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Sierra Club Green Home was developed with a simple mission in mind: to help Americans make their homes more energy efficient, environmentally sustainable and healthy. We do not sell products or services. Instead, we educate consumers on how to improve their home health and connect them with Providers that can help them achieve their goals. Our screening process ensures that all Providers listed on our site can help you create a greener, healthier home by reducing
your use of energy
your use of non-renewable natural resources
the presence of toxins and chemicals in your home.
While our education contains some fairly sophisticated content, we focus primarily on "non-green" and "newly-green" citizens. Research indicates the vast majority of Americans are not taking even simple steps to reduce their impact - things like installing CFLs, turning off the water when brushing teeth, recycling cans, bottles and newspapers, or looking for organic produce options. We believe this is where SCGH can have the greatest benefit, by influencing people to take those simple first steps to practice environmental responsibility at home. And of course, we offer vast amounts of education and products for the already-green who are looking to do even more.
Gordon Wangers, CMO
Sierra Club Green Home
Make Earth Day count and start doing things to help all year long
April 22, 2012 08:30 AM - Kara A. DiCamillio, Sierra Club Green Home
Earth Day is a great opportunity to appreciate the planet that provides for us all year long. Sierra Club Green Home has seven simple things you can do for the environment this weekend, and hopefully you will incorporate them into your daily life as well! 1) Attend a clean-up in your community. This weekend there are clean-ups going on all around the country. A simple Web search can help you find one in your city or town. If by chance you cannot find one, don’t hesitate to pick up that stray piece of trash that might be blowing down the road. 2) Conserve water. We use a good amount of water through simple everyday tasks such as brushing our teeth, taking showers, and washing the dishes. There is also the amount of water used to produce our food and other products. Try to track how much water you use in one day, and look for areas where you can reduce your water footprint.
In Los Angeles, city engineers and policy makers are taking an innovative approach to treating waste and protecting water. In the past, the city relied exclusively on trucking waste to Kern County for treatment. Groundbreaking technology has moved Los Angeles away from traditional methods of waste storage and treatment. New methods are lowering green house gas emissions and reducing the risk of water contamination. How can the city affordably avoid the pitfalls of trucking waste long distances for treatment? The solution is surprising.
Sunny Forecast for Solar Power
April 13, 2012 07:16 AM - Editor, Sierra Club Green Home
The American solar industry more than doubled in megawatts last year, from 887 megawatts installed in 2010 to 1,855 megawatts installed in 2011. This growth represents enough solar energy to power over 350,000 homes! 2011 also marks the first time the U.S. solar market has topped one gigawatt (1,000 MW) in a single year. Many factors contributed to this growth. The cost of installing solar panels fell 20 percent last year due to lower component costs and improved installation efficiency. Expanded financing options and a shift toward larger systems nationwide also made solar more affordable. In addition the 1603 Treasury Program, which offered rebates for businesses that installed solar panels, ended Dec. 31, 2011. This looming deadline drove developers to commission projects before the end of the year.
Classes Make Bicycling in Los Angeles Easier
April 5, 2012 09:03 AM - Courtney Hayden, Sierra Club Green Home
It is 9 am and traffic is crawling on the 101 freeway...and on the 405, and on the 118. Sunshine pours through the windshield, turning your mind to thoughts of walking through the Santa Monica Mountains and biking down to the beach. Minutes are ticking by, marked only by the occasional horn honking loudly behind you. As for the gas you put in the car earlier? It is working its way towards "E." There is a way to reduce your fossil fuels consumption and make daily commutes enjoyable: bicycling. And a new organization is here to help make biking in Los Angeles easier. If you are new to biking or if the thought of peddling down crowded LA streets intimidates you, Sustainable Streets offers free safety courses to help ease your transition into biking. Courses are available in Burbank, West Hollywood, and along the beach in Santa Monica. Classes start with four hours in the classroom, followed by one hour on a simulated road, and then almost five hours of actual street riding.
Sustainable Seafood Guide: How to Save the Seas with Your Diet
April 4, 2012 09:25 PM - Heather-Leigh Logan, Sierra Club Green Home
Maybe you have heard that eating beef is one of the biggest contributors to your carbon footprint, much more so than driving. However, if you are like many of us, you may not have thought about how eating seafood affects the environment. Whether you live by the coast or thousands of miles from the nearest shoreline, the biggest impact you have on the oceans is through your diet. Beyond its health benefits and its cultural significance, there is no denying how delicious lobster with freshly-squeezed lemon tastes on a hot summer day. With a seemingly (and deceptively) abundant supply of inexpensive seafood, it can be hard to say no to that double order of fish tacos. But can the seas really provide an endless bounty of food?
Fighting Mosquitoes, the Green Way
March 28, 2012 09:12 AM - Juliet Blalack, Sierra Club Green Home
The last way you want to spend your hard-earned vacation is swatting away mosquitoes and then scratching away at the bites. So it hardly seems tragic when the resort starts spraying the bloodsuckers. However, the way that most resorts combat mosquitoes has some alarming implications for the environment.
Solar Roadways: Energy and Transportation Solution in One
March 16, 2012 08:44 AM - Debra Atlas, Sierra Club Green Home
SANDPOINT, ID— There are 28,000 square miles of roadways spread across the 48 continental states. With the cost of traditional paving materials going up and their availability going down, innovator Scott Brusaw sees solar highways as the solution to several energy and transportation problems.
Underground Eco Park in Progress on NYC's Lower East Side
March 12, 2012 09:04 AM - Debra Atlas, Sierra Club Green Home
NEW YORK— Most New Yorkers have no idea that they may be walking above long-forgotten underground tunnels and railways, relics of the horse-drawn trolleys and electrified cars of the early 20th century. There are at least 13 acres of unused tunnels throughout the five boroughs, many of them unsafe and unusable. One such site is located underneath the Lower East Side (LES), and could soon become an unlikely green sanctuary.
Virgin Islands Lose Oil Refinery: Opportunity for Green Energy?
March 9, 2012 08:16 AM - Albert Segovia, Sierra Club Green Home
Hovensa, the U.S. Virgin Islands’ sole oil refinery, was forced to shut down last month due to economic losses, leaving over 2,000 people unemployed. This energy fiasco is devastating the islands’ economy, and showing the vulnerability caused by oil dependency. The once-prominent oil refinery closed February 21, keeping about 100 employees to run the facility as an oil storage terminal. The refinery produced over 90 percent of the petroleum energy for the U.S. Virgin Islands, and accounted for 20 percent of the territory’s GDP. Representatives of Hovensa say losses have totaled over $1.3 billion in the last three years. This, along with decline in demand for refined products, makes it economically unfeasible to keep Hovensa operating.
Do Pollutants Cause Breast Cancer?
January 30, 2012 02:52 PM - Paloma D’Silva, Sierra Club Green Home
Breast cancer is partly caused by toxic chemicals in the environment, according to a recent study by the Institute of Medicine (IOM). These pollutants are surprisingly common, and most women are exposed to them from a variety of sources. Carcinogenic pollutants come from radiation and from consumer products. They are in household cleaning products, microwaves, cosmetics, hairsprays, and refrigerators. These chemicals seep into water as runoff from landfills, affect people as well as animals, and have been shown to cause breast cancer in women. The Breast Cancer Action Foundation believes that the environmental factor has been overlooked in research, and that its influence has been grossly underestimated.