green home renovation

Green Home Renovation: How to Source Eco-Friendly Materials

Renovating your home can be exciting, providing you with a blank canvas to put your stamp on. 

But, it’s important to remember how much of an impact renovating your home can have on your carbon footprint. 

After all, approximately two billion tonnes of global waste is generated annually, with 33% not disposed of in an eco-friendly way. 

Therefore, when renovating your home, it’s essential to be cautious about your impact on the planet. 

One of the best ways to do that is by sourcing sustainable materials for your home’s remodel

You can use many eco-friendly materials to shape your green home renovation, including bamboo, recycled steel or sheep’s wool. So, where do you find them? Read on to find out. 

living room with eco materials furnitures

What Makes a Material Eco-Friendly? 

Sourcing suitable eco-friendly materials for your home’s renovation can be tricky. But it can be even harder to identify which materials are sustainable in the first place. 

To do this most effectively, ask yourself a few key questions when considering which types of material to use. These questions might include: 

  • What is the material made of? Is it comprised of recycled materials? Have toxic substances been used in its manufacture? 
  • How much of a carbon footprint will it have? Can it be locally sourced? Or will using it involve a long delivery route? 
  • Does it use unnecessary excess packaging, and does disposing of it create pollution, or can you recycle the materials? 
  • How durable is the material? Can it be recycled later on? 
old looking wood finished bathroom

Just because some materials may seem sustainable from one perspective doesn’t mean they are from another. Take timber wood fencing, for example. 

While you may think wooden fences are sustainable, creating these panels can significantly contribute to deforestation. 

Furthermore, once you install these fences, they require regular treatment with potentially harmful stains and chemicals due to their susceptibility to rotting. 

Bison Composite Fencing fencing uses powder-coated aluminium posts that won’t twist or warp like timber posts, making the system far more robust and able to withstand all elements better than traditional timber fencing.

Where to Find Sustainable Materials

For a material to be eco-friendly, it needs to be natural, durable, reusable and recyclable – or already recycled – in its composition while also being sourced locally. 

However, while this may sound incredibly specific, finding sustainable materials like this is much easier than you think – especially in 2023. 

While eco-friendly homes were once considered a fad, the importance of sustainable living has recently become a significant issue, leading to many suppliers stocking a vast range of eco-friendly materials. 

The Swedish behemoth IKEA, for example, is well-known for its approach to sustainability. Not only do they choose renewable, recycled or recyclable materials within their manufacturing processes, but they also use cotton and plastic reused from their recycled products. 

But they’re not the only ones. New construction projects are now regulated to ensure builders follow sustainable best practices.

two workers using table and hand saw to cut plank of wood

So when purchasing building materials for your next big renovation project, it’s fair to assume that the retailers sustainably sourced much of it. 

However, that’s not to say there aren’t some alternative routes you can use when sourcing sustainable materials. Here are some other great ideas: 

  • Buy Second-Hand Goods. Websites like eBay, Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree all offer great ways of sourcing eco-friendly materials. While it may take a bit of shopping around, buying leftover products or upcycled furniture allows you to source local materials while saving money. 
  • Shop Online. There may be a temptation to visit brick-and-mortar stores, but shopping online has been shown to use approximately 35% less energy and carbon emissions. Therefore, try to shop online and get your materials delivered where possible.  
  • Visit Recycle Centres & Scrapyards. As mentioned above, landfill waste is fast becoming a major global issue. So, why not visit your local recycling centre or scrapyard?
  • Head to a Farm. While it may sound like a wacky idea, farms offer a lot of eco-friendly materials ready for use in a sustainable renovation. For example, sheep wool is excellent for adding insulation, while reused soil can help create a berm to block noise from nearby roads. 

Final Thoughts – Green Home Renovation

Sourcing sustainable materials for your home renovation helps the environment and can save you a ton of money. 

Remember to think carefully about the materials you use in your next home renovation project. Taking the time to question the environmental impact of each material will ensure you’re putting sustainability at the heart of your home’s redesign.