Fuc-bedroom-farmhouse-custom-design‚ÄčA product is considered green if it meets any of the following criteria:

1. Products made from environmentally friendly materials: The materials used to produce a product and their origin is important in determining if the product is green. If the product contains recycled materials instead of new, raw materials it can be considered a green product. For example, a product containing salvaged, post-consumer or post-industrial recycled materials would qualify (bricks, re-purposed wood flooring, framing lumber). Rapid renewables such as bamboo or cork (used in flooring) are environmentally sound as are products made from agricultural waste materials such as straw or agricultural oils. Materials that haven’t been heavily processed, such as stone, slate, and some wood, plant and mineral products are considered green because they have consumed little or no energy in manufacture.

2. Environmentally healthy alternative building methods and materials are significant improvements to toxic conventional products: While some of these products may be petroleum based or might contain higher VOC (volatile organic compound) levels than would normally be considered green, they are still an improvement over their environmentally hazardous cousins. Examples include alternatives to PVC products that deplete ozone or materials to replace wood preservatives such as creosote, which is carcinogenic.

3. Products that reduce the environmental impact of building operation: The environmental impact of a building’s ongoing operational costs can be significant. This category includes materials that reduce heating or cooling loads (such as SIPs and high performance windows), reduce water or energy use (like super efficient appliances and low-flow toilets), reduce waste (such as recycling or composting systems), reduce maintenance or pollution (like efficiently burning fireplaces), and that use renewable energy (such as PV systems and solar water heaters.)