Popular “Green” Home Products
Reclaim Your Floors
Renewable, durable, and versatile, reclaimed wood is recycled — no new trees are chopped down for your floors. For a truly green floor, make sure any adhesive backing is free of formaldehyde and other harmful VOCs.
Passive Solar Design
Passive solar design captures the sun’s energy to keep interiors toasty and save you energy costs. Concrete floors and thick interior walls made of concrete, brick, or plaster soak up heat during the day and release it at night when sunlight goes away or your cozy fire goes out. That helps stabilize temperature fluctuations and makes a room — or house — more comfortable. If your remodel plans don’t include passive solar design, you can always beefing up your insulation is a good alternative.
Thumbs Up for Terrazzo
Chips of recycled glass cast into a concrete slab make up terrazzo, a green countertop choice known for its durability and nearly limitless color options. Recycled components make up the bulk of the material — the glass chips usually come from post-consumer sources, such as bottles and windshields, which make terrazzo a greener choice than granite, however not a less expensive option. On the upside, it’s easy to clean, and so tough that you can put a hot pot directly on it.
Wood-burning fireplaces are romantic, but they’re messy, inefficient, and produce pollutants that irritate lungs. A more eco-friendly choice: a direct-vent gas fireplace. Direct-vent fireplaces use outside air for combustion and convert up to 80% of the fuel they burn into usable heat (wood-burners convert only about 10% of their fuel). Direct-vent fireplaces don’t require a chimney, either — they can be vented horizontally or vertically.