Everything that we reuse or recycle, every material or piece of furniture, means that one less piece of that material needs to be manufactured. That, in return, means that less energy will be used, less pollution created, and the amount of waste going to the landfills decreased.
What are reclaimed materials?
Using reclaimed materials is one of the ways and principles of green, sustainable living. Reclaimed material is everything that can be recycled, reused, or repurposed, including:
- building material
- doors and windows
- roof and wall material
- insulating material
Salvage centers such as the Rebuilding Center, collect and sell such reclaimed materials, salvaged from old buildings or houses, demolition sites, and similar, with the goal of reducing waste and the amount of material going to the landfills.
Benefits of using reclaimed materials
The importance of a sustainable way of life has become greater than ever given the condition of our environment and the climate. With the amount of energy we consume, and the waste we create through our everyday practices, whether consciously or unconsciously, we pollute the air, water, and soil.
One of the ways to take better care of our environment and contribute to its improvement is to try to introduce some sustainable practices into our lives, our homes and our everyday routine – reduce, reuse and recycle. The main priority is to reduce the energy consumption and pollution. Utilizing reclaimed or repurposed building materials is one way to do it.
First of all, for the production of different building materials, great amounts of energy are inevitably used, which emits a lot of pollutants into the air, affecting our climate negatively. By reusing the materials, we decrease the need for the production of new materials, lessening the impact on the environment. The material we no longer need or use should be recycled, repurposed or donated to be reused.
Apart from saving invaluable resources and helping create a more sustainable environment, these practices will also save you money since it is cheaper to reuse than to buy something new!
Building and Designing Practices
One of the practices that is since recently taking hold in the construction and design sector is what we can call conscious building. These building and designing practices are developed and implemented with respect to the environment, and with the goal of having as little impact on it as possible.
The buildings are designed so that they can be adapted, disassembled and reused sometime in the future, if need be, in a way that it is beneficial and efficient in all aspects. This kind of building can be easily and quickly disassembled or adapted, its materials reused, recycled or redirected for further use, their overall impact on the environment is low, and it is generally cost-effective.
Image courtesy of Vo Trong Nhgia Architects on Pinterest
Demolition and material preservation
When it comes to demolition of old buildings, it usually involves a simple process of destroying the building and disposing of the waste that was created as a result. However, there is another approach to the process of demolition, one that is guided by the principles of sustainability and that is committed to reducing our impact on the environment.
This approach demands more attention and patience, and it is not as simple as merely destroying everything. It entails careful disassembly and deconstruction of a building, piece by piece, where all the usable material, furniture, and everything else that can be salvaged is salvaged. All of it is then redirected for some other use, resold or recycled.
You too can reduce, reuse and recycle
Many, if not the majority of the things we own be recycled and/or reused. It is important to think and act consciously, considering our environment, because everything we do and use affects it in some way.
By living green and sustainably we affect it positively and help improve our own climate and quality of life while saving money, having fun, a contributing to a reuse economy!