Recycled Materials: Why they’re better for our community and our homes

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by Jackie Edwards

With the climate crisis still a growing threat, people are trying to find more ways to attain sustainability. In Canada, the government is  aiming to reduce total greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030 through different strategies, some of which are already underway. It is no secret that one of the best ways to help the environment is through recycling, and nowadays, more and more companies are using recycled materials to create products. They are even using recycled materials for homes. 

North Grenville is not a novice when it comes to helping the environment, with its Waste Reduction week every October, and other current projects. However, the NG council may want to consider promoting the use of recycled materials for home construction projects. Not only can it save homeowners money, but it can also help them do their part to preserve the planet. 

Waste or Landfill Diversion:

Waste reduction should be a priority, since landfills all over the world are running out of space. By using recycled materials for construction projects and home decoration, you’re able to find a purpose for them before they get sent to landfill, greatly reducing negative environmental effects. Materials like paper, glass, metal, floor coverings, insulation, and other types of construction and demolition materials can be diverted from landfills. Many community groups and elected governing bodies, such as homeowners association, have sustainability as a goal, so organising a zero-waste project won’t be a problem. In fact, according to a recent report, citizens are actually ready to rise up against developers that negatively impact their community’s environment.

Minimises Deforestation:

Wood is one of the main materials used for construction projects or for building homes. To address the demand, many companies lead to deforestation, or the process of clearing, destroying, or otherwise removal of trees to create wood materials. Deforestation has devastating environmental impacts, including climate change, soil erosion, fewer crops, flooding, and increased greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. A great alternative is recycling materials. Recycling, or repurposing, wood can greatly minimize deforestation, and prioritizing construction projects that use recycled materials can also help to  reduce waste. 

Avoiding Health Hazards:

Home construction materials have a surprisingly high number of chemicals that may be harmful for your health. Children, in particular, can be very sensitive when it comes to chemicals. The most common chemical is formaldehyde, which has been scientifically linked to some forms of cancer. Other chemicals cause irritations, breathing problems, and hormonal changes, but choosing eco-friendly materials will solve these issues. Meanwhile, on a global scale, it is widely known that decomposing waste produces carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane. These gasses all contribute to the air pollution that causes various respiratory diseases, so recycling materials for construction projects can help in minimizing these effects on people’s health. 

North Grenville already has strategies in place to help with the climate crisis. But homeowners can still do more in order to achieve sustainability. Construction and home renovation projects that use recycled materials can be a great new strategy to save the earth.

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