Coloring your home green is getting easier every day. Manufacturers are responding to growing interest in the environment by creating—or perfecting—products geared toward energy efficiency, sustainability, and health. You’ll hear more and more about these products in the coming years: Energy efficiency has become an important feature of many home appliances. Some paints, stains, and wood products today are low VOC—meaning they emit fewer volatile organic compounds, which makes for a healthier indoor environment. Geothermal home heating and cooling systems are another example. They tap into the Earth’s energy for low year-round operating costs.
The housing industry is getting on board, too. Architects and builders are including more “green” features in home design, beyond Minnesota’s building codes, which are already some of the most energy efficient in the nation. And new initiatives like Minnesota GreenStar give homeowners the option of building or remodeling a home that is green—with third party certification of the results.
Look for the j symbol in our Buyer’s Guide on the following pages. It denotes companies that are known for green design, green products, and green services.