It is easier than ever to find building products considered “green,” or environmentally friendly, which are also attractive and affordable. When choosing such products you can determine if a material is green by reviewing Material Safety Data Sheets for the absence of dangerous chemicals, consulting a knowledgeable designer, or by asking the salespeople at green building material retail outlets.
In addition, look for third-party certifications, such as “Green Seal” on paint and cleaning products or the Carpet and Rug Institute’s “Green Label.” Both tags ensure that those products contain or emit few or no harmful chemicals. For your next remodel or new construction project, consider the following environmentally friendly products that will enhance the health, beauty, and energy efficiency of your home.
Alisa Kane is a Portland-based freelance writer specializing in sustainable development and green building. You can contact her at email@example.com.
|Eco-Terr Tiles and Slabs
If you are looking for an elegant countertop material that gives more to the earth than it takes, check out the new Eco-Terr agglomerate tiles from Coverings, Inc. The 16”x 6” tiles are composed of 80% recycled materials, and are as durable as granite. Installs with traditional tile-laying techniques, materials, and tools. The tiles have the appearance of marble-flecked terrazzo, but instead rely on bits of glass, marble, and granite saved from the landfill to create the tile’s colorful markings. Eco-Terr tiles are a popular choice for countertops and floors.
|AFM Safecoat Interior Latex Caulk
Other caulks contain harmful preservatives and formaldehyde that continues to release harmful gases long after you seal the gap between the trim and door opening.
In one of the most significant advancements in a century-old industry, Columbia Forest Products (CFP) of Portland, OR recently announced that it will no longer use formaldehyde in its plywood. Products treated with formaldehyde continue to emit gases, leading to poor indoor air quality. Instead, CFP uses natural ingredients in its new line of PureBond plywood, which is an equally durable, safe and cost equivalent alternative to traditionally produced plywood.
|Eleek Metal Tiles
Now your kitchen can shine with environmentally friendly tiles made from recycled aluminum. Eleek, a Portland-based company, is using 100% recycled cast aluminum in an attractive line of tiles that are finished with a clear, non-toxic powder coat. Use the tiles for countertops and backsplashes, and enjoy a durable, easy-to-clean surface.
If you get itchy just thinking about handling insulation, consider the joy of putting on your favorite jeans. Made with 85% recycled denim and cotton products, Ultratouch fiber insulation by BondedLogic contains no fiberglass or formaldehyde that can lead to irritated skin and poor indoor air quality. Treated with naturally occurring borate minerals, Ultratouch is also fire, mold, and pest resistant. With its natural fibers and non-toxic additives, you can install Ultratouch insulation without personal protection, and the itch.