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Typology of products

How do you decide which product is environmentally more friendly than another?


Typology of products

Typology of products


Home owners and the building professionals who act on their behalf (such as builders, architects, painting contractors, project managers, draftsmen etc.) hold the potential to be powerful green consumers.  The products and materials you buy directly influences the environment. 

If factors such as the durability or maintenance requirements of products, the water and energy that they use, the waste, pollution or emissions that they generate, and the transport required to get it to you are all equal, one could argue that:

  • Building products that are manufactured from recycled materials are the greenest option.  Such products prevent prevent a lot of useful materials from ending up on landfill sites as "rubbish".  If such products can, at the end of their lifetime, again be recycled, re-used or re-purposed, then they are the ideal product to use. 
  • The second best green option would be products that are manufactured from the by-products of natural resources that were previously mined, extracted or harvested.  Since the primary mining, extraction or harvesting has already taken place (i.e. there has already been an environmental impact), it makes sense to favour products made from the by-products of such materials.  If such products can, at the end of their lifetime, be recycled, re-used or re-purposed this is a further plus point.
  • The least favourable option would be products that are manufactured from natural resources that are mined, extracted or harvested for this specific purpose.  These products will have the greatest environmental impact.  This impact could be mitigated if, at the end of their lifetime, such products could be recycled, re-used or re-purposed.