How to Choose Green Products
Ways To Green Your Home: Choose Green Products
1. Buy Local
Buying local produce reduces the amount of fossil fuels required for the transportation of products from other parts of the country or the world. It also reduces the amount of plastic and paper products consumed in the packaging of such far-traveling products. Buying local reduces consumption of valuable natural resources.
2. Use Low-VOC Products
Improve your indoor air quality by switching to products that don't give off "volatile organic compounds" (VOCs). Some common low-VOC or no-VOC products include:
• Paint: A low-VOC paint is available from most major paint brands
• Cleaning products: Low-VOC cleaning alternatives are available for sale, or you can make your own VOC-free cleaning products using simple household materials like baking soda, vinegar and borax.
3. Use Wood Alternatives or FSC-certified Wood Products
The type of flooring and cabinetry materials you use can have a positive effect on your health and pocketbook while reducing your environmental impacts.
• Consider using environmentally preferable and rapidly renewable products such as linoleum, bamboo, recycled-content tile or non-VOC carpet.
• Choose wood products from sustainably managed forests, such as those certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
• Use locally sourced products when possible to reduce carbon emissions associated with the transportation of those products.
4. Use Rapidly Renewable Flooring Materials
Now there are affordable, durable, and rich-looking flooring options made from grasses and trees that mature in roughly half of the time (or less!) than it takes hardwoods to reach market size. Bamboo, cork, and eucalyptus flooring products are a sustainable alternative to traditional hardwoods.
About the U.S. Green Building Council and LEED® for Homes
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is the nation's foremost coalition of leaders from every sector of the building industry working to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work. With the help of a cadre of national experts and experienced green homebuilders, USGBC has developed LEED for Homes as a voluntary initiative to promote the transformation of the mainstream home building industry towards more sustainable practices. It provides a much-needed nationally applicable tool for homebuilders and other professionals in the residential industry for building environmentally sound, healthy, and resource-efficient places to live. For more information about LEED for Homes, visit the USGBC Web site at www.usgbc.org./leed/homes.
US Green Building Council
1800 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20036