Sierra Club Green Home (SCGH) is a destination website designed to educate and inspire homeowners and individuals who are seeking to live more energy-efficient, environmentally sustainable and healthy lives. The site connects users and visitors with thousands of providers of Green services and products throughout the country through its GreenPages. The recently-introduced GreenCheck™ designation - found on the GreenPages - is a vetting process designed to provide an added level of confidence for consumers who are seeking sources for green products and/or hiring green contractors to perform work in their homes.
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The GreenCheck process was developed by SCGH Director of Sustainability Jennifer Schwab. It involves detailed questions asked of applicants about their customer service practices, office procedures and the types of products and services they offer. They must demonstrate an inventory of green products and/or offer services that follow best environmental practices. While specifics of GreenCheck™ are proprietary, the information gathering is conducted primarily via telephone interviews and questionnaires filled out by owners of the applying companies.
The following categories are examined as part of the GreenCheck™ process:
1. Indoor air quality impacts
2. Energy usage
3. Water usage
4. Material usage
6. Customer education
7. Overall health impacts
8. Overall business practices
Gaining acceptance through the SCGH GreenCheck process indicates the business makes a legitimate and meaningful effort to offer a product or service that is more sustainable than what is commonly sold. To illustrate, a painter should be willing to use zero- or low-VOC paints. The painter should also explain to consumers the benefits of these paints as they represent a meaningful health and environmental improvement over regular paints. While not required, painters are encouraged to take additional actions such as recycling unused paint and purchasing reusable drop cloths.
Sierra Club Green Home (SCGH) cannot verify each and every provider listing, so consumers are encouraged to report back to the site via bulletin board if a product or service does not merit continued inclusion on the SCGH Green Pages.
Still, the GreenCheck program can help consumers identify credible companies and related goods and services.
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