I was 10 for the first “Earth Day” and I remember it well. Our entire school went outside, and we planted a tree and talked about the environment and what we could do to keep it clean. I went home and created a little flyer that I distributed up and down my neighborhood that was titled “STP – Stop Treacherous Pollution!”. A little nerdy, but I was a convert. Fast-forward 50 years and I am in an industry that is working to not only uphold the ideals established on that first Earth Day, but actually is finding ways to be even more conscious of our resources and environment. Here are just 5 things you can consider when remodeling or building that will not only be healthier for you – but for our environment as well.
Choose no or low VOC paints – this protects the environment inside your home from the off-gassing of harmful ingredients. It’s not just for the initial painting, but on-going health for your home.
Choose locally sourced materials – and support local artisans who are using reclaimed or re-purposed materials. You’d be surprised at their beauty. They’re not just for hippies anymore!
Choose cabinetry that is made by companies participating the Forest Stewardship Council. They are environmentally considerate when sourcing their products.
When doing a remodel that involves a considerable amount of demolition, consider donating your wood flooring, cabinets, countertops, sinks, faucets and appliances as well as other construction materials. There are several companies that will take them and what a great way to help out others AND keep construction waste out of landfills! Two that I like are Renovation Angel and Recyclean.
Select materials like ceramic tile that not only has a long life-span but may include recycled elements and flooring like Tarkett’s laminate and sheet vinyl flooring. Tarkett not only has many products that are asthma and allergy friendly, but as a company they are committed to producing sustainable products.
Last, but certainly not least- if you’re in need of a good desk chair to support you comfortably while we work from home, take a look at Humanscale’s Smart Ocean Chair. It’s made with nearly 2 lbs. of recycled fishing net material.
Yes, this year’s Earth Day will definitely be a different one. Maybe our current experience will remind us of the impact we all have on each other for the health and well-being of all. Click here for a pinterest board of ideas for sustainable products for your home. Happy Earth Day.
(images from pixabay.com)