We know that we need to reduce the amount of garbage that we create and that we must try to avoid overconsumption and wasted resources. So how do we apply that to renovations? How can we reduce the environmental footprint of our renovations?
Reducing at the source does not equate with stagnation. Quite the contrary, in fact. It is through reduction that we can seize the opportunities to recover, reuse and repurpose materials. Here’s how you can apply these principles to your construction materials and renovation projects.
Anything in good condition generally lends itself well to being recovered and reused. This is particularly true of high-quality raw materials, which can sometimes even be reused multiple times. Wood, brick, concrete and other building materials can generally be recovered and given a second life. Here are some useful resources for either finding or selling recycled construction materials:
- Reuse of construction materials
- Managing and recovering construction waste
- Construction, renovation and demolition waste sorting centres
- Purchasing recovered construction materials
Take a circular economy approach to construction
From design right through to the building phase, your renovation activities can be more environmentally responsible if you integrate the principles of circularity. The linear economy is based on extraction, production, consumption and disposal. The circular economy, on the other hand, proposes reduction at source, more durable goods and reuse in order to shrink our environmental footprint.
For your renovation project, could you for example, use second hand materials? Could you save and sell any of the materials that you no longer need?
Focus on local initiatives
We can also encourage the local economy with our green renovation goals. Environmentally responsible construction is not only about making efficient and strategic use of materials, but also about consulting the right experts and services to carry out the projects. Fortunately, there is no shortage of these experts in Quebec! In addition to the resources listed above, there are numerous citizen initiatives, such as ÉcoRéno.
ÉcoRéno’s mission is to encourage the reuse of materials in order to reduce the environmental footprint of the construction industry, while at the same time preserving our built heritage and making our communities more resilient from a socioeconomic standpoint.