For years, environmentalists have criticised traditional construction materials and techniques as being far too harsh on the planet. Finally, the industry is responding with some fantastic new eco-friendly options. You can have an almost completely environmentally friendly home these days, whereas even a generation ago this would have been impossible. The following are just a few of the amazing new environmentally friendly construction materials now available.

Eco-friendly paints

Considering that people used lead paint in their homes up until quite recently, today’s paints offer a huge relief from such toxic options, with a big push in the world of paints these days to go toxin-free. Farrow & Ball paint has been one of the industry leaders in the environmental paint movement, producing the highest quality paints using naturally occurring pigments, as well as natural ingredients like Lime Putty and China Clay. Farrow & Ball’s paints are water based and meet the European Union’s strict standards on Volatile Organic Compounds, showing that you can produce high-quality paint without it needing to be toxic.

Bamboo flooring

A fantastic option for a more environmentally friendly flooring option in custom homes, bamboo is technically a grass, but it can provide you with flooring that is very much like hardwood. The thing that makes bamboo such an eco-friendly option is how fast it grows, with a bamboo plant generally taking three to five years to reach maturity, as opposed to most hardwoods which take between 20 and 120 years to do the same.

Recycled materials

Using second-hand materials in building construction will often do the exact same job a new product would do while taking a little pressure off the environment. Items like bricks, tiles and metal siding are often in good supply second hand, and if you are lucky enough to live near a ‘Tip Shop’, you might find you can do almost all of your construction with recycled materials.

All-natural carpet

An impressive new development in environmentally friendly flooring is the eco-friendly ‘Bio-Floor’ being produced by Earth Weave Carpet Mills in the United States. These carpets make use of a base of hemp, jute and all-natural rubber to provide the backing for gorgeous carpets of untreated, undyed wool. These extremely comfortable carpets are 100 per cent natural, non-toxic, and are even biodegradable, so for an earth-conscious choice for your flooring needs, ‘Bio Floor’ is setting a very high standard.

Straw bales

This amazing idea has taken hold as a sustainable building option over the past 20 years, offering a low impact way to achieve maximum insulation. The straw used is commonly wheat, rice rye or oat straw, and apart from requiring a little thicker walls, straw bales will work just the same as any other insulation, except better and without harming the planet.

If you are having something built, whether it is a home or a garage, always keep in mind the impact it will have on the environment, because nowadays you have the choice of being able to make more earth-friendly choices. Often the eco-friendly options will be better for you as well as the environment, so do everyone a favour and opt for the most environmentally friendly construction materials available.

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