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Which Materials Are Best for a Sustainable Home

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Finding sustainable materials for your home requires that you develop an understanding of manufacturing processes. Even the materials listed can become not so sustainable if the growers and manufacturers aren’t using eco-friendly practices, so check out any company you want to buy from first.


Bamboo fiber is an excellent material to use for carpets, window treatments, towels, and the like. If you can find textiles made from bamboo fibers, including bamboo hardwood, you can really create a house that is exceptionally eco-friendly, as bamboo thrives quickly and grows in just three years compared to 120 years for a tree.

Rammed Earth

Think of this like building a sandcastle. Only it’s sounder, and you can live in it. It’s made with a mixture of soil and cement that you compact into forms to make the walls.

Recycled Steel

When you can find recycled steel, it might cost a little more right now, but the fact that you’re using something again makes your home even more eco-friendly than if you just used new steel. Consider using something like a steel cargo container to build a house with.

Sheep’s Wool

When it comes to using fibers, sheep’s wool is very sustainable. Sheep are not harmed when they are sheared, and they can be sheared repeatedly throughout the life of the sheep.  

Straw Bales

Did you know that you can build a house with straw? Well, you can, and it usually costs about 10 to 15 percent less if you build it yourself. The labor is intense so that it can add to the building cost, but the cost to the environment is far less than traditional building.

Precast Concrete

This sustainable green product is durable, uses less water, and is a primary material used in most LEED-certified buildings today. But it will cost you a little more for your build due to the process it takes. You can expect to spend about 8 percent more using precast concrete.

Reclaimed or Recycled Wood

While this type of material is an excellent choice for your building needs, you will end up spending more on it than traditional wood choices. However, the overall cost isn’t that much more when you consider other benefits of using reclaimed or recycled wood, such as using something already made and giving it a new life.


You can build an amazing house with recycled cork blocks. Cork comes from trees, but if you can reuse it, then you’re doing something very sustainable. In fact, it’s already sustainable due to the way they harvest it. They can harvest one tree up to twenty times compared to one time if you use wood. Cork works excellent for floor tiles, insulation, and more.


Using hemp such as hempcrete is a very sustainable product to build with. Right now, you will spend more building your home using hemp, but it’s a fantastic building material that holds up and is environmentally friendly because hemp is carbon negative. As more people use it, it will get cheaper.

Soybean Fabric

Soy protein makes an amazing fabric and amazing milk too. The great thing about this material is that it’s antibacterial, biodegradable, and it can be light and soft, which is great for curtains, blankets, and fabric coverings for your furniture. It is essential to source only organic soy products to ensure environmentally-friendly growing practices are used. These materials, in addition to other natural materials like organic cotton, especially if it’s recycled, are all excellent choices for building or redesigning your sustainable home.

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