Feb 17, 2015
Eco-modern bathroom remodel
Eco-modern bathroom remodel. Image courtesy of paintchipdiaries.

While you might dream of a home that is eco-friendly from the floor to the roof, with solar panels, green furniture and non-toxic paint, your wallet probably has other ideas. Home renovation projects tend to be pricey, which can leave you feeling a bit overwhelmed and discouraged.

Fortunately, there are small and budget-friendly ways to refurbish your home. And, if you take on one project at a time, your home will be your environmentally-friendly dream in no time.

In the Kitchen: Countertops

While you might not be able to re-do your entire kitchen with Earth-friendly materials, start with something like new countertops made from recycled glass. IceStone is one company that creates counters from a mixture of recycled glass, Portland cement and non-toxic pigments. The counters are easy to clean, come in a variety of colors and cost about $75 per square foot.

As a bonus, the IceStone company follows green business practices. They recycle 97 percent of their waste, use a water recycling system to power their production and use electric forklifts to move materials. This company also is certified at the Silver level from Cradle to Cradle, which assesses material health and reutilization, and is a B Corporation, which means it works to improve social and environmental problems.

In the Bedroom: Window Treatments

Updating your old metal mini blinds or the curtains in your bedroom is a quick and budget-friendly way to add a green element to your home. Again, you don’t have to tackle every single window in the house, but rather just start with one or two rooms. The Shade Store sells a wide variety of environmentally-friendly window treatments, including bamboo and foamwood blinds and woven shades made from bamboo and natural grasses. In addition to sustainable material, window treatments reduce the amount of heating or cooling a room needs. For example, cellular shades help to insulate your room by trapping air inside the cells of the shades, which helps to reduce the amount of energy consumed.

In addition, The Shade Store partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation to plant a tree for every purchase made. They also manufacture all of their products in the United States and only work with textiles that use environmentally-friendly practices.

In the Family Room: Rugs and Blankets

The small decorative touches you add to your home also can be good for the Earth. A budget-friendly example includes purchasing new throw rugs and blankets made from all-natural or recycled fibers and cloth. The Hook and Loom company features rugs made from their special Eco Cotton that contain no dyes, chemicals or latex. To do this, the company takes clean donated textiles that have all buttons, snaps and zippers removed. These are then pulled apart and spun into new yarn, which is woven by hand into the rugs.

Or, if you love curling up under a blanket at night, All Throw Blankets makes eco-friendly blankets made from 90 percent recycled and natural fibers. Plus, these blankets are a generous 50 by 60 inches in size, so you can snuggle up with your spouse or kids under one blanket.

This content was provided by Social Monsters. Feature image courtesy of John Hoffoss