5 sustainable materials to help you go green at home

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Many home owners are starting to become more aware of how and where the materials in their home are sourced, and want to invest in greener, more sustainable textiles, flooring, and home décor.

Finding sustainably sourced items that suit your style and budget is easier than you might think. There are dozens of choices—from flooring to mattresses, bedding, and curtains—that, thanks to scientific and industrial advancements, are nearly the same price as more traditional options.

Here are five top choices for sustainable building and home décor materials to purchase when you want to reduce your carbon footprint and make your home more eco-friendly.

1. Bamboo

Bamboo is one of the most versatile sustainable materials available to homeowners, and also one of the most affordable. Its water resistance and durability make it a natural choice for flooring, since it will not stain or become damaged like many hardwoods when exposed to moisture or everyday friction. Bamboo is friendlier for the environment than hardwoods, since it grows extremely quickly and can be harvested frequently and with less impact.

Bamboo is also naturally anti-bacterial, which makes it an ideal fiber for making bedding and mattresses. Make sure to purchase only products labeled as 100 percent bamboo. Rayon made from bamboo has much more of an environmental impact, due to the fact that it is manufactured using carbon disulfide, which also strips the bamboo of its natural antibacterial qualities.

2. Cork

Cork is a buoyant, nearly impenetrable wood product made from the bark of the cork oak. Because the tree is not cut down during harvest and can continue to grow for up to 300 years, cork is very friendly for the environment and has gained popularity as a sustainable construction and home décor material.

Cork is used to make everything from bricks to doormats and bathroom flooring. Corkboard is also a great alternative to petrochemical-based insulation products, as it is non-allergenic, fire-retardant, and cannot be penetrated by water or air. Try recycling old wine stoppers to make DIY cork crafts and décor.

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