NEW: Green Product Checklist for Remodels

When I visited Renata Kanclerz to see her gorgeous Hollywood Hills kitchen remodel, I asked her what kinds of green features and materials she used. She just seemed like the kind of person who would pay attention to that sort of thing.

But . . . thinking green during the hectic planning and execution of the remodel totally slipped Renata’s mind. And she was shocked that happened, because she’s a member of the Green Party, lives a green-oriented life and maintains a sustainable garden.

So that’s where this new Green Product Checklist could come in handy, to help green-leaning people keep focused. It’s two pages in PDF that asks: What makes a product green? The checklist was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council and the American Society of Interior Designers, who joined up to create the recently launched ReGreen Program.

The list has a place for your notes and asks questions like this:

• What are the raw materials used to create the product?
• And where do they come from?
• Is the manufacturing process energy efficient?
• Does the manufacturing process release harmful substances?
• Does the product release VOCs? At what rate?
• How is the product packaged and transported? And so on.

All this might seem like a lot of work for choosing a tile or wall coating. But as the health of the planet continues to decline, and human diseases linked to our environment continue to rise, we will probably all get more motivated to ask these questions regarding the products we bring into our homes.

The list also includes information on six green product directories, including Greenspec Directory and Oikos.

Download the Green Product Checklist here. I’ve got one in my own project notebook.