In the past, it was often difficult to find useful, beautiful materials for your home and garden building projects while being ecologically-friendly. However, green materials are much more popular now, and thus easier to find. Almost any project that calls for traditional construction materials can now be accomplished using green items. Here are a few of the best consumer options for green home improvement:
Wood and Bamboo
Certain types of wood are very environmentally friendly, and others have a seriously negative impact on mother earth. The best types of wood come from sustainably grown, responsibly harvested forests. Fast-growing trees that do not take too long to reach the desired size are the most appropriate for this type of lumber. Gazebos.com sells structures made of these kinds of wood.
Bamboo is a grass not a tree, but it produces a strong material much like wood. The plant grows extremely quickly, regenerating itself to full size in just six months and tolerating harvest every three years. As a building material, it provides many of the benefits of wood without the negative ecological consequences. Additionally, the act of growing bamboo is beneficial for the environment in many ways.
Replacing part of the wood or bamboo with plastic yields an extremely durable, very green product that can stand in for conventional lumber in buildings, decking, fencing, and more. This material is made from a 50-50 or 40-60 mix of recycled plastic and wood or bamboo fibers. It resists mold and rot, is less toxic than conventional lumber, and is more rigid than pure plastic.
Recycled steel is increasingly being used in home building instead of lumber. Unlike plastic, steel can be almost completely recycled. When steel is recycled instead of dumped in the landfill, it does not contribute to the growing problem of full dumps, and does provide a great green building material.
Solar as a Green Add-On
Although not technically a building material, outdoor structures create places to install solar panels if desired. Not all homes have roofs that are equipped for easy panel installation, but if you are putting up a gazebo, you can choose one that fits your needs. Solar panels can provide electricity to supplement or replace that which you are purchasing from the local electric company. Many people think that building with green materials is a complicated and expensive proposition. This used to be true not that many years ago. However, increasing awareness of what effects humanity is having on the planet combined with improving technology has made the green market explode. Nowadays, it isn’t hard to find green alternatives for almost any traditional construction materials.