10 Of The Best Eco Friendly Building Materials For Your Home
One of the easiest ways to help preserve the environment and reduce your carbon footprint while at home is by using eco friendly building materials when you start your next home improvement project. Whether you’re thinking about redoing your bathroom or renovating your kitchen, there are tons of construction materials that don’t contribute to deforestation or water pollution, and even cut down on energy consumption when used correctly. Here are 10 of the best eco friendly building materials for your home.
Hemp is a truly eco-friendly plant to build with. When used in construction, it lasts for centuries and absorbs carbon dioxide at a rapid rate. Hempcrete is fireproof, termite-proof, mold resistant and easy to transport and store. In fact, hemp concrete actually weighs less than traditional concrete despite being stronger and more dense! If you’re looking for sustainable building materials that look good as well as do good—look no further than hemp!
You can easily build your own straw bale home; just contact a local bale supplier for prices and delivery. This is not only one of the best eco friendly building materials for your home, but it’s also beautiful to look at. These homes are able to hold off fire, extreme weather conditions, earthquakes and mold growth. Straw is also a great insulator as well as wind and water resistant. In addition, it doesn’t require much upkeep to look good year round. Simply use paint or stain that is eco-friendly and you’re good to go.
Another great material for your green home is recycled glass. Recycled glass can be used as an alternative to concrete and plaster. It’s also easy to install and requires no additional products. That said, you might want to consider a heat-resistant product like recycled glass if you live in a hotter climate. Another added benefit of choosing recycled glass over other building materials is that it’s relatively inexpensive—no need to break the bank on eco-friendly products!
Eco friendly homes may run on solar energy, but do you know how they get all that power in their batteries? By creating earth batteries. Earth batteries use mud, sand and copper plates to create a constant current of electricity. While there are still some kinks to work out, such as making them waterproof and earthquake proof, building an eco friendly home is easier than ever with affordable materials that are beautiful and sustainable.
These thin tiles (usually 12 by 12 inches) are made of various materials, including glass, ceramic and natural stone. They’re installed like traditional tile to provide traction and drainage in wet areas like bathrooms and kitchens. But a major benefit is that they’re so thin they leave a smaller footprint than traditional tiles or stones and cost less as well. Eco-friendly points: Natural stones are mined; some glass tiles contain lead. Lava also isn’t great for insulating hot air from cold floors or cold air from warm floors; heat will escape underneath them. However, it does make for good room accents in kitchens where you don’t have to worry about slipping on them—think backsplashes under appliances or beside sinks.
This composite material is made from recycled paper and Portland cement. After mixing, a three-inch layer of Papercrete will form a solid base for foundations that can withstand 120 mph winds. This material is growing in popularity because it’s cheap, easy to build with, durable and doesn’t produce toxic fumes during production. However, there are limits on how large your Papercrete creation can be. Also be aware that it needs to cure for at least a year before being used as flooring or roofing materials.
There’s something really beautiful about stacked stone. It feels sturdy and warm, and it’s also an eco-friendly building material. With a little maintenance, your stone wall will look like new for years to come. If you don’t have a pile of rocks in your backyard (or you’re just not that handy with a hammer), consider using manufactured stone veneer instead. Stacked Stone is one of the most durable natural building materials, used in walls around windows and doors as well as countertops, mantles and outdoor patios. Keep them sealed with clear gloss or semi-gloss polyurethane for weather resistance or matte polycrylic for softening contrast.
Earth plasters are made by combining earth or clay with water, then applying it to a wall before drying. Earthen plasters are highly sustainable because they are made from natural materials that help keep moisture in your home while discouraging mold and mildew growth. There is less energy required to make and dry earthen plaster than there is with other materials like concrete or sheetrock, which means you’ll cut back on energy costs over time. Aesthetically, earthen plasters tend to be earthy colors that evoke natural beauty, making them perfect for modern eco-friendly homes. Be sure to choose a thick-bodied mortar for extra durability!
Like straw bale construction, cob houses are about as sustainable as you can get. Also known as adobe homes, cob houses use clay or soil to make walls that don’t require any type of insulation. Instead of wood or concrete, walls are made of earth and naturally stay cool in warm weather and warm in cold weather (similar to what happens with an underground house). It’s also a very inexpensive way to build your own home and is relatively easy to learn how to do it yourself. Just make sure you use clay that’s free from toxic additives like lead or asbestos.
While thatched roofs are a common choice for traditional houses in some countries, they’re also gaining popularity in more urban settings. Thatched roofs have a lot going for them. They provide excellent insulation and weatherproofing, which is important for eco-friendly homes. They’re easy to build from locally available materials and require very little maintenance. Many people are shocked to learn that thatched roofs can actually reduce your heating bill by providing great insulation when it’s cold outside, but still allowing warm air inside during hot days in summer. Waterproofing isn’t even an issue; because water drains through quickly and there are no flat surfaces where leaks could occur, thatch has extremely low chances of being damaged by rainwater or snow melt.