Planning a remodel? From window blinds to floors and furniture, choosing sustainable materials allows you to get the look you want without impacting the environment. Whether you simply want to green your own home, boost your home value or make a home greener before listing it for sale, consider these alternatives to wood when you remodel:
On the floor: Instead of wood, which consumes natural resources in more ways than one, try fast-growing, sustainable bamboo. Other options for floors include reclaimed wood, recycled rubber, cork or concrete. If you already have wood floors – consider refinishing them with sustainable and nontoxic stains and sealers. The most eco-friendly option of all is using what you already have!
Blinds: Many blind companies now offer green friendly wood alternatives – most are presented under a trademark name and made of eco-friendly materials. Curtains or roman shades made from organic cotton, hemp or bamboo can be used in place of blinds; a wide range of patterns and colors are available to choose from.
Furniture: For furniture and large built in pieces, both metal and recycled or recyclable plastic come in a wide variety of styles and colors, and may be the ideal solution for your remodel. Metal and plastic have come a long way, and if you have not considered these options in the past, it may be worth it to take a second look.
Recycle: Recycling older wood pieces with paint and fabric allows you to go green by reusing items that might normally be destined for the dump. If you like the basic shape or function of a piece of furniture, but not the look, consider giving it a makeover. If you're not up to the task yourself, find a local artist or craftsperson specializing in home furnishings. You'll keep a bulky piece from adding to the trash problem, get a custom look for your home, and likely save money as well when you recycle what you already have.
More tips like this one ...