Monday, January 26, 2009

#38 Green Remodeling? Use Renewable Resources!

This is perhaps the toughest part of green remodeling if you are trying to do it with spending as little money as possible.  But I'm here to tell you that it is possible to find great "green" products new for good prices.  It just takes flexibility and a little time to search.
First- decide what your requirements are for your project.  Measurements, durability, colors.

Second- determine what types of materials you would like to use.  Something recycled?  Something made of a renewable resource?

Third- research, reasearch, reasearch.  We would not have been able to do ours without the internet.

Fourth- shop shop shop!

Here's my example.  We wanted to replace our kitchen countertops.  We had an ugly color peeling-off laminate counter.  We wanted something classy but not too expensive.   We also wanted it to be durable, waterproof, heat proof, and environmentally friendly.  We looked first into granite.    Not-so-green.  There was an option for a granite cover-up counter that we liked (it meant we wouldn't have to rip out the old one) but very expensive.  Then we found out about Eco-top and Paperstone products.  Made of 100% post-consumer recycled paper.  Awesome!  Was it in our budget?  Not really.  However, when we were at EcoHaus in Portland looking at some, the guy says, "We have these pieces in the back room that are an odd color and we haven't been able to sell them."  Bingo!  They happened to be just the amount that we needed for our kitchen, and at a fraction of the cost.  And in brown tones that I was using anyway.  
 Lucky for me, my husband is handy and was able to cut and install them.  Even with the purchase of some new tools, our eco-friendly countertops cost us only about $900.   And I think they look great.  Other things we did were a cork floor, purchased from a builder's liquidator, and a recycled glass tile backsplash.

Pros:  Less depletion of the earth's resources.  In the case of these countertops, they are fully recyclable as well as made from recycled paper.   

Cons:  Some eco-friendly materials are not as durable (such as our cork floor, but I still like it.)  It takes work to find these types of materials on a limited budget.


Gigi said...

It looks great Marisa. And I love the tile!

Aaron, Julie, and Trey said...

I think that is so cool that you have countertops that can be recycled.

Anonymous said...

Your kitchen looks beautiful!! I love it!