Tag Archives | recycled projects

3 Eco-Friendly Ways to Renovate Your Home

After spending so much time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be among the large portion of homeowners who are itching to renovate their space. However, the construction and remodeling industry can be a wasteful one. Many of the traditional materials or techniques you would use when renovating your home can be harmful to the environment.

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to make your home renovation environmentally-friendly as well as aesthetically-pleasing. Let’s take a look at the eco-friendly ways in which you can renovate your home this year.

Choose Bamboo For Flooring

If you’re taking on a big project like remodeling a room in your home or finishing your basement, which can cost 80% less than buying a bigger home, consider what type of wood you’re choosing for your flooring. Due to rampant industrialization, deforestation is a serious problem around the world and any project that involves using wood can further exacerbate the issue.

Bamboo, however, is durable, moisture-resistant, and grows back faster than wood. There is an abundance of bamboo in the world that you can harvest without destroying its roots. Not only does this make it an environmentally-friendly option, but growing bamboo also requires fewer pesticides. By choosing bamboo, you’ll get chic flooring that is better for your health as well as the health of forests around the world.

Use Low-VOC or VOC-Free Paint

An easy way to be eco-friendly while doing home renovations is to use low-VOC or VOC-free paint for any painting projects you’re doing. Short for volatile organic compounds, VOCs produce molecules that are harmful to the environment as well as to your health. When VOCs are in the interior paint you use, you’ll be negatively affecting your indoor air quality and potentially causing irritation to your eyes and respiratory tract. As acute upper respiratory infections are already among the top five medical diagnoses seen in urgent care centers, you certainly don’t need to impact that bodily system any further.

Other products, like varnishes and disinfectants, also tend to contain VOCs. By being conscious about whether the products and paints you use contain VOCs, you can improve the air quality in your home.

Choose Recycled Metal For Roofing

Replacing your roof is an important home project that will have a lasting effect on your home. You should replace your roof every 30 to 40 years, so the material you choose now will impact your home for decades to come. The material you choose for your roof can also have a long-lasting impact on the environment. One of the most eco-friendly choices for roofing is recycled metal.

By using recycled metal, you can help reduce waste and the need for producing new materials for your roof. Metal roofs have a long life expectancy, meaning that you won’t have to use resources to replace it or repair it frequently. This type of roof can also help keep your home cool because it has reflective properties that bounce the sun’s rays away from the home. This feature is also eco-friendly, as it can help lower your energy usage.

On top of these strategies, there are many other ways you can renovate your home while helping the environment. Whether it’s using recycled materials for your various projects or buying energy-efficient appliances after remodeling your kitchen, there are options for practically every room in the house. All you need to do is put a little forethought into the project and find the right resources to allow your eco-warrior side to shine.

How to Make a Simple Recycled Bug Observation Jar

014Spring is definitely in full swing – and summer is right around the corner! If you haven’t noticed there is life blooming all around us, from new flowers, baby animals and bugs and insects galore. If you have a little one at home, chances are they have definitely noticed and will let you know at every turn and corner on your daily journey. A fun way to explore this new life that is emerging after a long, cold winter is by teaching your children how to carefully examine small animals and insects up close and personal. Here is a simple tutorial for making a recycled bug catcher, it can be customized to look like your child’s favorite bug and it makes a fun observation tool for inspecting ladybugs, pill pugs, ants, frogs and other small creatures.

What you will need:

  • An empty, clean food jar
  • Non-toxic paint

We used a non-toxic paint for the lid of our empty food jar which we covered in yellow. Then, once dry we added black stripes and a pair of fun eyeballs! We finished the jar off with a couple of antenna made from a leftover piece of a sticky note. You can use pipe cleaners, wire or any found item in place of the paper to make it more durable for outside play. Remember if you plan on keeping the critter in the jar for a longer period of time to punch holes in the top of the lid first, and don’t forget to keep in a cool place with a food and water supply.

My recycled bug observation jar was the kids project in the spring issue of Green Child Magazine – you can see it here! And if you have children, you should definitely grab your subscription – it is full of great ideas and articles!

Green DIY: Mini Succulent Wine Cork Planters

diy mini succulent wine cork planters

I wanted to celebrate Earth Day this year with a simple project (it’s a Tuesday, and school nights are super busy over here) that we could enjoy in our home year-round. Eben and I went to work transforming a handful of leftover wine corks into a trio of super sweet mini succulent planters. They are now hanging on our fridge and bring a little bit of the outdoors and happiness whenever we see them. Jump over to Target for the step-by-step tutorial, and get started – I guarantee you can finish this project up before dinnertime!