We have just started a small renovation at home, which has exposed the finer details of building that I hadn’t before considered. Let me begin this post by saying I am fully aware that I may be overthinking things!

We renovated our bathroom a year ago and it happened really quickly, from a quote to demolition one week later.  I didn’t get the opportunity to think through how I wanted the process to go from both an environmental and healthy product perspective.  I remember walking in to see cans of foam that were being sprayed under the bath to hold it in place and wondering what is that made of??? It was a real eye opener for me and I was determined this time around to be involved in product selection.

The laboratory work I did when study environmental science has increased my awareness of the hazards attached to even the most common chemicals you would see in your house.  This along with a lengthy bout of ill health in my 20s, which increased my systems sensitivity to products, influences the choices I make when purchasing and using products.

This project has several challenges; a small budget, a desire to be as environmentally minded as we can, in addition to a focus on using products I was comfortable with my children being exposed to. 

Given the small scale and budget of the project we are restricted to what we can do environmentally, it is our intention to install solar panels at a later date. Our main focus has been utilising as many recycled products as possible, particularly in the kitchen.  I am getting the sense that our kitchen is going to be a massive fail or win and at this stage I have no idea which it will be.  We wanted to maintain the integrity of the house, which is a cottage, so instead of ripping out the old woodstove fireplace which would have made much more sense we decided to open it up.  This is financially risky for us as it would mean an additional expense of re plastering if the fireplace was a flop.

We have listed useable items on eBay not as ...

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