No matter your political standing, race, gender, social class, or religion, we are all people of Earth. The logical assumption would be that humans would take care of this rock we live on as it connects and sustains us all. being uneducated about everyday materials, we continue to shop by convenience. There are so many studies that are contradicting and full of big words not well known to the public that tell us exactly what materials we are making the decision to repeatedly use that actually do more harm than good. Homes often live in their place longer than we as people live in one. As home prices sky rocket this past year we reflect on the lumber price nationwide soaring up by 30% just from January to May in 2021 ( leads to a lingering lack of new construction, and consumers looking for a cheaper alternative without considering sustainability or the harmful toxins they are putting in their home. Ready Mix Concrete, or RMC, has gone up 0.5% this season, that is 0.3 % more than just the seasonal adjustments made every year( RMC is commonly used as an alternative for building a home and home projects that usually call for lumber. It seems to be a low risk alternative containing <0.1% of cancer causing carcinogens. While it isn’t an immediate harm to the health of 99.9% of our people, it is more damaging to the earth than one would think. Concrete can cause damage to the topsoil and can contribute to surface runoff leading to soil erosion, flooding, and water pollution. Cellular PVC is a form of plastic that can replace trim and other home projects, it is often chosen because it does not deteriorate like wood eventually will. PVC is the most toxic form of plastic for both humans and the environment, releasing toxins during production and still containing them afterwards. These toxins can leach out and spread in the air throughout time, leading to a harmful environment for children. For a more sustainable option, bamboo, cork, and hemp are common alternatives to lumber. Bamboo is actually classified as grass, hemp as flowers, and cork uses bark, which means that they grow at a rate fast enough to be used as alternative materials that require lumber and still be a more sustainable option. These materials do not release toxins in your home, and make a great benefit to the environment as well as your wallet. With the Legalization of hemp in Michigan, this hits home. There are multiple hemp farms around our own state. We have an opportunity to create a more sustainable lifestyle instead of inviting toxins into our home and killing our trees that take way too long to grow to be sustainable. Now, onto the one material people are heavily leaning on that release toxins into every home, plastic. The number of plastic building materials sold in the U.S. is estimated to grow by 7.59% yearly, growing by billions of dollars every year. This isn’t including plastic materials such as cooking utensils, kids toys, electronics, decor, and more. You may have noticed products in our local Walmart’s and Meijer’s being made of bamboo rather than toxic plastic. One of the most widely used toxic plastics are in your very own plastic shopping bags. The plastic in these bags can leak into our food and water, which is how these toxins get into the human body. Stores such as Meijer and Aldi use methods to recycle and reduce plastic bag usage. A good alternative is to bring the cart with your groceries directly to your trunk and place them in a basket, another is to use reusable bags made from clothes or recyclable materials. In order to make safe, sustainable decisions that not only protect you but the Earth as well, it is best to put in the research before it is too late.