Sustainable Renovations

Our homes need some updating from time to time. Even though there is nothing that needs changing or fixing, a little refreshing can make a huge difference. But sadly, most people don’t choose to use environmentally savvy ways during the renovation process. This may be because they don’t know how to do it or because they believe it will take too much time and effort but it actually isn’t so. Check out these ways you can use to renovate your home in an environmentally friendly way and make a step in right direction, towards the happy and healthy planet.

Did you know that many materials we use when renovating or updating our home are neither healthy nor sustainable? Make smart and sustainable changes in your life and your home by using energy-efficient products, reclaimed and recycled building materials, natural material and by updating or upcycling your furniture. You wouldn’t believe how much difference the sustainable decisions of one person can make. This is a great choice to make on so many levels. Not only do you conserve resources by not choosing raw materials but you also save on energy costs that would be used to produce and manufacture those raw materials.


Think green from the beginning

Green thinking starts at the very beginning. Think of ways you can reduce the environmental impact of your work from the beginning. Even before you do any work you should carefully plan your renovation or update. Research the materials you can use, try locating reclaimed and natural materials, find ways you can update your old furniture or upcycle it, discover what can you do to maximize the natural light and airflow. By knowing what you’ll do and by being prepared you’ll be able to make right decisions and make the process a lot easier.

Using a building material recycling site like can have a huge environmental impact on what is saved from landfill. Search these sites and see what you can find.

Use existing on-site materials

Reusing and recycling are the keys to sustainable home renovation so try incorporate existing materials whenever you can. Deconstructing is as an important a step as recycling material. Be a creative builder and figure out ways how you can use on-site materials, or reuse those that come out. Did you know that you can use broken and discarded bricks for paving and get amazing results? Completely transform your kitchen just by repainting or resurfacing kitchen cabinets. Repaint them or put new doors or handles drawers and make best from what you already have. You would be surprised how many materials can be repurposed, materials you already have in your home.

Buy energy-efficient products

When buying new appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens or washing machines you should always choose the ones that are the most energy efficient. Research them carefully and choose the right ones. Not only will choosing energy – efficient products help save the planet, but it will also help you save money in the long run. Just imagine how much you’ll save on your energy bills.


Buy reclaimed, sustainable and natural materials

Renovating your home with new materials doesn’t have to mean what you think it means. Surprisingly, your new materials can actually be old. Wonder how? Did you know that you can use reclaimed or recycled materials when renovating? Reclaimed wood is the wood that has already been used before for some other purpose like in an old home, barn or even ship.

Reclaimed wood has so many benefits like saving wood from ending up in landfills, preserving natural resources, reducing costs and it also looks amazing. Can you imagine how much time, effort, money and energy is wasted to process raw and new wood to make it look old? Best of all is that by using recycled wood you will get wood of various textures and thickness that will give the character and unique look to your home.

Using recycled wood is also smarter choice because the new one is not as strong and durable as the reclaimed one. Try choosing sustainable materials any chance you get. There are so many different companies that work with recycled and sustainable materials so you’ll have no trouble finding your perfect match. If you are doing the work yourself, just be careful. Not all reclaimed materials can be reused. Check if the wood is warped or it shows signs of rot and also make sure it is free of nails or staples. You don’t want some nasty surprised once you invest your time and money.

Avoid bringing artificial materials in your home and renovate it with natural materials. Materials like laminate, plastic or synthetic make your place look cold and impersonal, but the home designed with natural materials looks beautiful and engaging. Not only do natural materials usually last longer but they also look better.

Use eco-friendly paint

Renovating wouldn’t be complete without repainting your home. Everybody wants to make sustainable decisions these days, and the world of paints is no different. There are more and more eco-friendly paint options on the market so you won’t have to make any compromises.

Donate unwanted items

Don’t let your stuff end up in the landfill. Donate all your unwanted items to a charity shop or list it on to make a difference in the world. Not only this will help the environment but also your community.


Installing high quality and effective insulation is one of the best ways to create an eco-friendly home. It will help you to reduce your energy bills by keeping your house cool during the summer and warm in the winter. You can buy eco-friendly insulation that is made out of recycled denim and other natural materials that is effective and cost conscious too. Lower energy bills also mean lower environmental impact.


Upcycle furniture

Once you take care of everything else, it is time to concentrate on the furniture. To get the amazing furniture you don’t have to go shopping for the newest or most expensive ones. Save furniture from ending up in landfills and make it a part your home. Look at what you have and try not to see what it is, but what it can be. It may make a great first upcycled project and will totally unique and suit your space.

Upcycled furniture doesn’t have to look horrible and old. Visit various charity shops, salvage yards and antique shops to pick perfect furniture that can become a part of your home. There are so many options out there, and some shops even specialize in the high-end products which means that you won’t have to compromise on quality.

Just try to be the best you can be. Even the smallest environmentally sound decision can make a huge difference when it comes to saving a planet.

Like what we’re doing? Want to share your story or tell others? Do you have a green business in Calgary and want to get in front of a large local audience? Let’s build a green community together!