Our click-and-go guide to earth-friendly materials
Active solar energy: Energy created from exposure to the sun, captured through equipment installed in buildings; used to generate energy and heat.
Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs): Fluorescent lighting that uses up to one quarter the energy of incandescent bulbs, producing the same output with a lifespan up to 10 times longer.
Drip irrigation: Landscape watering through small, perforated underground pipes that deliver water to roots of plants, slowing evaporation.
Dual flush: Long popular in Europe and Asia, a dual flush toilet system reduces overall water consumption by providing two different flushing forces.
Energy Star: A government-backed program that encourages production and use of household products that use less energy, save money, and help protect the environment. To gain the Energy Star rating, products must meet stringent energy efficiency criteria set by the U. S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Engineered wood: A wood product derived from fast-growing, small-diameter trees as well as from wood strands, veneers, lumber, and other forms of wood fiber that might otherwise be discarded.
Fly ash: A byproduct of coal-burning power plants, which is usually dumped in landfills. Fly ash has binding properties similar to cement and can be substituted for the large portions of cement used when making concrete. Also used as an ingredient in brick, block, paving, and structural fills.
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC): A nonprofit organization that sets environmental standards for forest management worldwide. FSC-certified wood is sustainably harvested, helping to conserve old-growth forests and the ecosystems they support.
Gray water: Wastewater from sinks, showers, and laundry that is reused for irrigation systems.
Low-E windows: Low emissivity glass has a clear coating that absorbs and reflects radiant heat and UV rays, helping to keep your home cooler in summer and warmer in the winter.
Low VOC: Volatile organic compounds (VOC) area chemicals that evaporate easily at room temperature. The term “organic” indicates that the compounds contain carbon which off-gasses and pollutes the air. Paints and materials with low VOCs have low levels of toxicity.
Natural fiber fabrics: Materials such as cotton, wool, silk, and linen that are biodegradable and require little energy to process.
Passive solar energy: Energy created from exposure to the sun, captured primarily through the design and orientation of a building.
Permeable pavers: Allows rainwater to rapidly infiltrate and enter the sub-base where it is naturally filtered, rather than run off into storm sewers.
Photovoltaic array (PV): Rooftop solar panel system that directly converts sunlight into electricity via an electrical inverter connected to your power meter.
Radiant barrier: A thin layer of metallic foil bonded to roof sheathing, reflecting up to 97 percent of the sun’s heat. Reduces indoor temperatures during peak summer days.
Rainwater harvesting: Storage of rain runoff from downspouts, gutters, and roofs collected in large barrels or tanks for use in landscape irrigation.
Tankless water heater: Up to 70 percent more efficient than traditional water heaters, tankless water heaters provide hot water on demand, reduce or eliminate standby losses, use less space, and last longer than conventional water heaters.
Title 24: Part of the California energy code, revised standards for new home construction require that 50 percent of light output in kitchens derive from high efficiency fluorescent bulbs.
Wheat board: Non toxic particleboard made from 60 million tons of straw waste produced in the U. S. each year and used for furniture, cabinetry, and countertop substrate. Bales of wheat straw are milled into fine particles, and then sorted, dried, and bound together with a formaldehyde-free resin.
Xeriscape: Low-water landscaping with slow-growing, drought-tolerant plants in order to conserve water and reduce yard trimmings. Xeriscapes generally require less maintenance, fertilizer, and pest control than traditional landscapes.
/ 100 percent wool Wave Wool
One Earth One Design
Recycled glass drawer pulls
Recycled glass plates
CABINETS AND SHELVING
Nontoxic laminate veneer
Recycled teak storage shelves
/ EcoResin, a 40 percent recycled polyester resin
COUNTERS AND SINKS
Concrete with fly ash and porcelain
Designed by / from recycled toilets
Concrete with recycled rice hulls
Concrete with stones
Paper and phenolic resin
/ reclaimed teak
Recycled cast aluminum
800/598-9663 or 877/463-8379
Pervious driveway stone
EXTERIOR WALL SURFACES
Alcohol-fuel, flue-less burner
/ AnyFire log, made of bio-wax and is clean-burning
Nontoxic adhesive backing
/ bio-based material created from sunflower hulls
FSC-certified wood (Forest Stewardship Council)
Available from , 800/281-9785 and , 650/369-5001
/ certified hardwood and engineered flooring
/ EcoCycle, recycled porcelain
/ Debris series has 50 percent recycled materials
(for distributors) / La Luna armchair made of handwoven rattan vines over a sustainably harvested mahogany wood frame
/ online rug collection contains a minimum of 10 percent recycled content; mill operates with 100 percent renewable electricity
800/423-4709, ext. 3
/ round floor mat handmade of recycled vintage leather belts at TING Studios in the United Kingdom
/ Festival from the Woodstock Collection, 53 percent wool and 47 percent paper
/ hand painted canvas rug
/ Bamboo Timbre Mondo bed
/ sustainably harvested cherry Anders Bed
/ Seagrass Havana Slipper Chair
/ bamboo, water-based glue, non-VOC coating
Designed by / made of concrete and rice hulls
(for distributors) / made of bamboo and recycled plastic
/ Copenhagen Lounge Chair with recycled industrial materials
/ Ironwood Stump Table, hand-carved from fallen ironwood trees
/ Maui Sofa Bed, kraft paper twisted around steel wire
(for distributors) / Chiquita Stool, natural rattan poles and molded steel base
/ Hoodoo pillow of reclaimed Ultrasuede filled with down and feathers by Galya Rosenfeld
/ EasyFit insulation, fiberglass strands that improve heat resistance and sound control
/ UltraTouch, recycled denim
/ TechShield, prevents radiant heat from entering an attic
KITCHEN AND BATH PLUMBING FIXTURES
/ Kohler Stillness® widespread lavatory faucet, #K-942-4
/ Kohler low flow “Coralais”
/ Kohler MasterShower Ecofficient showerhead with mixer – Kohler Stillness thermostatic valve trim
/ Axor Terrano
/ Kohler, dual flush, “Escale”
/ LED lighting
/ Red Shovel Glass Company, recycled glass mulch and recycled ceramic shard gravel
/ tumbled recycled glass
/ from salvaged and reclaimed urban forests
/ recycled peach pits
/ artificial turf made using soybean oil, post-industrial waste, and recycled plastics.
/ solar lanterns
/ Furrows Pendant Lamp from reclaimed wood
Sensors and dimmers
/ Maestro IR remote-control dimmer
/ Vacancy Sensor switch
by Michelle Kaufmann Designs
by Michelle Kaufmann Designs
by Michelle Kaufmann Designs
/ Emmett Chair, 80 percent post-industrial recycled plastic
877/740-3387 x 106
Reclaimed redwood furniture
/ low-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints
/ E cote, recycled paint products
/ no-VOC paints
/ steel roofing and siding
/ TITAN Cool Roof, highly reflective coatings to minimize heat gain
/ metal roofing and siding products
/ information on green roofs
/ information on organic green roofs
/ green roof industry infrastructure association
/ an organization for sustainable building
/ Database of State Incentives for Renewables, a project of the North Carolina Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council & Efficiency
Solar fountain pump and photovoltaic panel
/ directory of renewable energy professionals created through a joint partnership between the American Solar Energy Society, Solar Electric Power Association, Energy Matters LLC, and the U.S. Department of Energy
STRUCTURE AND FRAMING
/ insulated concrete forms
/ I joists, Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL), and Oriented Strand Board (OSB)
Structural insulated panels (SIPs)
Recycled ceramic and lavastone
/ recycled glass tile
/ Debris series
/ mosaic blend tiles
/ handmade tiles
/ Wonderwater Rain Catchment Systems
Tankless hot water heaters
WINDOWS AND DOORS
/ recycled plastic resin Bear Grass
/ painted handwoven bamboo ColorWeave shades