What is Green? More than a Definition – An Understanding – Part 1

by Linda Lenore on October 19, 2011



I just spent all day in a training presented by Build It Green at the StopWaste Organization in Oakland to become a Certified Green Real Estate Professional where  part of the topic is, "What is Green?" I have my definition, as might you, and a point that was made was "What's the filter being used by the client/homeowner?" Find that out and you'll be ahead of the game in your conversation and approach.

Since I have had the need to "green" my home due to my physical illnesses that were caused by "Sick Building Syndrome" and other related issues, I have a filter about "healthier environments" in the home. Someone in the construction industry might have a filter about HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) related issues. While still another person in the electrical or water resource industries might have the filter about energy efficiency or water conservation.

All are valid "green" concerns. All can be included in a home. All qualify for consideration in various rating, assessment and audit programs.

One of the exercises we were asked to perform was to get into groups, listing our "top 10" green features to add to a home to make it a green home. Then we were to narrow our list to three and choose a spokesperson to share them.

The lists were extensive. Here they are:

  • HVAC - Seal the Ducts & Vents
  • Insulation
  • Energy Efficient Appliances
  • Low-VOC Paints
  • Drought Tolerant Plants
  • Drip Irrigation Systems
  • Deciduous Trees/Shade Trees
  • Grey Water Systems
  • Energy Efficient Lighting
  • Low Flow Water Systems
  • PV (Photo Voltaic) Solar Panels
  • Low E Windows
  • Tightening the Envelope (I call it "Sealing the Envelope")
  • Energy Star Water Heater/Blanket
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
  • Low- or Non-toxic Carpet
  • Permeable Hardscaping
  • Programable Thermostat
  • Consumer Education & Awareness
  • New Roof
  • Passive Solar

And there are still more.

I love this exercise since it validates the very statement I made earlier. You can see from this list how many different  "green" features or topics could be included in a discussion or green home remodel project.

There's lots more to discuss. I'll share with you many of the points from this 2-day training in following posts.

In the meantime, if you have questions about eco buildings, eco housing, environmental architecture, green home plans or a green remodel, please contact me. I have over 15-years experience in eco-friendly and environmental design. Blending this experience with over 50 years of interior and landscape design experience and over 25 years of Feng Shui training, I have helped thousands learn, evaluate and implement appropriate actions using their "filters" to create healthy, high-vitality homes.


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