If you own a home, home improvement is a never-ending part of your weekends. Almost every chore you tackle—from painting the living room to replacing the roof—has environmental impacts. Paint, for example, causes indoor air pollution and contributes ground-level ozone (smog). And if you replace an asphalt roof, your old roof could become part of the 9 to 11 million tons of asphalt roofing waste sent to US landfills each year.
Improving the comfort and look of your home is an admirable home improvement goal. A new front door creates an inviting threshold and a stunning bow window adds a touch of class to the exterior. But almost every home repair or upgrade is also an opportunity to improve your energy savings. Windows and doors alone contribute up to 30 percent of heat loss and gain in a home. Home improvement projects done with energy efficiency in mind can cut energy use by 15 to 30 percent, which means fewer greenhouse gas emissions and lower utility bills.
So what chore is on your list this weekend? Before you head to the hardware store, be sure to check out the relevant GY page to improve your home and reduce your home’s environmental impact.
- Professional Roofing - 21st century recycling: ARMA and other industry organizations are leading the way for waste-reduction and recycling programs
- Oikos - Roofing Industry Moves to Recycled and Energy Saving Products: Recycling
- American Recycler - Asphalt Shingle Recycling Website
- Rocky Mountain Institute - Home Energy Briefs: Building Envelope
- The Green Guide - 10 Questions for House Hunters