The trend towards green homes isn’t likely to go away anytime soon. In fact, sustainable construction is fast gaining ground now that the negative effects of global warming and climate change are being felt by the masses. Powerful storms, intense heat waves, earthquakes and natural disasters have been occurring with alarming frequency. Scientists have been at the forefront of creating eco-friendly construction materials from recycled matter to counter the toxic effects of synthetic and non-biodegradable elements and to save the trees from being cut to make lumber for construction.
Recycled building materials that are biodegradable are the products of choice. They make use of things that would otherwise be thrown away, they save on energy consumption and when the need to dispose of them comes, they decompose in a short time, doing away with tons of garbage at landfills.
You use less energy. Energy efficiency is the biggest motivator for using green housing supplies. From insulation to lighting and coverings of building facades, you can get tremendous savings on your monthly electric bill.
You have zero or less toxicity. Unlike synthetic resin made from petrochemicals, biodegradable products made from recycled material do not release harmful chemicals in the breaking down process. They can be buried into the earth and you are assured that they decompose easily and get absorbed in the soil without causing toxicity.
You help in environment conservation. Using recycled and green construction products greatly reduces carbon emission from greenhouse gases. You decrease the carbon footprint of your residence and help stave off climate change.
You reduce the garbage in landfills. By burying biodegradable materials, you don’t add to the tons of waste in the landfill and you are helping the local community in the management of solid waste.
Recycled and Biodegradable Housing Materials
- Lumber substitute
Scientists have created a wood replacement made of biodegradable composite of resins that are strengthened by natural fibers from plants. This artificial wood looks like the real thing and can be used in flooring, furniture, walls and other construction components. They are durable and can withstand nails, drilling and hammering.
MDFs (medium density fiberboard) that use plant starches instead of the unsafe urea and formaldehyde are now available.
- Insulation material
Housing insulation reduces the need for air conditioners in the summer and heaters in winter. Do away with the old foam, fiberglass and mineral wool insulating panels. Foam damages the ozone layer of the earth while fiberglass and mineral are hazardous to human health.
Recycled insulation has no greenhouse gas emissions and has a long life. There are acoustic panels made from recycled cotton fibers, cellulose as insulating filler for the parts of the house where you need high performance, insulating panels made from recycled denim, old newspapers, sheep’s wool or cork.
- Biodegradable paint
Biodegradable or natural paints do not contain toxic petrochemicals and are biodegradable, so disposition is not a problem. The ingredients come from the earth – clay, chalk, marble and mineral pigments – and are not produced synthetically. There are no harmful fumes and odors that conventional latex paints produce and natural paint is breathable, making it kinder to the building material.