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Wallboard has served as a light and sturdy method of separating rooms with a limited amount of material. Traditional wallboard has been made out of gypsum, a mineral compound made from the sulfate of lime. The early stages of gypsum’s production require the mining minerals and high firing temperatures. These processes consume a large amount of energy and therefore do not qualify virgin gypsum as a sustainable building material.
There is an excellent opportunity for used wallboard materials, like gypsum, to be recycled.  Building materials account for 30 percent of land fill waste accumulated every year.[1] By designing wallboard materials for recycling instead of disposal, the embodied energy gets drastically reduced as does the price.
Selecting a recycled wallboard material is the best solution for a sustainable home. Recycled material does not compromise aesthetics and reduces building waste by reusing a product that would otherwise go to landfill. Ask if your wallboard materials can be sourced from recycled material on your next purchase and encourage your building materials to be recycled when being broken down. This simple action is the type of initiative necessary to take a positive steps towards a sustainable society.

[1] United States Green Building Council. August 2008. Green Building by the Numbers. (Accessed on August 6, 2008).