8 Ways to Make Home Improvements Eco-Friendly

Home improvement projects account for a lot of waste in the landfill, and that’s just not good for the environment. Here are some easy ways to make your projects eco-friendly.

Chelsea Lipford Wolf and Danny Lipford
Today’s Homeowner hosts Danny Lipford and Chelsea Lipford Wolf are always looking for ways to make home improvements eco-friendly. Here are eight of their tips!

1. Plan Carefully. It’s easy to get excited about a project and buy a lot of materials without thinking about what you actually need.
That also can lead to a lot of wasted materials, and let’s face it, a lot of people don’t return those things to the home center. They either end up in a landfill or forgotten.
Instead of letting that happen, take this eco-friendly approach: Think carefully about what you need and what you don’t before even heading to the home center.
That way, no materials will be wasted.  

2. Buy Zero-VOC Paints. Volatile Organic Compounds are not good for people or the environment, so why would you want them, forever, in your home? A true zero-VOC paint has a powdered tint that you add yourself. That way, you can choose from a wider variety of colors and still get the health benefits.

3. Check Out Other People’s Trash. We’ve all heard the saying, “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure,” and it’s true. If you see an old table on the side of the road that just needs a little paint or polish, grab it, rehab it and keep it out of the landfill!   

4. Cut Up Old T-shirts. Step away from paper towels, and avoid purchasing new rags just to clean spills — there’s an eco-friendly way to handle messes. Just use what you have on hand! Any old clothing item can be repurposed into a cleaning product. For instance, you could cut up and reuse old T-shirts; those get the job done just as well!

5. Paint Old Hardware. Sometimes, the furniture isn’t the problem — the hardware alone makes a room look and feel less fresh. You can easily solve the problem of aged, scuffed-up screws, latches, braces and brackets with a can of spray paint. It’ll make the hardware look new in no time!

6. Mix Old Paint. If you’ve got lots of cans of old paint and don’t know what to do with them, there’s an eco-friendly option — even if there’s not enough leftover paint in each can to cover a whole room or whole piece of furniture.
Don’t pitch them — mix them!
That’s right; mix similarly colored paints together and you’ll probably have enough to paint that accent wall, or table. And you’ll save money on purchasing new paint!

7. Get ‘Cereal bowl’: Waste not, want not! There’s an eco-friendly way to handle objects that oordinariGrab an old bowl to keep odds and ends inside. Keep it on a shelf so it’s convenient to just drop things in as you find them.
This is great for saving spare nails and screws — anything you find around the house and can’t immediately remember where it belongs or if you even need it. Chances are, you will need it down the line.

8. Donate What You Don’t Want. Tastes change, and you’ll like an item one day, but years later, put it in storage when it no longer fits your style.

Instead of doing that, find a local donation center like the Habitat for Humanity ReStore and drop off your working appliances, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, cabinets, power tools and full cans of paint. Other people can use them!

Those are our ideas — what are your favorite eco-friendly home improvement tips?

Drop them in the comments below!

Further Reading About Eco-Friendly Home Improvement

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