The amount of resources on the internet can be a little overwhelming, right? It takes a lot of time to sift through it all, verify that it is trustworthy information, and then make an informed decision. It’s nice to know that there are some websites you can visit that are guaranteed to have reliable, trustworthy information. Below are a few of my favorite online healthy living and green building resources. These are the sites I visit to find the expert, trustworthy advice I need to make informed design and product decisions.
Declare, by the Living Future Institute
The Declare label is like a nutritional label for building products. The label shows where the product came from, what it is made of, and where it goes at the end of its life. Transparency in building products! It’s very cool. The Declare label helps combat the greenwashing that many building products have started doing. The site makes it easy to search for products either by manufacturer or by the type of building product.
My favorite part of the website is the ‘Red List Free’ declaration. The Living Future Institute has a list, called the Red List, of the most harmful chemicals that are prevalent in the building industry. Any product that meets the Red List Free Declaration will be clearly noted. This website takes so much of the hunt out of finding healthy building products. It is a real time saver.
Living-future.org/declare, Free Resource
Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute
The term Cradle to Cradle comes from the book with that title by chemist Michael Braungart and architect William McDonough. The premise is that most products in the world today have an end to their life. They are used and possibly recycled until they end up in a land fill. This is called a Cradle to Grave pattern. The book challenges this way of thinking to encourage a product to have a Cradle to Cradle pattern. This means that a product never actually reaches its end of life, it simply gets re-purposed. The Cradle to Cradle Certified Product website is a certification program for products that meet stringent environment and health standards. The products are rated on material health, material re-utilization, renewable energy, water stewardship, and social fairness.
I like to use this website to search for products from household cleaners to building materials. When I see that a product is Cradle to Cradle certified, I can rest assured that it is safe for the environment and human health.
c2cCertified.org, Free Resource
I highly recommend reading the book that started the movement: Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things
Green Building Advisor (GBA)
This is my favorite go-to website for green building resources. Although a lot of the content is for paying members only, I have managed to gain tons of useful information from their non-member viewable blog posts and Q and A’s. This is my go-to because it contains every piece of green residential design you can think of. The website has multiple green building and building science expert contributors from around the world. The site contains construction details, best practices, tips, failures, case studies, and product reviews to guide users in building the most weather-tight, environmentally friendly, and energy efficient home possible.
My favorite part of the website is the user comments and discussions at the end of the blog posts. After reading the informative post, there is always great dialogue about the content of the post. Whether it’s from people looking for more information, or installers that have first hand experience with the mentioned product, it’s a discussion that should not be skipped.
GreenBuildingAdvisor.com, Some free content, monthly membership is $14.95 per month
This website is another full service resource for building healthy and sustainable buildings. Where Green Building Advisor focuses on residential design, Building Green covers the full spectrum of buildings and even neighborhood design. A membership is required to access the information on this website. It is well worth it for anyone needing to research green building design strategies or products on a regular basis. The website features design strategies for all different design goals, design information by project type, and building science information. The site is well laid out and easy to navigate.
My favorite part of the website is the amazing product review library. I can search within 100’s of product categories to read comparison reviews on green products. The reviews are easy to read and clearly guide the user to the best product for their needs.
BuildingGreen.com, Monthly membership is $19.95 per month
Building Science Corporation (BSC)
If you are looking for ‘the best’ way to build a healthy, energy efficient building, the information on this site will guide you in the right direction. BSC is a building science consulting and architectural firm that generates a ton of free resources for best practices in construction. Their focus is ‘preventing and resolving problems related to building design, construction and operation’.
The best part is that the website is a completely free resource. This is the site I go to when I am looking for guidance on construction details like wall assemblies and best practices for things like insulating and air sealing buildings. The site is loaded with beautiful, easy to read graphics for construction.
BuildingScience.com, Free Resource
These are my favorite websites for reliable green building resources and healthy design practices. What are your go-to online resources for healthy and green living?