Salem, NH 603.952.3192
Nashua, NH 603.769.4938
Salem, NH 603.952.3192
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Nashua, NH 603.769.4938

Keep the Environment in Mind for Your Next Renovation

By Luke Tighe

Building green has long been labeled the most expensive way of doing construction or renovations, but as our world needs our help more than ever, building green is becoming a better investment than any traditional method. Not only is it financially sound, but doing your part to take care of the world for future generations is arguably even more important. Today, there are so many ways to build sustainably that any homeowner can help the environment without sacrificing quality or functionality, and have their new space look great too.

First, let’s tackle one of the most underrated and crucial components of a home: lighting. For this subject, there is no debate – natural lighting from exterior windows is the best way to illuminate your home. Not only does it brighten every room and allow for pleasant views, but it also does miracles for your wallet. Taking advantage of natural light can cut your electricity bill by about 30%. Windows can also be designed to let in as much natural light as possible – skylights, for example, and allow for better quality lighting while providing better indoor environments as a whole. In places where natural light is not available, LED bulbs are another excellent way to help the environment, while also saving on your energy bill by using up to 90% less energy than traditional bulbs. So when in doubt, let there be light!

Another monthly bill you can easily reduce is your water bill. And this is an easy one – they’re called low-flow toilets. Traditional toilets use anywhere from 3.5 to 7 gallons of water per flush (think about that!) while low flush models only use roughly 1.5 gallons per flush. That’s a big difference, and they can save you roughly $110 per year on your water bill, but also add to the resale value of your home. Since they last up to 30 years, it is a worthy investment. Money aside, low-flow toilets are also crucial for saving such a valuable resource that most of us take for granted. While most Americans don’t think about it, water security is a huge problem in other parts of the world. So if we do what we can to help save water for future generations and beyond, everybody will benefit. 

Here’s a scary statistic: construction and demolition projects dumped more than 145 million tons of waste into U.S. landfills in 2018, according to the EPA. That is a massive amount, and it has been increasing since the 90s. But with every project completed with recycled materials, we can work to flatten that curve and ensure that future generations aren’t wading through all our trash. 

Working with a builder who uses recycled materials is an excellent way to reduce your environmental impact on that new home addition, and is something that everybody should consider for their next renovation. Good examples include bamboo, cork, and linoleum flooring, along with recycled glass countertops, which are beautiful. And once the renovation gets started, you can consider resources like Habitat for Humanity ReStore and freecycle.org. Both organizations are committed to recycling unwanted household items and fixtures, which keeps as much waste out of landfills as possible. 

So, you’ve completed your renovation, but can you do anything more? Of course, you can! Outfitting your home with ENERGY STAR appliances can have many benefits, including lower energy and water consumption, a smaller carbon footprint, and stylish appliances that last longer than traditional ones. Even if you’re only concerned with your budget, ENERGY STAR saved American consumers over $39 billion in energy costs – only in 2019! On a grander scale, the 20 largest homebuilders in America are ENERGY STAR certified, along with over 3,000 more! Long story short, American consumers are trending towards these eco-friendly solutions, and if you’re not on board already, you’re missing out!

At this point, there is no excuse to build a new house or renovate an existing space without thinking green. Improving your quality of life at home, saving on utility bills, adding value to your home, and helping the environment are all amazing outcomes of building green. Not to mention, you are not only helping yourself – your impact reaches much further than your home. The whole world benefits from people thinking and building sustainably. If everyone pitches in, we can ensure our future generations enjoy the earth and everything it must offer, just as we have.

Sources:

“Green Remodeling in Nashua & Salem, NH | Home Remodeling.” Blackdog Design/Build/Remodel, Blackdog Builders, 2016, www.blackdogbuilders.com/green-remodeling.

Admin, Nationwide. “Eco-Friendly Construction: 8 Advantages of Green Building.” Nationwide Construction, 18 Aug. 2016, nationwideconstruction.com/eco-friendly-construction-8-advantages-of-green-building.

“What Is ENERGY STAR.” About ENERGY STAR | ENERGY STAR, 2016, www.energystar.gov/about?s=footer.

“Are Low Flow Toilets Worth It? | Home Matters | AHS.” American Home Shield, 2018, www.ahs.com/home-matters/quick-tips/are-low-flow-toilets-worth-it.

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