From Dean Dowd on September 13, 2011 in Green Remodeling
Eco-friendly homeowners don’t want to add waste to already-crowded landfills. Budget-smart homeowners don’t want to toss away costly items. Fortunately, there are ways to save money and help the planet, too. In fact, you can save by remodeling with what you already own.
Start with your local reuse depot or secondhand building supplier. This can be as easy as a visit to the neighborhood Habitat ReStore. Operated by Habitat for Humanity, Habitat ReStores sell donated home improvement goods back to the public.
When it comes time to install your items, enlist the help of our local contractors.
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The products offered at each outlet store will differ, but you can expect to find numerous home products at a fraction of their retail price. It’s not just furniture and home accessories included in ReStore inventories, but appliances and building materials, too.
Most metropolitan areas have reuse centers that focus on recycling materials from the building industry. ReDO, a national non-profit organization established in 1995, offers a handy list of centers organized by state.
Reuse Alliance, another national nonprofit, teaches you how to effectively reclaim your materials. Reuse Alliance is a great source for reconditioning and repairing items as well, providing instructions on how to repair dozens of appliances and systems, from a rotisserie to a roof.
When it comes to discarding old items in a remodeling project, you may be surprised to discover how easy it is to sell them instead. Craigslist and eBay shoppers are often looking for specific household items at a discounted price, be it a kitchen cabinet or odd-sized faucet.
Posting items on social networking sites is another option, as is holding a yard sale, where things like small appliances, electrical cords, tools and fixtures are often hot items. Before tossing materials that can’t seem to be sold, consider donating them to reuse organizations.
Terms like creative reuse, upcycling, and repurposing are used when items gain a new function through creativity and imagination. Broken concrete slabs can be used as garden paving, used brick to build a retaining wall, and salvaged lumber to construct new furniture or shelving.
The practice of green remodeling can save time, money and resources, while providing useful products and materials to others, enriching and improving the local economy.