As we move further and further into the future, the green revolution is set to continue to grow. The world is waking up to the huge negative impact our modern living has on our planet. As such, there has never been a better time to buy and use eco-friendly materials.
So, why use eco-friendly materials? Eco-friendly materials have a heavily reduced carbon footprint, save energy, conserve energy, use fewer resources to produce, have great reusability, can be recycled easily, are durable, can help improve your health, minimize waste, and are generally better for the planet overall.
If you’re looking to live more green and more ethically in the New Year you should consider buying eco-friendly materials wherever possible, from the bed sheets you sleep on to the wood you use to build your house.
10 Reasons Why You Should Use Eco-Friendly Materials
1. Reduce Carbon Footprint
When it comes to eco-friendly materials, you can be assured that their production has significantly less impact on the planet. Suppliers are using production and supply chain methods that have helped significantly reduce the material’s carbon footprint.
Recycled steel is a great example of a less carbon-intensive material that can save up to 90% of the C02 required to produce steel. Steel is essential to our modern building requirements making recycled steel an invaluable eco-material. It can be recycled continually without any loss in its strength or durability.
Hemp is finally getting the attention it deserves after decades of being shut in the dark. Hemp has incredible versatility as an eco-material being used to create almost anything you can think of. A huge factor for using hemp is it’s significantly reduced the carbon footprint when compared to its alternatives. Producing one ton of steel emits 1.46 tons of Co2, one ton of concrete emits 198kg of C02, and one ton of hemp-lime wall emits just 35.5kg of C02.
2. Energy Saving
Eco-materials do a great job of using less energy throughout their production and manufacturing processes. They also help conserve and save energy during their lifetime once in use.
Due to their sustainability, they help use less energy and resources resulting in less waste. Some traditional materials go through extremely energy-intensive production processes such as cement. Cement is responsible for a large amount of energy used on the planet due to the immense amount of fossil fuels and heat required to produce it.
The production of eco-friendly alternatives to cement such as clay, hempcrete, or grasscrete is significantly lower and presents an opportunity to save tons in fossil fuels, C02 emissions, water, and transportation.
3. Energy Conserving
Once some eco-materials are fitted, they help conserve energy throughout their lifetime. Clay has the ability to keep your house warm in winter and cool throughout summer. Airtight concrete blocks with wooden shutters can eliminate your need to ever switch on the heating in winter. Bamboo charcoal recycles air pollutants and cleans the air within its environment.
Eco-materials offer the opportunity for us to conserve and save huge amounts of energy that would otherwise go to waste. We should start to look at alternatives for all our traditional materials to see what energy savings can be made.
4. Resource Saving
When we start to look at using eco-materials, especially those that have been recycled and reused, we can start to save serious amounts of precious resources. Consider how much energy, water, labor, and transportation is required just to produce one new item for you to purchase.
Products as simple as a pair of jeans use nearly 2000 gallons of water to produce.
Materials such as bamboo are fantastic for their reusability. One of the key issues our planet faces today is plastic pollution. Our oceans, rivers, and lakes are clogging with plastic waste and one way we can help reduce this problem is by using reusable materials.
Bamboo cutlery can be washed and reused over and over again, eliminating the need for single-use items. The BEWBOW Bamboo Cutlery Set (link to read reviews on Amazon) is a perfect eco-friendly and on-the-go alternative for single-use paper and plastic cutlery. Bamboo is also free of harsh chemicals like BPA and is a naturally hygienic material. Bamboo kun is found within bamboo fibers and is antimicrobial bio-agent which gives it natural antibacterial properties.
Other top reusable eco-materials include hemp, glass, ceramic, silicone, cloth, and stainless steel.
A huge step in the fight for a cleaner and less energy-intensive planet is the act of recycling. Many countries now have recycling initiatives that help people dispose of their waste in a proper and more efficient way. The more we recycle the less energy and resources required to produce new things.
Steel, aluminum, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), and paper are some of the most important materials we should try and recycle. Eco-materials like hemp, bamboo, cork, teak, soybean fabrics, organic cotton, glass, and cardboard are all easily recyclable.
By recycling materials, we can save huge amounts of energy that would have been required to create new goods or materials.
Eco-materials are not only sustainable but they’re also incredibly durable too. This makes them exceptionally attractive for consumer goods and especially to builders for materials. Good durability is an important factor in the sustainability of an eco-material.
We can now successfully reduce the costs of materials by using those that are friendlier to the environment and at the same time the material equals and even improves durability. This makes eco-materials an easy sell for consumers and builders.
Traditional materials, such as steel and concrete, are solid but can not outlast some of the new eco-materials coming to the market. Not only are the eco-materials, such as bamboo, more durable they’re also softer, more elastic, easier to use, bend, and customize. This is helping to radically change the way we produce consumer goods and building materials.
Some eco-materials hold properties that can actually improve our health. Bamboo is the most interesting with its antibacterial ability. Bamboo bed sheets, for example, due to their superior breathability can help reduce the moisture in your bed which in turn helps eliminate bacteria from breeding in our beds.
Sustainable eco-materials also emit fewer carcinogenic toxins such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like benzene, ammonia, and formaldehyde. All of which can cause health implications when exposed to over long periods of time.
Eco-materials like natural wool carpeting, bamboo walls, and non-VOC paint can improve the quality of air in your home removing harmful pathogens, airborne bacteria, and mold.
9. Minimize Waste
Eco-materials tend to use reclaimed or recycled materials. The more we do this the less waste that is created when producing brand new materials, items, or goods. This helps avoid depleting natural resources by reducing the demand for both resource and labor-intensive materials.
Waste will always exist no matter what materials we use in our lives, but we can make better choices picking materials that create significantly less waste.
Materials such as newspaper wood, recycled blocks, blood brick, mushroom walls, and cork all use mostly waste to be produced.
10. Ethical Choice
When we proactively choose eco-materials over traditional, more wasteful materials we are helping to reduce the negative impact on our planet. Often, we can feel helpless in the fight against the destruction of our planet, but if we all individually try harder to make better choices we can create one huge effort that really has a positive impact.
Knowing we’re helping the environment instead of hurting it is a great feeling to live with. By choosing eco-materials you’re helping create demand for more ethical ways of living which is noticed by big corporations all across the world. That demand is then met by those same corporations creating more ethical business practices.
Your choices can help change the way corporations treat the planet by demanding more ethically sourced and produced materials. Every time you buy an item made with an eco-material, you’re voting for a better world.
Eco-materials are becoming more commonplace in every aspect of our lives. As we continue to discuss the issues of climate change and pollution, eco-materials are sure to become an integral part of the solution. Building and consumer goods account for a large percentage of the world’s C02 problem.
It’s important that we, as consumers and citizens of this planet, get on board with this new eco-materials drive. We should try to embrace eco-materials in every aspect of our lives where possible. Doing so will create demand and that demand will encourage large corporations to switch to more environmentally friendly practices that benefit us, animals, and the planet.