Given the limited resources the Earth has, coupled with how aware we are now of the limits of these finite resources, recycled materials are becoming more and more in demand. While most people’s idea of recycled material is limited to recycled paper and plastic, it turns out there are quite a few recycled materials available for repairing or building homes. Here are a few:
While most people think cork is limited to boards and wine bottles, several companies have found ways to recycle these corks into mosaic cork flooring as well as soundproof wall and ceiling panels. Given how much cork tends to back up in landfills, recycling corks is a great way to help the environment while providing a unique touch to your home.
While most people are already recycling newspapers into recycled paper, a Dutch company has been recycling newspapers into compressed layers with a wood grain texture that be used for various home applications. While it can’t be used for anything bearing heavy loads, it can be used for other home improvements.
Bark is an amazing natural surface. It’s durable and weather resistant. Most lumber companies just throw them away the bark, but there are companies that take the bark and turn it into siding for homes. Bark House, the foremost company for developing natural bark siding is the only siding manufacturer with the Cradle to Cradle Platinum certification, emphasizing their dedication to the environment.
The main provider of recycled glass tiles in the US is Fireclay Tile. Operating out of California, they create hand-made glass tiles made of 100% locally sourced recycled glass. VOC-free pigmentation means that you can get safe, environmentally friendly glass tiles with a texture reminiscent of sea glass.
While all steel made in North America is already about 30% recycled, it’s possible to get steel with a higher recycled percentage. The best part? Steel is 100% recyclable after it’s used so the steel you use will eventually go into other steel products in the future. It’s a great way to invest in the future while reinforcing your home with a sustainable, environmentally friendly material.
Fly coal ash is a byproduct of coal combustion, which tends to backup landfills. It turns out that fly coal ash, when mixed with concrete makes for a stronger, more durable concrete that’s also environmentally friendly. A good foundation for both your home, and for a sustainable, eco-friendly lifestyle! The best part is, the process ensures that even if the concrete is demolished, the ash won’t become a pollutant.
Enviroboard is actually the name of a UK based company that sells a unique material called Fireboard. Fireboard is a composite material created using multiple elements such as sawdust, magnesium, and fiber cloth. The result is a board that can be used to replace wood that’s stronger, won’t warp due to humidity, fire resistant, and environmentally friendly.
Would you consider using any of these materials in your home? What would you use them for? We’d love to hear your ideas! Please let us know!