Are you trying to find out about Eco-Friendly Materials?
So you’ve come to the right location. From beginning to conclusion, you will learn all about Ecofriendly materials here.
So let’s start over at the beginning so as to not waste any more of your time.
Construction activity requires majorly Cement, Sand, wood, steel, water, etc. These construction materials are manufactured or directly taken from nature.
The world’s 55% of wood is cut for non-fuel and 40% of the world’s material and energy is used by construction industries.
One-third of the freshwater available to use is utilized in the construction process.
Climate change, caused by greenhouse gases (mainly carbon dioxide) in the atmosphere, has been considered one of the biggest risks of the 21st century.
According to the National Institute of Building Sciences, buildings generate greenhouse gases i.e. 35% of the carbon dioxide, 49% of the sulphur dioxide, and 25% of the nitrogen oxide present in the atmosphere.
Due to over-exploitation, the availability of natural materials is reducing and prices are increasing continuously.
The utilization of eco-friendly materials can reduce CO2 emission and dependency on materials.
What is Eco-Friendly Material?
”Eco-friendly materials are defined as those materials that enhance environmental improvement throughout their whole life cycle while maintaining accountable performance”.
Eco-materials play a key role in material science and technology to minimize environmental impacts, enhance the recyclability of materials, and increase energy and material efficiency.
Classification of Eco-Friendly Materials-
Eco-materials are classified based on the life cycle concept. New development of materials or eco-materials viewed in the full context of sustainability.
Thus the classification method of eco-materials was based on the four sustainable principles:
- Cyclic materials
- Materials for ecology and environmental protection
- Materials for society and human health
- Materials for energy are based on two main criteria as their sources and functions
Properties of Eco-Friendly Materials-
Here are some of the main or highlighted properties of this material-
- Energy saving ability to reduce the total life cycle energy consumption of a system or device.
- Resource-saving ability to reduce the total life cycle material consumption of a system or device.
- Reusability to allow the reuse of collected products as similar functions.
- Recyclability allows the use of the collected product of material as a raw material.
- Structural reliability is to be used on the basis of its reliable mechanical properties.
- Chemical stability to be used over the long term without chemical degradation.
- Biological safety ability to be used without causing negative effects on the ecological system.
- Substitutability to be used as an alternative to “bad” materials.
- Amenity to ensure the comfort of the working environment.
- Cleanability to separate, fix, remove and detoxify a pollutant for the environmental treatment process.
Need for Eco-Friendly Materials-
- The phenomenal growth in the construction industry depends upon non-renewable resources.
- Production of building materials leads to irreversible and hazardous environmental impacts. The distribution of urban growth has large implications for resource demand, environmental degradation, technological development, and global trade in the building.
- In terms of reducing global environmental impact from building materials production and use, one of the most important factors is to transfer low pollution and energy-efficient production technology and resource management program to developing countries like India.
Difference Between Conventional Materials and Eco-materials-
Eco-materials contribute to the reduction of environmental burden through their life cycles”. Any material could be an eco-material as long as it could satisfy prerequisites.
The prerequisites of eco-materials include the optimization of physical and/or chemical properties and the best technical performance.
The necessary conditions are as follows:
- Significant environmental improvements compared to conventional materials. No trade-off environmental load throughout the whole life cycle.
- If there is a trade-off, whole life cycle environmental data must be available to verify the improvement of environmental performance.
The whole life cycle impacts of eco-materials must be considered and improved. The condition includes six vectors:
- Green resource profile
- Minimal environmental impact during the material manufacturing process
- High productivity in use
- Minimal hazardous substance
- High recyclability
- High environmental purification efficiency.
Benefits of Eco-Friendly Materials–
There are several Advantages of Eco- friendly materials and they are-
- Saves Energy
- Low Maintenance
- Costs Less
- Improves Environment
- Saves Water
- Improves Health
- Improves Mental Health
- Saves Material
- Saves Environment
- Decrease Carbon Footprint
- Improves Sustainability
1. Saves Energy-
Eco-friendly products such as solar panels generate energy from the sun. They serve as an alternative to fossil fuels in producing electricity.
They are non-renewable which means they do not consume materials like coal, gas, or oil.
Eco-friendly buildings are low maintenance because of reduce operation. For instance, an eco-friendly facility promotes natural lighting by huge using windows.
It results in the conservation of energy along with a decrease in artificial lighting usage.
3. Costs Less-
Green buildings using eco-friendly materials allow for conserving water and energy.
Construction may be more expensive, but in the long run, it is a way of investing in reliable and decreased operation and maintenance costs.
4. Improves Environment-
Eco-friendly products improve the indoor environment. Nowadays, it is becoming an architectural trend to go for designs which allow for natural lighting, ventilation, and air quality.
These factors contribute to the bright and cozy ambiance.
5. Saves Water-
With the use of these materials, green building promotes water conservation and ascertains that future generations would still live with abundant and clean water, also permits alternative water sources like rainwater and encourages water recycling.
6. Improve Health-
Eco-friendly products are safe for health as the materials used are free of harmful chemicals and components. Eco-friendly products do not use plastic by-products that release toxic materials.
7. Improve Mental Health-
These materials provide a pleasant environment which is beneficial to both physical and mental health. They diminish stress and enhance the quality of life.
8. Saves Materials-
Eco-friendly products and green buildings ensure efficiency by using non-harmful materials without sacrificing quality.
They also regard processes that produce little waste to avoid pollution.
9. Saves Environment-
Their production is aimed at preventing pollution. They avoid the use of fossil energy. They also help in diminishing the levels of carbon oxide in the atmosphere, hence the prevention of climate change.
10. Decrease Carbon Footprint-
The clearest benefit of eco-friendly packaging is in relation to protecting our environment. Eco-friendly packaging is usually made from biodegradable, recycled material which reduces the waste of natural resources for production.
In addition. the manufacturing process tends to be more efficient, further reducing precious resources and minimizing the negative impact businesses have on the environment.
In addition to reducing carbon footprint and environmental impact, green packaging has positive long-term effects even after it’s used for shipping.
These alternative sustainable materials are biodegradable and recyclable, making their impact on the environment minimal.
In addition to helping the environment from beginning to end, sustainable packaging is very versatile, finding uses in every major industry using regular packaging.
Whether you are looking to package cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, electronics, or automotive parts there is an eco-friendly packaging product available to meet green needs.
13. Improves Sustainability-
Reducing the environmental impact of your business will improve its sustainability of the business.
If you are less dependent on natural resources than your competitors and have ways to deal with rising costs due to climate change, your business will have a greater chance of long-term success.
In order to conserve the beauty, resources, and inhabitability of the planet, it is important that our everyday activities positively affect the planet.
That is where eco-friendly products come in. They are both good for human life and for the planet.
Eco-Friendly Materials Selection Guide-
There are five major things, anybody can look at before buying any eco-friendly materials-
- Resource Efficiency
- Indoor Air Quality
- Energy Efficiency
- Water Conservation
1. Resource Efficiency-
Natural/renewable, resource-efficient manufacturing process, locally available, refurbished/remanufactured, reusable/ recyclable, and durable.
2. Indoor Air Quality-
It is enhanced by utilizing materials of low or non-toxic minimal chemical emission, moisture resistant, and healthfully maintained.
3. Energy Efficiency-
Material preferred that requires a minimal amount of energy at the time of construction of the concrete.
4. Water Conservation-
The material should help in water conservation and reduce consumption.
It is to be considered when a building product’s life cycle costs are comparable to conventional materials or as a whole, are within a project-defined percentage of the overall budget.
Examples of Commonly used Eco-Friendly Materials/Products-
Here are the lists of most used eco-products-
- Recycled Fabric Clothes
- Rechargeable Batteries
- Reusable Water Bottles
- Solar Phone Charger
- LED Bulbs
- Recycled Toilet Tissue
- Biodegradable/Disposable Waste Bag
- Compostable Bowls
1. Recycled Fabric Clothes-
These clothes are made from organic fabrics. These can be recycled and reused.
2. Rechargeable Batteries-
As batteries contain a considerable amount of dangerous metals such as lead, rechargeable batteries will seem to be preferable which helps us save money and also saves the environment.
3. Reusable Water Bottles-
Instead of using use and throwing cans or bottles (even if they are recyclable), use glass or metal bottles. These are proven to be way more efficient in building a green environment.
Instead of using plastic coffee mugs, one can use mugs made of different materials.
4. Solar Phone Charger-
With the help of a solar phone charger, one will be done with the runs for a plug with electricity, while saving energy.
Just put your phone in the sun, and it is set to charge.
5. LED Bulbs-
LED bulbs save significant amounts of energy and also control carbon emissions over incandescent and fluorescent lamps. LED bulbs are available in all Varieties in markets.
According to the Department of Energy of the United States, LEDs offer the potential for cutting general electricity used for lights nearly in half by the end of the next decade.
6. Recycled Toilet Tissue-
These toilet papers are made out of 100% recycled paper fibers, bamboo, or sugarcane. This saves water, and trees, and reduces carbon emissions.
7. Biodegradable/Disposable Waste Bag-
These are 100% environment friendly and made of cotton and paper which are fully biodegradable causing no harm to the environment.
8. Compostable Bowls-
Instead of a plastic or paper bowl, we can use a compostable bowl and other cutlery that’s both human and environmentally friendly.
That’s all I have for Eco-Friendly Materials.
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Abhishek Tiwary is a blogger by passion and a Quality Engineer by profession. He completed his B.Tech degree in the year 2017. Now working in a reputed firm. He loves to share his knowledge with others.