The home channel's seeing green

It’s no longer simply considered the right thing to do. With a greater number of consumers, builders and retailers reaching for green products, manufacturing with an eye toward the environment also makes great business sense. The U.S. Green Building Council estimates that the number of LEED-certified homes doubled globally between 2011 and 2012. Ranging from such simple fixes as energy-efficient light bulbs to advanced implements like an Energy Star-rated clothes dryer, here are 14 innovative products from the tree-hugging corner of the home-building industry.

1. Hunter Savoy Ceiling Fan

Ceiling fans can make a significant impact on a home’s energy efficiency — for instance, with Hunter Fan models like the Savoy, which is Energy Star-rated and can save up to 47% in home cooling costs. (


2. BarkClad SmartBark

For those who love the look of bark, SmartBark is a sustainable siding alternative made of a polymer blend that’s designed to mimic the look of natural bark. A high R-value also helps homeowners save on energy costs. (


3. Native Trails Morro’s Bowl Sink

The makers of the Morro’s Bowl credit artisans in Vietnam for inspiring them to create what they call Native-Stone, a cement and jute fiber material. The jute — which is a renewable vegetable fiber — strengthens the sink and boosts its sustainability credo, generating less waste and requiring less energy to produce. (


4. AFM SafeCoat Zero VOC Custom Color Paint

Not only is this a zero-VOC paint — not emitting any toxic fumes of its own — it also seals in any harmful emissions that could be coming from the wall. It’s also completely non-toxic and odorless when dry. (


5. Makita 18V Lithium-Ion Battery

Makita has demonstrated that it’s not just the product specifications — it’s the company policies surrounding it that make it green. The company earned a Call2Recycle Leader in Sustainability Award in June for its efforts to promote battery recycling among consumers. (


6. GE Energy Smart 9-Watt LED Bulb

This bulb was recognized early on for its efforts to replace the standard 40-watt incandescent bulb. In 2010, it became the first standard A-line LED bulb to get the Energy Star stamp of approval. At 77% energy savings and a lifespan of 22 years, we’d say the advantage is clear. (


7. Zielinsky Universal Stone All-Purpose Concentrated Cleaner

It seems there’s little this all-natural cleaner can’t do. From removing stubborn marks on stovetops, pots and pans to renewing the look of cars and boats, Universal Stone has the strength and the gentle composition, made from non-toxic ingredients like green soap, vegetable oil and glycerin. (


8. Panasonic EcoVent

Panasonic celebrated its 2014 Energy Star Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence designation earlier this year. It thanks, in large part, its ventilation fans, which are often rated as being among the top energy-efficient fans on Energy Star’s list. (


9. Newcandescent Rough Service Bulbs

Just in case you thought you’d never see one of these again, Newcan-descent has proven the might of the market with a line of incandescent bulbs that fulfill all U.S. Department of Energy regulations. The Made-in-USA bulbs are rated for 10,000 hours — compare that with a traditional 60-watt incandescent, which was rated for 1,000. (


10. Masonite Safe ‘N Sound Doors

Masonite has stepped up to prove doors can get into the sustainability game. Safe N’ Sound doors are FSC-certified, formaldehyde-free and built with Dor-Cor, a low-density fiberboard made of renewable wheat straw. It’s not just good for the environment — it also reduces sound and mimics the look and feel of real wood. (


11. Whirlpool Duet WED87HED Steam Dryer

Whirlpool made waves recently when it became the first appliance maker to earn an Energy Star certification in the clothes dryer category. The Duet Steam Dryer uses moisture sensors and dual element modulation technology to use the lease amount of energy required. (


12. Sun-Mar Garden Composter

Sun-Mar has devised a way to go green, for the green. Its AutoFlow design rotates the drum so that material goes in the top and exits out the end as compost. It’s also built to keep out pests. (


13. Ecobatt Glasswool Insulation

Ecobatt has arrived onto the scene to remind builders that it’s not just a high R-value that gives insulation its green credentials. Ecobatt’s Glasswool Insulation is made with 30% post-consumer recycled glass bottle content, and one of its primary ingredients is the ever-abundant sand. What’s more, its ECOSE binder relies on renewable materials (rather than petroleum products), and it’s totally formaldehyde-free. (


14. Osmo Deck Oil

For a deck that’s in utter harmony with its surroundings, Osmo makes an oil finish based on natural, renewable vegetable oils that contains no biocides or preservatives. It’s also said to be effective, resisting cracking, flaking, peeling and blistering and maintaining the shape of the wood with its microporous composition. (


15. PureColor Even-Grain Wood Stain

A sustainably sourced entry door is a moot point without an environmentally friendly wood stain. PureColor offers a zero-VOC, non-toxic stain for all kinds of doors, including veneered and composites. (


16. Viridian Reclaimed Wood

Reclaimed wood is nothing especially new to the building industry, but Viridian is noteworthy for its success at up-cycling wood from shipping pallets and crates, which are notoriously difficult to recycle. The result is a swath of flooring, paneling and decking offerings with a cool, vintage appeal. (


Login or Register to post a comment.