It’s easy going green . . . not!

Bigtrees_2Yes, I can change my light bulbs to compact fluorescents, drive an economical car and recycle as much as possible. I do and it’s easy.

But when it comes to buying "green" materials for a remodel, it’s not all that easy. I blame it on internal and external factors.

Internally, it’s hard to even remember to go green when remodeling. Case in point: On the way to Home Depot to scope out bathroom fixtures and floors, my husband and I discussed the various opportunities we would have to go green, such as wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, and non-outgassing flooring materials, and so on. But once we entered the Home Depot cavern, we got caught up in the colors and prices and choices. It wasn’t until we were driving home (empty-handed, thank goodness) that one of us remembered our green goals.

But externally, it’s also difficult. Where is all this good green stuff? I heard Home Depot was really going green, and that they sold more FSC-certified wood than any other retailer in America. So I thought I’d walk up and down the lumber aisles at my local store and count all the certified-wood offerings. Not seeing any, I asked the woman at the contractor’s desk where I might find wood that was sustainable, certified, green. I kept throwing out words until one seemed to register: green. She sent me down the aisle to the chemical-laden, pressure-treated wood, which happened to have a green tint.

There were fliers tacked to some pallets of wood that stated: "California’s professional foresters meet the highest standards for the protection of fish and wildlife as well as soil, air and water quality." Really? All of the state’s foresters meet the highest standards? Who says? The flier attributes this statement to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. How many professors will I have to contact to find the one who made this claim? Where’s the accountability?

So I guess I’ll have to check at a local lumberyard for some good old FSC wood. I wouldn’t mind paying 10% more, maybe even 15% more . . . if I could find it.

Where do you get your FSC-certified lumber?

Photo courtesy of Vermont Wood Studios