Homeowners have a lot of options when it comes to choosing resource-smart products for their renovation, and new items are making it into the marketplace all the time.
Here are a few examples of the type of products that are better for the environment:
Materials made from recycled waste. Recycled paper is used in insulation, fiberboard and many other building products, even kitchen counters. Recycled glass shows up in glass fiber insulation and tiles. Plastics are reused in carpeting, pavers and decking materials. Steel is reused to make new steel studs. Interior trim is made from wood cut-offs or wood dust.
Products made from easily renewable or well-managed sources. Flooring made from fast-growing bamboo and sustainably harvested wood are prime examples.
Natural materials that involve less processing, such as linoleum and stone.
Locally produced products. Transportation is energy-intensive. Where available, the use of locally produced materials or products can offer environmental advantages.
Durable products that will last longer, such as 40- or 50-year roof shingles. Every time you need to replace an item, there are environmental costs related to the production of the new and the disposal of the old. A quality product that performs well over a long time may be a little more expensive upfront but can save you money and be better for the environment over time.