Sustainable design has a place in every renovation project. Especially when you consider that a series of small decisions can add up and have a big environmental impact. This year, make an Earth Day resolution to build your next project a little greener. Here are three easy ways to get it done.
Recycle the Kitchen
If you do one thing differently, donate your existing luxury kitchen before building a new one. Nonprofits like Renovation Angel will assess your out-going kitchen for free and then send a white-glove team of experts to remove it if it qualifies. Homeowners save on demolition costs, but also get a hefty tax deduction. (Renovation Angel can estimate this savings for you, too.) The funds from the kitchen sale create recycling jobs and supports a mix of worthy charities in the addiction recovery, at-risk-youth and job training spaces. Over 2.3 million dollars have been distributed so far.
Every square foot added in a build or a renovation means more material used and more energy (electricity, heat and air conditioning) required to maintain. Instead of building bigger, think multifunctional. A guest room gets used a couple times a year — skip the one-purpose space plan and instead create a room that functions as a guest room when you need it, but also as a study or a family room the rest of the year so that no space, materials or resources are wasted.
Reimagine Pre-Loved Items
Regardless of design style, existing furniture and fixtures can bring depth and character to any project while also being responsible,green choices. Reclaimed flooring, salvaged doors and vintage fixtures are all sustainable options. Existing items are often less expensive than their brand new counterparts and save the energy and resources needed to make them new.