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Sustainable Renovations: Top Tips to Make Your Home Eco-Friendly

    As Canadians prepare for renovation season, it’s the perfect time to consider how to make your home sustainable and environmentally friendly while still looking great. Whether inside or outside the home, Canadians are ready to make changes to their living spaces. But why not make a change for the environment too?

    While some renovations can be harmful to the environment, sustainable renovations are done to increase home efficiency and ensure minimal environmental impact, all while still remaining cost effective for homeowners. Taking into account energy use, materials and their impacts and how the home works as a system can ensure that any green renovation is as efficient and eco-friendly as possible. 

    Ahead of his appearance onstage at this year’s National Home Show, Christopher Phillips, Founder of green renovations firm Greening Homes, shares a list of things to consider when undergoing a sustainable renovation to make your home healthy, energy efficient and beautiful. 

    Here are five tips for green renovations to consider to ensure you’re planting the seeds for success:

    Start with an Energy Audit

    All green renovation should start with an energy audit to ensure the projects you want to do are right for your home. A certified energy auditor can identify your home’s exact needs, setting a baseline for what needs to be done, and can expose what options may exist to gain government grants.

    Start Small

    Great things often come in small packages, and sustainability in the home doesn’t have to be expensive or a huge undertaking. Major renovations often aren’t necessary to increase energy efficiency; smaller projects like air sealing offer an easy, high-impact and cost-effective option with great results.

    Look at the House as a System

    What affects one area of a house can affect another—improved insulation and sealing can create indoor air quality issues by preventing proper ventilation if airflow isn’t considered. Considering the house as a system optimises green renovations and prevents problems in other areas. 

    Beware of Embodied Carbon

    New materials are often cost-effective, but awful for the environment. Upgrades containing embodied carbon can create issues in the years to come, especially if you’re aiming to create a net-zero carbon emission home. Opt for natural materials to keep your home green long-term. 

    Take a Holistic Approach to Green

    Though often synonymous, green renovations don’t just refer to energy-efficiency. Taking into account the five pillars of sustainability—responsible waste management, careful material selection, efficient design, ensuring indoor air quality and smart transportation—ensures that all elements of your renovation are sustainable, creating a 360-degree package that you can feel great about. 

    Hear more green renovation tips from Phillips at this year’s National Home Show, happening April 15 – 24, 2022 at Toronto’s Enercare Centre. Get tips and tricks from leading industry professionals about the best ways for you to undergo your own green renovations. 

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