Go Green When You Remodel Your Home

When you remodel, incorporate green building practices to improve your health and your home's value. Good Earth Plant Company can help.
When you remodel, incorporate green building practices to improve your health and your home's value. Good Earth Plants can help you!

When you remodel, incorporate green building practices to improve your health and your home’s value. Good Earth Plants can help you!

Plenty of people put off home improvement and remodeling projects over the last few years due to America’s Great Recession.

Get ready for a new look in a lot of homes – maybe even your own. Several major industry studies predict a big jump in remodeling activity.

The Joint Center for Housing Students of Harvard University projects a trend for home improvement and repair expenses to reach eight percent by 2017, nearly double the historic average, based on its own model it calls the “Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity” or LIRA. And who are we to argue with Harvard? The website HomeAdvisor and the National Association of Home Builders reports also agree with the Harvard outlook.

The housing market is healthy, prices are rising and sales are going up. So some of the remodeling will be in preparation for putting homes up for sale. But the majority of the home improvement will be done by the buyers of new homes to update, upgrade, and customized features to suit their needs and tastes.

So while homeowners are looking at modernizing and following new trends, Good Earth Plant Company has this suggestion for you: consider incorporating nature into your home remodeling project.

As we have written here many times, even the simplest introduction of plants into your living and working environment produces health and wellness benefits. So a nature-oriented remodel won’t just raise your home’s value, it will increase the physical and emotional value of your home too. Healthy designs maximize fresh air, natural light, and natural products from counter tops to carpeting.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers poor indoor air quality one of its top five public health risks. And we spend upwards of 90% of our time inside! Air pollution inside a home can be five times higher than the air outside your home. So start your remodeling project by using materials with little or no amount of toxic chemicals. Choose natural woods, fibers, stone and glass. Recycled glass counter tops for example are one of the hottest trends you can choose for a kitchen or bathroom. They are so durable you can take a hot skillet from the oven and sit it right on your counter top.

Incorporate good ventilation to help prevent mold and allergens from affecting your air quality. Plants are a big help with air quality, eliminating formaldehyde, benzene, ammonia, and other toxins released into the air from carpets, upholstery, glues, paint and other common items. As we have written before, NASA research suggests having at least one plant per 100 square feet of interior space.

But don’t stop there! Make plants a design element. Consider installing a big bay window that will allow you to plant a kitchen herb garden or decorative air scrubbing plants. See our blog post for good choices. Why not consider a living wall? Good Earth Plant Company can help you with a design of any size.

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Living walls need light, and so does your home. Natural light adds value to your home, and improves your mental health. The full blend of light wavelengths in natural light helps regulate our biological clock, encourages good quality sleep, and prevents seasonal affective disorder. Because modern life often keeps us indoors, it can have a negative effect unless we purposely incorporate light into our living spaces.  Sliding glass doors and skylights are two ways to add light. UV filters help keep your home cool and protect your furniture from damage.

Not only is a green and energy efficient home remodel the right thing to do for your health and the health of our planet, it’s also healthy for another type of green. Most green home remodeling projects will save money on your energy costs. A 2015 study by the Institute for Market Transformation and the District of Columbia’s Department of Energy and Environment found that homebuyers are willing to pay 3.46% more for a home with green features than a home without. In Southern California this is not small change!

Ninety six percent of all homebuyers say they want their homes to be environmentally friendly. When you incorporate green principles into your remodeling project, you will use resources and choose materials wisely, minimize waste and protect our air and water quality. For every gallon of water you save, or hour of electricity use, you reduce the amount of carbon dioxide (greenhouse gas) escaping into our atmosphere.

If you need help with ideas or resources, the U.S. Green Building Council has an online “Green Home Guide” with excellent information. Get inspired at http://www.greenhomeguide.com/