The following is an old blog post that has been updated with newly written material from our new contributor Chris Northcolt.

Eco-Friendly Renovation Tips for Your Condo

 

If you are thinking of renovating your Boston downtown condo, maybe it’s also time to consider including some eco-friendly changes. By choosing green alternatives, you are not only helping the environment but also your condo and your health.
Whether you have a complex project in mind or only some small changes, here are some eco-friendly renovation tips for your Boston condo.

Improve insulation for better energy efficiency

Insulation is one of the most important elements of a functional and properly maintained condo, even though it is often overlooked by condo owners. A deteriorated insulation means that there are constant temperature fluctuations inside your condo.
One of the main objectives of an eco-friendly renovation is to save energy. That is why it’s a good idea to rethink your insulation system and to choose a more efficient alternative. The good news is that you can now choose from a variety of products that are designed for a minimal impact on the environment.
Spray-foam insulation is more effective than standard products, which makes your condo more energy efficient. Plus, it also absorbs noise from the outside.

Remove toxic chemical cleaning products 

Before and after renovating your Boston condo, cleaning and pest control are essential steps that usually involve using strong chemical products. However, there are more and more non-toxic cleaning products available on the market that are just as effective. Standard ones can be dangerous for your health over time and they can be toxic for your pets.
The top solutions against spiders, roaches, and other types of intruders need to be safe for you, your pets, and the environment. Using eco-friendly products inside your condo makes it a safe haven for your family.

Try green alternatives to building materials

Whether you are renovating your kitchen, your bathroom, or all the floors inside your condo, you can try using eco-friendly building materials. These new generation materials are much more sustainable than traditional ones. Bamboo, for example, is more sustainable than wood, but it is also very durable and resistant and it is a great choice for floors.
You can be even more creative and decide to include a green wall inside your condo. Green walls are made from special bricks, that is made only of natural ingredients and that allow plants to grow on their surface. This way, you will not only add an interesting element to your decor, but you will also enjoy cleaner air.

Include elements that help conserve water

Another objective of eco-friendly renovations is to minimize water consumption as much as possible since water is one of the natural resources that is being overexploited. You can help conserve water even on a small scale, in your condo. First of all, you need to fix any kind of problem that leads to unnecessary water consumption.
After fixing any dripping faucet or leak that you might have, you can introduce elements that are designed for water conservation, such as low-flow toilets. Also, if it is possible, you can use collection tanks for rainwater.

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Origuinal Boston real estate blog post

 

Having an eco-friendly Boston condo seems like an idea we should all strive for. As a Bostonian I enjoy the outdoors, and do my best to take care of the environment, but sometimes when it comes to living in my Boston condo I’m not quite sure how to make a substantial change. The truth is, I can’t install solar panels or wind turbines-I think the Beacon Hill condo association would have a hard time with that. But here is a few things we can all do:

Change your Lightbulbs!

LED lighting uses significantly less energy, and produces light levels comparable to traditional lighting. LED bulbs have a lifespan of 50,000 hours, and only use 10 watts of energy. Installing LED lighting in your home is a quick and easy way to make a big change in terms of efficiency, and cost.

Water Conservation

Turning off the water in the sink while you brush your teeth, and trying to take shorter showers are both good ways to conserve water, but investing in eco-friendly low-flow toilets, and tankless water heaters are even better. Eco-friendly toilets use-less that one gallon of water to flush, and for an average 3-bedroom home, that can save you 6,000 to 9,000 gallons of water annually. Tankless water heaters only heat water on demand and are therefore 34% more efficient than traditional water heaters. You can even use rain collection barrels to collect rainwater as an alternative source of water for your yard.

For those who live in a single-family home, the chart below lists more ideas you can implement.

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