Our click-and-go guide to earth-friendly materials
Active solar energy: Energy created from exposure to the sun, captured through equipment installed in buildings; used to generate energy and heat.
Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs): Fluorescent lighting that uses up to one quarter the energy of incandescent bulbs, producing the same output with a lifespan up to 10 times longer.
Drip irrigation: Landscape watering through small, perforated underground pipes that deliver water to roots of plants, slowing evaporation.
Dual flush: Long popular in Europe and Asia, a dual flush toilet system reduces overall water consumption by providing two different flushing forces.
Energy Star: A government-backed program that encourages production and use of household products that use less energy, save money, and help protect the environment. To gain the Energy Star rating, products must meet stringent energy efficiency criteria set by the U. S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Engineered wood: A wood product derived from fast-growing, small-diameter trees as well as from wood strands, veneers, lumber, and other forms of wood fiber that might otherwise be discarded.
Fly ash: A byproduct of coal-burning power plants, which is usually dumped in landfills. Fly ash has binding properties similar to cement and can be substituted for the large portions of cement used when making concrete. Also used as an ingredient in brick, block, paving, and structural fills.
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC): A nonprofit organization that sets environmental standards for forest management worldwide. FSC-certified wood is sustainably harvested, helping to conserve old-growth forests and the ecosystems they support.
Gray water: Wastewater from sinks, showers, and laundry that is reused for irrigation systems.
Low-E windows: Low emissivity glass has a clear coating that absorbs and reflects radiant heat and UV rays, helping to keep your home cooler in summer and warmer in the winter.
Low VOC: Volatile organic compounds (VOC) area chemicals that evaporate easily at room temperature. The term "organic" indicates that the compounds contain carbon which off-gasses and pollutes the air. Paints and materials with low VOCs have low levels of toxicity.
Natural fiber fabrics: Materials such as cotton, wool, silk, and linen that are biodegradable and require little energy to process.
Passive solar energy: Energy created from exposure to the sun, captured primarily through the design and orientation of a building.
Permeable pavers: Allows rainwater to rapidly infiltrate and enter the sub-base where it is naturally filtered, rather than run off into storm sewers.
Photovoltaic array (PV): Rooftop solar panel system that directly converts sunlight into electricity via an electrical inverter connected to your power meter.
Radiant barrier: A thin layer of metallic foil bonded to roof sheathing, reflecting up to 97 percent of the sun's heat. Reduces indoor temperatures during peak summer days.
Rainwater harvesting: Storage of rain runoff from downspouts, gutters, and roofs collected in large barrels or tanks for use in landscape irrigation.
Tankless water heater: Up to 70 percent more efficient than traditional water heaters, tankless water heaters provide hot water on demand, reduce or eliminate standby losses, use less space, and last longer than conventional water heaters.
Title 24: Part of the California energy code, revised standards for new home construction require that 50 percent of light output in kitchens derive from high efficiency fluorescent bulbs.
Wheat board: Non toxic particleboard made from 60 million tons of straw waste produced in the U. S. each year and used for furniture, cabinetry, and countertop substrate. Bales of wheat straw are milled into fine particles, and then sorted, dried, and bound together with a formaldehyde-free resin.
Xeriscape: Low-water landscaping with slow-growing, drought-tolerant plants in order to conserve water and reduce yard trimmings. Xeriscapes generally require less maintenance, fertilizer, and pest control than traditional landscapes.
One Earth One Design
Fold Bedding / 100 percent wool Wave Wool
One Earth One Design
Recycled glass drawer pulls
Recycled glass plates
CABINETS AND SHELVING
Neil Kelly Cabinets
Nontoxic laminate veneer
Certified Forest Products
Yankin's Reclaimed Materials
Recycled teak storage shelves
The Wooden Duck
3form / EcoResin, a 40 percent recycled polyester resin
COUNTERS AND SINKS
Smith & Fong Plyboo
Concrete with fly ash and porcelain
Concrete with recycled rice hulls
Concrete with stones
Paper and phenolic resin
TerraMai / reclaimed teak
Recycled cast aluminum
Endura Wood Products
Latitudes Decking and Railing
800/598-9663 or 877/463-8379
Pervious driveway stone
EXTERIOR WALL SURFACES
Cembonit from Cement Board Fabricators
James Hardie Building Products
Alcohol-fuel, flue-less burner
Marin Outdoor Living
Duraflame / AnyFire log, made of bio-wax and is clean-burning
Nontoxic adhesive backing
Cost Plus World Market
Smith & Fong Plyboo
Smith & Fong Durapalm
Nova Distinctive Floors
Environ Biocomposites / bio-based material created from sunflower hulls
FSC-certified wood (Forest Stewardship Council)
EcoTimber / certified hardwood and engineered flooring
Terra Green Ceramics
Crossville / EcoCycle, recycled porcelain
Fireclay Tile / Debris series has 50 percent recycled materials
Kenneth Cobonpue (for distributors) / La Luna armchair made of handwoven rattan vines over a sustainably harvested mahogany wood frame
BPSRugs / online rug collection contains a minimum of 10 percent recycled content; mill operates with 100 percent renewable electricity
800/423-4709, ext. 3
Branch / round floor mat handmade of recycled vintage leather belts at TING Studios in the United Kingdom
Merida / Festival from the Woodstock Collection, 53 percent wool and 47 percent paper
Patricia M. Baun / hand painted canvas rug
Maria Yee / Bamboo Timbre Mondo bed
Room & Board / sustainably harvested cherry Anders Bed
Palecek / Seagrass Havana Slipper Chair
Alex Suvajac / bamboo, water-based glue, non-VOC coating
Kenneth Cobonpue (for distributors) / made of bamboo and recycled plastic
McGuire Furniture / Copenhagen Lounge Chair with recycled industrial materials
McGuire Furniture / Ironwood Stump Table, hand-carved from fallen ironwood trees
Janus et Cie / Maui Sofa Bed, kraft paper twisted around steel wire
Kenneth Cobonpue (for distributors) / Chiquita Stool, natural rattan poles and molded steel base
Branch / Hoodoo pillow of reclaimed Ultrasuede filled with down and feathers by Galya Rosenfeld
Johns Manville / EasyFit insulation, fiberglass strands that improve heat resistance and sound control
Bonded Logic / UltraTouch, recycled denim
Louisiana Pacific / TechShield, prevents radiant heat from entering an attic
KITCHEN AND BATH PLUMBING FIXTURES
Kohler / Kohler Stillness® widespread lavatory faucet, #K-942-4
Kohler / Kohler low flow "Coralais"
Kohler / Kohler MasterShower Ecofficient showerhead with mixer - Kohler Stillness thermostatic valve trim
Hansgrohe / Axor Terrano
Moen / Showhouse
Kohler / Kohler, dual flush, "Escale"
Environmental lights / LED lighting
Building REsources / Red Shovel Glass Company, recycled glass mulch and recycled ceramic shard gravel
Building REsources / tumbled recycled glass
Green Waste Recycle Yard / from salvaged and reclaimed urban forests
Pits in Pieces / recycled peach pits
Berkeley Horticultural Village Nurseries
North Coast Native Nursery
SYNlawn / artificial turf made using soybean oil, post-industrial waste, and recycled plastics.
MaxLite / MiniCandle
Allsop Home and Garden / solar lanterns
Propellor Design / Furrows Pendant Lamp from reclaimed wood
Sensors and dimmers
Lutron Electronics Company / Maestro IR remote-control dimmer
Watt Stopper / Vacancy Sensor switch
Glidehouse by Michelle Kaufmann Designs
mkLotus by Michelle Kaufmann Designs
Sunset Breezehouse by Michelle Kaufmann Designs
Loll Designs / Emmett Chair, 80 percent post-industrial recycled plastic
877/740-3387 x 106
Reclaimed redwood furniture
Tom Schot Benches
Benjamin Moore Aura / low-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints
Kelley-Moore / E cote, recycled paint products
Yolo Colorhouse / no-VOC paints
Rana Creek Living Architecture Division
ASC Building Products / steel roofing and siding
Custom-Bilt Metals / TITAN Cool Roof, highly reflective coatings to minimize heat gain
Metal Roofing Alliance
Metal Sales / metal roofing and siding products
EcoroofsEverywhere / information on green roofs
Greenroofs.com / information on organic green roofs
Green Roofs for Healthy Cities / green roof industry infrastructure association
Northwest EcoBuilding Guild Green Roof Project / an organization for sustainable building
American Solar Energy Society
California's Solar Living Institute
SunTechnics Energy Systems
Solar fountain pump and photovoltaic panel
Gaiam Real Goods
Find Solar / directory of renewable energy professionals created through a joint partnership between the American Solar Energy Society, Solar Electric Power Association, Energy Matters LLC, and the U.S. Department of Energy
303/443-3130, American Solar Energy Society
STRUCTURE AND FRAMING
Arxx Building Products / insulated concrete forms
Louisiana Pacific / I joists, Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL), and Oriented Strand Board (OSB)
Rammed Earth Development
Structural insulated panels (SIPs)
Sonoma Cast Stone
Recycled ceramic and lavastone
Bedrock Industries / recycled glass tile
Fireclay Tile / Debris series
Sandhill Industries / mosaic blend tiles
Tree Street Design / handmade tiles
Wonderwater / Wonderwater Rain Catchment Systems
Tankless hot water heaters
WINDOWS AND DOORS
3form / recycled plastic resin Bear Grass
Marvin Windows and Doors
Milgard Windows & Doors
Pella Windows & Doors
Sierra Pacific Windows
Hartman & Forbes / painted handwoven bamboo ColorWeave shades
Solar Shading Systems