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Is Your Home Reno Harming the Environment?

We’ve all seen it, eager homeowners and contractors on our favourite home renovation shows giddily looking forward to “demo day”. This of course is when they smash and trash a room or even the majority of a house in preparation for their renovation. In the process, what we also see is a ton of perfectly usable materials going into the trash bin. Things like glass, wood, cabinets, and even the kitchen sink all bound for the landfills.

While much of what we see on TV is exaggerated for the sake a drama, the reality is that home renovations do contribute to a significant amount of garbage. In fact, Greening Homes –a Toronto-based green home renovations firm has suggested that 88% of all construction waste in Ontario ends up in the landfill.

As a homeowner, there are steps that you can take to keep as much construction waste from your next projects out of the landfills.

  1. Work with an Environmentally Conscious Builder

The best way to reduce the waste generated by your home renovation project is to work with a “green” builder or contractor. When the person or company spearheading your project has a work ethic that focuses on sustainability it will make your efforts to reuse, donate, and recycle much easier.

When searching for a contractor, don’t limit your hunt to contractors who specifically advertise that they are green. Many renovation experts believe in using sustainable work practices. Simply, ensure that you include questions about green practices when interviewing potential contractors for your project.

  1. Reuse as Much as Possible

Home renovations can generate numerous building materials, furniture and other items that can be reused in your home. Whether you opt to paint your cabinets or save the cabinet boxes, move an old chandelier from the dining room to a bathroom or child’s room, or even repurpose wood, bricks, and other materials, don’t lose it, reuse it. You’ll save money on your project and help keep materials out of the landfills.

  1. Donate to Habitat for Humanity Restore (or a similar organization)

If you have no plans to reuse things like furniture, lighting, bathroom fixtures or cabinets, contact an organization like Habitat for Humanity Restore. You can donate these items rather than throwing them out. Funds generated by the sale of your items will be used for local Habitat for Humanity building projects.


Searching for a contractor for your next home renovation project? Be sure to browse the listings of local building contractors in your area, here on

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