With climate change and other environmental threats looming large, more people are making eco-conscious choices in their lives. One of these smart decisions is the use of ‘green’ or ‘sustainable’ materials that are designed to curb environmental pollution, save energy, and provide a host of other benefits.
Unfortunately, traditional building materials are a source of environmental toxins, which is why the choice of these materials is increasingly important to keep Mother Earth healthy. Especially for homeowners, the use of eco-friendly building materials should come as no surprise. In fact, construction that’s fueled by sustainable materials continues to reach new heights.
This burst in popularity is largely owing to the immense benefits of sustainable materials for domestic settings, such as energy conservation, saving valuable money, and improving indoor air quality.
Here are reasons why you should consider eco-friendly materials in your next home project:
1. Save Energy and Money
One of the most attractive reasons you should use eco-friendly building materials in your home is cost and energy efficiency–sustainable homes use 40% less energy. Moreover, you’re in a good position to avail of important perks with sustainable material use, such as insurance discounts and tax rebates. In the long run, this can spell wonders for your return on investment prospects.
Some energy-efficient green materials that have gathered traction in the housing industry in recent years include:
- Recycled Steel: Recycled steel that’s sourced from six junk cars can provide enough steel to cover a small home. You also get to save about 75% on energy costs.
- Bamboo: Bamboo’s ability to grow fast makes it an excellent choice for construction projects. Compared to other sources, such as pines, take years to reforest.
Furthermore, bamboo has very high tensile strength, which makes it almost as durable as steel.
- Straw Bale: Straw bales are renowned for their insulating qualities. When placed in attics, ceilings, and walls, they’re able to moderate temperatures in both summers and winters. Straw can also be harvested fast and has a minimal carbon footprint.
- Low E-Glass: Low e-glass is a lightweight, transparent substance made to absorb harmful UV rays. Low e-glass is capable of reducing heat conduction by 30% as compared to conventional glass.
Moreover, low e-glass protects your home’s interior from obstructive glare and your furnishing from damaging UV rays. Low e-glass is also very cost-effective and can be used in a variety of home projects, including bathroom remodels.
2. Improve Indoor Air Quality
Depending on your location, outdoor air quality can greatly vary from indoor conditions due to the presence of air pollutants and chemical byproducts. Moreover, many traditional building compounds are packed with environmental toxins.
One prime example of this is Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC). PVC is commonly used in gutters, window frames, drainage pipes, and for electrical insulation purposes. Another material in the same category, which is detrimental to environmental and human health, is formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is an integral element of adhesive products and paints.
Thankfully, as the market for green material has expanded, alternatives, like formaldehyde-free insulation, are made to be a key component of housing projects. Choosing other recyclable, non-toxic construction materials, such as rammed earth and solar shingles, can also ensure your home doesn’t contribute to already hazardous global air pollution levels and provides a safe environment for you and your loved ones to live in.
3. Improve Well-Being and Visual Appeal
Homeowners are increasingly showing support for biophilic design. This movement is catching pace because biophilic designs have been shown to have a significant contribution to a home and its resident’s wellbeing.
Part of a biophilic design’s appeal is to integrate natural environments into a home’s interiors. This also has the added advantage of improving the aesthetic appeal of spaces.
Some eco-friendly materials commonly used to make a home one with biophilic design include:
- Skylights (to provide passage for natural light)
- Wood in cabinets and cupboards
- Natural stone in floorings
- Natural plants (for décor and improving indoor air quality)
- Natural water pools for décor
Eco-friendly materials can make your home as appealing as a naturally rich wilderness. Instead of waiting for your next trip to a park, you can feel one with Mother Nature right at your home’s convenience. This way, you don’t have to spend a huge amount of money just to feel nature as you can experience it within your home.
Moreover, you’re likely to save a lot on electricity bills at the same time ensuring your home isn’t conducive to the detriment of its surrounding environment. Because of this, and many other reasons, going eco-friendly for your next home project is one of the wisest decisions you’ll ever make.