Green living: Save Our Earth By Living Green

4 Eco-Friendly Materials to Use When Updating Your Home

If you’re planning to update your home, be sure to choose attractive eco-friendly materials. For example, using recycled materials, has a far less environmental impact than new materials. Sustainably grown materials such as bamboo and hemp, will be more eco-friendly than using newly cut lumber. Likewise, using reclaimed wood has a much less environmental impact, and more character, than using new lumber.

Home Deck - 4 Eco-Friendly Materials to Use When Updating Your Home

Here are four of the best eco-friendly materials you can use to update your home.

Bamboo

Bamboo is very popular as a building material; it’s been used in Asia for millennia. Bamboo grows very quickly and is very sustainable. Trees such as pine can be reforested, but that can take decades. Bamboo can be regrown within just a few years, and can grow nearly anywhere in the world.

Bamboo has great tensile strength and can easily be used in flooring and walls. In fact, bamboo flooring can be purchased at most home stores. Likewise, growing bamboo in your yard can create a natural fence or screen for privacy.

Recycled Wood

Recycled wood will have a much less environmental impact than cutting down new timber. Reclaimed wood is relatively easy to source, and can be much cheaper than new lumber. Plus, it has a lot more character. Recycled wood can be used to create exposed ceiling beams or floors with an antique look. Recycled redwood is popular with contractors; it’s much more affordable than newly cut redwood, and helps to preserve our precious and majestic redwood forests.

Precast Concrete

Concrete is a building material that can be recycled. Precast concrete is poured into molds then cured. Concrete can be economically cast into many shapes, often reinforced with rebar or wire mesh. Deck builders often use precast concrete as deck piers. Precast concrete has many uses in both your home and yard.

Hemp

Since the early 1990s, France has made wide use of “hempcrete”. It’s a good eco-friendly choice for non-weight bearing walls; hempcrete is not strong enough for pouring a foundation. Hempcrete is reported to be easier to use than traditional concrete and also acts as insulation. It’s a lightweight insulating building material good for building in most climates.

Hemp fiber is also fashioned into sheets of semi-rigid insulation. While more expensive than fiberglass, it offers both performance and environmental advantages. Finally, “Hemp Wood” is manufactured from compressed hemp pulp fibers bonded with a soy-based glue. It’s actually 20% stronger than oak, and has made its debut as an attractive flooring material.

Environmentally-friendly solutions to home remodeling are both more common and affordable than ever before. There is no reason not to “go green” when updating your home. Whether you’re working with a home builder or deck builder, consider using green alternatives.

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