kitchen-renovation.jpg Focusing on home improvement projects can bring fun and excitement to anyone’s life, as they get to imagine and work toward achieving the perfect living space. One type of renovation project that many households take interest in is creating an open-concept kitchen/dining room, and in order to do this, they usually have to pull out cabinets and knock down walls. What many people do not think about is where the discarded cabinetry and walls will end up, but by taking this into consideration and planning beforehand, their components do not have to end up adding to landfills. Whether you are using a contractor or knocking them out yourself, it is best to not demolish kitchen cabinets with a sledgehammer, but instead try to remove them whole if possible. By taking the time and care to do this, the cabinets can be repurposed in many ways. For example, they can make great storage areas for other parts of the house. They could also be sold on sites such as Craigslist or given to a charity. A couple of organizations that accept donations of these and other items are the Freecycle Network and Habitat for Humanity. On the other hand, if you knock down walls during a renovation project, those materials can either be recycled at drop-off recycling locations or reused in other ways. Sheetrock is a recyclable item, and you can check with a recycling center near you to see if they will accept it. Before doing this, make sure the sheetrock does not contain nails, asbestos or foreign objects and is not covered with lead paint. Unfortunately, it may be a little more difficult and pricey to find a recycling center nearby that will accept plaster from walls. However, there are resourceful and creative ways to reuse this material. Some plasterboard manufacturers recommend crushing up the offcuts and burying them in a garden to help the soil. One of the more creative ideas is adding the plaster back to the new wall to paint over for a uniquely artistic touch to your home. The best way to go about disposing of plaster is to first make sure that it does not contain lead or asbestos and then finding a purpose for it that does not include a landfill. Renovation projects are a great way to make improvements in your surroundings, but it is important to focus on doing this without being wasteful or adding toxins to our cramped landfills. With so many companies and organizations focusing on recycling household items, it is easy to find eco-friendly ideas or receive help when you do not know what to do with certain materials. If you do this, a beautiful new kitchen can come with ease of mind.