Choosing Natural Building Materials for Improved Indoor Air Quality

You might think building a green home automatically means you’re building one with good indoor air quality. That’s not necessarily the case. There’s no guarantee eco-friendly materials are also low in pollutants. And what you put in your home after construction can have an enormous impact on air quality. Here are three ways to ensure the air you’re breathing inside your home is as good as — or better than — the air you’re breathing outside.

A Closer Look at Recycled Countertops

When one home-building couple first started looking for sustainable countertop materials, they were focused on options made with recycled materials. In their quest for the perfect tops, they stumbled upon a more cost-effective way to incorporate recycled countertops into their home’s design.

Laying Salvaged Tiles

A simple technique for using salvaged tiles to make beautiful floors.

The Recycled Log Cabin

I love my two-story log cabin, which combines recycled and an array of green building materials.

The $30 Greenhouse

The joy and sustainability of a greenhouse made of salvaged everything (well, almost).

Recycled Map Crafts

Use old maps to wallpaper a room, shade a window, create a scrapbook, and other useful household crafts.

Chic Crafts From Upcycled Clothing and Homemade Recycled Paper

You can upcycle (make crafts from recycled materials) to beautifuly and simplify your world! Have a few old T-shirts that are past their prime? Make them into a rosette pillow! Use homemade recycled paper to send friends and family chic, personalized greetings cards. Overrun with stuff to recycle? Transform tin can lids into a melodious windchime! Have fun and get creative turning your old stuff into treasures!

A Recycled T-Shirt that Prevents Green Washing

ECO360 Trust produces sustainable T-shirts made from 100% recycled PET plastic water bottles. ECO360 Trust is a campaign of the non-profit Institute for Sustainable Communication.

Recycled Plastic Block Houses

Turn low value plastic trash into valuable building blocks with a $300 homemade press. Free plans for a hand operated press are available. A mechanized version could be made by converting a log splitter.

How to Make Your Own Paper

If you have a lot of excess scrap paper like I do, it’s time to put that waste to better use. Read this do-it-yourself article about how to make your own homemade, recycled paper, and then get to work turning trash into treasure.

Convert a Used Grain Bin to a New House

Recycling a steel grain bin makes great use of an existing structure. You can probably find an inexpensive used grain bin and use it for a home, office, shop or storage.

Reclaimed Furniture

Recycled, repurposed or reclaimed — whatever you call it, using old furniture in new ways is an affordable, eco-friendly DIY project.