Eco-Friendly Building Materials

Living Green with Solar Panels
Justin Horrocks / Getty Images

Buying products for your green home remodel can be a challenge: how can you tell the eco-friendly building materials from all the greenwashing out there? Generally, you should look for products made from natural, renewable materials and products with recycled content. I've compiled a list of sustainable products for your home remodel, organized by category.

Flooring

  • Natural or recycled carpets
  • Recycled rubber
  • Recycled tile

Paint

  • Low VOC paint
  • No VOC paint
  • Natural paint
  • Non-toxic stain

Walls and Ceilings

  • Recycled-content drywall
  • FSC wood framing
  • Salvaged structural members

Special Finishes

  • Recycled glass tile
  • Grasscloth wallpaper

Caulks & Adhesives

  • Soy-based sealants
  • Low VOC adhesives and sealants

Insulation

  • Recycled newspaper
  • Recycled blue jeans
  • Recycled plastic
  • Wool
  • Spray foam

Wood and Millwork

  • Salvaged millwork and trim
  • FSC wood millwork and trim

Roofing

  • Recycled metal
  • Slate tile
  • Clay tile
  • Fiber cement
  • FSC wood shakes
  • Green roof

Exterior Cladding