Everyone knows the three R’s of materials conservation—reduce, re-use, recycle. The fourth R is “regional”—using materials made and sold as locally as possible.
Tips for Sourcing Regionally
- Minimize cost and transportation of building materials when you re-use materials from the original building or other nearby buildings (for example, using paneling or beams from a resource specializing in architectural salvage).
- Re-use furniture that you already own and / or purchasing used furniture from local sources.
- Use materials and furnishings that are manufactured locally or better still, manufactured locally from materials extracted locally.
Build it Green New York City is a non-profit retail outlet for salvaged and surplus building materials. They claim to have over 75 tons of materials on sale at half or below new prices, including doors, flooring, sinks, toilets, lighting, windows, trim, cabinets, metal studs and much more.
Build it Green is sponsored by the Community Environmental Center, and its proceeds go to support environmental education at Solar 1. Find it on the web at www.bignyc.org.
New York Wa$tematch includes a citywide materials exchange. Go to www.wastematch.org, select “Building Materials” in the search window and see what turns up. Or, enter something you are looking for and see who responds.
NY Wa$teMatch is operated by the NYC Materials Exchange Development Program (MEDP) at the City College of New York with additional funding from the NYC Department of Sanitation and EPA, among others.