83% of Americans plan to look for opportunities to live more sustainably, making environmental issues a major concern for a lot of people. When it comes to DIY projects, this ethos often goes out of the window. People tend to focus on getting the job done and doing it well, but they forget how various choices can impact the environment. However, there are simple ways to make environmentally responsible choices when doing home improvements that give similar, if not better, results.
Think About Your Furniture
There are several ways to have eco-friendly furniture around your home and in your backyard, including buying second-hand, buying new furniture made from recycled materials, and making your own. Pallets are one of the cheapest ways to start a DIY project and they’re easy to work with to make unique furniture, from end tables in your living room to outdoor seating. A lot of new furniture is being made from reclaimed wood and other materials, which is more eco-friendly. It reduces demand for resources and avoids the materials ending up in landfills for hundreds of years where they contribute to greenhouse gases.
Paint is such an accessible and simple way to give your home a makeover. It’s difficult to comprehend that The Environmental Agency classes it as one of the top five hazardous substances. Commonly used paints are oil-based and contain toxic chemicals that contribute to air pollution. As paint dries, the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are given off are up to 1000 times higher than outdoors. The paint will also continue to release chemicals into the environment during its lifespan, known as invisible paint pollution. The demand for water-based and eco-friendly paints is growing and more are now available, with many colors to choose from that spruce a room up without the damage to the environment or your health.
When you’re doing a DIY job around your home or in your backyard, consider where the products and tradesmen you’re using have come from. If you’re giving your garden a makeover, opt for locally grown plants that don’t need to be imported and ones that don’t require a lot of watering to save resources. If you need to hire someone to help with repairs, look for local tradesmen who won’t need to travel long distances to get to you.
Environmentally conscious decisions need to extend further than solar powered lights and recycling. There are lots of other places in people’s lives where eco-friendly decisions can be made, resulting in DIY projects that are less expensive, one-of-a-kind, and green.