Green Homes 101

“Green is a process, not a status. We need to think of ‘green’ as a verb, not an adjective.” — Daniel Goleman

We couldn’t agree more. Going green is a journey without a precise road map or a definitive destination. And, despite what some people might think, there’s no right or wrong way and no one can do it all. You can only do what works for you. And you should be proud of it! Our mission is to provide you with all the tools and information you’ll need on your journey to a green home. Here’s a snippet of the kinds of things you’ll find in our Green Homes 101 section:

  • Why Build Green Homes? Read this quick guide to learn about the key benefits. Beyond just being better for the planet, it’s also better for your health and for your budget.
  • Certifications – From home certifications like LEED to product certifications like Cradle to Cradle, you’re going to come across a lot of unique programs and you’ll want to make sure you understand them clearly before jumping on board. We translate the sometimes wonky policies and protocols and make each one understandable.
  • Green Homes – Eco-prefabs, eco-lux LEED homes, tiny homes, eco friendly manufactured homes, net-zero energy homes, earthships, shipping container homes, Living Building Challenge homes, Passivehaus homes, small green homes, green sustainable homes, the list goes on and on. Explore the endless inspiring options. We feature them in all their green glory to show how green can be completely gorgeous.
  • Healthy Home – Believe it or not, many conventional building materials contain chemicals that are harmful to our health. Green building uses safer, non-toxic alternatives (which exist for nearly everything), as well as other design features that promote health and well-being like natural lighting and siting in walkable neighborhoods.
  • Indoor Air Quality – People spend about 90% of their time indoors where the air is typically 3-5 times more polluted than outside (even in big cities!). Cleaning up indoor air by building and renovating right is clearly imperative for protecting occupant health in eco homes.
  • Budget Eco – Probably the #1 myth people believe about going green is that it’s more expensive. Sometimes, it’s a bit more up front, but saves you money over time. Other times, it can be cheaper right out of the gate. We’ll show you how to cut costs without cutting corners.
  • Before & After – Who doesn’t like seeing before and after photos? Not only is it interesting to see the transformation, it can be really helpful to see before pictures to get a sense of what’s possible with existing spaces. Some of our before and after pieces also include details from homeowners about the process, so you can learn from their experiences.
  • FAQs – Clearly, you’re not the first person to create a green home and you certainly won’t be the last. Check out our most frequently asked questions – and submit your own if you can’t find an answer. We’re here for you!
I.M. Pei’s Modernist Legacy Lives On In This Eco Renovation

I.M. Pei’s Modernist Legacy Lives On In This Eco Renovation

I.M. Pei and Araldo Cossutta’s modernist architecture extended to Hyde Park, Chicago in 1961 with the design of the now-historic University Park Condominium. Elemental Green enlisted local architect Richard Kasemsarn to help give one of the penthouse units a green makeover while staying true to its modernist beginnings.

LED Light Bulbs for Now, and for the Future

LED Light Bulbs for Now, and for the Future

LED light bulbs that were once very expensive can be had for $5 or less. The savings in energy cost, year after year, pays for the investment many times over. But which products will last, and show you and your home in their very best light?

10 of the Cheapest Eco-Friendly Upgrades for Your Home

10 of the Cheapest Eco-Friendly Upgrades for Your Home

While many eco-home maintenance projects can cost a pretty penny, the good news is you don’t need to do all of them at once to reduce your home’s eco-footprint. Even better, there are steps you can take that can make a big impact for relatively little money.

Recolor’s Recycled Paint Gives Unused Paint New Life

Recolor’s Recycled Paint Gives Unused Paint New Life

Every year, millions of gallons of paint end up going to waste, with much of it ending up in our waterways and landfills. Recolor collects unused paint and remanufactures it as a healthy paint option for any eco-renovation, including our own #EcoRenovate.

Elemental Green Founder Sheridan Foster Dishes on #EcoRenovate

Elemental Green Founder Sheridan Foster Dishes on #EcoRenovate

Are you planning to renovate your home? The product choices you make can have a huge impact on your health and the planet. Elemental Green’s Founder and CEO Sheridan Foster gives us some such examples as she walks us through our first branded renovation in Chicago’s Hyde Park.

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