From Earth911’s Alexis Petru: Planning a home improvement project this spring? For more tips on greening your home remodeling projects, visit nonprofit Build It Green’s website. There is no “one size fits all” test to determine if a product is sustainable, but you can assess a product’s eco-credentials by identifying what it’s made out of and how it will consume resources (water, energy, etc.) during its operation.
Recycled-content building materials make a great eco-friendly choice, like recycled plastic decking, recycled carpet or recycled glass countertops. Or choose rapidly renewable materials like cork or bamboo for counters, floors or other surfaces.
If you’ll be using wood, look for sustainably harvested products, preferably certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
And if you’ll be buying new appliances like a clothes washer or installing new cooling and heating systems such as a furnace, request models that conserve water and are energy efficient, certified by the EPA’s Energy Star program where applicable.