Buyer’s Guide to Eco Stone & Tile

This buyer's guide will help you compare the environmental attributes of stone and tile materials. Use this summary chart to choose the best stone or tile material for your specific project. Links to green product directories and additional resources are provided below the chart. More…

Selecting Healthy and Environmentally Sound Clear Wood Finishes

By Alex Pennock

Clear finishes protect wood from wear, moisture, and aging, but they can degrade the environment—in your home and elsewhere. This overview provides in-depth comparisons of Lacquer, Natural Oil, Shellac, Varnish, and Water-based clear finishes. More…

Selecting Healthy and Environmentally Sound Stains

By Alex Pennock

Many stains are made with toxic substances that come from nonrenewable resources or are energy-intensive or polluting to produce, so even low-VOC stains can have an impact on the environment. This overview provides in-depth comparisons of natural oil, acrylic / urethane, and water-based wood stains. More…

Paint Like a Green Pro

By Gabe Luna

Gabe Luna founded green contractor MoonDance Painting in the San Francisco Bay Area after working for one of the largest residential painting companies in California—and finding the massive waste, improper disposal of toxic materials, and exposure to hazardous chemicals intolerable. Here’s his advice on avoiding the biggest environmental and health pitfalls of painting projects. More…

Clear Finish Buyer’s Guide

This buyer’s guide compares and contrasts clear finish materials on their environmental and health qualities, and includes selection tips. Use it to find the best clear coating for your specific project. More…

About VOCs

Low- or no-VOC is synonymous with green paints and coatings. According to the EPA, VOCs can cause respiratory, skin, and eye irritation; headaches; nausea; muscle weakness; and more serious ailments and diseases. But what exactly are VOCs, and how can you reduce their impact on your project? More…

Elements of a Green Baby Nursery

By Debra Lynn Dadd

The most important aspect of green design for a newborn’s environment is to reduce exposure to toxic chemicals as much as possible. A nontoxic nursery is especially important because newborns spend most of their life in the nursery—an average of 16 to 17 hours a day. More…

Take Steps toward a Poison-Free, Natural Lawn

By Sherri Osaka

Lawns have gotten a lot of bad press lately—and not undeservedly. They use a tremendous amount of water and gasoline, and they pollute streams and other water resources with herbicide- and pesticide-laced runoff. But it doesn’t have to be that way. More…

Sustainable Landscaping Saves Water, Cuts Environmental Risks

By Tom Ash

Studies by public agencies across the country show home landscapes waste as much as 50 percent of the water used outside. In addition, residential application of pesticides per acre is typically 20 times that of farms, according to the EPA. More…

New York Tested: Tips for Efficient Use of Kitchen Space

By Erika Doering

When remodeling your kitchen, saving space and maximizing efficiency lead to energy savings, reduced waste, and more. Here are some design tips from an expert green interior designer. More…