How to make your home more environmentally friendly

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A renovation is an exciting way to refresh your home, improve its value, and make it more appealing both in appearance and functionality. Or at least, that’s what the purpose of a renovation has been in the past!

These days, more and more people are undergoing renovation projects with the explicit intention to make their house greener – which not only reduces its footprint, but can also boost the resale value as well.

Here are a handful of renovation ideas that will make your home more environmentally friendly!

Low-flow bathrooms

Between the toilet, bathroom sink, and shower, you may be using a lot more water than is necessary. In a country like Australia where the weather heats up quickly and water is so often a highly valued necessity, cutting down on use can only be a good thing.

The old style of single-flush toilets can use up to 12 litres of water in a single push of a button, whereas the dual-flush system is far more efficient. According to Australian government website Water Rating, replacing these old systems with good dual-flush toilets can save as much as 51 litres per person every single day.

In terms of showers, a water efficient model uses less than 72 litres in an 8-minute shower – while a normal showerhead goes through as much as 120 litres in the same time. Also according to the Water Rating site, a normal tap will use 15-18 litres a minute while a low-flow one will only use 2 litres per minute.

Swapping out any of these fixtures in a renovation can, therefore, save a huge amount of water.

Energy-efficient windows

It’s a renovation that, by the end of it, you’ll only be able to see on your power bill.

According to the Your Energy Savings website, the heat gain through an unshaded window in summer can be 100 times greater than an insulated wall in summer. Plus, 40 per cent of your heat can escape through windows in winter, and poorly installed doors and windows can add another 25 per cent onto your power bills due to draughts around these areas.

Take a look at the Window Energy Rating Scheme (WERS) for a renovation, as double or triple glazing can do wonders for your power consumption throughout the year. Be sure to look at the frame around your window as well, as timber and PVC tend to hold up better than aluminium and other metals.

Use recycled materials on your renovation

Another way to make your home greener is to simply make your renovation greener.

You may be able to pick up pre-loved timbers, bricks, tiles, or other materials to re-purpose within your own home. The three ‘R’s of environmental kindness are ‘reduce, reuse, and recycle’, and this one fits in perfectly with the idea of reusing things to give them a second life! Of course, if you are tearing down a wall or planning to demolish any part of your home, you can aim to reuse these materials, too.