Five Eco-Friendly Home Improvements

Five Eco-Friendly Home Improvements

Whether you’re
redecorating, adding some new furniture or upcycling what you’ve already got,
there are more and more ways to carry out eco-friendly home improvements that
spruce up your house without harming the environment.

Here are five
eco-friendly home improvements and green materials to use in your next DIY
project, to give you the house of your dreams without creating an environmental

1. Low VOC Paints

eco-friendly home improvements
Low VOC paints are better for the environment and for your health!

Traditional paints
contain Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOCs, which act as a solvent that
evaporates out of the paint during the drying process. However, these compounds
contribute to the emissions that come from the paint itself.

Luckily there’s a
growing number of low VOC paints to choose from – this is ‘green paint’ but not
in the color sense of the word!

A low-to-no solvent
content has other advantages too. Low VOC paint doesn’t have that strong
chemical paint smell and is safe to use throughout the house, including in
children’s rooms.

Finally, remember to
buy only as much paint as you need, and use all of it by applying extra coats
until it’s all gone – you’ll get a less patchy finish and you can then recycle
the empty paint cans.

2. Furniture Upcycling

This is a huge subject and you’ll find plenty of ideas on this blog for specific projects, but just keep an open mind when you’re thinking of throwing old furniture in the trash.

Even broken furniture can be repaired to make it solid and safe to use, and you can either hide the repair with upholstery or a coat of paint, or leave it on show to give the piece its own unique character and a sense of age.

eco-friendly home improvements
Hygge style cafe furnished with an upcycled wooden table and shelving. You can duplicate this concept in your home. So cute!
accent table for my office .

3. Simple Storage

Upcycle empty
containers to make simple storage solutions wherever you need them in the home
– coffee jars can become highball glasses for drinks, hand wash dispensers can
be refilled with dish soap, and plastic takeout containers can be rinsed and
used to organize the refrigerator or freezer.

Directly reusing materials is even better than recycling them, so before you trash that tray or junk that jar, just ask yourself if you could reuse it somewhere else or even upcycle it into part of a larger storage unit.

upcycled plastic bottles
Learn how I upcycled these 5 empty plastic containers into 7 useful garden tools.

4. Light Work

Create a much wider
range of usable spaces in your home by installing eco-friendly lights in different

Functional lighting is
a great way to give rooms a more dynamic look, with bright zones and other
areas that are left in shadow when not in use.

It doesn’t just feel
cozy – by using energy efficient lighting like LEDs and other low-energy bulbs,
and by only lighting the zones you want to use, you can save on power,
emissions and energy costs too.

5. Habitat Gardens

eco-friendly home improvements
Close up image of a bird emerging from a bath

All natural planting
is good for the environment, but you can double down on that benefit by
focusing on habitat planting.

By using plants that
give the local wildlife a place to live, you can create a garden rich in
movement and vitality – a home for the birds, bees and butterflies.

Consider adding some water too. A bird bath is a good option – the birds will love splashing in the water, but it won’t have the energy footprint of a fountain or other water feature that needs a pump switched on to work.

Author Bio: Thank you so much to Craig Pryce, Director of Wheelie Bin Solutions, for contributing these ideas!

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