Let’s take a look at what exactly comprises green building materials as many well-meaning environmentalists have a limited view of the many ways to “go green.” A variety of criteria are involved when defining green building materials and if you plan to use them in your home then you should be aware of what they are exactly. Many homeowners have the mistaken belief that green building materials are exclusively manufactured to be green, that is, environmentally friendly but this isn’t always the case.
For example, suppose you purchase all new, energy efficient appliances as part of your home improvement project. While these appliances would be considered green, so would the plain old used ones you might buy, thus keeping them out of the local landfill. It’s important to consider many different ways of going green because they all help the environment in one way or another and some of them can be a big help to your pocketbook as well.
Go green by purchasing your building materials and other items locally, thus avoiding the further transportation costs, energy usage, and pollution involved in transporting your goods to you. Amazingly, many environmentalists will go out of their way to purchase so called “green” items online, never thinking for a moment what is involved in transporting those items. Anything you can buy used is another way to “go green,” as you will be saving valuable landfill space.
If you haven’t already, go online to freecycle.org and look for the freecycle community in your area. Freecycle is an effort to keep things out of landfills all across the United States and in so doing, a variety of free items are offered from one member to the entire community. Check your local freecycle community to see if there is anything currently being offered that you would otherwise need to buy. Be sure and return the favor too and offer your used building materials or scraps to the community as well.
Local Demolitions and Contractors
Anything you can keep out of the landfill and use yourself is considered “green” so check with local contractors and demolition crews to see what you might be able to scavenge. While you may not get it for free, you will still save a lot of money over buying the same materials new and you will be able to keep with your “green” lifestyle. With a little effort, you can find many of your home improvement needs in a fashion that is in keeping with “green living.” In addition, when you replace worn out appliances or other household items, make the effort to give them away rather than haul them away to the dump.