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It’s a great idea to shop for green products, but don’t forget to factor transport into the true cost of what you’re buying.
Listen to BOB VILA ON GO LOCAL, or read text below:
Every time a product has to be loaded onto a ship, truck, airplane or train to get to you, fuel is consumed and its carbon footprint gets bigger. If it has to go to italy to be cut and polished, that stone countertop suddenly gets a lot more expensive–for you and the environment—even if it was quarried in the next county.
Reclaimed wood flooring from the barn down the road, if it’s been shipped across the continent to be milled and stored, isn’t as eco-friendly as lumber that was harvested near you.
When it comes to cabinets, doors, hardware and decorative details, check first at your local salvage yard. invest a little paint stripper or brass polish, and you’ve got an authentic piece of history that hasn’t had to travel far to find a home.
Most likely, it’ll cost less to re-upholster that old sofa than buying, packaging and transporting a new one, and you’re supporting the local economy.
Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 60 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.
For more on recycled building materials, consider: