Let’s face it: it’s hip to be eco-conscious. Green homes may still be somewhat novel, but they’re becoming way more commonplace these days than they were just a few years ago. Solar power panels are more attainable, and these high efficiency appliances can help save the planet and some money. Plus, new materials are being developed all the time to ensure a higher level of environmental responsibility.
For instance, bamboo has long-since been considered a good flooring choice for those who want to help Mother Earth. Moso Bamboo plants take only five or six years to develop, and when they’re harvested, 80% or more of the forest is left untouched. But outside of China, bamboo was historically difficult to come by, making it an unviable resource for many industries.
EcoPlanet Bamboo aims to change that with its business model. The company’s plan is fairly straightforward: create new bamboo plantations on degraded land in places that have experienced extreme deforestation. Essentially, they aim to solve two problems in one. They’re bringing new life to areas that have been over-harvested and are able to fulfill the bamboo market’s untapped potential by speeding up the process that more conventional foresting requires.
Troy Wiseman, CEO and co-founder of EcoPlanet Bamboo, noted to BOSS, “Combined forest landscape restoration and avoided deforestation through a market-driven solution is central to our mission. We started the company to address the world’s increasing demand for wood and fiber products. These markets continue to drive deforestation across the world — not just in developing countries, but in places such as Canada and Northern Russia, and for products such as toilet paper that we use for a few seconds before throwing away.”
EcoPlanet also works with paper and packaging companies who want to create renewable, responsible products. But EcoPlanet knows that even if the original material is sourced responsibly, that doesn’t always mean it’s manufactured that way.
“The reality is that current processing in China for our key target markets — paper, packaging, and textiles — is a dirty industry,” says Wiseman. “You lose most of the benefits of your renewable, sustainable bamboo fiber if it’s manufactured in a way that leaves a wake of nasty environmental waste. The really big players, the world’s biggest clothing and paper brands, they aren’t willing to make the switch to an alternative fiber without a fully encompassing solution.”
The brand’s existing bamboo plantations in South Africa and Nicaragua, along with their plans for an additional plantation in Ghana, could potentially supply the worldwide fiber market with yearly yields of more than 1 million tons of bamboo. Clearly, their efforts could make a huge impact on the market as we know it.
But bamboo certainly isn’t the only (literal and figurative) green material you can use in your home. Promising research shows that flax and hemp can be used to create particleboards, which are commonly used in countertops and shelving units. Typically, these boards are made from wood chips or sawdust held together with a resin. These wood residues are actually highly sought after across many industries, often resulting in limited supplies and high costs for companies to procure the materials.
Flax and hemp particleboards are lighter than ones made out of wood, which could translate into energy savings and faster production rates. But as of now, the resin makes the financial barrier a bit too high for mass-production. Still, it’s an idea that could become more reasonable in the near future.
Currently, only 121,400 homes around the world are LEED-certified, meaning they meet or exceed the standards for water efficiency, indoor environmental quality, and overall sustainability. But one study found that luxury buyers are willing to pay up to $50,000 more for a home with green upgrades, so it might be an idea worth pursuing.
And what if you want to ensure your home is both green and clean? You’ll want to pick out cleaning products that won’t release harmful chemicals into the environment, I always use TLC Fargo and they make sure to follow my instructions on the cleaning products they use. You can build these kind of homes in all kind of places, city, mountain, beaches, and you can contact myrtle beach home builders to help create your home.
Around 52% of people around the world make purchasing decisions based on packaging that shows a brand makes a positive environmental and social impact, but there are some all-purpose cleaners you might not know are eco-friendly just from the wrapping alone. There are even a few classics like Arm and Hammer, Bon Ami, and Heinz (yes, of the ketchup fame) that you can use without fear. Of course, those newer brands like Seventh Generation, Ecos, and Biokleen will serve you well, too.
Whether you’re remodeling or just doing a bit of spring cleaning, at least there are brands who can help you preserve the planet in the process.