Green products are a great way to increase the value of your remodel or new construction for your home. They have a lighter environmental footprint in manufacturing, less toxic in your home, often are able to be recycled at end of life/use, very marketable for resale and will make you feel better that you did something positive for the environment. That all sounds well and good, but how much of it is true? Green washing, or calling normal products “Green”, has been an issue almost since the first product was ever marketed as green. At Carmel Kitchens and Baths, we look for products that last, are built in an environmentally friendly manner and look fantastic! By doing this, the builder is able to dovetail their best practices to minimize waste, install energy saving appliances, lighting fixtures and provide low volatile organic compound (VOC) finishes to create a space that is tailored to your taste.
Some things to look for in a Green product are:
- Certification: Is there a certification from an accredited source on the packaging or an informational brochure? This would be for cabinetry, lumber, paints and other such products.
- History: How long has the product been on the market? Does it have a long history of lasting/functioning as it should?
- Is the Green product going to last as long as the standard material? This is known as Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).
- Does it use less energy than its standard counterpart does?
- Is it water efficient with little waste? (Reverse osmosis, clothes washer, dishwasher, and the like.)
- Is it much less toxic than the standard counterpart is? Paint, stain and other such products.
- If the materials are more energy efficient, water wise and less toxic, how much so? You should look for significant improvement, not a minimal amount.
These are only a few items to look for in a more environmentally friendly project. To go over all the finer points, we would need a book and not a newsletter! If you are looking to improve the health of your house and your family, be sure to seek the advice of the professionals. Carmel Kitchens and Baths can assist you with this in conjunction with Bakker Construction.
Gary Courtright, AKBD
Carmel Kitchens and Baths