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Sustainability: Materials

There are many new products entering the marketplace made from recycled materials, such as this countertop sample, called SHETKA-STONE, made by All- Paper Recycling of New Prague, Minnesota.

"Over the past few decades, there has been an increasing awareness that as a society we have to redesign the systems that produce and support our way of life so that we don't continue to squander the Earth's resources. This concept is called sustainability. Before the Industrial Revolution, the only pollutants entering the thin layer of film around the earth came from the movement of the Earth's crust, such as volcanoes and earthquakes. But over the past 200 years, that biosphere has been undeniably affected by the mining of fossil fuels. Nature's cleaning mechanisms, the green-celled plants that cover our planet, cannot keep up with the increase in pollutants."

"And with a new emphasis on sustainability and renewable materials, there is an enormous amount of recycled materials entering the marketplace--from waterproof countertops made from recycled cardboard to interior trim made from wood scraps. All of these products are quite beautiful, taking on the colors of what they were originally and exhibiting natural textures all their own. Unlike plastic, they have some personality. Like a beautiful piece of wood, they tell us something about their origins."

--from The Not So Big House by Sarah Susanka

General Resources
Panelization | Energy Efficiency | Materials | Simplicity | Guides & Standards

Athena Institute
For more than a decade, the Athena Institute has been helping architects, engineers and others to evaluate the environmental impacts of new and existing buildings through life cycle assessment (LCA). The EcoCalculator offers architects, engineers and others access to instant LCA results for hundreds of common building assemblies.

Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability (BEES) software for material assessment
BEES measures the environmental performance of building products by using the life-cycle assessment approach specified in the ISO 14040 series of standards. All stages in the life of a product are analyzed: raw material acquisition, manufacture, transportation, installation, use, and recycling and waste management.

Provides helpful information for architects and contractors on green building design and construction elements including, windows, flooring, plumbing, insulation, and more.

Green Building Material
California's Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) web site that educates on the use of green building materials and products.

Green Depot
A complete source for green building materials--ones that are healthy and resource-efficient.

Oikos: Green Building Source
A terrific spot for you to begin your search for green building products.

The ReStore
Habitat for Humanity's ReStore resale outlets sell reusable and surplus building materials, furniture and home accessories to the public at a fraction of the retail price. The proceeds help local Habitat affiliates fund the construction of Habitat homes within their communities.

This is a place to find links, learn information, and buy recycled stuff.

Recycler's World
This is a world wide trading site for recyclables.

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