Choosing FauxPanels for your home design plans is an eco-friendly choice. Sustainability is a massive focus at the moment - with the entire world coming to realize that many of the resources modern society was built on are dwindling; and using them can cause major harm to the environment. Whether through tax credits, or regulations, more and more homeowners are struggling to make sure they limit their impact on the environment; by installing products like solar panels and alternative forms of environmental controls for their home. This means one common question we have about our wood, stone and brick-style products is: \"Are they safe for the environment?" And a lot of customers are surprised when we tell them that in many cases, going 'faux' is actually better for the environment than using the 'real' products our panels are designed to mimic. All our products are vividly realistic, yet manufactured from either polyurethane or polypropylene foam for lightness and durability. There are two reasons why faux can be better for the environment than the real thing. Firstly, a massive amount of labor and resources is required to harvest and manufacture stone, brick or wood. Major industrial quarry equipment is required to dig stone out of the ground, and cut and shape it. It also takes huge trucks and millions of gallons of diesel to move the amount of heavy stone that's used in building across the country; making this 'natural' product have a huge carbon footprint. Much the same can be made about harvesting wood; which again requires heavy machinery to cut and process, and then huge trucks to transport. In addition, wood used for interior design is generally treated with a number of chemicals to color it, preserve it and protect it from degradation. This means a lot of 'natural' wood leak compounds like acetone, benzene, ethylene glycol or formaldehyde which have been linked to health issues for homeowners breathing in those compounds for years. Not to mention the fact that in measuring the 'carbon footprint' of the timber industry, you have to remember you're cutting down the very thing that converts carbon dioxide back into oxygen and keeps us all breathing! So right from the get-go, going 'natural' has a big and unexpected impact on the environment. Secondly, there's a comparison to the costs and impact of manufacturing FauxPanels. Our products are generally manufactured from polyurethane, or polypropylene - and, yes, both are plastics derived mostly from crude oil (although more and more of the industry is shifting to sustainable, plant-based sources of the compounds needed to make these products.) Polyurethane foam is used in a massive variety of different applications; and the density and rigidity can be completely customized. Right off the bat, though, it's important to remember that the rigid foam used to manufacture our products is a fraction of the density of real stone or wood - even our dense and rigid foam is comprised mostly of air bubbles, and so a small amount of raw materials go a long way in terms of what you can make with them. Additionally, our products weigh a fraction of what real stone, brick or timber does - so the environmental impact of transporting them is infinitesimal compared to what it would cost to lug the 'real thing' hundreds or even thousands of miles. Added to that, the manufacture of polyurethane and polypropylene has far less impact than harvesting stone or wood. The production of polyurethane is perhaps one of the few industries in which there is virtually no waste, and the manufacture of polypropylene consumes the least amount of energy during production, and produces the lowest carbon dioxide emissions, when compared to any other plastic. There's a common perception that 'plastics are bad' - but when it comes to making things like our panels and siding, the balance of longevity and sustainability massively outweighs what using the authentic article would provide; and makes 'going faux' a wise choice for the environment, as well as your budget.