An important tool in the effort to build greener buildings and live greener lives is the selection of products that were made using environmentally friendly processes and are used in environmentally friendly ways.
Green products are available for just about any daily need, and the ways they are green are many and varied: They are energy or water efficient; they use healthy, non-toxic materials; they are made from recycled or renewable sources; they make current products you use more efficient or more durable; and they are recyclable or biodegradable, among many other things.
But among all the truly green products comes the risk of "greenwashing;" that is, products that are advertised as green without truly offering environmental or health benefits. The directories below will help you sort through the claims and find the products that best meet your needs. But please note: Inclusion or exclusion of any product in these directories does not represent endorsement by the U.S. Green Building Council.
ENERGY STAR: Products in more than 50 categories are eligible for the ENERGY STAR. They use less energy, save money, and help protect the environment. ENERGY STAR is a program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.
Good To Be Green: Good To Be Green is a directory of green building products, sustainable building materials and green building service providers. Products must: be made out of recycled materials; ensure a low environmental impact during the construction, operation and/or demolition of the building; conserve natural resources like energy, wood and water; and improve air quality.
Green2Green: Green2Green.org features comprehensive information regarding green building products, materials and practices. The site offers side-by-side comparisons of products using a variety of environmental, technical and economic criteria.
Green Building Pages: Green Building Pages is an online sustainable design and decision-making tool for building industry professionals and environmentally and socially responsible consumers.
The Green Guide: National Geographic's Green Guide offers staff-written reviews of a host of products, ranging from appliances, home furnishings and home improvement products to personal care and pet supplies.
GreenSpec Directory: The online GreenSpec® Directory lists product descriptions for over 2,100 environmentally preferable products. Products are chosen to be listed by BuildingGreen editors. They do not charge for listings or sell ads.
Low Impact Living: Find environmentally friendly products and services in dozens of categories.
Oikos: Oikos is a World Wide Web site devoted to serving professionals whose work promotes sustainable design and construction.
PlugGREEN: PlugGREEN.com allows green businesses to create their own business profile, allowing them to network directly with other green businesses and green-minded consumers. In addition, PlugGREEN.com provides an organized and efficient way for consumers to find local green businesses and products in their area.