Third party certification symbols are your friend… Products that are certified by a third party organization are products that are good to go and need no further research. This means that the manufacturer has taken an extra step to ensure their product meets and exceeds certain standards.
The following is a list of third party certification systems and the type of products they certify:
Green Seal – Paints & Coatings
GREENGUARD – Adhesives & Sealants
GREENGUARD Gold – Textiles & Wallcoverings
Green Squared – Tile
Forest Stewardship Council – Wood & Other Forest Products
Green Label Plus – Carpet
FloorScore – Hard Surface Flooring
Facts – Textiles
UL Environment also provides GREENGUARD certification for electronics, furnishings and other building materials. Please contact them for further information.
Buy local… Specifying regional products not only helps the environment but also your local economy. This is a great way to discover small businesses that are doing great work in terms of sustainability. Make sure to read my interview with Jon Irons, Founder of SitGreen which is a great example of this.
Are you currently working on a project seeking LEED certification? Remember MRc5 can be achieved by using materials that have been harvested, extracted and manufactured within a 500 mile radius of your project site.
Green up your library… Schedule a clutter free session and put it on your calendar. Make it a priority to green up your library by recycling unwanted samples and catalogs. Doing this will free up space for healthier products and it will invite a positive flow that will quickly translate into your work. Before you know it your library will only house sustainable products which will save you a lot of time in the future.
Get out & mingle… About every 3 to 6 months update your calendar to include design events and expos. These small investments of time will help you discover the latest green products. If you want to make the most out of networking events when you’re pressed for time then check out The 15-Minute, High Impact Networking Solution.
Make sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter as we will be sharing news on upcoming events taking place here in Arizona and in the United States. Events like the USGBC Arizona State Conference and Greenbuild.
Know thy vendor… We can all agree that having the right vendor to answer our questions can make a huge difference. With green design taking over we need to make sure that certain vendors become part of our project team. As always great design and especially green design takes a team of people to successfully execute and complete.
Hire a green consultant… If your design firm has the means to hire someone who can be in charge of green product and material specification then go for it. This will pay you back with a high ROI (return on investment) and will make life a lot easier.
Join the Free to Design Green community… We are here to assist Interior Designers and Architects with green product specification by being the gateway between companies who are producing sustainable products and the design professional. We are happy to announce that we will soon be offering Green Product Spotlight exclusively to our subscribers. These monthly emails will contain 5 green products and the information you will need to specify them. We will focus on small companies and strive to bring you only new and innovative products. Sign up now to start receiving these time and money saving emails at no cost to you.
Which two tips do you think will be the most beneficial to you and why? Let us know in the comments below. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and remember green things come to those who sign up for the newsletter. Thanks for reading!