How to green your home remodel
Consider these green building materials when remodeling your home.
Monday, January 9, 2012 - 21:11
GREEN REMODEL: Before you remodel, consider more eco-friendly options. (Photo: NancyHugoCKD/Flickr)
There is something refreshing about a new layout in any room. A revamped kitchen or bathroom can add value to your home and can better reflect your own personal tastes. Even better, the materials you use can be derived from recycled or organic products and can most likely be bought locally. Check out these great green renovation ideas:
Recycled glass countertops
There is an innate beauty in glass. And given its sparkling nature and mosaic of colors, there are endless possibilities to use glass to beautify a home. Recycled glass countertops reflect a granite-like mixture of colors and textures and are created from products destined for the landfill. So in one simple product you can make your kitchen look beautiful while also doing your part to reduce waste.
Several color options are available to fit any aesthetic motif, so regardless of your kitchen or bathroom colors you're bound to find a match. A business located in Chicago, Gilasi, has three stylistic options available with an array of color combinations for each. Most of the glass used to make their products is sourced locally within the city of Chicago itself, which makes the impact even lower.
As for care, the countertops are treated much like granite. Though the product is mostly stain resistant, spills should be cleaned up shortly after they occur since standing spills can work their way through the sealant and leave a stain. Also, when cleaning the surface it is important not to use abrasive or acidic cleaners since this can eat away at the sealant or scratch and dull the surface.
Living in Chicago, I have noticed a few cold winter breezes blowing through various rooms of my apartment, and it is definitely a chilling experience. Proper insulation will not only keep a home warm and protected but it will reduce energy costs, as well. One option for insulation is Icynene insulation found through the Chicago-land business, Eco Tec Insulation.
Icynene is a light-density spray that effectively seals up the cracks in walls, ceilings and basements. The foam is derived from castor oil, found in the castor plant, and is entirely renewable. The only ingredient needed is water in order to produce the spray, so it is free from chemical additives. Additionally, it works great at keep pollution and other air-born contaminates found in the city air out of your home.
Green decor and design
The remodeling may only be half the battle when it comes to changing a room's look. Decorations, furniture and appliances tend to accompany newly remodeled places. You can still go green when it comes to this part of the process. Furniture made out of recycled products can be unique and memorable. Accessories made from organics can be earthy and make a place a home.
The Chicago Recycling Coalition has compiled a list of general merchandise catalogs that cater to recycled products in order to promote buying green. A list of companies selling recycled or organic furniture, office supplies or even apparel can be found on their website.
If you are interested in buying green for your next renovation, there are countless options available. Finding the right product can be a lengthy search, but hopefully it is one that will reap a beautiful and eco-friendly living space.
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