Sustainable Products to Help You Renovate Your Home
It took Bea Copeland nearly two years of blood, sweat, and tears to transform a rundown cabin-y cottage into the beloved “cabbage” she now calls home. A professional home organizer who “seeks sustainability in all things,” Bea grew up watching her architect-father work and longed for a project they could tackle together. And now, she proudly invites us to The Cabbage Dispatch, her new video series (the first episode is out!) detailing the tips and tricks that transformed the abandoned house into a thoughtfully renovated haven. So many of us take on projects at home that it seemed only natural to ask Bea about her favorite products, so that the rest of us could learn about sustainable renovations from her hard labor.
Bea is a friend of mine and I’m proud to tout my matchmaking skills, as I introduced her to Bluedot Living and I’m delighted she’s now one of our own. However, the reasons that Bea was a great fit for Bluedot made her a tough person to put at the center of a BuyBetter Newsletter. “I don’t really like online shopping,” Bea says. “I’d rather buy something at a garage sale. Or the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Or estate sales. I love estate sales.” I applaud Bea for her thrifting ways, but for every Bea, there’s at least one person who goes into a panic at the mere thought of sifting through someone else’s belongings. Regardless of how you like to shop, we’ve got ideas.
This week, we’ve rounded up some of the items that Bea found most essential in her home renovation — items that last, items that serve a valuable purpose, items that make a big project more manageable and a whole lot more pleasant. Chances are that you haven’t bought an abandoned shack on an acre of land. But you might be thinking about repainting a room, installing a new fan, or pulling out old carpet — heck, maybe you even want to try doing it yourself. Whatever your plans are around the house this summer, you’ll find something here to help. For top product picks, as well as Bea’s garage sale tips and insights into sustainable decision-making, read on.* And happy home-improving!
–Elizabeth Weinstein, Marketplace Editor
Bluedot’s (and Bea’s) Favorite Tools of the Trade
Bluedot Living’s BuyBetter Marketplace features items we believe in. When you make a purchase through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
South Carolina-based Ecos Paints has been making paint and paint products free from VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) for 35 years — a long time in an industry that has only relatively recently begun to adopt “greener” formulations. More than one Bluedot expert recommends using Ecos.
Dovetail Workwear for Women
Old jeans or leggings are fine for small chores or gardening. But for heavy duty work, duds designed for long hours of wear and tear can help keep you safe. Dovetail, a young Portland, OR-based company, makes workwear exclusively for women, who have often had to make do with ill-fitting men’s clothes.
Dewalt Power Tools
“If you’re doing a reno, you need a power drill. You must have one,” says Bea Copeland, Bluedot’s home renovation expert. She uses power tools from Dewalt, which makes everything in the USA, and has published plans to become carbon neutral and achieve zero waste to landfill by 2030.
PlanetCare Laundry Filters
Over half of all clothes being made today include plastics. Every laundry cycle, these garments shed hundreds of thousands of tiny microplastic particles that make their way into our oceans, our food supply, and our drinking water. PlanetCare makes compact filtration systems that stop microplastic pollution at the source: the washing machine. Save 10% with code BLUEDOT.
You might be able to shave a surprising amount off your household energy bill by cleaning your filters more regularly. Clogged filters make refrigerators, driers, and air conditioners work harder: an awful waste of energy. AirFilters.com has just about every household filter you could possibly need.
Envision LED Lighting
Recessed lighting gives uniform brightness to any room, and these EnVision LED's cusp disk lights are Energy Star efficient. “These are very thin and very small recessed lights,” says Bea Copeland of the home renovation series The Cabbage Dispatch. You can change the color temperature for different feels, and a translucent diffuser reduces glare.
Dewalt Folding Retractable Utility Knife
A well-made utility knife tops the list of must-have tools for any home renovator. We recommend the Dewalt Folding Retractable Utility Knife. Bea Copeland kept this little knife in her coverall pocket during her two-year-renovation (learn all about it in The Cabbage Dispatch), and it never ceased being useful.