Use eco-friendly materials for Northeast remodels

Use eco-friendly materials for Northeast remodels

So the kitchen in your 150-year-old Quincy, Mass., home needs to be brought into the 21st century. The bathroom in your Arlington , Mass., condo looks more like an outhouse than a spa. Or the living room in your Boston townhouse could use a little more character.

For some, it may be important to do a sensitive restoration that’s true to the origins to your history-rich Beantown home. For others, it’s the realization there are only a limited number of natural resources from which to draw the materials for a remodel.

Some also may want to avoid health problems that can develop from the use of chemical-laden materials and products.

Whatever your reasons, there are eco-friendly ways to go about designing the home of your dreams.


  • Install countertops made of concrete. They have the durability and design flexibility necessary for a kitchen. You also aren’t paying the shipping and tariffs for marble or granite shipped from overseas.
  • Install a backsplash made with recycled materials. Inexpensive chipped tiles purchased from a supplier can be used to make an attractive focal point behind the stove and sink.
  • Install cabinetry made of sustainable local hardwoods. Support local craftsmen and reduce your carbon footprint by using materials found close to where you live.


  • Buy antiques. Nothing can be greener than reusing or repurposing old furniture. It keeps trees from being felled, and it keeps items out of the landfill — at least for now.
  • Find a specialty craftsman supplier that makes furniture from reclaimed barn wood or naturally felled trees. There’s nothing like furniture remade in the U.S.A. You also can reduce your environmental footprint by “deconstructing” your area to be remodeled and saving the pieces that can be reused, rather than demolishing everything. You can even sell the items yourself and apply the proceeds toward the costs of your remodel.


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