No, we are not suggesting that you change your color scheme to green!
But here are some practical ways that your remodel or new-addition can be more eco-friendly:
Naturally, as with any remodel or new-addition, going more green involves planning. When choosing a contractor you will want to find out how conscientious they are about Eco-friendly projects. Seriously, ask them what they do with the materials that are to be disposed of. If you are doing your own disposing, be sure to consider what you will do with those materials, can you reuse? Or what about re-purposing some of the "trash" - Something else to consider about your contractor, they should be quite knowledgeable about the materials that you have chosen to use and know how environmentally friendly (or not) they happen to be.
When it comes to making the right choice of materials though, what then? You obviously will want something that is cost-effective, eco-friendly and aesthetic to the project. Finding that combination can be challenging.
Things to keep in mind, Linoleum made from linseed oil is over-all more environmentally friendly than its counter-part, vinyl. In fact Greenpeace expresses that vinyl is the most harmful plastic there is to be used in home construction projects.
When choosing a paint, look for non-volatile organic compounds (VOC) - these paints are available and far more eco-friendly. Plus, you can even use low or no- VOC sealers and chaulks! If you have a contractor doing the work for you, ask them if they use these greener materials.
When it comes to flooring, think green on the level of not only the environment, but also the over-all health of your household and go for cork, bamboo or reclaimed wood instead of carpet or hardwood. The obvious benefit of no-carpet, sans the dust mites and build-up of fibers, you can find beautiful choices in reclaimed wood, eliminating the need to produce more flooring when there is so much already out there. When considering the cork or bamboo options remember that these woods regrow a lot more quickly than the standard wood flooring materials. If you do choose carpet, look for products with the certification by the Carpet and Rug Institute's Green Label and Green Label Plus programs because they have low-VOC emissions.
Whether you are doing it yourself or you have a contractor, just remember to do a little research, ask the questions and plan, plan, plan!
Pic thanks to: http://www.color-wheel-artist.com/meanings-of-green.html