With the climate crisis at the forefront of everyone’s mind currently, it is unsurprising that many people are now considering ways to make their lifestyle more sustainable. This has even extended to our houses. Home renovations can be an extremely wasteful process, leading to homeowners throwing out old features and replacing furniture to keep up with the latest decorating trends. However, what if you could restore your home without wasting materials and damaging the environment?
Whether it’s adding new eco-friendly products into your home or reusing old materials, there are several simple ways to renovate your home sustainably. Plus, it doesn’t have to be costly. We spoke to the founder of Aliwood Roof Lanterns, Jonathan Hey, to find out how you can make your next home renovation more eco-friendly:
1) Consider window design to create an eco-friendly home.
Most people see their homes as a way of blocking out the environment and as a separation between us and the outside world. However, nature can help make our homes more sustainable. There is a new movement by architects called passive design – which involves using the sun’s natural rays to heat and cool your home. Research by the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme shows that by integrating passive design into your home renovations, you can increase the efficiency without raising any costs. For example, windows should be placed on the north side of the home to absorb heat from the sun and naturally warm the rooms.
2) Choose local and recycled materials.
In an effort to reduce your carbon footprint while renovating, opt to buy materials from local manufacturers or reuse old materials from the home. If you decide you want wooden flooring in your new living room, why not contact a local arborist and see if they have any timber available. Similarly, when you’re shopping, have a look at the brand to see where they source their materials from and how recyclable their products are. For example, Aliwood’s Roof Lanterns are all 100% recyclable and sourced locally to the workshop.
3) Add sustainable features to your home for eco-living.
In recent years, housing developers have thought of inventive ways to make homes more sustainable without ruining their look and appeal. Features like solar panels and green roofing are popular choices as they don’t ruin the exterior of your home. In fact, green roofing has become extremely popular in the last few years – especially in cities where garden space is limited. Not only are green roofs extremely easy to build but they are great for the environment too. It essentially involves creating a mini garden on your roof where plants and vegetation can grow. By creating a mini microclimate, you are also protecting your roof from exposure to the elements and bringing down your energy costs! Green roofs actually provide a degree of insulation because of the soil used.
4) Invest in sustainable products.
There are a lot of items around the home that are damaging to the environment in more ways than one. Whether it’s a simple light bulb or plastic-free dish cloths, it’s important to invest in products that don’t harm the environment. For example, you can now buy eco-friendly paint which contains low or no volatile organic compound (VOC). Giving paint its unique smell, VOC is also extremely damaging to the environment – as well as people. With the move towards more eco-friendly paints, there are plenty of brands offering a wide selection of colours, coverage and durability without the harmful solvents.
5) Bring light into the home without using electricity.
The sun is extremely powerful and a great source of renewable energy so why not use it to your advantage. Skylights and roof lanterns are an innovative solution that are designed to let natural sunlight into the home. They’re the perfect investment for your home’s future – and the planet’s. Not only do you use less electricity because natural light is flooding your home instead of artificial, but the value of your house actually increases.