As with anything new to society, there is a period of adoption as people begin to learn about, slowly accept, and embrace an idea/concept as normal.  This is known as the technology adoption life cycle, or the Roger's Bell Curve.  It's a psychological phenomenon linked to humanities resistance to change over time and is applicable to both ideas and products.

This chart illustrates the majority of the population, roughly 84% are slow to accept new ideas and concepts, even when presented with compelling evidence as to why they should be adopting the concept.  

This is true with many things you can likely think of in daily life.  Think of the first Toyota Prius drivers in 2003, or iPhone users you saw back in 2007.  Those were the innovators and early adopters welcoming technology and change in products and lifestyle.  As time continues, many if not all have followed with things like the smartphone.

I bring this up because the concept of building a more green or sustainable home is still foreign to most people, and there are many misconceptions and myths about what it means to build or renovate in a sustainable way.  These misconceptions, have a lot to do with why sustainable home building is still not mainstream, or adopted by the majority.  We are here to debunk some of these myths!!  Hopefully, we can prove to you that making positive changes in your home is more attainable and easier than you may have thought!

Firstly, there are many ways to make your home more sustainable.  We discuss this in some previous posts, and will dive more into this in future posts.  In short, here is a quick guide to the hierarchy where home constructions fall on a spectrum of environmental friendliness:

"Traditional/Code Homes" - which meets current local building code requirements (not necessarily sustainable at all), can and likely contain toxic materials harmful to humans and the environment, may not be energy efficient, not designed for long life-cycle (20-40 year usable life in some cases)


"Green Home"  -  could mean many different things - ex. using certain products or practicing aspects to ensure a healthier or more efficient home, products with lower environmental footprint or less harmful chemicals, or may have only high efficiency appliances, solar panels, etc.  This home may be good (or at least better) in some or all aspects than when compared to our "Traditional/Code Homes"


"High Performance Home"  -  meets requirements typically laid out by organizations or residential building professionals who strive to meet some objective level of efficiency.  Typically focused on making the home as efficient as possible - using minimal energy for heating/cooling/lighting/etc., preserving indoor air quality, and maximizing comfort.  This home typically uses more complex building concepts and is highly specialized to meet these requirements.  It's classified as more sustainable due to it's immediate impact on reducing carbon emissions.  However, sometimes efficiency goals are met at the expense of less eco-friendly products.  Ex.  Passive House Design


"Sustainable Home"  -  is a home that is both highly energy efficient (likely high-performance) while using sustainable products in all or most areas, carbon negative materials and finishes, natural and renewable materials, products with low human/planet health impact (i.e. low VOC, low body burden), no "Red List" products, locally sourced, the home itself has a net positive environmental impact.  It truly is sustainable for homes like this to be built long term where every aspect is thought out.

**All homes will fall somewhere on this spectrum from not-so-good (Traditional) to great (Sustainable Home)**


Now, onto busting the myths...

Myth #1  -  It's too COMPLICATED and OVERWHELMING...

If you are interested in making your home a healthier and more sustainable place, starting somewhere... anywhere is better than doing nothing!  It's not an all-or-nothing proposition.
You can take small, simple steps to change a "traditional" home to fall closer into the "green" space.  You don't have to take on the task of going for a "high-performance" or "sustainable" home (which could feel daunting at times without the right help).  Homeowners don't have to be experts in all facets of architecture and construction to make a positive impact on the environment or their health - it's about everyone becoming a little knowledgable and making small changes together.  So next time you are facing decisions and have questions regarding your home build or renovation and would like some product advice, send us an email at - our product experts would be happy to help you!

There is nothing wrong with making a change in one area and not another.  Perhaps, you decide to renovate a living space and decide to use wool carpet as a sustainable alternative to chemically treated plastic fiber carpets, but then to choose "traditional" fiberglass insulation vs. eco-friendly cellulose insulation.  No problem!  You've made a decision that works for you and are on your way to a better home!  It's about progress!

Find what level of "sustainability" speaks to you (reference the scale above) and seek out small ways to get there so it doesn't feel overwhelming or complicated.  You will feel proud and have peace of mind from even your smallest eco-friendly decisions!

Myth #2  -  It's too EXPENSIVE to go green...

About 5-10 years ago, one could argue that a more sustainable/healthy home was probably more expensive when compared to a "traditional" home.  Innovators and Early Adopters still made the decision to spend more on the principal of going green alone because green/sustainable products were more niche or harder to source, and simply weren't as common as they are becoming today.

Today however, this simply isn't the case.  Green building products are an area of growth among residential building materials manufacturers.  New products are being developed everyday.  Between increased supply/demand and competition within the industry, prices are increasingly competitive, even when up against more "traditional" less environmentally friendly products.  There are many, many examples of homes with varying levels of sustainability that are cost equivalent to their "traditional" counterparts.

It's possible certain things may cost more upfront, but typically those products have a lower lifecycle cost which offset the difference in the long term.  Ultimately, if a product is more expensive than the cheapest option available, another question to ask yourself is "is it worth it," and "what are the long term implications?"  Is it worth it to spend a little more money for healthy peace of mind for your family and to contribute to environmental preservation?

Myth #3  -  Building natural is PRIMITIVE...

I have heard this many times and have even seen green building advocates fall into this trap when promoting more sustainable homes.  Building natural doesn't necessarily mean going the route of complete cob wall construction(straw, clay, sand), or adobe mud home.   While those building methods can be great, high-performance, sustainable, long lasting homes(think of adobe homes in the desert southwest that have stood for hundreds of years),  they may be too extreme for some.  Going natural in your homes is all about putting the least processed material as possible, wherever possible.  For instance, you don't immediately have to jump to an earthen floor to have a natural home.  Hardwoods or bamboos are natural without feeling primitive in any way and are certainly better than plastic vinyl that is commonplace today.  This concept applies to every product.  In fact, most award-winning sustainable homes actually look very modern and are architecturally beautiful because they exude more character while maintaining excellent natural materials throughout.  Home's don't become cookie-cutter templates, built one after another.

Also, natural homes are extremely durable and efficient without contributing to pollution and waste.  There is nothing "primitive" about that eco-friendly idea.  That idea is becoming the only approach among modern innovators and early adopters of these principals.

It is true that the industrial revolution paved the way for our current mainstream method of building homes.  Although many good things came from the industrial revolution, we are learning about plenty of bad things from this time as well.  From the construction materials to construction methods -  the original goal back in the early 1900's America wasn't to build a purposeful thought-out shelters, it was to build quickly and cheaply a commoditized home.  Our current construction methods aren't that much different than they were 100 years ago with insulated single-stud, timber framed homes.  My point is that if not much has changed in 100 years, isn't sticking with "traditional" construction practices the more primitive idea than adopting newer, more sustainably minded approaches?

Bonus Myth #4 - If they advertise it as eco-friendly, it must be...

Be careful of "greenwashing".  Lots and lots of companies today are promoting products or themselves as an eco-friendly offering - when in reality it may be a spin on the truth, or simply a novel concept posing as an eco-friendly benefit.  Do your own research and ask questions!  If you need assistance in the building materials space - Go Green Home Supply is happy to help!


Ultimately, we are in the beginning stages of adopting more sustainable home practices.  With your interest and willingness, we can continue to keep this movement trending forward to the masses with the hopes of making (more) sustainable homes the norm.


 Plan well.  Build well.  Be well.


Follow us on our socials to learn more and stay up to date!

May 18, 2022 — David Lymburn