Choosing Greener Options for Your Home Remodel
There’s more to being eco-friendly than recycling cans and installing tankless water heaters. If you’re interested in going greener on your next home remodeling project, consider using some of these options and alternatives.
Carpet and Padding
While many homeowners are going away from carpeting, it’s still a soft option for kids, pets and bare feet. To go greener, look for carpet and padding that’s made from recycled materials. For example, some carpet fiber is now made from recycled plastic water bottles. Some companies also make a concerted effort to reduce their water and energy usage during the manufacturing process. Consider carpet pads made with felt instead of styrenebutadiene rubber. Installation can be done with non-solvent adhesives instead of toxic glue.
Another eco-friendly option is to use carpet with a low emission rate of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). These products improve your indoor air quality. The Carpet and Rug Institute does comparative testing of various carpeting, cushions and adhesives to find the lowest emission products. These products are called Green Label, and a seal of approval can be found on the labels of qualifying selections.
New choices in materials can reduce emissions, lessen the amount of debris that eventually winds up in the landfill and save energy. Cool roofs, for example, are made from light or white colors. They reflect the sun instead of absorb its heat. Recycled roofing materials made from rubber and polymers are lighter than the slate tiles that they imitate.
One way to improve your home remodel’s impact on the planet goes beyond reducing emissions and using recycled products. Consider where the materials and products are made and where they’re sold. Products made in California – or even in the U.S. – use less fuel to transport them and require less packing and shipping materials.