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Marla Esser Cloos (aka The Green Home Coach) is the founder of Everyday Green Home, a weekly podcast where she and occasional co-host Tony Pratte, of The Sound Room, talk all things residential green. Marla is a NAHB Master Certified Green Professional, LEED AP, and Wellness Within Your Walls certified professional, who works with individual consumers, homeowners, builders, remodelers, and realtors. She is a frequent writer and speaker on the topic of sustainability. Her online shop, Everyday Green Home, offers a curated set of products for a safer, healthier, and greener life.

What you’ll learn

It’s All About People

We all care about the health of our family and friends and want them to live in a safe and healthy environment.

A few years ago, The US Green Building Council created a movement, campaign, and toolkit called the Living Standard, which published a message that still stands true. It spells out how much it matters that the places we live, work, and play should not hurt us but protect us and enrich our lives in a sustainable way. That should be a standard that we can all expect and enjoy, rather than a luxury or a privilege.

Sustainability is all about healthy people and living things. But that tends to get lost amid the advocating, politics, and policies. That is it’s important to take action. Words do not mean much until we get in there and do something!

This conversation from the Everyday Green Home archives shares a lot more detail about the Living Standard and toolkit. We discuss how the standard helps people help themselves, each other, and the environment. We also talk about the action we can take, as individuals, to make a difference.

The Living Standard Action toolkit

The Living Standard, released by the US Green Building Council, is all about people. It is a dialogue to help people understand more about green living and sustainability. The USGBC’s Living Standard Action Toolkit is designed to help us improve our conversations about what we can do to live a green and sustainable lifestyle. Picture a billion people making small changes, and you will see that it adds up to a billion small changes happening all over the planet.

Big conversation, small actions

Talking about the environment is a big conversation because there is a lot to understand. Ans many people tend to get overwhelmed. We need to realize that everyone looks at things a little differently, and there are certain things about which we will not agree. However, there are small, common-sense changes that we all can make.

There is always something you can do to be part of the solution and change things for the better. It all makes a difference.

A non-confrontational conversation

The Living Standard was created to move the environmental conversation away from jargonized, scientific, builder-speak towards a more common language that can easily be understood by everyone. A conversation about sustainability and greening the environment does not have to be confrontational: this vs that. Let’s take the politics out of it and have heartfelt conversations. 

As advocates, we need to speak to more people who live outside of our community. We need to use inclusive language and powerful images to help everyone feel that they can take the action that is needed daily to create a sustainable environment for all.

The philosophy of sustainability is usually not controversial. But when it comes to building homes, the path to get there can raise differing issues and opinions. Land use, labor, new technologies, codes, and products and certifications are all complex, on top of economic instability.

The Living Standard helps us understand multiple conversations and complexities. There is always a better way to use our resources, live more healthy, and be a better citizen. As we build more sustainably, it is becoming a standard way to build.

Every small step we take matters, and in some cases it’s the easier, less-expensive way to go. Of all the resources out there, pick one topic and choose an action that’s important to you personally. Then we can all learn from each other. Every little bit helps.

Make meaningful changes in your home

The Living Standard Issue Report encourages green building professionals to engage wider audiences and illustrate the importance of small, everyday actions. To educate people about the planet we call home and connect the environment to their health and well-being.

It’s all about the choices we make. There are changes, big and small, that can make an impact. Visit the Everyday Green Home shop for eco options that can save resources and ensure a cleaner, healthier home. For more tips on greening your home and our world, join the new-ish Love Your Everyday Green Home Facebook group.



If you want to learn more about why green matters to you, your family, and the planet, subscribe to the Everyday Green Home podcast. Marla and her guests share tips and trends in sustainable building.

Find additional insights in Marla's book Living Green Effortlessly: Simple Choices to a Better Home on Amazon.

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