More and more new homeowners are interested in having their homes built in an environmentally responsible manner. But what does that mean? What makes one home more environmentally sound than another? When you're buying a new home, here are three simple ways to go "green":
Look for products that don't waste energy
This isn't just smarter for the environment - it's smarter for your pocketbook. The insulators that play a large factor in our homes' energy efficiencies are often overlooked. But the insulation used can significantly decrease your energy intake. Homeowners can upgrade insulation in their existing home to fill gaps and voids that allow warm air to escape in colder months and keep the hot summer sun out during the summer.
Many manufacturers offer a huge range of insulating products for new construction or remodels. Not only do foam and other expandable insulating products help preserve the energy you're using in your home, but they can also offer noise reduction solutions between rooms.
Look for products that don't waste resources
Energy conservation is only one piece of the puzzle. To truly demonstrate concern for the environment requires utilizing materials that don't cause an unnecessary drain of natural resources. Some of the most dramatic changes in the use of resources have come in the wood products arena. Manufacturers have developed highly sophisticated technology to minimize waste and improve product performance at the same time.
In hardwood flooring, Weyerhaeuser has taken a different approach to being efficient with natural resources. The company recently introduced Lyptus® hardwood.
According to Ian Firth from Weyerhaeuser Building Materials, "We spent five years conducting research and extensive testing to bring something new to the high-grade wood flooring industry that we can honestly say is environmentally friendly."
When asked about the specific environmental benefits of Lyptus® materials, Firth explained, "We selected a Eucalyptus hybrid as a the primary species for Lyptus® products, but we relocated it to Brazil. In that climate, the trees we planted on plantations will grow to harvest size in approximately 14 - 16 years -- 2-3 times faster than comparable premium hardwood species such as cherry or mahogany. This enables us to produce more flooring material faster, while using less of the earth's resources. The plantations are also interspersed with indigenous species to help protect and enhance natural ecosystems."
Lyptus® materials feature a beautiful grain making it a versatile hardwood that takes a wide range of stains and finishes evenly such as: walnut, cherry, mahogany or maple - depending on the finish material used. Lyptus® products are available as flooring, cabinets and furniture, and has generated enthusiasm among homeowners nationwide.
To learn more about Lyptus® products, talk with an expert by calling (877) 235-6873 or visit www.weyerhaeuser.com/lyptus to locate the distribution center nearest you. Lyptus® materials are manufactured by Weyerhaeuser and Aracruz Wood Products de Madeira, S.A., through a Joint Operating agreement, and distributed by Weyerhaeuser throughout North America.
Look for products that incorporate recycled materials
It's one thing to not waste raw materials; it's another to actually turn waste into raw materials. Post industrial and post consumer waste is quickly becoming a viable source for creating innovative new building materials - discarded items are given a second life instead of being tossed in the dumpster.
Exterior surfaces such as decks are the perfect place to incorporate other recycled elements. Here again, Weyerhaeuser is at the cutting edge of the industry, introducing ChoiceDek® decking. A composite made of recycled plastic and wood fiber, ChoiceDek® products are virtually maintenance free and don't splinter. Decorative railing systems, longer life spans and an option for use in wet climates (such as dock, marina and boardwalk projects) make composite decking a great choice for homeowners.
As long as demand for environmentally responsible products continues to grow, manufacturers will continue to develop innovative materials. New products allow homeowners to select products that help preserve natural resources - all without compromising on quality or style.
To learn more about ChoiceDek's® low maintenance composite decking products that combine modern durability with the classic appearance of wood, visit: www.choicedek.com. To find a dealer nearest you, call the customer service line at (877) 235-6873 (U.S.) or (888) 439-8822 (Canada), or visit your local home improvement center.