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Pro/Con: Is Vinyl Green?

Posted on Jan 12 2009 by Daniel Morrison

Yes, Vinyl Is Green

By Patrick Moore
Expensive green products will remain niche products with little chance to have a positive effect on the environment. Vinyl is affordable and versatile. Read more...

No, Vinyl Is Lethal

By Bill Walsh
The environmental, health, and social equity effects of vinyl over its life cycle make it the worst plastic for the environment and the antithesis of a green building material. Read more...

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Jan 19, 2009 8:18 PM ET

Vinyl is Toxic
by Annette Stelmack

AWESOME!! Thank you for a clear and concise reflection on the toxicity of vinyl products. For over a decade, I have been on my soapbox taking a stand against the use of vinyl products for interior finishes and furnishings of any kind. As Bill stated, PVC-products poison the air, water, and soil with dioxins – from birth to grave. Indoor air quality is profoundly affected by the out gassing of the hazardous chemicals during manufacturing and during/after installation of the products. If a fire should breakout, the fumes are deadly. Additionally, vinyl does not breath – moisture is trapped between the sub-flooring, wall board or upholstery leading to the macrobiotic formation of mold.
In 2002, after viewing the movie ‘Blue Vinyl’ I went cold turkey and took a personal stand - no more vinyl for any of my projects and clients – why would we select a known carcinogen for the interior and exterior finishes when there are equal and superiors products that perform the same, or even better.
I’d love to hear your comments – Annette Stelmack – Sustainable Interior Designer

Sep 7, 2010 1:19 AM ET

Replacing very old siding
by Bo Marley

I am restoring a 110+ year old house in Helena, Arkansas... It has 11 ft ceilings throughout and most of the heavy timbers (joists, rafters, etc) were shaped & finished by hand... Part of the outside was covered 50+ years ago with a product that appears to be heavy shingles but makes up most of the siding on both sides of the house & back of the house. It is getting worn in spots and is not very attractive. The roof is a thick tin material and is original to the house and has a scalloped finish to it.

I am at a loss on what to replace this old shingle-like siding with. Any suggestions? (Also, there is minimal insulation to be found anywhere in the house.)


Bo Marley, MD
Helena, Arkansas
662-902-4135 cell

Sep 7, 2010 5:16 AM ET

Resonse to Bo Marley
by Martin Holladay

Bo Marley,
It should go without saying, but you can install any type of siding you want.

If you are looking for an overview of siding types, you might want to read the GBA Encyclopedia:

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