When it comes to eco-friendly home improvement, the garage is typically one of the last areas people think of. However, many homeowners would be surprised at just how easy it is to make a few eco-friendly replacements and watch your garage turn into the stylish and sustainable workspace you’ve always dreamed of. Here are just a few starting steps for transforming your garage into an eco-friendly space.
Organize Recycling (And Stick To A Set Routine)
Before you can make real changes to your garage, you should give it a thorough cleaning and get your recycling materials organized. If your garage is piled high to the ceiling with clutter and other unnecessary items, remember that cleaning it out isn’t an impossible feat, and there’s an easy way to clear it out so you don’t have to do the entire job in one day. To make cleaning your garage a more manageable endeavor, mark each task with an estimated time — 10 minutes, 30 minutes, or an hour. Each day do only one thing. Within 30 days, your whole garage will be uncluttered and clean. Don’t forget to donate any unwanted items before throwing them in the trash!
Once your garage is clear, you may have the room to set up a small personal recycling center. This is easier than most homeowners think and can be accomplished with minimal time and materials. Experts say delegating a biodegradable trash bag for aluminum cans and a place for paper and junk mail is enough to get the ball rolling and form a new recycling habit. Today, the world makes and consumes about 600 billion pounds of plastic yearly, and the market is still growing about 5% a year. Any effort you can take to dispose of plastic properly makes a difference in turning the Earth into a healthier and more sustainable planet.
Use The Right Project Materials
During any garage renovation projects, it’s important to use materials that are sustainable. For example, hi-lo screws have a reduced minor diameter and therefore displace less plastic material and minimize stress. These screws have a double lead high and low thread with the high thread having a 30 degree thread form that further minimizes material displacement while providing positive thread engagement. In the same realm, using fasteners such as the aforementioned microscrews and wooden pegs reduce environmental impact. Plastic sticky tabs may be useful, but they just don’t hold up — literally — to the strength of metal, nor are they environmentally friendly.
Keep Capacity In Mind
Finally, it’s important to evaluate the size of your garage and think about the capacity of projects it can withstand. As with any home renovation, it’s best to not to overbuild.
“The larger the footprint of your garage, the more resources it will consume and the more carbon will be released into the atmosphere as a result. Plan your garage to be big enough to meet your needs, and no larger. A reasonably sized garage will save you money, too, and allow more room for yard and garden,” writes ecochamber.com.
Ultimately, keeping these ideas in mind can help you transition your garage into a versatile and eco-friendly area of your home.