Renewable, Salvaged and Recycled Materials

A material that will generate quickly in nature is a renewable material. A great example is bamboo since it matures quickly, in roughly 5-7 years. Further to that, bamboo does not need any pesticides to grow and requires little water. When one thinks of all the vast items that bamboo is made into it seems like a miracle plant. It is made into furniture, cloths and flooring to name a few! Since bamboo is a soft, fast-drying, absorbent and biodegradable material it is a great choice for kid’s clothing and bedding. Other examples of renewable resources: organic cotton (also great for kids), wool, wheatboard and cork.

Keeping things from the landfills and preventing new things from being made is great for the environment and your pocket book! These materials or items are referred to as recycled or salvaged. Used items of varying materials, like toys and bedding do not have any off-gas (it’s long gone) and are therefore better for our family’s over-all health. Products that contain post-consumer recycled content are also a better environmental choice, like toilet paper/tissue made from recycled paper.

Often, used items are not only cheaper, but more unique and more durable. Antique furniture pieces are often examples of unique and durable home décor items that are actually greener because they are being reused over and over again. As long as your antique piece does not contain led-based paints, chances are it is also a chemical-free option since its age means that there is no off-gas or VOC (volatile organic compounds).

Buying things that are made locally is also a great way to stay green and to support your community. Web-sites like are a great way to make purchases directly from those who make it. Many makers are embracing a technique known as “up-cycle”, meaning it is something new made from old materials or waste materials with little to no value. It is recycling and salvaging at its best. How green is that?

References/Recommended Reads:

11 thoughts on “Renewable, Salvaged and Recycled Materials

  1. mommy to James & Etta says:

    Let’s stop consuming so much people! We need to leave a better planet then we received for our children. Our place on this earth is a privilege, not our right to destroy it.

  2. Jayne Charleston says:

    People need to re-think the stuff they buy. Most things are made from extracting something valuable from the environment. I love how you highlighted that by stating that “nothing is new”. We are really disconnected in our buying process. Most of the items we buy not only hurt the environment but another person who made it. Somehow when it winds up in the store all we see is how pretty it looks. We become tempted, we buy and disconnect ourselves from the impact. I am happy to find a site that is talking about this and is trying to create community around natural parenting. Thanks!

  3. James Colden says:

    We really need to re-use the items that are already in existence. People also need to get off the treadmill of buying more and spending more, just to keep up with societal pressures. We cannot buy happiness. Instead we should use our money to buy time – time away from work and the regular 9-5 to be with our family and friends; to do what is really important. I for one think we all spend to much time working while we get further and further into debt. We should have more time to do the things we love, like read great blog posts like this. Cheers!

  4. Amy Belonski says:

    There is enough “stuff” in this country that we really don’t need to keep making more “new” things. I loved that you pointed out that “new” really isn’t real since everything comes from somewhere. What we think of new is really just freshly processed “stuff” that we don’t need, robbing the planet of its precious resources. Why is there such a stigma when shopping second hand? Some of my best buys have been “used” and I always feel like I am the smarter one since I got such a bargain. We really need to stop trying to “keep up with the Jones” – defining ourselves through the expensive things we buy is just plain silly. Great post!

  5. Stanley K says:

    I love that this post is talking about re-using materials instead of just buying “new”. It seems crazy to buy anything new because there is already too much stuff on the planet. Why does everyone want the newest thing, instead of saving money for what matters – like education and organic food, or perhaps giving to someone else who needs it more than you do?!? Thanks for this great site that talks about the importance of consuming a lot less! As parents, we need to teach our children the value of good relationship and protecting the planet, not buying our self-worth.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *