Thursday, October 05, 2006

Green Home Improvement Tip No.3

Use materials with a high recycled content.

The building industry consumes 90% of the UK's non-energy related minerals - using 420 million tonnes every year and creating 150 million tonnes of waste.

Using materials with a high recycled content is one way of reducing this impact. The good news is that many standard building products already contain significant amounts of such materials and better examples can be found by shopping around. For example, with chipboard (see pic) the standard recycled content of chipboard is 65%, but you can get up to 90%.

In our renovation, we used Fermacell instead of plasterboard for our walls (in the background in the pic). This is made from recycled newspapers, gypsum from power station emissions treatment and potato starch - a whopping 99% recycled material. It is more expensive than plasterboard but has better fire prtotection properties and you can hang heavy pictures easily as it will take screws directly.

If you want to choose your materials on this basis, the best guide I have found is from the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP). This is a daunting 158 pages of data, but if you go to p14, you can click on the link to the type of product you want, and then select whichever brand name appeals most.


At 7:48 AM, Blogger Gareth Kane said...

I've been having a few problems with the WRAP document due to the way their website works. You may have to go to and search for it.




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