When you hear the name “Habitat for Humanity”, what do you think? If you are like myself and I’m sure many others, you think about a nonprofit organization known for rebuilding homes. Habitat for Humanity is a Georgia based foundation focused on building energy efficient and affordable homes for those in need. They tend to build homes in run-down neighborhoods and for people who are struggling to stay afloat.

The company has decided to make the shift from building new homes to renovating already built ones. There are plenty of reasons for their big decision such as buying land is not as affordable as it used to be and renovating homes is a more sustainable way to run their business. Since, Habitat for Humanity is committed to building energy efficient homes, they are going to shift their focus on renovating new homes to make them more sustainable and eco-friendly.

Overseas, where the foundation builds the majority of its low-income housing, they are still working with the focus on rebuilding. According to the Wall Street Journal, they built 12,652 homes and renovated 4,832 homes. One of the major reasons they are still focusing on rebuilding in other countries is because it is much cheaper to do, since property value is not nearly as high.

In the United States, the numbers may seem deceiving because the organization rebuilt 3,233 homes and only renovated 1,435. However, new construction rates actually fell by 31% in the past year and from 2008 to 2014, the rates of renovations vs. rebuilding have more than doubled. The main reason is due to the high cost of land but we are happy to see that they are working with what they have.

One of the few ways Habitat for Humanity includes sustainable building practices and energy efficient methods in their homes is with the most innovative technology. They work to build homes that can run with low amounts of energy and they build all of their homes with green building techniques. They use less resources than the average builder and they continually educate their volunteers about the new ideas in green-building.

When Habitat for Humanity builds energy efficient homes, they are not just doing so for the environment but also for the residents of the homes. Energy efficient homes, keep utility bills down which is necessary for those who live in the homes built by Habitat for Humanity. They also work to create homes with healthy indoor air quality which will help the residents breathe easier as well as it reduces the possibility of pesticides and harsh chemicals from entering the homes water sources.

If you are looking to rebuild or renovate your home and you care about the impact you have on the environment, renovating is almost always the better option. It is more sustainable to use what you have than to completely start over. When homeowners choose to renovate their homes, they have the opportunity to practice sustainable methods without producing too much waste.

Take a page out of Habitat for Humanity’s book and consider renovating over rebuilding your home and do so with the environment in mind. It is not difficult to build an energy efficient home and the organization is always looking for volunteers to build their homes. Volunteering with the foundation will provide you with the education and training necessary for building or renovating a sustainable home.

Make sure to use recycled materials when you rebuild or renovate your home. You can stop by a Habitat for Humanity ReStore to collect any necessary equipment or materials you need to renovate your home. Also, don’t forget to donate your leftover supplies when you finish your project. If you’re in the business of rebuilding or renovating, give Budget Dumpster a call. We offer a wide variety of dumpster rentals for homeowners and contractors.