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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
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.
Energy Conservation in Our Artificial Habitats
January 25, 2012 08:56 AM - Mike Brandolino, Sierra Club Green Home
The outside world may be unforgiving, but science and technology has made comfortable artificial environments with heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC). HVAC has made it possible for us to live almost anywhere on the planet. Las Vegas was once a barren desert, but is now teeming with people, lights, and imported water.
Ford’s Future Cars: Plastic Bottle Carpets and Soy Seats
January 18, 2012 01:45 PM - Sierra Club, Sierra Club Green Home
Have you ever wondered how an electric vehicle works, or how car companies can use more environmentally friendly materials? Ford sustainability expert John Viera has spent his entire career working on everything from fuel efficiency improvements in vehicles to sustainability initiatives for manufacturing facilities, and is excited to talk shop with Sierra Club Green Home readers.
Plant Plastic: Future of Plastic Is in Plants, not Petroleum
December 22, 2011 09:02 AM - Debra Atlas, Sierra Club Green Home
Plastic is a large expense in the beverage industry. The global price of oil directly affects the type of plastic being produced. In 2008, when the price of oil soared to more than $100 per barrel, companies began scrambling to find alternatives to plastic bottles. Enter bioplastics. Several companies have created bottles made from plant-based materials. Coca-Cola Company launched its Dasani PlantBottle, made with up to 30 percent plant-based material, and its Odwalla brand PlantBottle, made with 100 percent PLA (polylactide or polylactic acid), a polymer made from renewable plant materials.
A Green Military: Saving More than Energy
December 6, 2011 09:04 AM - Debra Atlas, Sierra Club Green Home
The Pentagon says that it aims to "develop more energy-efficient weapons, embrace non-oil energy sources, and demand more energy-conscious behavior from the troops." This move towards energy efficiency in all the branches of the military was mandated by congressional directives and presidential orders, many dating to former President George W. Bush and expanded on by President Barack Obama.
Plastic Bags: On Their Way Out?
December 5, 2011 08:58 AM - Debra Atlas, Sierra Club Green Home
In California alone, consumers use upwards of 19 million plastic bags per year, which require approximately 8 million barrels of oil to produce. 90 percent of the bags used in the United States never get recycled. Globally, of the 500 billion of the flimsy, single-use bags we go through, many end up either in landfills or as wind-blown or ocean gyre litter that gets consumed by wildlife and marine life, resulting in many agonizingly painful deaths. For many environmentalists and concerned consumers, plastic bags represent Public Enemy #1. Across the globe, cities, counties and countries are grappling with this environmental disaster. Countries that have banned their use include Italy, Thailand, Bangladesh, Israel and Rwanda, as well as a number of cities in India, Australia and Canada.
Old Plastic Bottles Bring Light
November 28, 2011 08:40 AM - Debra Atlas, Sierra Club Green Home
Millions of people in the Philippines live in (relative) darkness. The cost of electricity is beyond the means of many, so residents of poorer communities resort to candles or kerosene lamps, which pose serious health and fire hazards.
How Apple’s Product Design Reduces Carbon Footprint
November 17, 2011 07:57 AM - Gustavo Grad, Sierra Club Green Home
Apple products come in black, white—and green, says the company's environmental Web page: "Apple reports environmental impact comprehensively. We do this by focusing on our products: what happens when we design them, what happens when we make them, and what happens when you take them home and use them."
PlanetSolar’s Pioneering Voyage
October 25, 2011 09:44 AM - Mike Brandolino, Sierra Club Green Home
Imagine a futuristic marine craft that looks like it jumped off the pages of a Jules Verne or H.G. Wells science fiction novel. Imagine breakthrough technology that captures the power of the sun for fueling adventures. Imagine traveling to exotic destinations in the equatorial regions of the earth using advanced technology. Imagine sailing around the world in a completely quiet vessel that does not cause adverse ecological or environmental impacts.