Saturday, January 3, 2009

#36 Green Remodeling?--- Reuse what you can.

Remodeling is not really green. In most cases, things left the way they are is the greenest route. That old vinyl floor does the least damage left right where it is. Left alone, less goes to the landfill and less products need to be produced. That being said, realistically there is a lot of value in aesthetic appeal and better function. My husband and I constantly have a project going in our home. We are doing it for our comfort and for the resale value of our house. Built in the 1950's and poorly maintained, there is much to be done. 
There are a number of ways that we are seeking to make our remodeling projects as green as possible. The first thing that we do is reuse anything that is possibly reusable when we take it out. Our project this year is converting a room (formerly a bedroom?-- we used it mainly for storage) into a master bathroom and a mudroom. There was a decent set of built-in cabinets and shelves. The cabinets became toy cabinets in the basement, and the shelves moved to the storage/work room for organizing tools.

Any wood that we tear out that is not stained or painted becomes firewood, and decent wood pieces will be turned into something else useful (the wood paneling will become shelves in our shed.) If you can't find a use for it, freecycle or Craig'slist it and see if there is anyone out there who can use it.

Pros: Less trips to the landfill, less in the landfill, and the stuff can fill a need if you will be creative with it.

Cons: There will always be some stuff that just cannot be reused.  Sometimes it takes a little more work to get things out so that they are in usable form (today my husband was complaining about how long it was taking to get the paneling out of the old closet he was tearing out.)  

1 comment:

Amy Ellen said...

Thanks for this reminder to reuse! I also love the idea of buying used from your last post.