Easy on the eye and on the earth, sustainable materials ranging from reclaimed wood to bamboo have made a splash in the DIY scene as they have been introduced into residential and commercial spaces around the globe. If you haven't capitalized on this growing trend that’s here to stay, you might be pondering the question, "Why should I bother using sustainable materials?" Read on to get the full scoop on the myriad benefits of introducing sustainable materials into your home or office.
Saying "yes" to sustainable materials is a simple but proactive way to reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals and improve indoor air quality in the home or office. Why is this? Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and their close cohorts, mold, carcinogens, and other toxins can be emitted into living spaces by a surprising number of traditional building materials, finishes, and household products from insulation to paint. While we can't see these substances, they can silently pollute indoor air, aggravate allergies, and adversely impact our health. Sustainable materials like bamboo, cork, clay, wool, salvaged metal, recycled glass, and VOC-free reclaimed wood products like Stikwood, forgo most harmful toxins and pollutants to afford optimal indoor air quality and a healthier environment that you can feel safe coming back to every day.
When it comes to protecting the environment, sustainable materials are a triple threat - conserving precious natural resources, saving energy, and reducing waste. This is possible because sustainable materials rely on renewable resources that nature replenishes and therefore can be used repeatedly without being exhausted. Trees, for example, can be used to produce a host of commodities including wood, paper, and leather. If new trees are planted at the same rate that existing trees are harvested, the supply of trees can be conserved for future generations. When responsibly sourced materials such as reclaimed wood from a barn are in turn recycled into products like reclaimed wood paneling for the home or office, this helps minimize the energy and landfill waste that would otherwise have been generated by manufacturing interior decor from scratch.
The longevity of sustainable materials such as reclaimed wood, adobe, wool bricks, or solar tiles can be credited to their hardy composition. For example, reclaimed wood found in old barns, farmhouses, and mills is often derived from trees that have aged for decades to a century or longer. Reclaimed wood paneling produced from this mature wood is stable in the face of temperature and moisture variation, making it equally as resilient as it is visually striking. What is more, sustainable materials tend to require less maintenance, fewer repairs, and infrequent replacement, giving you more bang for your buck when compared with traditional materials.
Planning on selling your house now or in the future? It can pay to be a tree hugger. A study by the nonprofit Earth Advantage Institute surveying housing markets in Oregon and Washington state found that homes with sustainable certifications sold for between 8 to 30 percent more than their non-certified counterparts. Even if you're not gung-ho about obtaining a certification for your home, introducing one or more sustainable materials into your home can set it apart and boost its appeal in the eyes of real estate agents and would-be buyers.
Unlike traditional materials, sustainable materials are robust enough for features and rooms across the home or office. For example, straw makes for an eco-friendly form of insulation. Reclaimed wood, bamboo, cork, linoleum, or concrete containing recycled components are ideal materials for hard floors. Natural wool makes for low-cost yet luxurious carpeting. And for a touch of rustic glamour, reclaimed wood paneling like Stikwood can be applied anywhere in the interior from walls to tables. Featuring a range of colors and styles, from traditional Reclaimed Weathered Wood to modern Minimalist Fir, Stikwood offers sustainability-minded DIYers an unmissable opportunity to increase both the durability and beauty of the home or office.