Friday, October 05, 2007

Beyond the Green

Friday, October 05, 2007
Last night I attended the second energy efficiency workshop. This one was focused on building or remodeling with sustainable products. I learned about some cool green building products - I am excited to implement some of these as I update my house!
  • Typical carpet backing, paint, and cabinetry have loads of toxins, which affect indoor air quality. In fact, indoor concentrations of volatile organic compounds are often 2-5x greater than outdoors!
  • Bamboo is a great flooring product. It it not only beautiful and super hard, but bamboo is fast growing - so when it is cut down to create flooring materials, it replenishes quickly.
  • There is this cool insulation on the market that is made of recycled denim - it won't irritate your skin like fiberglass does! It's also very sound absorbent, unlike regular insulation.
  • There are certain brands of paints that are low in odor and toxins.
  • There are some great sustainable countertop options. My favorite is paperstone - made of 50-100% recycled paper!!!
  • A lot of people think that they need to upgrade their windows to cut back on air leakage. The truth is that leaky ducts can cause 30-60% of air loss in a house (compared to about 15% from your windows). So we should get our leaks fixed/sealed first, then get new windows if there is money left over!