Sustainable building and green renovation are great ways to improve your own health, and the health of the environment. Not to mention they’re pragmatic ways for you to save money on energy bills, water bills, and more. As mentioned in 6 Green Building Myths Squashed, you can make any home more sustainable. But what if your home is over a hundred years old? Those charming homes often have creaks, nooks and crannies that- in all of their enchantment- are strikes against home sustainability. Carolyn Sperry states in her article on green renovations for old homes, “It’s more challenging to make major changes without compromising the structure’s unique period features… but green living and preserving a historic home don’t have to be mutually exclusive.” Here are 7 tips for green renovations in older homes:

  1. Replace old windows with energy efficient windows
  2. Seal windows, doors, and outlets
  3. Insulate pipes, ducts, attic floors, and basement ceilings
  4. Inspect paints, replace dangerous chemical paint walls with no-VOC paints
  5. Use water-based stains, water-based adhesives, and recycled wall paper
  6. Use local products and sustainable products, ie; sustainable harvested wood, recycled  linoleum, and local stone
  7. Replace old hardware and fixtures with water-saving models

These green renovations will leave the structure of your old home intact, but improve the energy efficiency overall. You also have the option of installing or improving wall insulation, however this can “compromise period features and permanently alter the home”. No matter the age or condition of a home, there are always options for improving the efficiency and over all sustainability.