Creating a healthy and eco-conscious home is now easier than ever thanks to Cradle to Cradle (C2C) certification, a process that verifies a product’s recyclability and safety for human and environmental health. The nonprofit’s commitment to product transparency helped launch a market for products that are not only made using renewable energy and natural raw materials, but can also be responsibly and safely returned to the earth—not the landfill. In a demonstration of just how far Cradle to Cradle has come, the 2015 Greenbuild Unity Home featured over 20 C2C-certified products—the largest collection of C2C products ever used in a residential project. We rounded up 13 of our favorite products; keep reading to see them all.
Unity Home’s living room furniture is upholstered in Climatex, a “biological-nutrient upholstery” developed by New York-based textile company Designtex. The Climatex Lifeguard FR comprises 40% flame-retardant rayon and 60% wool, and is made entirely of renewable raw materials.
Made in the USA, Icestone’s durable surfaces are made from 100% recycled glass, Portland cement, and non-toxic pigments. Fabricated much in the same way as natural stone, the surfaces are stronger than marble and comparable to granite. The surfaces come in a variety of colors; the ones showcased in the Unity Home include Amber Pearl and Snow Flurry.
The Unity Home’s kitchen features Johnsonite/Tarkett linoleum flooring made from 95 percent natural materials. With one of the lowest life-cycle costs available, the durable flooring is made from ingredients including linseed oil, resin, jute, wood, and cork flour.
The Jules Clarysse Infinity bath towels are Europe’s first C2C-certified towels and one of the continent’s first 100% compostable and biodegradable bath linens. The soft and absorbent towels are made from 100% pure organic cotton and non-harmful dyes.
All the Unity Home windows are covered in MechoSystems’ EcoVeil shades, a fully recyclable product that’s also GREENGUARD certified and PVC-free. The collection is sustainably produced, has low measurable emission of VOCs, and is flame retardant, UV resistant, anti fungal, and washable.
Ironically, many popular household cleaners are dangerously toxic and pose greater heath hazards than the germs and dirt we vie to get rid of. That’s why San Francisco-based Method developed a line of plant-based and naturally derived cleaning products. The Unity Home showcased the Method All-Purpose Cleaners, Gel Hand Wash, and 8x Laundry Detergent.
Mosa, the world’s first ceramic tile factory to receive Cradle to Cradle certification, produces environmentally friendly tiles solely from natural and recyclable raw materials. The manufacturing process is powered by hydroelectric power stations and uses a closed-water loop system. Mosa’s wall and floor tiles can be seen in the Unity Home bathrooms.
Made in the USA from 100% pure virgin wool, Pendleton Woolen Mills’ warm and plush Eco-Wise blankets and pillows are 100% recyclable and compostable. The fabrics are optimized for skin contact and contain no hazardous chemicals.
While most paints are notorious for containing toxic, harmful chemicals like volatile organic compounds (VOCs), Roma EcoDomus paints offer a safe and no off-gassing alternative. The toxin-free paints are hypoallergenic, durable, washable, oil- and stain-proof, and are inherently non-combustible. The Unity Home features EcoDomus Matte on the walls, EcoDomus Eggshell on the ceilings, and EcoDomus Satin on the doors.
The Unity Home floors are decked out in Shaw waterproof Life Happens carpets and EPIC Plus hardwood flooring made from recycled wood fibers. The carpets, which can be recycled at the end of their lifecycle, are treated to be stain resistant and can keep spills from seeping down to the floor below.
SunPower’s residential solar photovoltaic system is the world’s first fully integrated residential solar platform and the first solar system to achieve Cradle to Cradle certification. The 6-kW system that tops the Unity Home rooftop includes 18 Signature Black 62-cell AC panels and is made of non-hazardous materials. The solar system hooks up to the SunPower EnergyLink, monitoring hardware that provides real-time information on energy production and consumption.
Even the toilet paper in Unity Home is Cradle to Cradle certified. Van Houtum’s Satino Black two-ply toilet paper comes with a toilet roll dispenser that’s also Cradle to Cradle certified.
Specially designed with solar installations in mind, the GAF EverGuard Extreme TPO features a single-ply membrane with proprietary stabilizers and UV absorbers to ensure that the roof can withstand damage from the photovoltaics’ concentrated heat. The roofing system is manufactured with heat-welded seams for greater seam strength, high breaking strength, and is highly reflective to reduce energy costs.
Images © Lucy Wang