Making an older home more eco-friendly can be challenging and expensive. Especially if the structure was built at a time when individuals weren't concerned about preservation or using the most natural resources. It can be more desirable to convert an older home into a green home than rip it down. Many homeowners want to reduce their carbon footprint. With the right window treatments, wall paint and furnishings, you can rest assured you're doing your part to help the planet, regardless of where you live. Here are some key tips on how to revamp certain areas of your old home and make them as environmentally-friendly as possible.

Paint your walls with low-VOC paint
Indoor air is three times more polluted than outdoor air, and according to the EPA, is considered one of the top 5 hazards to human health. Paints and finishes are among the leading causes. When repainting your older home, use low volatile organic compound (VOC) or ZERO VOC paint. Low VOC and ZERO VOC paints create less emissions that can do harm to the environment, plus you will reduce the chances of inhaling toxic fumes during the painting process. These paints are durable, cost-effective and better for humans and environmental health. 

Recycled flooring
Natural and recycled flooring materials can be beautiful and more durable than more traditional flooring options. They're made from clean renewable sources and reuse materials that otherwise might have been landfilled. Such products have little or no VOC emissions, unlike many traditional types of flooring and their associated binders, adhesives and sealants. Natural products include bamboo, cork, and natural-fiber carpeting. Recycled products include reclaimed wood, carpet tiles, premium rubber flooring, antique brick and stone, and terrazzo. All of these materials offer a beautiful look with minimal impact on the environment.

From Southern Hospitality

Eco-friendly window treatments
These days, it's easy to find items composed of recycled materials to use around the house. When it comes to your windows, consider investing in bamboo shades. Bamboo is a rapidly renewing resource and one of the hardest raw materials used for window treatments. Bamboo shades are also more cost-effective compared to typical window shades. Since bamboo is durable, you will have to worry less about spending more money to replace broken window treatments. Lastly, bamboo can provide just as much control over natural light and satisfaction on your windows as other varieties.

From Apartment Therapy

Reuse furniture

Some of your favorite pieces in your home can come from unexpected places. When shopping for new furniture, you don't have to go to a high-end interior design store to find pieces that you'll love. Thrift shops and secondhand stores offer fantastic finds at reasonable prices. Everything from cocktail tables to bed frames to lamp shades can be found at these locations at a fraction of the price. In addition, beautiful furniture can also be passed down from friends and family. When you feel that these items are beginning to wear out their welcome, refresh with new upholstery or a new coat of paint. Everyone old is new again!

Invest in long-lasting furnishings
Another way to ensure you're not using more than necessary and living green is to invest in furniture that will last you for years to come. This will limit the need to purchase more items in the future, reducing your waste and helping you be more eco-friendly.

Whether you want to completely remodel your old home or you're looking to revamp just a few rooms, these tips can help you go green. In the end, you'll be happier that you looked at your options and made the extra effort to live a greener lifestyle. Be kind to our planet!