Green Tip #34 – “Green Remodeling?”



by Barbara Roberts


My title has a question mark because whether or not a home remodel can be environmentally friendly is definitely a question. After completing a 7-1/2 month whole house remodel, I can tell you that the answer is – yes, and no.

Could someone actually do a whole remodel with sustainable, organic, non-VOC, non-toxic products? Absolutely! Is it easy and/or affordable? Nope, not in the least. But these resources can help someone move in the green direction.


Reuse and Recycle after Demolition


Habitat for Humanity of Sonoma County Restore – 707-578-7707
Reuses donated construction materials, furniture and everything for the home. I was able to donate sinks, toilets, countertops, doors, usable thermostats, blinds, door hardware, lights, etc.


Welcoming Home – 415-482-8888
A nonprofit that needs furniture and accessories to help furnish new homes for families in need. (St. Andrew worked with them last year.)


Gift or sell to construction crews, neighbors,, Craig’s List, etc.




Hendricksen Natürlich Flooring7120 Keating Ave, Sebastopol, CA 95472 707-829-3959 Bamboo, FSC wood, cork, wool, cotton, linen carpets, marmoleum






Sintered stone products. Sintered stone has no petroleum and is not dangerous to the health of the workforce. Also better against heat, stains, scratches, etc. than quartz and is environmentally friendly. Can be used indoor or outdoors.


Finally, when selecting a contractor, and/or a designer, make sure they are familiar with green products and construction methods. It takes a lot of time to educate them if they have no knowledge or experience with green products.


Please feel free to contact me for other resources or specific brands to consider. Or read Prescription for a Healthy House by Paula Baker-LaPorte. Good luck!