The attached picture is of our home in Newfoundland. We completely gutted the house and went from the old two-storey to a one-storey. The reason it fits into your Green Challenge is that we did the work ourselves – thank goodness my partner is very handy – and we took the two-storey down piece by piece and reused what we were able to reuse in the rebuilding of the smaller home. The original house was over 60 years old and was very solid in its frame so we were able to keep the double sheeted walls. This creates an air flow in the walls of the house, keeping it dry, which is why it was in such good shape frame wise. We chose to insulate on the inside of the wall before applying the gyproc, thus maintaining the air flow. It had two very large brick chimneys that we basically took down brick for brick and plan on reusing as paths in the gardens this year when we start the landscaping. We also reused the old pine doors and made beautiful windowsills, door facings and window valances. We insulated the attic to beyond the standards required, put in all energy-efficient plumbing with separate shut-offs. We have also switched all our bulbs over to compact fluorescent bulbs. There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words and I have many pictures of this endeavour from start to finish, many that would show just how far we went in saving and reusing everything we could. In doing that I feel we still have a bit of the history of the old house in the newer house. I'm so very proud of what we did and doing it here in outport Newfoundland where there isn't any real reduce, reuse, recycle program, we were a strange sight in town, not only did we do it but saved quite a few trees in the process.
Thanks to Elizabeth for sending in her story. Elizabeth wins a collection of products from Aveda worth $200, including the following: • Smooth Infusion Conditioner • Smooth Infusion Shampoo • Hand Relief • Petal Essence Face Accents • Nourish-Mint lipstick • Pure Abundance Volumizing Hair Spray • Rosemary Mint Shampoo • Rosemary Mint Conditioner • Tourmaline Charged Radiance Fluid • Aveda canvas tote bag Today's code word: reuse Read more: • Make your reno eco-friendly • How to improve indoor air quality • How to plant a tree