Nowadays, lifestyle, food, day-to-day products, and transportation purchasing decisions are just a few ways consumers impact their environmental footprint. For many, “going green” is just considered the norm — how many of us are now used to declining plastic straws at a restaurant or having our hotel sheets washed less during a hotel stay? Homeowners in particular are left with more environmentally-friendly and efficient options, such as lightbulbs, paint, and appliances to name a few. While many of those decisions are made for the interior of the home, there are also ways to “go green” outside as well! Selecting eco-friendly products for your outdoor deck might not be on your radar, but by doing so, you’ll have peace of mind about doing your part on Earth Day, and every day, while you enjoy the comfort of your backyard.
In recent years, composite decking has become a more popular choice than traditional wood decking. Composite decking is a hybrid product that’s composed primarily of wood fibers and recycled plastic. The result is a dense, weather- and stain-resistant deck board that doesn’t splinter, warp, rot, or split, unlike wood. Thanks to these properties, this decking material requires far-less maintenance and upkeep — like the “set it and forget it” version of decking! If you want to consider your impact on trees and the great outdoors, while spending more time enjoying the great outdoors, composite decking is the easy choice.
Trex decking, for example is made from a blend of 95% recycled film and reclaimed sawdust. sawdust from locally sourced reclaimed wood that would otherwise end up in a landfill. That reclaimed wood is then combined with Trex-recycled plastic film and other recycled components ranging from the overwrap on paper towels to dry cleaner bags, sandwich bags, newspaper sleeves, and grocery and shopping bags. According to Trex, the average 500-square foot composite Trex deck contains 140,000 recycled plastic bags! The company also uses some of the most earth-friendly manufacturing processes in the country, reclaiming factory waste and eliminating the use of harmful chemicals. They make metal railings and other non-board accessories for their decking and staircases that also contain recycled content. In 2021, their railing products used at least 40% recycled aluminum.
Another trusted composite decking company, TimberTech & AZEK, diverted approximately 500 million pounds of waste and scrap from landfills in 2021 through their recycle program, which was an increase from approximately 400 million pounds in 2020. Similar to Trex, up to 100% of the wood and plastic in the cores of our capped composite deck boards is made from recycled materials, making the entire board comprised of up to 80% recycled content. The same goes for their capped polymer boards — which are made with approximately 50% recycled materials. It’s not just the board that’s sustainable, it’s the process in how it’s made as well! TimberTech’s closed-loop water filtration systems help recycle up to 97% of the water that their largest facilities use each year.
Other decking accessories have been designed with an eco-friendly mindset as well. Homeowners often choose to include lights around the deck’s perimeter or staircase, to ensure the space can be enjoyed safely at night. Solar powered cap lights on rail posts, or riser lights on the front of steps do not require any electricity or complex wiring. The built-in solar panels start absorbing energy immediately so you can enjoy your deck the first night it’s installed!
If you’d like to “go green” with your outdoor space this year, our Maryland-based fence and deck company is proud to install both Trex and TimberTech composite decks! Fill out our short contact form to sign up for a free onsite estimate for your decking project.