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10 Products You Need for a Sustainable and Healthy Home

Nichiha

At Nichiha, we’re committed to making our world a better place; and nowhere is that as important as in the home. One question we get often is, “Is fiber cement siding sustainable?” If it comes from Nichiha, it is.

Nichiha’s fiber cement panels are a sustainably produced product that uses recycled materials. But it’s not the only product you can use in and on your home to help it become a sustainable and healthy sanctuary for your family.

Keep reading to find out exactly how fiber cement siding, along with products like bamboo, biocomposites, concrete pavers and more can help make you a sustainable homeowner.

1. Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo flooring is a great sustainable alternative to regular hardwood. It resembles wood aesthetically, but is actually a member of the grass family, meaning it regenerates and grows quickly in comparison to full-grown trees. 

Along with its sustainably speedy growth, bamboo can be harvested about every 3 years, compared to hardwood trees that can only be harvested every 25-50. When you choose bamboo for different applications like tiles, trim & flooring, lumber, countertops and decking, you’re protecting forests from overharvesting.

2. Biocomposites

Biocomposites, also known as bioplastics, are on the rise. Biocomposites are products that are derived from plant, fungal, bacterial and animal sources. When it comes to sustainable construction, plant-based building materials are an incredibly innovative and exciting prospect that are becoming easier and easier to produce, and at a much higher quality than years past.

3. Water-Saving Bathroom Fixtures

A great way to help the environment is to reduce your water usage in your bathrooms. While it can sound difficult, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has made it much simpler with its WaterSense program.

“The WaterSense label makes it simple to find water-efficient products, new homes, and programs that meet EPA’s criteria for efficiency and performance. WaterSense-labeled products and services are certified to use at least 20 percent less water, save energy, and perform as well as or better than regular models.”

Just look for the WaterSense label on bathroom faucets, toilets, showerheads and more, or check out the EPA’s database of approved products here.

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4. Wool Insulation

Wool has a 10% greater insulating factor compared to fiberglass insulation. It is able to absorb, retain and release moisture while still maintaining its thermal properties, meaning you’ll be warmer in wintertime and cooler in the summer. Wool insulation’s manufacturing process is sustainable in production and safer in installation.

Wool improves your indoor air quality by pulling harmful chemicals out of the air, like formaldehyde, nitrogen oxide, and sulfur dioxide. It’s naturally flame resistant, sound deadening giving you great acoustics, non-toxic, and biodegradable with the capability to compost at the end of its life.

5. Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Decor

Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, or MGBW, has partnered with a supplier to develop finishes that reduced their VOC emissions by 40%. 

The back pillows on their upholstery styles are made of partially recycled fibers that were once plastic bottles. And their ozone-friendly foam and padding are made up of 10% soy and are wrapped in 80% regenerated fibers, making them all-natural and a renewable resource.

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All of their wood frames are sourced from local suppliers that are compliant with United States requirements for harvesting and reforestation. They’ve reduced their landfill waste by more than 200 tons each year by upcycling fabric and leather scraps.

6. Tesla Solar Panels 

Solar panels used to be clunky and overbearing, but now, Tesla solar roof shingles are small and designed to blend in almost seamlessly with traditional roof tiles. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, they are functional and durable, protecting your home from the elements as it absorbs sunlight for energy use.

7. Concrete Pavers

Permeable concrete pavers are a system of concrete pavers that have layers of differently sized stone underneath that filter and direct stormwater to underground aquifers. They basically mimic the way natural land absorbs water and are a sustainable addition to an eco-friendly outdoor space.  Any rain that falls on the patio seeps back into the ground, reducing the burden on storm drains.

Having an outdoor space is sustainable in itself, but adding certain materials and design elements to your outdoor area can take it to the next level. 

8. Benjamin Moore Paint

With lead paint a thing of the past, nearly every company has adopted low- to no-volatile organic compound paints as the new normal. But not all no-VOC paints are created equal. Some brands don’t include no-VOCs when it comes to their color-tinting process. 

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At Benjamin Moore, they found a way to make all of their colors completely emission-free with their Natura line. Their Natura line is a 100% acrylic line of paints and they are certified as both allergy- and asthma-friendly. They are the first premium paint manufacturer to earn silver-level certification from the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institution. 

This recognizes them as meeting stringent requirements regarding material health, social fairness, water stewardship, utilization, renewable energy and carbon management.

9. Mushroom Insulation and Particle Board Replacement

Mycelium, or mushroom roots, can be used to make building materials that are even stronger than concrete, more insulated than fiberglass and completely compostable. The big kicker is that mycelium grows without the need for light, underground, meaning there is no need for an external energy source for growth. 

You can find a product called Myco Board, which behaves and looks just like particle board but doesn’t contain an ounce of wood. These boards are cheaper, stronger and lighter than traditional wooden particle boards, and they are compostable. They can be modified to repel any molds or invasive pests and don’t include any harmful chemicals.

10. Nichiha Exterior Siding

Nichiha’s exterior fiber cement siding is a great way to increase the sustainability of your home. NichiProducts (available in the southeast and mid-atlantic US regions only), Architectural Wall Panels, Sierra Shake and Savannah Smooth are all made from recycled materials and come with minimal maintenance with incredible durability and longevity.

Nichiha balances the mixture of their formula with fly ash and wood fibers, two high-performing post-industrial and post-consumer waste products, that would otherwise be hauled to a landfill or burned. We make sure to responsibly source all of their materials and have a superior manufacturing process that balances durability, longevity and thermal mass.

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Nichiha provides homeowners with a more resilient home that can stand tall in extreme conditions, reducing the need for repair, tear-down, or replacement. Our fiber cement siding provides a powerful and affordable back-ventilated and drained rainscreen that increases airflow and evacuates any moisture, contributing to improved indoor air quality.

The siding system is easy to install and integrate with continuous insulation, decreasing energy usage during installation. Nichiha spends millions of dollars in R&D to continuously improve our sustainability practices every year.

Go Sustainable for a Healthy Home

If you’re looking for ways to enhance your home’s sustainability, or need a high-performing solution for exterior protection, head over to our gallery for ideas and inspiration. 

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