If you are going to reside in your home, or if you are looking for a contractor to do the work, you might consider looking into a type of siding that is good for the environment, or at least better for it than most siding.
Typically, home siding is made from either wood, stucco, or vinyl products, and many of the options for siding materials have some environmental drawbacks, either because they have a high manufacturing waste, come from non-sustainable sources, or because they are difficult to reuse.
The Problems with Wood Siding
Many people are not aware that wood siding, one of the most frequently used siding materials in America, is not necessarily sustainable. One of the most common sources for wood siding is old-growth trees, and often times the methods of lumbering are not eco-friendly. Clearing old-growth forests is one of the primary concerns for global warming, as they absorb so much carbon dioxide, and release so much vital oxygen.
This type of wood siding also requires lots of maintenance, and painting, and can rot fairly easily if you are not looking after it.
If you do want to use wood siding, there are some options that are more ecologically sound than the most commonly used old-growth wood. You can check to make sure that the wood is Forest Stewardship Council certified, which means that the wood was procured in a way that does not do harm to the forest ecosystems.
You can also find recycled or re-purposed wood. For example, a really innovative company called Century Wood in Portland sells re-purposed wood that is used to line the floors of horse stables and other sources. The finished product is not only beautiful but no new trees are destroyed to make siding.
Recycled Metal Siding
When you are creative, you might also want to look into certain types of aluminum or metal siding for your home. This can give homes a unique look, and it is easier to find metal siding from recycled or reclaimed sources. For example, there are many sources of recycled metal siding, such as old cars, junkyards, old farming equipment, and scraps from the manufacturing of raw metal materials. While there are a few downsides to working with metal, such as the possibility of rust and hail damage, metal siding can also offer a sleek and unique look to your home.
Other Siding Options
If you are one of those out-of-the-box thinkers, you might want to try siding your house with any number of materials, including recycled tires, old tables, and a host of other materials. There is inspiration for different siding materials all over the Internet, and if you are architecturally inclined, or have an interest in unique building materials, you can do really anything that you dream up.
It is important to also think of durability, heating and insulation concerns, and sustainability of the resource when making your choice. It can also make your current siding more green to put a cover over it and make sure that it lasts as long as possible, and is not leaking out any heat or air from your house.
Beautiful House, Beautiful Planet
When you look into siding that is better for the environment, you become an informed consumer. There is really no limit to how creative you can get once you start making green a priority in your home-building project. Not only will your planet thank you, but you will know that you are doing the least harm possible while siding your beautiful home.