As we have become more concerned with reducing our carbon footprint, an increasing number of companies have started to provide eco-friendly alternatives. These environmentally friendly alternatives now cover many different areas of life, one of which is furniture. Some of the furniture that is produced across the world, even to this day, contains harmful chemicals which can have adverse long term effects on people’s health and on the environment. Most eco-friendly furniture is made from completely renewable materials that are not harmful to the environment or the people using them. As technology improves and designers become more daring and creative, eco-friendly furniture not only looks good, but is also highly functional and long-lasting. Below are some of our favourite reasons for choosing eco-friendly furniture:
Consumption Trends Have Changed
In the past few decades, the world population has increased at an incredibly fast pace. In addition to this, the standard of living has increased in many countries, as has demand for consumer goods. This increased demand for goods has economic benefits. However, it has caused significant problems to our environment. As the world demands more products, valuable forests are being destroyed at an alarming rate. Forests don’t just provide habitat to a diverse range of wildlife, they also remove carbon dioxide from the air, and replace it with oxygen. As awareness of this issue has increased, so has the demand for reducing our carbon footprint by using eco-friendly products.
Some Furniture Contains Toxic Chemical
There are a number of toxic chemicals, some of which are carcinogens, which have been used in the production of furniture. Flame retardants are chemicals which reduce the spread of fire. However, some of these chemicals are toxic. Next time you are buying furniture you can ask if your furniture is free from PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers), TCEP and TDCPP (Chlorinated Tris). Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCs) are used to make furniture and other materials stain resistant, and are widely used in products containing Teflon. Some types of furniture are put together using Formaldehyde-based glues. This chemical is very toxic to humans and animals, and should be avoided wherever possible. If these chemicals are present in your home, they can have an adverse effect on your health and the health of everyone living with you.
PVC and Vinyl
As well as being used extensively in many everyday items including flooring, shower curtains and food containers, PVC is also widely used in furniture manufacturing. It is therefore likely that PVC is present in many products that are currently in your home. Vinyl is another common material that is used in furniture, and almost always contain PVC. The production and disposal of products that contain PVC also causes damage to the environment. If you are concerned about the environment it is a good idea to avoid PVC and look at alternatives, of which there are an increasing number.
When we talk about recycled furniture, we’re not talking about removing an old couch from a skip! Recycled furniture is formed out of previously used materials including wood and metal. There is a large market for “antique” furniture that has been previously used. Additionally, a growing number of companies are now refurbishing old pieces of furniture and selling them on. If you are a fan of the antique and retro furniture market, there’ll be a great little piece of furniture out there for you!
Furniture Made from Renewable Resources
You can still be kind to the environment if you buy a brand new piece of furniture. Natural furniture is made from renewable materials, including wood. Although it might sound contradictory to use wood whilst being eco-friendly, there is a growing number of sustainable sources of wood. For example, some companies plant a new tree for every one that they cut down. Although trees take a number of years to grow to their full size, at least they are being replaced. Bamboo is another very popular option because it is a strong material and grows back very quickly. A third, less well-known option is hemp furniture.
Benefits of Using Eco-Friendly Furniture
As well as reducing your carbon footprint, there are a number of other significant benefits to using furniture which is friendly to the environment. If you remove furniture from your house that contains toxic chemicals and replace it with eco-friendly furniture, you will improve the quality of the air for all of your family. When considering buying a new piece of furniture, it is always good to find out about the manufacturing process and whether the furniture has been made by a company who is as keen as you to reduce its carbon footprint. Some people think that all eco-friendly products are very costly, but this is not always the case. You can pick up a great looking piece of furniture that will last you for many years at a very competitive price. Today it is easy to reduce your carbon footprint by using eco-friendly furniture and improve the air quality in your home by opting for furniture that is free of any toxic chemicals. There is a vast range of eco-friendly furniture available that will suit almost all tastes and budgets. Whether you are looking for designer chairs or kitchen tables, there is something out there for you. It is very important that you consider durability in your purchase decision, so hopefully you can have a lovely piece of furniture that lasts for many years!
Author Bio Rob works with http://metrofurniture.co.uk/ and is a keen design enthusiast. He enjoys researching and writing about sustainable living and is currently on a mission to be more eco-friendly and reduce his carbon footprint.
Oak as an ethical construction material really is quite hard to beat. Having absorbed Carbon Dioxide throughout its life, an oak tree has already repaid its debt to the environment before it is felled. In addition to this, oak has a longevity many other materials cannot match, making it one of the first choices for builders and furniture makers. Some oak trees do not begin making seed, in the form of acorns, until they are fifty years old, while no oak tree will become productive in this way until at least twenty years of age.
Most American and European Oak furniture is made from long-term sustainable supplies of oak. Good producers of oak furniture will have an environmental policy covering the sourcing and manufacture of their products, and these policies will normally have consideration for the replanting of oak trees. Indeed, in Britain, the Forestry Commission reports that there is a small increase each year in the hectares of forestry covered by oak trees. This is despite oak being one of the most popular solid-wood choices for furniture making in the UK.
Where does environmentally Friendly Oak Come From?
Oak can come from any country where trees grow, but environment-friendly wood is likely to have certification from The Forest Stewardship Council, an organisation which has as its mission statement the aspiration of “Promoting the responsible management of forests worldwide.” One of the programs they pursue is the idea of the “Chain of Custody.” This means that in the European Union, the USA, Australia and most developed countries, wood is sourced legally, from suppliers who have signed up
to a process of environmental protection mirrored in their home country’s legislation. Founded in 1990 in California, the FSC aims to “credibly identify well-managed forests as the sources of responsibly produced wood products.” The reach of this organisation covers most of the oak wood that goes to make up European and Western homes, so ask your supplier of living room, bedroom and kitchen furniture and flooring about FSC certification on the items you buy.
Recycled Oak and Oak Products
If you are in the market for oak furniture for your home, but you want to minimise the impact you make on the planet’s resources, one excellent strategy is to recycle oak boards, or even better, recycle or upcycle existing oak furniture. Oak furniture looks better and better with age, and having received a bruise or a knock does not diminish its beauty. Just be sure you are buying solid oak, by checking that the top and bottom of your furniture is of a similar grain and consistency, and that edging or veneer has not been added. Also look for the distinctive open grain pattern of solid oak. Oak is the chosen material for furniture items which are high-use, such as tables and cupboards. Its durability and strength as a material for making furniture make it the perfect choice for an environment-conscious consumer.
Stephen O writes on environmental and green issues, promoting sustainable resources when possible.
Green furniture pertains to furniture manufactured from sustainable materials which provide durability and are ecologically friendly. These pieces are typically created with a minimal impact on the environment. The sustainable materials have low or no toxicity levels and are often custom-made to the specifications of a customer.
The public awareness of the environment dictates the current trend of furniture manufacturing with recycled or reclaimed materials. By reusing the old lumber, decorative pieces and hardware, the furniture builders are able to avoid the pollution and unnecessary deforestations of various regions around the globe. The noticeable impact has been recorded in the increased production of furniture made from recycled products. Old materials provide a unique look and are often chosen by people with a distinctive taste for character furnishings. In addition to wood, metal-based components are used in combination with other recycled materials to create exclusive pieces for various purposes.
The term is often applied to furniture made from natural resources, such as bamboo, hemp and wood, harvested in eco-friendly manner. The environment savvy furniture manufacturing companies use the latest techniques to alleviate any impact on wildlife and provide durable and long-lasting furniture. Due to its sturdiness and beautiful look, bamboo has become one of the most preferred building materials within the past few decades. The flexibility and abundance of bamboo allows the manufacturers to produce furniture, floors and wall designs with a distinctive appearance.
Refurbishing Vintage Pieces
Older furniture can be re-purposed and re-finished for a new look and feel. Old furniture is typically handcrafted and made from solid wood. After many years of use, some of the pieces become unattractive and may need a face lift to complete the existing décor of a home or office. Refurbishing is significantly less costly and makes a positive difference on the environment. Vintage pieces combined with rustic accents add to the overall feeling of the room and prevent unnecessary trash collections and landfill overloads.
Low-toxicity Vintage Furniture
Most mass-produced furniture is treated with toxic paints, lacquers or other finishing products which are harmful to the environment. New furniture of this type produces gas compounds known to be harmful to people and pets. Buying vintage furniture assures the safety of the inhabitants of the home as typically any gases have already dissipated over a period of many years. Buying green furniture ensures that the pieces were treated with organic substances such as natural wood finishes and are safe to use.
Many companies offer eco-friendly furniture that does not create any hazard to the environment. The most efficient way to find these pieces is to find a local distributor who specializes in green furniture. Although most large chains now carry many environmentally-friendly lines, the small local retailer can offer a choice of unique designs at affordable prices. You can even have your pieces custom designed and built and have complete control over the materials as well as the manufacturing process. Earth-friendly options allow the consumers to make wise choices about the décor of their home and help with sustaining healthy environment.
Eric builds custom wooden furniture at CambiumWorks. His stylish furniture pieces lend beauty and character to his clients’ homes.
Recycled Cardboard Furniture image courtesy of Flickr.
This infograph is all about eco friendly practices in furniture manufacturing. A tree used for manufacture takes between 20-30 years to be replaced by a new one which is why many companies are now looking to work only within sustainable forests or use reclaimed and recycled wood in production. Another way to help protect the environment and cut costs is by using material that is sourced within a 500 mile radius of the craftsmen who will work on it.
By looking to make more durable pieces, manufacturers are again working in a more environmentally friendly way and their products are more beautiful.The use of synthetic silk or leather is another way producers are looking to improve practices by banning animal cruelty.
This concern for the environment extends to the use of harmful chemicals; eco friendly companies use furniture finishes that have low VOCs. Small pieces of wood are also used rather than thrown away, with many of them going on to be used in kids' toys.
Guest Post contributed by Natural Mat – Natural Anti -Allergy Matresses
A few years ago, people at cleaning companies realised they could sell more of their products by scaring mothers, and set about convincing us that the only way to protect our babies was to buy their products to kill every germ in our homes, and never let any dirt near our children. Dirt became the enemy, to be avoided at all costs.
Recently though some common sense has started to prevail. People have become conscious of the rise of conditions such as asthma, and the link seems to be with our overly clean houses. Some dirt is good for building up a child's resistance. And more than that, it's surely better to be a relaxed parent than one who freaks out at the thought of their baby eating food off their own high chair? When I was a first time parent I certainly had more important things to worry about, and keeping my home spotless was quite low down on my list of priorities!
Obviously, though, even the most relaxed of us want to clean and keep our house nice. A lot of the natural materials and items in our homes need to be looked after, for example wooden furniture needs to be cleaned to keep the surface in good condition and stop stains. It can be difficult though when the products marketed so heavily to parents are generally full of chemicals and not exactly conducive to natural living.
Luckily, it is actually easier than you might think to avoid chemical cleaners. For general cleaning, citrus is your best friend. Lemon or orange juice or another citrus juice are great at removing stains and acting as a natural disinfectant, and they give a lovely fruity aroma. Mix with a little water and watch the magic. For tough grease and stains hot water and steam will give the mixture a boost.
For wooden furniture, adding olive oil and essential oils into the citrus/water mix creates a perfect solution which cares for the surface of your wood, keeping it well moistened and protected, without having to use the toxic and harsh smelling wood polishes.
You can buy eco friendly detergents and cleaners, but they can often be a little more expensive than the cheap chemically ones. It's worth investing in a couple of key products though for items that your own creations won't clean. For example, a stain on a sofa might need something a little bit more effective than lemon juice.
Some people try to prevent marks by spraying furniture with a stain resistant chemical like Teflon. These products can be really toxic though – bad for the environment, your furniture and you and your child. If you want to go for a more natural option for your family, look for options which don't contain fluorochemicals or PTFE resin.
In general when buying pre-prepared cleaning products, avoid:
• synthetic fragrances
• petroleum distillates
For reclaimed furniture ideas visit the furniture market.
Whether you are trying to save money or care enough about the earth to recycle the things that you have, reusing your old furniture is a great way to get the look that you want and accomplish your goal. Instead of throwing out old furniture or putting it in a garage sale, use the tips below to discover ways that you can reuse your old furniture. What will you transform your old furniture into?
Make planter boxes out of wooden furniture. Instead of getting rid of an old swing that no longer serves its purpose, find a new purpose for it by creating planter boxes for your yard. This is just one of the many things that you can do with old wooden furniture.
Recover old furniture and make it like new. While getting a new sofa may seem like the an easier idea, recovering old furniture can save your money and also allow you to create a one of a kind custom look for your furniture.
Weatherize your indoor furniture and use it as outdoor furniture. Some indoor furniture such as wooden chairs can work perfectly in an outdoor setting. Find ways to weatherize your indoor furniture and use it in your garden space.
Donate your old furniture to charity. Old furniture can be donated to charity for a good cause. Perhaps there is a family in need who can use your old furniture.
Turn and old dresser into a bathroom vanity. An old dresser than has seen better days can be transformed into a beautiful bathroom vanity. If you vintage is more of your style, there are several ways that you can reuse an old dresser.
Use old furniture non traditional ways. Think outside of the box and find ways to use old furniture in non traditional ways.
Turn an old table into an outdoor picnic table. An example of using old furniture in non traditional ways is to take an old indoor coffee table and turn it into a small outdoor picnic table by adding longer legs and a bench seating to the table.
An old dresser can be a perfect kitchen island if you need the space. A piece of butcher block added to an old dresser makes the perfect addition to any kitchen. If you are low are space, create a truly unique kitchen island from old furniture.
A dining room buffet can be transformed into a baby changing table. A baby changing station is a necessity for a new baby’s room. Don’t throw out that old buffet! Add cushion and fabric to the top to create your very own changing table.
Spray paint old lamps and buy new lamps shades for a new addition to your space. Spray paint can transform anything! Paint old lamps to make them new.
Salvage a coffee table with broken legs by finding creative ways to add new ones. Old books glues together can make the perfect legs for a coffee table. What unique ways can you think of to stabilize a coffee table that needs new legs?
Add a mosaic to surfaces that are badly scratched. A table top can be transformed by creating a mosaic from smooth round rocks. The sky is the limit when finding ways to transform a table top into something new and interesting.
Paint everything! Paint can make anything new! There is paint available for both wooden and plastic furniture. Give your furniture a new paint job.
Make outdoor furniture indoor furniture. Just as you can bring your indoor furniture out, consider bringing your outdoor furniture in! New cushion on wicker furniture can create the perfect seating in a sun room. A small wicker set can also make the perfect addition to a breakfast area that needs a creative touch.
Refuse to throw anything away.If you have the mindset of keeping everything you own, there are many ways that you can transform you old furniture into a new creation. Refuse to throw away anything and find new and interesting ways to use your old furniture.
Use the helpful tips above to help you reuse your old furniture. This will save you money and also help you to have a more positive impact on the environment.
This article is contributed by http://www.juterugshop.com/ . Visit their website for eco-friendly natural fiber rugs for your home.
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Making your home eco-friendly and introducing sustainable changes might be a lengthy and complicated process, but it’s definitely worth your while as something that might change your entire life for the better. The world we live in today needs our help to survive, and the only way to make a visible difference and stop the negative trends is by introducing eco-friendliness into our daily lives and homes. Interior décor and design are good starting points and ideas we can all turn into positive practices – whether you’re decorating your living room, bedroom or kitchen, you can always incorporate a couple of sustainable and green ideas that are going to make a difference. However, you might be ready to try them out, but aren’t sure how, so here are a few tips to help you raise the level of eco-friendliness at your home in a matter of seconds!
No matter how big or small they are, frequent home renovations are perfect for all those homeowners who are fed up with their living space and wish to spice it up a little bit. Nevertheless, these can get quite pricey and you’ll have to stretch your budget if you wish to turn all your ideas into reality. That’s why you should think outside the box and find unusual solutions that could turn out to be helpful.
Relying on recycled materials and second-hand resources is the best way to combine sustainability and unusual design. Not only are you going to add something unique to your home, but you’ll also minimize the need for raw materials, and that’s always good. Therefore, start exploring green building materials as soon as possible and keep in mind that some of them – bamboo, recycled plastic, ferrock and straw, among others – are even more durable and sustainable than concrete!
Reused and reupholstered furniture
The philosophy of recycling goes well beyond building materials and you can accomplish a lot by opting for recycled and reused furniture instead of purchasing new one. Not only are you going to save a ton of money, but also protect some quality pieces from being destroyed and smashed into pieces. Although some people don’t like visiting flea markets and digging for salvaged furniture, it’s the way to go if you wish to become more sustainable.
Another idea you might want to try out is reupholstering your old furniture. This is quite useful when it’s time for a renovation and you need lots and lots of new furniture in a matter of days, but don’t have enough money in your budget for it. Luckily, you can fix and reupholster your old chairs, sofas and coffee tables, giving them a new life, a new look and a new meaning. Keep in mind that a little love goes a long way and all your visitors are going to notice your unique furniture.
When it comes to decorating your home, you need to keep in mind the number of people that are going to be using a certain area and how much freedom you have decorating it. Namely, the living room is usually the largest room of the house and a place where you entertain your guests and spend time with your family, but it’s also a room that requires a ton of furniture and seating area. That means you won’t have lots of maneuvering space there or space for numerous decorative pieces, so everything you include has to be 100% green.
You can solve a giant decorating problem by throwing an eco-friendly rug into the mix – it’s going to cover the majority of your open space, provide room with lots of color and show your visitors how serious about sustainability you really are. That’s the reason why an appealing jute rug can do wonders for your living room décor, but it will be just as effective in your bedroom or even dining room as well.
Let’s be honest: natural lighting is the absolute best type of lighting there is! It’s healthy, regenerating, pleasant and it has the ability to turn your frown upside down immediately – not to mention being absolutely eco-friendly. That’s why you should keep your windows open as much as you can, from the moment you wake up until it’s time to go to bed again. However, not everyone lives in a climate that provides them with enough natural sunlight in their living area every single day, so they need to find other environmentally-safe alternatives for illuminating their homes.
Opting for LED light bulbs instead of those regular old kinds seems like the perfect way to do so. Yes, these might be quite expensive at first, especially if you decide to replace all of the bulbs at your home at once, but can ultimately save you a considerable amount of cash in the long run, and that’s something we all need. So, the plan is quite simple – purchase as many of these LED light bulbs as you can and begin installing them one room at a time, and you’ll notice your electric bill plummeting almost instantly.
Of course, these aren’t the only ways to introduce eco-friendliness into your home, but are the simplest and most effective ones. Some of the things you should also try out include getting some solar panels, using low-VOC wall paint, installing double-glazed windows and bringing in a few plants that are going to make your living space greener in more ways than one!
You want to renovate your dull looking kitchen and upgrade its design to match the current trends, but you are unsure how to achieve this successfully. Luckily, by sticking to a thorough plan and being bold with some creative remodeling ideas, you can create an amazing look. Additionally, opting for eco-friendly materials and décor solutions has become popular among homeowners since it helps both the environment and their budget. In order to help you have the best eco-conscious remodeling project, we have prepared a list of key features you must incorporate into your new design. Let’s take a look and get inspired.
Choose sustainable materials for your cabinets
First things first, feel free to express your care for the environment by opting for cabinetry that is made from sustainable wood sources. For example, make sure you opt for some FSC-approved lumber alternatives that can look and feel better than rosewood or Russian ash which are among the most endangered species today. Additionally, one must also make sure to avoid the use of VOC glues and paint while constructing the kitchen cabinets because these emit toxic fumes that can seriously harm both the nature and your health.
The majority of remodelers today know how important it is to invest in smart energy-efficient lighting options in order to reduce their electricity bills. Therefore, it’s high time you switched from your current incandescent bulbs to fluorescent ones and start saving more money while at the same time reducing your carbon footprint. On top of that, these bulbs shine equally as bright as the common ones and last 10 times as long. Finally, if you want to add a touch of drama with some focus lights, we recommend opting for stylish halogen or LED ambient lighting designs.
We all know that the main reason why our electrical bills are so high at the end of the month is because of the devices we use in the kitchen. Luckily, there is an energy-efficient alternative to solve this issue. Energy Star rated appliances represent high-end products that can potentially earn you thousands of dollars yearly in savings. On top of that, they can perform twice as well as the regular ones. Therefore, make sure to switch to Energy Star rated products and help contribute to a more environmentally-responsible society.
Gas vs. electric stoves
Another often asked question by homeowners who want to make their kitchen green is whether to opt for a gas or electric stove. When it comes to electric ones with induction elements, the heat is transferred directly into metal cookware leaving the stove-top feeling cold to the touch. However, their biggest downside is that they spend too much energy. On the other hand, if you want to opt for a more affordable solution, natural gas stoves are the way to go since they can heat up almost instantly and provide a smoother cooking experience. Lastly, if you decide to go with the latter, we recommend investing in a high-quality gas connection and opting for the one that fits your eco-friendly consumption needs the most.
Invest in a water filter
Investing in a quality water filtration system will help you lead a healthier life and won’t be too hard on your wallet. For instance, you can get a regular tap-filter which will instantly purify your drinking water. However, if you want to be certain that the water you and your family drink is absolutely safe, don’t hesitate to go for an activated carbon filter which can remove almost all dangerous bacteria, pesticides and even heavy metals from your tap water.
Last but not least, if you want to add some style to your planet-friendly kitchen, feel free to go for some chic natural flooring alternatives. This season, bamboo is making a big comeback in the interior decor world since it is easy to maintain and very simple to install. Additionally, it creates a traditional feel and brings class to your kitchen design. However, if you want a slightly more practical solution, we advise you to go for linoleum flooring for the kitchen since it offers great protection against moisture, mold and fire.
As you can see, it doesn’t take much effort to turn a dull looking kitchen into a classy eco-friendly one. All you need to do is make sure to use renewable materials and energy sources. Good luck with your remodeling project.
Reducing our carbon footprint seems to be at the top of everyone’s agendas. From The Guardian reporting on how to eat with a low carbon footprint, to fast food chain McDonald’s setting greenhouse gas targets, and phasing out plastic straws from UK restaurants, everyone is making greener choices.
Did you know that the choice of material you use in your home or workplace can have a real impact on its overall carbon footprint? In fact, there is a growing trend in architects and builders choosing timber as their material of choice, due to its positive environmental impact and ease of construction.
Want to know why wood is the environmentally friendly material of choice, for both home and business owners? Retailer, A Wood Idea has provided these insights.
Wood is a renewable material
Wood is known to be one of the most naturally renewable energy sources, which means it will have less of an impact on the environment than other materials. According to the British Woodworking Federation, over 90% of wood we use is from forests in Europe, which are growing by 661,000 hectares each year. This shows that it’s a very readily-available resource, that’s not going to run out anytime soon.
Wooden products last a long time
A wide variety of factors impact how long a wooden product lasts, including the type of wood, the location of the product (interior or exterior environments) and the treatment that has been applied to it. Generally, wood may be lightweight, but it is also a strong and durable product. Hardwood is the most durable, and treated correctly can last longer than a lifetime – some hardwood doors can last over 100 years.
The longer a wood product lasts, the less energy is used on the production of new products, which in turn makes it better for the environment.
Wood’s great at retaining heat
The cellular makeup of wood means that it naturally retains heat more effectively than other materials – in fact, it holds heat seven times more effectively than ceramic tiles. Air chambers within the wood itself absorb heat, holding it for longer. Introducing wood into your premises means it will be naturally warmer. A naturally warmer building will require less energy to heat it, which is kinder to the environment.
Wooden products can be recycled and reused
Protected and maintained wood will last for 100 years, which gives you an opportunity to refinish and adapt a piece several times throughout its lifetime. Wooden furniture is very easily upcycled, painted and re-treated, which transforms it into a completely different piece.
Wood absorbs carbon dioxide
As wood supplies grow, trees absorb carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, which lowers the overall carbon footprint of the material. Known as a ‘carbon sink’, one cubic metre of new wood removes just less than a tonne of CO2 in the atmosphere. Trees only stop absorbing carbon when they reach maturity, which is usually when they are harvested.
Wood is a ‘carbon store’, which means that once it has absorbed the carbon, it is stored there and remains out of the atmosphere.
Waste from the production of wooden materials is limited, and 100% biodegradable
There is very little waste when wooden products are made, whether it’s floorboards, furniture, doors, or something else entirely. Any residual chippings can be burned as an energy source, or used as sawdust during manufacture.
The limited amount of waste produced by the manufacture of wooden products is 100% biodegradable. This means that the material will eventually decompose, disintegrate and break down back into the earth. This means there will be no residual landfill left in the earth’s atmosphere, which is better for the environment.
Wood can have a positive psychological impact on the people in your home or workspace
Wood can provide benefits to both mental, and physical health. By increasing the amount of wooden materials in your home or workplace, you reduce the amount of manmade substances, and potentially harmful chemicals, in the environment. It has also been claimed that the introduction of wood to interiors has a stress-reducing effect, according to a report by Timber and Design Online.
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Green building that conserves energy is becoming a necessity and trend of the modern world. It’s still a bit difficult to completely transform the idea of what traditional building and construction look like though, especially considering the cost of some eco-friendly building materials. However, together with recycled elements, paying more at first in this regard is definitely going to lower the overall bill price for the household as the whole point is to reduce the need for cooling and heating. Moreover, thanks to the energy efficient appliances, homeowners can recover the invested money relatively quickly and continue to save from then on. In that respect, it’s very important to talk about and stay on trends when it comes to advanced building materials that will make the construction process as well as the finished home eco-friendly.
There are plenty of eco-friendly options when it comes to effective insulation. For example, one can opt for insulating concrete forms. Essentially, these are blocks of concrete in between insulation layers. Thanks to the durability of this type of insulation, these forms are often used in freestanding walls and blocks. Moreover, plant-based foam that’s generally used for surfboards turned out to be a perfect eco-friendly material for insulation, but furniture and wind turbines as well. One of the more unusual materials that can be used for construction and insulation is undoubtedly straw. When kept dry, straw can actually last for thousands of years. Would you imagine that? Then there are structural insulated panels (SIP) which combine foam insulation in between plywood or cement. This type of insulation is noted to reduce the energy cost by almost 50%. Finally, it’s important to mention vacuum insulation panels (VIP). It may be mind-boggling but the truth is that vacuum panels offer seven times the insulation protection compared to the traditional options. It’s only a matter of time when VIP is going to become widely available for residential construction as well.
Green and eco-friendly roofing
Of course, you can choose whatever color you want for your cool roof these days. The point is that cool roofing uses a technology that allows the roof material to reflect light and heat, thus preventing the warmth to enter the building as much as possible. Just like any eco-friendly material, this is going to have a higher initial price. However, it will undoubtedly reduce the bills as the need to use coolers during warmer months will be significantly lower.
Basically, low-E windows have a special coating that prevents the heat from leaving during the colder months as well as entering during the warmer months. Again, they play an essential role in insulation, and even though they are a tad more expensive, these windows come with considerable benefits. The extra costs will be recovered in no time.
Interestingly, concrete has slowly made it to the top of the list when it comes to eco-friendly building materials. Essentially, concrete is durable, sturdy, easy to maintain and relatively inexpensive. In that respect, it’s used for a wide range of construction projects, flooring included. And with the rising availability of concrete formwork companies, opting for this particular solution is quick and simple.
When it comes to the framing process, beams and panels, recycled steel seems to be the right option. After all, for this part of construction, traditional wood material would actually require 40-50 trees, while the needed amount of recycled steel can be produced with just 6 scrapped cars. Moreover, steel recycling is getting bigger every year since it’s a great way to reduce energy waste and reuse functional, durable and sturdy material.
Speaking of construction and building, earth is undoubtedly the biggest renewable material out there. However, it can be troublesome to find skilled craftsmen and necessary permits within different codes. But, in case you find an adequate solution to this, it’s worth noting that walls made of earth make for the perfect thermal mass.
Aside from the technical part of construction using eco-friendly materials, it’s important to adopt an eco-friendly mindset as well. Even though our homes may be the biggest source of energy waste and carbon footprint, people have the power to change the consumption and minimize the waste with their own behavior, too. Therefore, don’t ignore the importance of leading a green lifestyle once you settle inside your green home.