By default, most remodeling projects performed in California end up being fairly Green due to the state’s strict requirements regarding energy efficiency and environmental impact. However, few homeowners realize the extent to which they can exceed these minimum standards and really “Green up” their projects. Follow these tips for a Greener remodeling project:
1. Choose certified Green products and materials
Materials like FSC Certified lumber provide greater assurance that they were sourced and processed using sustainable practices. Likewise, when you buy certified products such as ENERGY STAR® HVAC equipment, you can be confident about getting optimum energy efficiency.
2. Buy local
Building materials are often shipped to the United States from other countries, which contributes to global pollution. Plus, buying imported materials doesn’t support your local economy. It may cost a little more, but buying locally is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and invest in your community.
3. Do your research
Even if a product claims to be Green, there may be aspects about it that aren’t so Green at second glance. For example, with composite hardwood flooring, the natural wood top layer may have been sustainably sourced, but the plywood backing may have been shipped from China or Russia and/or processed using toxic glues. Doing a little additional research can go a long way toward ensuring a truly Green choice.
4. Hire an eco-conscious contractor
Perhaps the best way to ensure a Green remodeling project is to hire a contractor that cares as much about Green building as you do. Not only will they be on board with things like sustainability and energy efficiency, they’ll likely have already done the research on products and materials, which will save you time and energy.