During a renovation project, we often have a tendency to throw away absolutely everything. From skirting boards to flooring to bathtubs, you name it - it all goes into a skip. Even if it's in perfectly good condition. Where does all this stuff go? Through a costly process of going through said waste, recycling anything that can be, and then chucking the rest deep underground, which is something that is most definitely not environmentally friendly. A teeny bit of irony for any renovation project on a mission to create an eco-friendly home!
DIY and construction waste makes up over 30% of all waste that goes to landfill. That's a pretty large percentage, don't you think? Half the job of a renovation is ripping everything apart. From floors to the ceiling - it kind of begins to make sense. But does everything that end up in a skip, need to actually be there?
Last year, whilst on a casual walk, I spotted FOUR Victorian fireplaces that were literally about to be chucked into a skip a few roads from our home (read the full story here!). It was a case of just being at the right place at the right time and I was so very lucky to save them from their terrible fate and they're now sat proudly in my hallway whilst I decide what to do with them next! But sadly these kind of things are chucked out every day (even though, you'd have thought the days of ripping out period features of a Victorian home were long gone!!!!). Old doors that need swapping for fire-doors are chucked, bathtubs that aren't quite to taste, even perfectly good kitchens are often given the hammer to make way for something even better. Yet these are all things that could be perfectly usable in the right situation (even parts of dated kitchens are often sought after for garages!).
And if it's not waste we're removing from a home - how about leftover materials too? Spare sheets of plasterboard, insulation, odd cuts of timber, paving slabs, bricks... All stuff that could maybe be re-used, by the right person that is. Well, one man's rubbish is another man's treasure, as they say!
Enviromate an online marketplace on a mission to cut down DIY and construction waste through the idea of selling, gifting and reusing. It's a marketplace specific for selling and giving away anything and everything used in the DIY and trade world. It means things can be recycled, re-used, even potentially up-cycled and definitely not thrown away. There's the opportunity to make money as well if you feel like getting some cash back; and because it's a specific marketplace, you'll know you're selling to the right target audience of DIYers, renovators and tradespeople who will actually be interested. Ever felt a bit stupid listing "leftover underlay" on other sites? I know I have! No such embarrassment here. It's a great way to free up room in a garage or shed if you're just "holding on" to these leftover materials as well. We're all guilty of that one, right? You'd be surprised at how many people are interested in even things like scrap wood - great for kindling in a log burner or making cheap up-cycled furniture (leftover tiles for a table, anybody?). Which by the way, could become a fab business venture if you're feeling creative!
Obviously you can use it as a way to source out cheap materials for your own renovations too, which is a huge bonus for anyone on a strict budget, like ourselves. We've in fact, managed to go second-hand throughout many areas of our home renovation. From skinny internal French doors to scrap pallets which I made our garden furniture AND garden screen out of! We've also relieved someone of their leftover loft insulation as well, which cost us absolutely nothing! Can you get better than that? Sometimes in a renovation, we feel as though everything has to be brand new. But I think reusing materials is such a great way to build and renovate a home. And, unlike other online marketplaces, if you were to just "browse" through items locally to see if anything takes your fancy, you'd end up scrolling through pages of nonsense with no relevance to yourself; My Little Pony books and dollshouse furniture are the first to pop up in our area! But not a problem on Enviromate - it's all completely DIY.
One of my personal favourites things about recycling materials is that you're also able to cut down on skip hire too! This is something we've never had to pay for. Even when we had a wall knocked down between our kitchen and dining room - instead of chucking all the bricks straight into a skip, we managed to gift away almost every single brick. Not only did we save money from not actually having a skip (which would have been over £100!) it also saved our backs from hauling through endless bricks. And the rubble we did have leftover, we managed to dispose of through the recycling centre in just a few car journeys instead! Sadly, I don't think there's much hope for gifting away rubble, unless you get really lucky! But I also really love the idea that a part of our house is now a part of someone else's home (or in this case, garden) and the bricks have a new chapter in their life. If that's not too weirdly sentimental of me....
Reducing your renovation/DIY waste can not only benefit yourselves and others financially, but you're also helping the planet. We all know that landfill creates pollution through harmful chemicals and gasses, destroys habitats and it generally just has a bad effect on the world we live in. We've swapped plastic carrier bags for reusable ones, recycle card, paper and glass bottles, created compost bins for leftover food waste - all helping. But, in DIY and renovating it's easy to forget that the materials we throw away can be recycled just as paper, card and glass - just in a different way. Reducing this waste and helping the planet, is the main mission of Enviromate. I think it's a fantastic one and something all DIYers and Renovators can do something to help with!
So I'd love to know whether you recycle and reuse any of your DIY waste and if you have any up-cycling ingenuities to share that you've made from (what could have been) waste?