Hilary Gibbs and Georgie Smith are the co-founders of LIVDEN Tile. Their family-owned brand (the pair are step-sisters!) utilizes upcycled post-consumer materials to create over fifty tile designs for the home.
Since so many of their clients are sustainably-minded, we knew that Hilary and Georgie would have a ton of great tips for us on green suppliers and other essentials for eco-friendly home renovations…
13 Tips For Eco-Friendly Home Renovations From Hilary + Georgie
Opt for eco-friendly + sustainable building materials. Using sustainable building materials creates a design that’s lasting. The inherent durability of eco materials leads to longer material life cycles, less material replacement, and a lower impact on the environment.
While sustainable materials might have a slightly higher price tag than their traditional equivalents, you’ll recoup that investment over time by not having to replace or repair these materials as often. Make a list of the building materials you need for your next home project. Then, do a little market research around sustainable options for those materials. Look for companies that prioritize recycled materials and work with responsible, sustainably minded manufacturers.
Here are a list of some local companies that are masking it easier for consumers to source goods in the sustainable home market:
PaperStone Countertops | PaperStone is manufactured in Washington and is used to make durable and eco-friendly countertops. All of the paper used in their products is post-consumer recycled paper and old cardboard container paper. Layers of this paper are pressed into “stone” using resin made from industrial by-products that would otherwise go into the waste stream and have been specially designed to produce a hardwood-like, highly workable, non-brittle composite panel. · Bicycle Glass Co-Minneapolis, MN (lighting)
Bicycle Glass makes beautiful pendent lighting made with 100% pre- and post-consumer recycled glass that is locally sourced. They are committed to reducing their carbon footprint by conserving energy in all their production. Using renewable wind energy to offset all electricity usage, their studio is working toward the goal of carbon neutrality.
Simbly Furniture | This innovative company has ambitions to become the world’s first climate positive furniture company. 100% of their wood comes from sustainable, FCS certified Forests. They make classic and usable furniture that is a great addition to a home.
Made Trade | This is a great source for all kinds of different home décor products. They have a stringent vetting process to make sure all of their artisan vendors align with the values of Made Trade. Each order is fair trade and carbon neutral giving you the ability to shop freely, knowing each piece has been responsibly sourced, and expertly crafted with sustainable materials.
LIVDEN Tile | Of course we have to mention ourselves! We set out to create fresh and innovative patterns in a way that utilized eco-conscious, USA manufactured materials, giving people an easy option to choose green when selecting their tile. Since the creation of LIVDEN, its mission has always been based around three things: sustainability, accessibility and originality. We partner with amazing USA-based brands to bring you the best combination of art and sustainability.
Support USA-based manufacturers that produce materials in a socially responsible manner.
Companies that adhere to corporate social responsibility and corporate sustainability prioritize our planet at every stage of production and make sure the goods we are consuming have less of an impact on our environment.
Connecting with a local manufacturer or a USA-based manufacturer can also diminish the carbon cost of doing business—less transportation means fewer emissions that can negatively impact our environment.
Start small—look in your area for local manufacturers that focus on sustainability and doing right by the planet. Call or connect with their representatives to better understand their commitment to our environment and how their sustainable manufacturing process works.
When adding lighting to your home, we recommend choosing LED light bulbs. These lights are much more efficient on your energy costs and also leave less of a carbon footprint on the environment. This is an easy switch to make.
We suggest adding solar panels to your home, which are friendlier than fossil fuel energy sources. If you live somewhere like Arizona or California, this is a great way to make your home more green by using the natural resources of the sun.
Swap in non-toxic cleaning products | Cleaning products with toxic or hash chemicals can give off volatile organic compounds that lead to air pollution and waste, affecting both indoor and outdoor air quality. Non-toxic cleaning products eliminate this negative environmental impact. Start by researching brands that specialize in non-toxic products. Then, work to accumulate a range of non-toxic cleaning products that can permanently replace your current roster of cleaning agents.
consider consignment shops when sourcing decorative accessories for your home. New doesn’t always mean better, and consignment shops are a great reminder of this. Secondhand items have one-of-a-kind character and are more eco-friendly because they do not require finite resources from our planet. Shopping second hand can also prevent items from ending up in our ever-expanding landfills. A quick Google search in your area can reveal a host of second-hand stores teeming with previously loved items.
Use drought-resistant plants to cut back on water usage if you plan on adding a garden or landscape to your home. There are plenty of colorful plants to choose from that will help during dry seasons. (Check out these edible gardens for maximum functionality.)