Getting started with affordable and sustainable home improvement projects (Interview with Matt Daigle of Rise)

Green Dreamer - Podcast on Environmental Sustainability and Regeneration
The more educated you are on any topic, the better results you’re going to get—regardless if it’s home improvement or anything else in life. The more research we can do and the more informed we can be, the more decision power we will have.

This is a conversation on Green Dreamer with Kamea Chayne, a podcast and multimedia journal illuminating our paths towards ecological balance, intersectional sustainability, and true abundance and wellness for all. This preview has been edited for clarity. Subscribe to Green Dreamer Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, or any podcast app to stay informed and updated on our latest episodes.


Matt Daigle (@matt_daigle) is the CEO and founder of Rise (@buildwithrise), the leading online authority in sustainable home improvement and a certified B Corp which has helped over one million homeowners with their home improvement projects to date.

After having renovated a few homes and having his first child, he couldn't seem to figure out how he could build or renovate in ways that would save him money and lower his environmental footprint… and so Rise was born.

In this podcast episode, Matt sheds light on why we need to be concerned and critical of the safety and sustainability of our home environments; how climate change is shifting the decisions people make in regards to their homes; some easy home improvement tips for homeowners and non-homeowners alike; and more.

To start, get a glimpse below into the conversation between Matt and Green Dreamer Podcast's host, Kamea Chayne.

On why we need to be discerning of “green” marketing claims:

"Everybody wants to be green, so over the years, a lot of companies have marketed themselves as such when it might not necessarily be the case.

Right now, I can go spin up my own label or own brand around an eco alternative or a 100% green product and put that label on my product without any real consequence from that. 

So when you see products that claim to be 100% green or that they are sustainable, really think about the word ‘sustainable’—what does it really mean?"

On how homeowners are increasingly aware of the impacts of the choices they make about their homes:

"Homeowners want more and more control over what goes into their home. It's going beyond just the aesthetics now—it's going into the walls and the nuts and bolts of what makes their house what it is.

You're getting customers and homeowners now that are more educated, that are making better buying decisions, and that are more involved with what goes into their home."

On the power of research in strengthening our decision power:

“Consumers owe it to themselves to do the research. The more educated you are on any topic, the better results you're going to get—regardless if it's home improvement or anything else in life. The more research we can do and the more informed we can be, the better decision power we will have.

On some simple sustainable home improvement tips:

"The great thing about home improvement is that there's something for every budget. There's quite a variety of things you can change to improve.

Even when you're changing the paint on the walls and looking to make your place more beautiful, make sure that you that read the labels and that you're aware of any potentially toxic chemicals that you're bringing into your home.

There are also improvements that you can do if you're not a homeowner and are leasing or renting your place.

There are a lot of things you can do to your place without necessarily investing too much in a property that's not your own—things that can definitely benefit your day-to-day life that won't cost an arm and a leg."

Final words of wisdom

“We literally have one planet and it's up to us.

You can take small steps at home that can make a world of a difference. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Be inquisitive.

Your home is probably your number one purchase you're going to make in your life, so make sure it counts and that your money is going in the right places and that you're making a difference with the environment at the same time.

Now is really the time to act.”


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