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Alternative Building Materials
SEE: Did you see and feel all the green building materials?
● From recycled paper and glass to salvaged wood – these materials are beautiful and durable.
● These types of materials may look just like conventional materials but may also look drastically different.
● Alternative building materials conserve resources, use less energy, help keep our air clean, or make use of waste.
● And smell the air in a green home – no harmful chemicals there!
LEARN: Did you know?
● All that stuff (paper, glass, metal) you recycle, can go into a countertop! And it’s post-consumer waste.
● VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) are known carcinogens – meaning cancer-causing – and are found in so many materials we put in our indoor environments. From paint and stains to furniture and kitchen cabinets, VOC’s are the primary contributors to making our indoor air two to five times, and on occasion more than one hundred times, more polluted than the outdoors.
● Wood framing and wood flooring is a major culprit behind deforestation around the globe. About one half of the forests that covered the Earth are gone. Each year, another 16 million hectares disappear.
● USAID estimates that 50% of the wood imported into the US comes from illegal logging. As much as 80% of South American and African hardwoods and 90% of Asian hardwoods sold in the US are illegally logged.
Where to learn more:
ACT!! Have you done this yet?
● Recycle… everything!
● When you’re ready for your next home improvement or building project, choose your materials wisely. Look for materials that are certified by a reputable organization or are bought to you by a knowledgeable dealer.
● Seek materials that are either available and abundant locally (saving on carbon emissions due to transportation) or materials that you can track and know are extracted and manufactured responsibly.
● Give preference to materials that are durable and can be recycled themselves someday, cutting down on waste.
● Remember that building materials is a competitive market, so don’t assume that an alternative building materials will always be more expensive than a conventional one.