Green homes are a growing trend as many of us try to find more ways to be kinder to our planet. When deciding on which type of siding is best for your home, it might be difficult to select the greenest option. Especially in these tough economic times when eco-friendly products tend to cost more than vinyl siding or aluminum siding, budget considerations might win out over all other factors. But even if you don’t go 100% green on your choice of siding material, there are ways to reduce your carbon footprint.
If you are buying siding for a new home or replacing old/damaged siding, here are some key things to consider when choosing green siding:
- How durable is it? (You want it to last for many years.)
- How much will it cost to maintain? (Consider both the amount of time and money.)
- Were the raw material responsibly harvested or mined?
- When being manufactured, does the process use too much energy and/or pollutes the environment?
- Can the siding material be recycled or reused after its lifespan?
Eco friendly products that are the most sustainable are ones that last the longest. The exception is of course vinyl siding; while it’s very durable, it produces hazardous toxins when being manufactured and disposed of. Even though engineered wood or composite wood siding uses recyclable materials, its manufacturing process leaves a high carbon footprint. It also is not as strong or durable as real wood siding products. Siding options that are energy intensive to produce are not necessarily entirely bad for the environment. Aluminum siding, for example, uses a lot of energy to manufacture, but as a siding material, it is durable, fire-resistant, easy to maintain and can be recycled.