The best home environment

PA Photo/Thinkstockphotos
PA Photo/Thinkstockphotos

When renovating a property, it’s tempting to rip everything out and start from scratch - but it’s a temptation you should resist, not just for your wallet, but for the environment too.

Because new isn’t always best, especially in period properties, and with a bit of thought, there will always be things you could keep, restore and upcycle, and remember that original features, even if they’re not in mint condition, will instantly add value and character.

Filler, sandpaper and paint can transform all sorts of things that seem beyond repair.

If you do have to throw out things, be sure to recycle what you can (but don’t expect tradespeople to - on countless occasions, I’ve rescued recycling that tradesmen have binned in skips.

Local authority tips (and doorstep collections) take all sorts of things these days - some even accept paint, which should never be poured down the plughole to dispose of. Another option is Community RePaint, a Dulux-sponsored scheme that collects leftover paint for charities and voluntary and community groups to use - visit to find out more.

It does, of course, help to buy DIY tools and materials that aren’t over-packaged. Look for packaging that’s easily recyclable, such as cardboard and metal, rather than plastic, and for packaging that contains recycled content. Did you know, for example, that there’s an alternative to plastic paint trays? Website sells trays (£1.50 each) made from recycled waste material, which can be reused without being washed out.