Sustainable Materials

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This is a guide for choosing sustainable materials for your design. Many of these tips came from designer Justin Horst

Building Materials

Tips

  • Use clay, adobe, or terra cotta instead of concrete

Fabrics

Tips

  • Use hemp, cotton, or wool instead of synthetic fabrics

Local Suppliers

  • [www.sewgreen.org Sew Green]

Finish

  • Use plant-based instead of petroleum-based finishes
  • Look for low-VOC products

Foam

Metal

Plastics

  • Use plant-based plastic (PLA) instead of petroleum-based plastics

Paper

Tips

  • Used recycled paper, instead of fresh paper
  • Save paper by using paper that has already been used on one side

Resin/Epoxy

Tips

  • Use plant-based resin/epoxy instead of petroleum-based resin/epoxy.
  • Look for low-VOC products

Products

Wood

Tips

  • Use bamboo composites instead of other wood composites, because bamboo is rapidly renewable
  • Use local wood species instead of exotic wood species. These are more likely to come from sustainably managed forests and will have a lower carbon footprint from transportation.
  • If using exotic wood species, make sure they are FSC or PEFC certified.
  • Use reclaimed wood instead of new wood. Reclaimed wood sometimes comes from old growth trees, which makes it stronger. It can also come from interesting species that are currently protected by CITES and unavailable for purchase.