So, how do we take steps to make our homes better?  What things should homeowners be looking for?  What products should homeowners look to alternatives for instead of using the traditional ones common in the marketplace today?

The first step is providing some base education and to understand basic eco-friendly recommendations.  We don't have to know everything, but we do need to know what to look for and what to avoid within each product category.

The best rule of thumb is to look for more natural products wherever possible.  If it grows in nature, or is made from something biodegradable, that is a great start.  Opposite of that, raise the red flag for products that are mostly man-made chemicals.  If the product is 100% chemical based, or even composed mainly of chemicals, this would indicate that a) it likely doesn't biodegrade, b) leaches chemicals into the ground/water once disposed, and c) could potentially be hazardous to health.  Known carcinogens that bioaccumulate or are long term waste problems like flame retardants, BPA, Formaldehyde, foam polymers, etc. are all found in common "traditional" building material products.  Avoid these.

More extensive information is becoming common knowledge among commercial architects, but you can still choose to educate and protect yourself with what you choose to put in your home when purchasing materials, finishes, even furniture.  Learn more here from trusted sources:  The Red List, from The International Living Future Institute and The Precautionary List, from the Perkins and Will Transparency website.  

One of the goals of creating a green home is to preserve indoor air quality.  So if many of the building material products in your home are chemical based, keep in mind that they will off-gas.  This is a common characteristic of most chemical-based man-made materials.  Basically, as chemicals age they emit harmful byproducts into the air (at higher rates earlier in their life cycles).  This is the "new car" or "new house/paint" smell that people are familiar with.  It's actually the harmful chemical based fumes from the paints, plastics, glues, etc. that people are smelling.  Ultimately, this off-gassing is a significant contributor to poor (harmful) indoor air quality.  In a typical home, the fumes may or may not cause immediate respiratory problems, but it certainly has the potential for long term contribution to what is known as "body burden".  This is the concept that your body is constantly bombarded by harmful things  - ones that we primarily introduce to ourselves through ingestion, breathing, or physical exposure to non-natural things (things humans have produced).  As your body attempts to filter these toxins, there is a certain point where toxins may overcome the body's ability to regulate them - and this is the cause for concern.  Links have been drawn in children to reduced IQ scores.  In both children and adults, people have reported skin conditions, asthma, breathing complications, headaches, nausea, and most importantly cancer.

This link has some extremely compelling details if you want to learn more about Body Burden in newborns.  There are many other scientific resources highlighting many of the health related concepts mentioned above.  Many of these things are starting to be addressed by architects and certain builders in the marketplace, but a mainstream residential retailer is needed to be the source for homeowners in their DIY and build/renovation projects.


Some product categories to consider moving away from "traditional" materials in favor of more natural materials would be things like flooring, carpeting, drywall, insulation, countertops, and cabinet or furniture materials (made from engineered woods).  Outside the home, we can consider things like decking, siding, and roofing materials.  These are all material choices to consider if you are trying to be more eco-friendly and health conscious.  Go Green Home Supply will have more details on each of these product categories in future blog posts and in our online store, but as an example, consider switching to FCS rated hardwood flooring with low VOC finishes compared to common vinyl flooring (which amounts to plastic flooring).  Another example would be sheeps wool insulation in favor of pink fiberglass insulation.  Both of these "swaps" offer similar performance and durability, yet are much better for you and the environment.

Go Green Home Supply is taking the approach of simplifying the process of sourcing eco-friendly building materials for your home, providing you only truly green and healthy options.  You can be assured that everything you purchase from us has been thoroughly vetted to be healthy for you and the planet.  You won't have to wade through hundreds (even thousands) of toxic options before landing on a non-toxic product that is right for you.  The "swap" from someone else's product to our more natural one will be easy.  On top of that, our select manufacturers supply the quality, durability, and top tier looks and finishes a modern home deserves.  Whether you are renovating or building, you can choose to source these materials directly from our website, or have your partner contractor source them from us.


For more info about sustainable building materials, reach us at:


 Plan well.  Build well.  Be well.


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May 17, 2022 — David Lymburn