12 votes
Accepted

What are eco-friendly substitutes of wood?

Wood is close to the most eco-friendly building material around: It's renewable. It's production overall pulls carbon out of the atmosphere. Material tied up in construction is carbon that isn't in ...
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9 votes

What's the best way of getting an eco-friendly off-grid house?

I think you're right that building your own is likely to be necessary (we're in the same position). What I've discovered in Australia is broadly applicable in the global north, so: An earthship can't ...
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  • 3,755
8 votes
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What are some ways to affordably furnish a temporary apartment?

Your best bet is already-made second hand furniture, both on environmental grounds and cost. I've been building my own furniture using basic DIY skills for quite a long time and it is rarely cheaper ...
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  • 3,755
8 votes

What's the best way of getting an eco-friendly off-grid house?

I suggest that you question some of your assumptions. Difficulties of off-grid. Off-grid is HARD, and generally isn't worth it unless you are a long ways from the power lines. If you are looking at ...
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5 votes

What are eco-friendly substitutes of wood?

Coconut tree and Bamboo are two alternatives of timber i can think of, if you want wood's characteristics you mentioned. strength acceptable rate of biodegradability you'll worry about how to ...
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5 votes

Concrete vs asphalt: which is better in terms of sustainability?

Concrete is rigid, whereas asphalt is flexible to a certain degree. If ground movement is significant concrete break into awkward slabs while asphalt can be more accommodating of ground movements. ...
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  • 3,152
4 votes
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Is using copper for gutters and roofs a sustainable choice?

Availability in the long term You didn't include in your list a mention of how available copper will be in the future; this matters, for sustainability, because we can't afford to be using it for ...
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4 votes
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Bottle Bricks : Are there any demerits to stuffing plastic bottles with non-bio-degradable dry waste ex:polythene covers,chocolate wrappers etc?

Stuffing plastic bottles with other plastic items makes them unsuitable for recycling. In recycling processing centres, plastic items are sorted by type prior to reprocessing into raw material. By ...
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  • 271
4 votes

How should I dispose of scrap lumber from renovating?

You need to sort it. Dimension lumber can be burned. Can either remove ironware or leave it and separate from ash, or dispose of with ash. Treated lumber (green or brown) landfill. Note that it may ...
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3 votes

Is cutting down trees and building something from them good or bad for the climate?

Deforestation per se, without replanting trees to compensate for the trees felled, is bad for the environment. Replacing steel and concrete with lumber/timber from trees for construction purposes is ...
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  • 3,152
3 votes

Embodied carbon in limecrete vs concrete

A paper on the St Astier website (not independent - they quarry and produce lime building products) gives the following figures in kg CO2/tonne for Natural Hydraulic Lime grade 5 vs. cement: product ...
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  • 1,032
3 votes
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Which sustainable building techniques are most code friendly?

Strawbale has established codes in many jurisdictions. Try the SB-R-US group on Yahoo groups for details. Note: 2 story bale is much dicier for standards. Notably: California has a bale code that ...
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3 votes

What are some ways to affordably furnish a temporary apartment?

I have been building bed frames, tables, chairs, wine racks, and many other different things out of old pallets. I look for companies that are giving them away and collect as many as I can store. I ...
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3 votes

What do i need for an vertical aeroponic farm?

I believe you are wasting your money. If you already have 60 hectares, you have more land than you can develope with $15,000. Anything vertical costs more money. You need more substantial ...
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3 votes
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Material For Heat Riser

If I were to build a Rocket Stove for the long run, then I would go for a mineral. Not just a mineral, but a fire resistant composition such as Grog, also known as fire sand and chamotte1. The reason ...
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2 votes

Is there a green alternative for spray polyurethane foam?

A trick I've seen used for repairing drywall holes: Cut a piece of wood that is roughly elliptical with the narrow dimension being just under the widest dimension of the hole. Drill two holes in ...
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2 votes
Accepted

Is there a green alternative for spray polyurethane foam?

Apparantly Icynene is more environmentally friendly than traditional spray polyurethane foam, but it is more expensive and needs to be applied by professionals. Icynene still is a polyurethane foam, ...
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  • 14k
2 votes

What are some ways to affordably furnish a temporary apartment?

We had student tenants for a while. They made their furniture of stacked wine-crates and palettes (the things fork-lift trucks handle). It looked very classy and they said it was comfortable. The sofa ...
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  • 405
2 votes

What's the best way of getting an eco-friendly off-grid house?

We would like to implement as many sustainable strategies as possible, ideally being nearly off-grid, with solar panels, rainwater storage, grey water recycling, humanure / methane tank toilets, ...
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  • 2,874
2 votes
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Does painting an aluminum heat reflector make it useless?

Probably not. Reflection is a process that happens in the surface. Think about mirror. It reflects visible light. Now if you paint it, does it reflect visible light anymore? Heat reflectors are simply ...
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  • 2,874
2 votes

Best sustainable shade option for windy terrace

As a longer term sustainable option, but one that would require time and effort to become established is to put large heavy, sturdy pots/tubs at close intervals along the frame along the side of the ...
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  • 3,152
1 vote

How should I dispose of scrap lumber from renovating?

Depending on where you live, you may have a local 'builders tip': a waste/refuse centre that specialises in construction and demolition waste recycling and recovery. While they usually deal with ...
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  • 1,174
1 vote

How should I dispose of scrap lumber from renovating?

I was present as my house was built; we burned about 80 % of the scrape . Actually as the owner, I had to keep the framers from burning good new wood for heat. After it was built ,a grader moved soil ...
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1 vote

Alternatives to concrete for a flat roof

Maybe you could use natural building materials? Do you have access to lots of clay and straw/other fibres? If so, then maybe cob would be an option? Look around, see what sort of natural materials ...
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  • 2,734
1 vote

Is Bamboo Plywood More Sustainable than ("traditional") Birch Plywood?

This is not an answer, but rather my attempt at a road map of what you need to know to answer your question. Much depends on externalities. Wood is an awfully cheap resource. You plant trees, and ...
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1 vote

Is using copper for gutters and roofs a sustainable choice?

Copper for such a use could potentially be a health risk to those succeptable to things like hepatolenticular degeneration. This depends on how much copper is already present in the soil, what type of ...
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1 vote

What are eco-friendly substitutes of wood?

Well, steel that is recycled in arc-furnaces produces less air-pollution than iron-ore processed in blast-furnaces. One way to increase the recycling of steel would be to use stainless-steel which ...
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  • 306
1 vote

What are eco-friendly substitutes of wood?

A good sustainable substitute for wood is Clay and Stone as they are renewable and stronger than wood. Although it is costy, it is worth it
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1 vote

How to filter/dewater water mixed with water-based paint

This is easy, but it means additives and process. 1% Ferric Sulphate or Ferric Chloride w/w, 5% lime solution w/w (50grm/ltr solution, 1.5% Bentonite solution (50gr/ltr solution), 1% Perlite body aid ...
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1 vote

Want to build a portable solar refrigerator

I believe they are called zeerpots. terracotta "or other porous ceramic" pot with another identical but smaller pot inside, fill gap between pots with sand pour just enough water into sand to dampen ...
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