Here is an interesting article. It describes all the kinds of house wraps and vapor barriers in detail. It also concludes that despite all the fancy new products the good old tar paper is still the preferred product for the author.
I like building that sticks to the basics and avoids as much as possible fancy high tech products. If it can be manufactured simply without lots of machinery then it is more ecological. Of course tar paper has tar, ie oil, but all the other wraps are also petro chemical based too….
So for our green project on 2nd street we are going with tar paper for the vapor barrier between the bricks and insulation. Then between the insulation and the inside sheet rock we will use a radiant barrier for more sealing and to radiate the heat back into the house.
The file is here.housewrap-tar-paper