Materials Worksheet

Material basics

To make good decisions, we need to understand the multiple impacts a material may have in manufacture, reuse, recycling and disposal. When choosing a material for your next project, look for the following attributes:

  • Material is nontoxic
  • Material has a low-VOC content
  • Material contains recycled content.
  • Material can be easily recyclable or reused.
  • Material is a renewable resource.
  • Material can be accessed locally.
  • Material is durable.
  • Material is produced under safe and fair working conditions.
  • Material extraction does not require the destruction of ecosystems or cultures.

Finding greener materials

It’s hard to choose greener materials when you don’t know who to trust, or whether their “green” claims are true. To move designers past this roadblock, Re-nourish has developed a rigorous set of research-based criteria for the vendors and products included on this site. In addition to these, we’ve identified the following sources as providing reliable information to continue your search for greener materials:

General material information: