EnviroCitizen.org has found that home reconstruction and renovation contributes to a huge percentage of our usage of natural resources. This includes materials like glass, wood, bricks, concrete and even in petroleum. Good stewardship of what nature has given us is considered as the most immediate and long-term strategy that can help us save money, improve our health and life quality. Moreover, it can prevent possible problems such as carbon emission which has a big impact on climate change. It also adds to our already growing refuse centers for solid wastes.
The efficient usage of natural resources is vital to both green construction and reconstruction. Reusing, reducing and recycling most of the materials saved from a reconstruction project are very valuable. It is also easy to achieve. This is possible by salvaging lumbers from that project, using aggregates saved from the crushed concrete and grinding scraps to be used as soil amendments.
What's the proper way to reduce reconstruction waste?
Instead of completely demolishing your home or building, you can just deconstruct it in order to reduce reconstruction wastes. This way, you can still salvage floors, building walls, roofs and other materials for recycling or reusing. Demolishing a structure involves knocking down a building and these materials are either thrown to the landfill or recycled. If you deconstruct the building structure, you will only carefully dismantle portions of the structure and remove its contents for re-usage. It is as simple and easy as stripping out the fixtures, cabinetry, windows and doors or as extensive as taking apart the frame of the building.
Every year, 17% of the homes and 12% of the buildings in the U.S. are being subjected to reconstruction and renovation due to old age. According to the Statewide Waste Characterization Study conducted in California in 2004, 22% of waste is from demolition and construction materials. Thus, waste reduction is really something to consider when it comes to remodeling, reconstructing or renovating a home.
Many construction materials such as drywall, lumber, brick, metals, plastic, carpet, rocks, pipes and paper, dirt as well as green waste or cardboard can be recycled or reused. However, with demolition, only metals can be recycled. The rest unnecessarily goes to a landfill.
Why do we need waste reduction?
Waste reduction contributes to the conservation of energy and natural resources; to the reduction of soil, water as well as air pollution; and most of all, it helps us save money. If you don't have any idea on how you can do this, there are many online sources that can provide both financial and technical assistance.
Thus, through the available assistance you can get and through careful planning, recycling and reusing of construction materials is the most economical and practical way to help the environment. Practicing practicality and sustainability are also good ways to showing that you are indeed a good steward of what nature has given you. EnviroCitizen.org encourages you to research these and other green ways in which you can reduce demolition and reconstruction waste if you rebuild or demolish your home.