Building a green home benefits the family living in it, the laborers who manufacture building materials, the workers who build the home and the entire environment through responsible utilization and disposal of materials, conservation of energy and use of non-toxic, eco-friendly materials.
When you build a green home, you must try to incorporate as many recycled building materials as you can in the construction process. With increasing awareness of the positive effects of green living, many eco-friendly building materials are evolving today. Without compromising utility or style, you can find many recycled building materials to go green.
Here are five popular recycled building materials for an eco-friendly home
#1 – Concrete for your green home
Fly ash is a waste produced by coal-fire powered industry. Tons of fly ash go to landfills each year, causing water and air pollution. By diverting fly ash from landfills and mixing it with concrete, it can be put to good utilization. Concrete can be replaced to the extent of 25%-50% in a blend with fly ash – this reduces the fossil energy required to produce concrete. Blending does not affect the quality, affordability or durability of concrete. Pre-mixed concrete and fly ash blends are available in the market – use this for your building needs.
#2 – Insulating your green home
Fiberglass insulation is widely used to line the thermal envelope of your home – around ducts, vents, windows, basement flooring, etc. Fiberglass contains a huge proportion of recycled glass that could otherwise end up in a landfill. Besides it is non-combustible and does not require to be treated with fire-retardant chemicals that can be harmful to the environment.
#3 – Woodwork in your green home
Wood-plastic composite (WPC) is a recycled building material that can help you go green. It is generally made from pre or post-consumer and post-industry wood mixed with recycled plastic like polyethylene. Additional materials like fiber from bamboo and paper may be used. The wood is usually recovered from saw dust and wood chips. It is very durable due to its moisture resistant properties unlike plain wood and can be used to build your outdoor deck, fencing, garden benches, door frames, and furniture. Since it mainly uses recycled materials, it is very ideal for a green home. But it is generally considered to be unfit for being recycled again because it is a mix of multiple materials that are hard to separate.
#4 – Drywall for your green home
Recycled drywall can make you home significantly eco-friendly. Drywall wastes form a big portion of construction waste. Drywall contains gypsum that is mined from the earth – in the process, volumes of greenhouse gases harmful to the atmosphere are generated. Recycled drywall on the other hand uses synthetic gypsum and 100% fully recycled paper facings that are bonded without adhesives to the gypsum base.
#5 – Painting your green home
Recycled paint is another green building material. It is made from unused paint discarded by consumers, excess paint from manufacturers and new materials like resins and colorants. Your state’s solid waste management program may collect unused paint and provide a link to outlets where you can buy recycled paint. This prevents unused paint from collecting in landfills and contaminating the environment. You can use recycled paint for your indoor walls and ceilings and the outdoors.
Remember to recycle your construction wastes. Check with your state’s recycling program to see how best this can be accomplished.