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Going Green In 2009 « Woodhill Gallery Designer Blog

Going Green In 2009

With the state of the economy, global warming and the depletion of natural resources, it seems everywhere you look people are talking about reducing their environmental impact. It seems that although we are headed for a recession, instead of buying new property people are using their savings to fix up their current houses in the hopes of turning a bigger profit once the housing market turns around. This is especially clear working closely with contractors in the Cleveland area where the housing market is one of the worst in the country.
Here is my advice to anyone wishing to spruce up their bathrooms and kitchens for future value: Go green.

I’ve compiled a list of some very cool items I’ve found to revolutionize your remodel and cut down on future spending:

1. The Profile 5 toilet
with hand basin by Caroma
profile-toilet4
This innovative (and I might add space-saving) Australian product is a perfect answer for a small, Eco-conscious powder room. The waste water from washing your hands in the sink is stored in the tank to be used for the next flush. Not only are you saving money by conserving water, you are also saving by buying one combo unit as opposed to a separate sink and toilet. Find out more by clicking here.

2. Sustainable Cabinetry
125_11v_tre1Wooden cabinetry is primarily a north American phenomenon now-a-days. Europeans have adopted a modern sleeker style of frameless cabinets made from synthetic materials because of the expense of wood. Because wood is such a staple for bathrooms and kitchens in this country, there has recently been a push to introduce more sustainable options into the wood species repertoire. This vanity cabinet from Showplace shows the environmentally friendly lyptus offering. Lyptus is short for eucalyptus and is a very fast growing wood with a beautiful grain. Because of it’s speedy growth rate, it can be harvested and replanted with minimal environmental impact. For more info on Lyptus, click here. Bamboo is also a good choice. Stay away from particle board, which often uses formaldehyde and other harmful VOC’s in it’s composition.

3. Recycled Material Countertops
lg_cobaltbath11Looking for a striking way to add color and personality to your bathroom countertop? Look no further. Many companies are working to create countertops made of recycled glass and concrete that are made specifically for your application. The concrete and glass can be handpicked and colored to match your design scheme, whether your goal is a morning wake up call filled with bright happy colors or a zen-like spa retreat filled with neutrals. Concrete gives you the ability to undermount sinks, just like granite or quartz surfaces.

4. Environmentally Conscious Bathroom Textiles
Bamboo and organic cotton are making headway into the land of interior design. These bamboo towels come in luscious colors, and with their soft texture, you’ll never know that while you are toweling off in luxury, you are saving the planet from the chemicals used in processing traditional textiles.csh08_vf97
209552_666_mAlong with towels, you can find selections of bath rugs, bath robes and shower curtains in Eco-friendly materials that are anything but frumpy and ugly.
To find more of these products, try clicking here at The Company Store. For the shower curtain to the left, click here.

5. Eco-Conscious Hot Water Heaters
choose-water-heater-3Tankless hot water heaters and solar hot water heaters can both cut down on your heating bills while supplementing your old conventional hot water heater’s output. Tankless heaters only turn on when hot water is actually needed. They avoid the energy consumption of traditional tanks by running cold water through a heating element while it is on it’s way out the faucet. It doesn’t require the constant heating of a storage tank like traditional heaters because it doesn’t have one. These tankless types typically run on either electricity or gas.
Solar hot water heaters function by trapping the energy from the sun in absorption panels on the roof of your home. They heat your water either by running it through tubes in the panel itself (similar to the tankless heater, heating only as it is being used), or by heating a fluid in the panel that then heats a reserve tank in your home.
Often, either of these two options are used in conjunction with a traditional tank that serves as a backup. This way homeowners can insure uninterrupted hot water for all their needs.

To really green your space, look for reclaimed fixtures and accessories. Use recycled glass as tile for your shower walls as opposed to fiberglass or acrylic. It might be a bit harder to maintain, but you are reducing waste and harmful VOCs that are used in the process of creating the synthetic materials. Maximize natural light by adding skylights and windows, where possible. This will reduce your dependence on electricity for light fixtures and ventilation. Finally, recycled paper products and Eco-friendly cleaners help reduce your impact on landfills and rid your space of potentially dangerous chemicals. Even small steps can make a difference for the environment and improve your quality of life. Do yourself and the planet a favor and reduce your environmental footprint during your upcoming renovation!

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