If you use only green or recycled products, do they make your house GREEN?
Products made from recycled materials don’t make a house “Green” any more than solar panels do. But it is important to keep the goals of sustainable building in mind when making purchasing decisions. That’s not always easy. Take for example a granite countertop. Granite is a natural material and is extremely durable. But what if the stone is imported from the Far East and is mined in a country where labour or environmental laws are suspect? How much energy is consumed if it has to be shipped to another country for polishing and then shipped to a distributor in North America, then to a fabricator for cutting and dimensioning before it finally reaches your home?
Choosing appropriate materials is a lost effort if the house wastes fuel or is poorly designed and built. But given the right context, green products are an important part of sustainability.