Renewable and Recyclable Materials To Use When Renovating
We have a huge waste problem. In fact, the Los Angeles Times reports that throughout the world, there are 1.3 billion tons of waste generated every year, a figure that's expected to skyrocket to more than triple by 2100. And, the U.S. generates the most solid waste of any other country at 624,700 metric tons every single day.
If you just purchased one of the Orlando houses for sale, or you've owned your home for a while and are about to take on a home renovation project, it can produce a significant amount of waste. Using renewable, recyclable building materials can help keep debris out of landfills and keep more money in your pocket at the same time.
Glass is one of the most readily available supplies that can be reused when renovating. It's one of the most durable materials used in construction and requires no maintenance other than cleaning. From bottles used to create accent walls to mosaics or even handmade glass tiles made from locally recycled glass, there are lots of ways to use this material.
Lumber Certified by the Forest Stewardship Council or Recycled Wood
The best lumber to use is sourced from sustainably managed forests, meaning that neither the natural ecosystem nor the surrounding community will be negatively impacted by logging practices. In the U.S. you'll want to choose the wood that's been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). It's the "gold standard" when it comes to wood harvested from forests that are responsibly managed, environmentally conscious, economically viable, and socially beneficial.
Buying FSC-certified wood not only helps to support sustainable forest management, but it also reduces the emission of greenhouse gases while protecting wildlife habitat.
Another option is to barn wood, a popular recyclable material in the U.S. with 19th- and early-20th century barns built using a mix of lumber, often found right on the land. It can be ideal as a decorative element for creating floors or accent walls.
.Many countries have been building with bamboo for centuries. It's one of the world's fastest-growing plants and it's easy to produce, making it one of the best renewable choices for use in a renovation. As its lightweight, elastic, and strong (some species are as strong as steel with nearly twice the compression ratio of concrete), it's an especially popular choice in areas where hurricanes, typhoons, and earthquakes strike more frequently. It's able to absorb the shock of seismic activity and high winds much better than a rigid steel or concrete structure. Plus, it's completely recyclable. Bamboo is ideal for kitchen flooring as it creates a chic look while being durable and moisture-resistant.
Using straw bales provides outstanding insulating properties. Straw can be harvested and easily re-planted with minimal impact on the environment. Use straw bales in attics, ceilings, or walls to help hold in warmer temperatures in the winter while keeping things cooler during a hot summer.
We go through a lot of wine bottles in the U.S., which means there are plenty of corks going to waste too. Instead of tossing them, they can be used as a building material by recycling them into cork panels. You can create a kitchen backsplash using cork, or use cork flooring in bathrooms. It comes in many colors to fit in with just about any design style and it can be installed into a variety of patterns too, like a herringbone pattern often associated with wood flooring.
These are just a few ideas for how you can accomplish two goals at once: helping to clean up the planet of waste materials while saving a ton of money on the cost of building supplies. You’ll feel good knowing you did your part both for the earth and your wallet.