reupholstering Sofas and Seats

This is tricky because depending on the complication of the upholstering job and the choice of materials; the
upholstery may cost more than the price of a new set of furniture.

2 main considerations when doing upholstering are if the furniture is lasting enough to be worth revamping and if the
furniture has any particular emotional value for it to be retained.