Renovating can be a pretty daunting task for anyone, and trying to find the greenest options can make it even more challenging. If you're feeling a bit overwhelmed by the task ahead these 10 tips could help streamline your 'to do' list.
1. Consider the layout of your space before you begin. Passive design is an often overlooked aspect of home renovations but it plays a big role in the energy consumption, air quality and functionality of your home.
2. Consider your materials. Reuse the materials from your home wherever you can, and when you need new materials look for local materials that are renewable, durable, recycled or recyclable.
3. Look for new ways to collect and reuse your water. Water tanks provide a good opportunity to collect rainwater and use it for your washing machine, toilets and gardens.
4. Reconsider your energy capture and use. Most of the energy in our homes is used to heat and cool our space and water. Good design can drastically limit the need for internal climate controls. Solar panels and solar hot water heaters offer a clean energy option to moderate household temperatures.
5. Plant a Garden. As well as allowing you go grow your own food and flowers, gardens provide a fantastic opportunity for you to manage your own food waste through composting.
6. Allow as much natural light as possible. Good design of your space can completely eliminate the need for lights during the day. This limits your energy consumption and discourages mold and mildew.
7. Avoid toxic building materials. Wherever you can look for chemical or toxin free alternatives to materials like paints, glue and carpets.
8. Choose native plants. Native plants are better adapted to your environment so they require less maintenance and water than exotic species. They also encourage native bird and insect activity.
9. Position windows to increase air flow. Good air flow allows you to cool your home naturally as well as purify the air.
10. Recycle renovation waste. Minimise your renovation waste however you can by reusing, recycling and buying as you need.
(image: Sarah Starkey)