Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have spent a rumoured £3 million on renovations to Frogmore Cottage, their new home in Windsor, and reports suggest that the environmentally conscious couple have made eco-friendly choices wherever possible. Here's how to have a stylish home renovation without sacrificing your eco credentials:
Written by Wesley Muchimwe | 10th April 2019
Going Green: Eco-friendly Home Renovations
A lick of paint is a fail-safe way to refresh tired walls, but the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in paint are damaging to the environment and can cause dizziness, nausea, and headaches. Most big building supply stores now offer low-VOC or no VOC paints, but double check the label, especially when painting a child’s bedroom. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have gone one step further and painted their baby’s nursery with The Organic & Natural Paint Co’s non-toxic and eco-friendly vegan paint, infused with rosemary and eucalyptus oils which help cleanse and purify the air. Some house paints use casein - a protein derived from milk - or beeswax as a binding agent and many use ingredients that have been tested on animals. Vegan paints avoid these products and do not use animal testing.
Any green interior material must be durable. The longer a product lasts, the less sourcing, extracting and transportation of more materials is needed. Tiles are a great solution for the eco-interior designer. Natural, high-quality stone tiles from sustainable quarries are the most environmentally-friendly choice of all as they last for years with little maintenance. If you’re choosing a wood floor, check that the wood is sustainably harvested and made with non-toxic adhesives and finishes.
40% of the energy used in a typical home goes on heating so if you’re building a new house or renovating, now is the time to invest in a heating system that saves money as well as fossil fuels. Harry and Meghan have reportedly spent £50,000 on a green boiler at Frogmore Cottage, but you don’t have to spend that much to cut your bills and reduce your consumption of fossil fuels. Look into ground source air pumps or air source heat pumps which work by extracting heat from the ground or air outside your home and using it for radiators or underfloor heating. If you’re investing in a boiler, Biomass boilers are the cheapest boiler to run and the heat they produce is carbon neutral.
One of the saddest sights for anyone who hates waste and cares about the planet is a skip full of kitchen units and granite worktops, all being ditched in favour of the hot new trend. Why not contact a supplier who will take the old kitchen away in part exchange for a new one at a fraction of the retail price? The Used Kitchen Company (slogan, Skip the Skip) is the original and largest online market place for used and ex-display kitchens. Check out their website to find designer kitchens at a fraction of the retail price and with appliances often included.
Home appliances are energy devouring monsters racking up the bills to prove it, so a renovation is the perfect time to consider eco-friendly replacements for the ones you use the most. Focus on upgrades that are both financially and environmentally efficient; an eco-washing machine will slash your bills and reduce environmental damage in the process. Now is also a good time to contact your local water provider to find out more about water saving devices, like water efficient shower heads, which are often provided free of charge.
Do you have any other tips or suggestions on how to renovate your home in a more sustainable way? Please let us know via our social channels and for Michael Graham homes on the market to buy or to rent, have a look at our property pages starting with the three eco-friendly houses below.