Sustainable Materials 101
Over time our houses inevitably suffer some wear and tear, requiring updates and renovations. Rather than opting for brand new building and renovation supplies without considering the environmental footprint these products leave, think about using products that are made from sustainable materials. Environmentally friendly supplies won’t just help the environment; they’ll save you on long-term spending.
Made up of either recycled or easy-to-harvest elements, these goods are completely renewable and reusable. The most common ecological resources used in home improvement, renovation, remodeling, and DIY projects include timber, plastic, concrete, glass, and stone.
If you’re planning a renovation or remodeling project, consider using eco-friendly products, as they can change your environmental impact from negative to positive. Because these resources are naturally abundant, they can be used for your home improvement projects without any risk of their availability being reduced in the future when touch ups are needed.
Most of these products are produced using naturally plentiful components that require little energy or struggle to get ahold of. As the “Go-Green” movement has grown, home renovation outlets have started to stock more construction and household products made from recycled elements. Visit your local home improvement store, and speak with a representative about your plans to find the best sustainable materials for the job.
Before beginning any DIY improvement or remodeling plans, take some time to research eco-friendly product ideas to find the best solutions for completing your renovation project. You can search online or check your local directory for products and services near your home. With the increase in popularity in using sustainable materials, there are sure to be lots of companies in your area that can help. You will be amazed at what is out there and how you can reduce your environmental footprint.
Sustainable Wood Products
Although wood is a renewable resource, there is only a finite amount on this planet, and it is being consumed at an alarming rate. If you’re using wood from a supply outlet in your DIY projects, be sure to choose products that have been harvested from a forest that is managed responsibly. Responsible harvesting practices include planting new trees for each tree that has been cut down and transported.
Made from bamboo trees, these sustainable materials are a great eco-friendly choice as they are a strong, fast-growing resource. Bamboo trees are just as strong as maple trees, but they grow to maturity in only three years, requiring less water and nutrients than other species. Because of their unique growth and survival requirements, they are easy to plant, harvest, and replant, making them a great choice for the ecological consumer.
Other homeowners and contractors who prefer to use sustainable materials will choose reclaimed wood items such as old pallets or furniture for projects. While shiny and new may seem to be latest the trend, reclaimed materials bring a sense of charm to your décor and are becoming more popular. Instead of buying new wood to cut down and shape for your project, consider refurbishing old wooden items or taking them apart to make smaller pieces.
Reclaimed wood is a particularly good option for floors, walls, and countertops. Boards from old barns are a fantastic source for reclaimed wood, as the weathered patina on the boards can add warmth and character to any home space.
Minimal Energy Products
Sustainable materials such as LED light bulbs are fantastic for homeowners because they can be bought completely new and unused while still reducing energy costs and negative environmental impacts. LED bulbs use less energy to illuminate your home than incandescent or fluorescent bulbs, so you should always use them on any DIY lighting projects to reduce your monthly utility bills.
When renovating your bathroom, kitchen, and utility rooms, you should look for reduced flow faucets or toilets, which help reduce the amount of water you are using and save your water costs.
Most people don’t think about synthetic products as being sustainable materials because they are often produced, used, and discarded. However, you can actually keep these products from being wasted and discarded into landfills by upcycling them in your DIY projects.
For example, repurposing old or broken glass can be a great option for your kitchen or bathroom. The glass used to produce countertops and other products would typically be sent to a landfill upon removal, but instead of throwing away the glass, many companies and homeowners are recycling it to use the old pieces in beautiful new products
Habitat for Humanity is one of many organizations that offer a wide selection of pre-owned building resources. These are wonderful, budget-friendly options for sustainable materials that you can use to make changes to your home. Search online to find one a retailer near you.
Salvage and Antique Materials
Salvage yards and antique shops are terrific spots for finding fixtures for your projects. Wood, bricks, windows, and flooring can all be salvaged and recycled for your home project, so look online for local salvage suppliers. Repurposing items can provide your home with a unique sense of charm and can reduce your renovation or home project costs.