Our Editorial and News Affiliates
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
How to Reduce the Fumes
February 10, 2010 07:50 AM - Editor, Sierra Club Green Home
A fresh coat of paint can change a room from dreary to divine. Stains, sealants, caulks, and adhesives help you build everything from a new bathroom to a bookcase. But all these useful products can also introduce unhealthy chemicals into your home and your body. Low-VOC paint The biggest culprit is VOCs, or "volatile organic compounds," a large class of chemicals that readily evaporate at room temperature. If you walk into a room and notice that new-paint smell, you’re breathing VOCs. Paints, stains, sealants, caulks, and adhesives release the highest levels of VOCs when wet. But even when they feel dry to the touch, they may keep releasing these gases for days, weeks, months, even years. Meanwhile your upholstery, carpets, and drapes act like sponges, absorbing VOCs and releasing them over time. While not everyone may be bothered by exposure to these gases, they can be a serious health risk for people with chemical sensitivities, asthma, or other respiratory conditions.
Indoor Air Quality
January 10, 2010 10:36 AM - , Sierra Club Green Home
How to make your home a healthy place Smog in urban areas often makes the news. But truth be told, air quality is often much worse inside our homes than outside. That’s because tens of thousands of chemicals, some synthetic and some found in nature, are used to make products commonly found in buildings. Many of these chemicals are benign, some are highly toxic, and most fall in that wide gray area in between. When it comes to indoor air contamination, the biggest culprit in our homes is VOCs, a large class of chemicals that can evaporate, or offgas, from stuff that’s all around us, like particle board, carpet, paint, cleaning products, and materials treated with stain-resistant and wrinkle-resistant chemicals.
Indoor Heating by a Concrete Wall
December 30, 2009 12:43 PM - Sierra Club, Sierra Club Green Home
Cuddle up with your walls! Who ever said walls were just for hanging pictures? A Trombe wall is a sun-facing wall designed as a passive solar collector; people can enjoy its benefits in the toasty comfort of their homes. Instead of running your home heating system, you can use the radiant heat flow from an original design. The Trombe wall, also referred to as a solar wall, was popularized by Felix Trombe in 1964 although it was patented by Edward Morse in 1881.
Warm Yourself, Not the Planet: How to Keep Warm While Staying Green
December 9, 2009 02:11 PM - , Sierra Club Green Home
Come winter season, many people start shopping for clothes that will keep them toasty warm. To avoid that winter chill this holiday season, spend your dollars on affordable, sustainable clothing while saving energy. Follow these tips to learn how to be a greenie, even under the snow fall.
Fun Ways to Go Green this Holiday Season
December 3, 2009 11:36 AM - , Sierra Club Green Home
Children often put toys in their mouths, and yet many on the shelves today are made with toxic materials. Natural toys, on the other hand, are made from materials that are safe for the child and the environment. They can also be one of a child’s first connections to nature. A wooden rattle in a child’s hand comes from a living tree and feels familiar and nurturing in a way that man-made materials can’t match.
Side effect of plastic: Aggressive Kids
October 31, 2009 11:39 AM - Editor, ENN, Sierra Club Green Home
Plastics containing Bisphenol-A linked to child misbehavior Yes we know, everything causes cancer, nothing is safe for our kids, a lot of paranoia, right? Sometimes these concerns are for real. A chemical of significant importance to parents and scientists these days is Bisphenol-A (BPA). BPA is a common chemical used in plastics for increased flexibility and molding. It can be found in your child’s plastic sippy cup, binkies, and even canned food. The lining found inside some canned foods is very similar to high density plastics, thus likely to contain significant levels of BPA. Numerous studies have proven that BPA can negatively impact your health. Experts have advised people to shop for BPA-free products. In general, avoiding plastics whenever possible is a good idea.
Nine Months In...Let the Green Begin!
October 28, 2009 10:13 AM - , Sierra Club Green Home
Many green organizations cheered with joy about the potential “change” that newly inaugurated president, Barack Obama, had promised the country. Environmentalists for years have hoped for a day when their issues and voices would be heard and acted upon. But almost nine months into his term, has the president held true to his promises of moving America in a greener direction?
Programmable Thermostats: Saving the Planet While Saving You Money
October 22, 2009 09:38 AM - , Sierra Club Green Home
If you have a programmable thermostat, you can automate your heating and cooling systems to save energy when you’re not at home or asleep. In winter, for example, your house can be a nippy 60ยบF while you are at work, and then—while you are still boarding the bus for your commute back home—it can automatically move up to a toasty 68ยบ or 70ยบF. When you step in the door, the temperature is right where you want it.
Burning Leaves is Bad News
September 25, 2009 03:43 PM - , Sierra Club Green Home
Remember the smell of burning fall leaves wafting through the air? Good memories, indeed, but best that they remain just memories. Burning leaves is bad news. This practice is now illegal — or at least highly discouraged — in most areas.
Woodstoves and Pellet Stoves
September 23, 2009 10:01 AM - , Sierra Club Green Home
Cleaner ways to burn an ancient fuel Humans have been using wood fires for heating somewhere between 400,000 and a million years. Today, though, using wood involves some compromises. Modern wood-burning systems have much, much lower emissions than old ones, but still can emit more than 100 times as much pollution. This article outlines some cleaner ways to burn an ancient fuel