New Renewable or Reusable Materials Available
Thinking of doing some home improvement in the near future? Think and plan green before you start buying. There are a host of new products on the market that can help you home improve the green way.
New Eco Wall Coverings
The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company has a paint product for walls called Safepaint made of milk proteins and lime mixed with pigments. It is a powder that gets mixed with water. Although it eliminates the oil base, the paint does have the worry of supporting mold growth when used in bathrooms and basements. Check it out at milkpaint.com.
New wallpapers are PVC vinyl free these days. There are many products that are made of breathable, natural materials such as grasscloths and are a renewable resource. There is also a greener dry wall product available made from 100% recyclable content and is being sold at Green Depot.
For great looking, long-lasting and eco-friendly flooring upgrades, look for products with the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) standards certification. This certification assures that the lumber is from well-managed forests. To get an old wood look, watch for demolition projects and try to buy reclaimed flooring. Available in deep, rich and fashionable colors, cork flooring is made from recycled waste of bottle-cork manufacturers.
How about a floor made of Marmoleum? It is made from wood flour, jute (one of the cheapest natural fibers comprised of plant materials and wood fiber). For eco-carpeting, look into Earthweave made of un-dyed wool in hemp and cotton-blended weaves.
Need to put in more insulation or replace old? There are at least two alternatives to building insulation now being used. One type of insulation is being made from recycled cotton – cotton is 100 percent recyclable, non-toxic and uses less energy to produce than fiber glass. A second alternative is vegetable oil based polyurethane.
The insulation is actually sprayed into areas needing insulation and it expands into the space completely when it comes into contact with air.
New Concrete Products
Recycled concrete aggregate is becoming more and more available and is in most cases more economical to use than new aggregate. The use of concrete made of fly ash (a byproduct of coal-burning power plants) is on the rise. Using fly ash to produce concrete requires much less fossil fuel than the traditional production methods.
There is also a sealant replacement process called Retro Plate that “permanently strengthens the concrete”. Retro Plate is a patented process that uses diamond grinding and polishing that eliminates the need for all topical sealers. Retro Plate took the number one spot on environmentalleader.com’s top ten list of green building products.
Greener Products are Available
Greener building products are coming to market faster and faster. Most of the products achieve the recycle, reuse or renew of the green movement. Contribute to the movement by thinking green from the beginning of home or building improvements projects.