The renovator’s part in the ‘War on Waste’

Many of us recently saw ABC TV’s ‘ War on Waste’ which showed us the huge amount of waste produced in Australia. Our waste is growing at double the rate of our population with 52 mega tonnes generated a year (or approximately 2 tonnes for every person in Australia), a huge impact on our environment.

Back in the 1960s Australians were considered amongst the best in the world in dealing with waste and started many recycling programs. However, we’re now one of the most wasteful nations in the world with millions of tonnes of food, clothes, packaging, electronics and household items sent to the tip every year.

We’re all consumers and fall for the marketing of new, better products – so the most common way is ‘out with the old and in with the new’. A home renovation can first seem exactly that – throw away everything that’s old and replace it with something new – it’s what the word ‘renovation’ means.

But it doesn’t all need to be new when renovating a home – there are many ways to re-use what already exists. Old wooden windows, for example, can be stripped back, repaired, draught sealed and re-glazed with improved glass so that they’re better than new. The wood used when constructing houses 50 to 100 years ago was far superior to the wood used in making new wooden sash windows. Repairing the wood, servicing mechanisms, adding discrete draught seals and new energy efficient glass will make an old wooden window like a new one and you save the character of your home. The brush seals ease the opening and closing of the window and keep out draughts, dust, rattles and some road noise.

If you’re renovating, take a visit to your local tip shop and just have a look at what people throw away that could in fact be used. Guaranteed there will be some wooden sash windows that just need some love and attention from a wooden window expert.

Re-use is just one of the ways the home renovator can help in the war on waste.