In the 21st century, design is going green, also. There are all kinds of household items like kitchen counters and furniture made out of recycled materials that look great. Check out the ten hottest green design materials on the market today by taking this quiz.
Natural walls, fumeless paints, long-lasting light bulbs and kitchen countertops made from trash are all part of the green trend in design.
Bamboo grows at eight times the rate of hardwood and bamboo plants don't die when they're harvested, making bamboo a great green option for floors.
Bamboo is great for making countertops, butcher block and cabinet material as well as rugs and furniture.
Concrete is a zero-offgassing material, which means it contains no toxic chemicals that evaporate under normal conditions.
About 7 percent of the world's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions result from concrete production. Some companies are now using a different process that reduces CO2 emissions drastically to create a type of concrete that is an authentically green material.
Cork is a renewable, antimicrobial, water-permeable product that was traditionally used for wine bottle stoppers and is now being used for flooring material and countertops. Cork floors feel like hardwood and contain no PVC or formaldehyde binders.
An LED light bulb consumes about 80 percent less energy than a traditional light bulb and about 5 percent less than a compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL).
An LED light bulb can last up to 20 years, but can cost from $30 to $100, making it mostly a commercial lighting choice at present.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in regular paint formulations are toxic to humans and to the environment. Choose low VOC or no-VOC paint formulations that are available today at your local paint store in a wide variety of colors.
A Swiss inventor named Gerd Niemoller has created a house out of recycled paper that cost about $5,000.
Natural plaster, also known as "Earth plaster," doesn’t contain gypsum, allowing it to be manufactured at lower temperatures, thus decreasing the CO2 emissions associated with the process.
For the greenest paint look, with no problem from volatile organic components (VOCs), use unpigmented Earth plaster or other nontoxic coloring agents.
Reclaimed wood floors use re-finished, old wood floors and other building elements like beams to make new wood floors with a rustic look.
Recovered wood floors use trees that have been cut down for other purposes, usually for clearing land for new buildings. These recovered trees are used to create brand-new wood floors.
Recycled glass is broken into little pieces and held together with concrete to create kitchen countertops with a lustrous, speckled look. It's custom-made in molds, so there's very little waste and it doesn't end up in your local landfill with little chance of biodegrading.
Companies are using a less energy-intensive process to recycle aluminum cans and scrap metal. They're cutting all that metal into pieces and turning it into countertops and backsplashes for your kitchen and tiles for your bathroom.
Recycled metal is being used in sculptures and wall hangings, as well as in accent furniture and handbags. Even the medals at the 2010 Olympics contained recycled metal.
Recycle paper whenever you can and cut down on printing unnecessary documents. It's a good way to help save our trees.
To make green countertops, companies are using compressed blocks of used paper covered in a nontoxic resin. The material is water-resistant, heat-resistant and stain-resistant.
Panels made out of used paper are being used for dining tables, floors, bathroom counters as well as decorative wall panels. And there's no petroleum or formaldehyde involved in the manufacturing process.