Embellishing your home without damaging the environment is possible! If you want to do your part, here are some ideas to suit all types of budgets.
Use hardwood flooring
Did you know some floor coverings are greener than others? Hardwood flooring is one of them! Wood is a renewable and recyclable natural resource. Manufacturing processes to transform it are usually low-impact for the environment. In addition, it will require less cleaning products because it gathers less dust. The best wood choices are cork since it does not involve cutting trees and bamboo because it regenerates quickly.
Restoring used furniture
Many pieces of furniture can easily be updated, particularly those made of noble materials such as wood or steel. When you see such gems on sale in flea markets or on social networks, seize the opportunity! Or ask your family members if they have furniture they no longer need. Modified handles, sandblasting or painting can work wonders... and give a unique look to a room.
Urban gardening, why not?
Your house has a flat roof and the shingles need to be changed? Why not transform this lost space into a lush garden where flowers and vegetables will grow? Rooftop gardens are increasingly popular, but require planning and a good budget. However, it has many advantages such as improved air quality and lower temperatures indoors during summer.
Painting: making a smart choice
Many Déco Surfaces retailers offer eco-friendly paints. In addition, they tend to be more durable than regular products. Now, why do they call them eco-friendly? They generate very few fumes during their production, are VOC-free (volatile organic compound) and biodegradable. These paints are usually made of silicate mineral, clay, lime or natural resin. Ask an in-store expert for more information!
Better home insulation to prevent air infiltration
A sustainable home has no or little heat and air conditioning leakage. Improving insulation is an eco-friendly option as it reduces energy losses. Psst! It is possible to perform a blower door test in your home to find any air leakage.
Rainwater collector system for the toilet
Many residents use rain collectors to water plants or wash their cars. It' s a wise choice! Are you aware that more can be done? If you need to buy a new toilet, have a system installed that’s connected to a basin that stores rainwater. Thus, the litres used for each flush will come from an eco-responsible source.
Install heating floors
A house with heated floors in all rooms would allow homeowners to save money on their heating bills and provide a comfortable space. Ceramic tiles, concrete, engineered and laminated wood flooring can easily accommodate the heating system. As an added bonus, heating floors add value to a property.
Use the earth's energy
If you are still heating with oil, it may be wise to switch to a geothermal system that uses the energy in the ground to temper the house. Apparently, heating or cooling costs can be reduced by 60% per year. But the installation cost is expensive (between $25,000 and $45,000). However, it is possible to rent a geothermal system, which is much more affordable.
Focusing on window treatments
By adding blinds to your windows, you could save on your heating and cooling bill and help protect the environment. Once closed, blinds (whether vertical, horizontal, roller or dual shadings) prevent some of the heat from entering the house in the summer and keep the heat inside in the winter. That’s awesome!
Do not discard unused items
The best waste is the one that is not produced. Thus, to be green, it is better to give a second life to useful objects or building materials (by selling or offering them).
Install plumbing that uses little water
The bathroom is a place where litres of water are wasted annually. By opting for a more efficient plumbing system, we greatly reduce the family's ecological footprint. A toilet with a tank capacity of less than 4.9 litres, a tap that does not allow more than 5.6 litres of water to flow per minute and a showerhead with a capacity of 7.5 litres per minute or less should be preferred.
Turning to eco-materials
Several surprising materials are increasingly being used in the renovation and construction industry. For example, some use recycled plastic boards (made of yogurt pots and laundry containers, among other things) to build a patio. As for wood fibre or hemp panels, they are perfect for insulating while allowing moisture to escape. For their part, the glass-plastic slabs, made of discarded grocery bags, splendidly decorate the floors of our backyards.
Buying local is great!
Local purchases are always an eco-responsible choice. Quebec is full of artisans of all kinds who can design exceptional settings. Fabric chair covers to hide old-fashioned ones, original handmade cribs, lounge tables made with recycled wooden pallets... the list of possibilities is endless.
Eco-friendly remodelling rarely rhymes with economical. Fortunately, there are some government or municipal subsidies to cover the costs. Do you need advice on making greener choices? Come and see us!