Have you ever wondered how to reduce your carbon footprint and negative influence on the environment that surrounds you? Well, one of the best ways to start is to make your new home more environmentally friendly as you are planning, constructing, and finishing it. You can participate in green home building by using recyclable materials in your build. Here are a few examples of home materials that can be recycled and used in construction.
First off, metal is one of the most commonly used recycled materials in a home build. One of the great benefits of using recycled metal in your home build is that it is very sturdy and strong. It is usually much more durable than glass or wood and doesn’t need to be repeatedly repaired throughout the years like other materials used to build a home. One great use of recycled metal is to frame your home with recycled steel. This will add a lot of strength to the structural integrity of your home. It also won’t rot or mold over time, so your home or your health won’t suffer as a result, a risk that you run by using wood to frame your home.
Another popular recycled material that people use in their home builds is recycled glass. Glass can be recycled into many different building products. It can be made into greenstone, which consists of recycled glass and fly ash. It is also used in backsplashes popularly found in bathrooms and kitchens. Broken glass can also be used to make floors or walls in a terrazzo style inspired by European traditions and architecture. In recent years, recycled glass has been made into some beautiful glass countertops. There are many ways you can use recycled glass in your sustainable home build.
One of the more commonly known recycled materials is wood. Many lumber yards sell salvageable parts that can be altered for your home building purposes. However, to reuse wood, you don’t always have to find wood that has been re-processed, restructured, and repurposed. Many people use reclaimed wood from old buildings to bring a vintage, weathered look to their home. For example, the weathered wood boards found in an old barn could be reclaimed to make beautiful wood flooring or a weathered piece of wood furniture. Old wooden pieces of furniture can also be refinished to give them a modern touch, which will save you from having to buy new furniture. Wood can be recycled and repurposed in so many ways, so make sure that you find out how you can use recycled wood in your home.
You may be surprised to learn this, but you can actually use asphalt as a recycled material in your home building process. Rather than paying for brand new asphalt to be made and laid down, you can buy recycled asphalt that will use the asphalt that was damaged on an old road. Asphalt is a great option for outdoor flooring in a patio or driveway area. Especially if you have large cars, tractors, or vehicles that you’re using, asphalt can be a great option as it withstands cracking and damage. That being said, you should repair asphalt paving immediately after you spot damage.
Paper makes up 70% of material that is recycled in recycling plants and processes. Even paper, which is usually seen as flimsy or flexible, can be made strong and resilient enough to work in a construction build. Recycled paper can be shredded and combined with an adhesive agent to make sturdy building materials. Some companies and organizations have started to develop bricks and building blocks out of recycled paper. These blocks not only are durable and long-lasting but are also less expensive to make and are more environmentally friendly than other building materials.
Plastic is another material that is recycled a lot. Many regular consumer goods are packaged in plastic, and the landfills are full of them, which means that recycling plants have a lot of material to work with. Similar to paper, plastic can be recycled and reconstructed into usable building blocks, like Ecobricks, to be used in construction. There are also other products, such as storage bins and accessories, that are made of recycled plastic and are more environmentally friendly for you to buy. Since the world produces so much plastic waste, it is great to be able to include recycled plastic in your home build.
Even though many newspapers have started moving towards an online format, there are still thousands of newspapers that get printed every day, which creates a ton of waste. The good news is that several companies have been developing technology to recycle unused or discarded newspapers to make newspaper wood. When the old newspaper is processed, it even has a pattern of wood grain from the layers of paper. By using newspaper wood for furniture or building material in your home, you’ll be creating a more environmentally-friendly build.
Concrete is an important element of a home build since it often provides shape and structure to your basement and interior. Since you know you’ll already be using so much concrete in your home build, try to use recycled concrete to reduce the impact your build will have on the environment. There are a few different options when it comes to recycled concrete. Some recycled concrete is literally made of old, discarded concrete which is reprocessed and repurposed. Some other types of recycled concrete are made from other materials such as repurposed sawdust or steel dust.
Now that you are more aware of the different recycled materials that are available to you in your construction process, take the time to look into each of these options. Find out which companies produce recycled building materials in your area and where and when you can obtain them. As you work to include recycled materials in different parts of your home build, you will be making your construction process, which can usually be very wasteful, more environmentally friendly!
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H&H Home Builders have constructed Energy Star Compliant homes since we burst onto the building landscape in 1995 as ‘North Liberty’s Premier Builder’. Since then, Energy Star Guidelines have evolved into what we consider today as the pinnacle of efficiency and we, as builders of ‘green’ homes, have kept pace with those guidelines and have adapted them into each home that we build. H&H Home Builders will build you what is known today as a ‘green’ home, but what has always been lesser known as a ‘sustainable’ home. Sustainable homes are quality built so that they last not just decades, but are built to maintain value, encouraging pride of ownership for generations to come. An H&H ‘green’ Home uses raw materials in a responsible way, using fewer resources, resulting in the use of less energy.