If you’re remodeling your home with sustainability in mind, there are a wide variety of eco-friendly building materials you can use for every part of your project.

Your Home’s Exterior

  1. Siding — look for reclaimed wood siding from a salvage yard. If you’re choosing a new product look for ones with the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) sustainability certification.
  2. Roofing — choose natural materials like slate, clay tiles or wood shakes. You can even find recycled metal roofing panels made from recycled aluminum and other metals.
  3. Trim — You can look for the FSC certification for wood trim and for millwork, as well as search for salvaged items from old construction at architectural antique stores.

In the Walls

  1. Drywall — some drywall panel products are made from recycled materials.
  2. Lumber — look for salvaged framing lumber for structural framing work, or if you are choosing new lumber, look for the FSC certification.
  3. Insulation — instead of fiberglass, choose natural materials like shredded newspaper and other materials treated with fire retardant. Or, recycled plastic pellets made from old milk cartons. Some insulation is made from soybean foam or sheep’s wool!

Inside Your Home

  1. Wallpaper — choose grasscloth wallpapers that use renewable grasses instead of vinyl.
  2. Floor Tile — some tile is made from recycled crushed glass. Look for countertop products made from this same material.
  3. Paint — choose zero- or low-VOC (Volitile Organic Compounds) paint, which can be natural, non-toxic and free of petrochemicals.