Greener Renovations and Resolutions

Confession: I have been a pretty lax greenie lately. Between holidays, vacation, and just the general malaise of pregnancy, I have found myself tossing Starbucks cups in convenient trash cans. But I am resolving to be better in 2013.

And this is a year of great change. The first step is converting my beloved office space into a hybrid office/toddler bedroom. I’ll lose a bit of the glory of having a proper private home office space, but let’s face it – I do most of my work from the kitchen table and my assistants work from home.

The first step was removing one of the greenest items in my house – but how green is an item if you have never used it? The previous owners of this home installed a lovely wood stove on the top floor, which is absolutely freezing in the winter due to lack of insulation. But we have never used it, partly because I have an irrational fear of fire. I’ve never been in a fire or even burned by a match, but every time I start my gas stove I stand back and brace myself. So we’ve donated this beautiful and efficient heater to a new home, courtesy of Craigslist.

The next order of business is finding a way to warm this room up so it can actually be slept in. I researched eco-friendly insulation options from recycled denim to greener foams, but ended up enlisting a company that does cellulose insulation. Cellulose is made of 80% post-consumer recycled newsprint. The fiber is chemically treated with non-toxic borate compounds to resist fire, insects and mold. Cellulose also earns “green” points because it requires less energy than fiberglass to manufacture. The price was not crazy and we are hoping to recoop in energy savings in a couple of years.

We also installed thermal backed curtains to keep out the heat and cold as well as an incredibly un-energy efficient electric heater which we are hoping we won’t have to make too much use of.

We’re pretty much killing the aesthetic of the cool ceilings in this place but it was either that or stick a screaming newborn and screaming preschooler together to duke it out. I think we are making the right choice…


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