Alternatives / Guides

“The perfect lawn” comes with a very heavy environmental cost!
Landscaping

Which are the best bee-friendly & Eco-friendly alternatives to grass lawns in backyards?

...alternatives? Alternative eco-friendly ground covers to grass Alternatives for grass - ground covers! Choosing an alternative to grass as a backyard play area for kids is not reserved for ‘hardcore environmentalists’; there are very sensible ground-cover alternatives that actually save a lot of maintenance, c...

MDF Formaldehyde Free Alternatives - Made from Rice Stalks
Healthy indoor air quality

The formaldehyde-free MDF non-toxic alternative made of natural rice-stalks

...alternatives to MDF made with natural materials, including hemp rigid board panels and plant-based rigid foam panels. But rice, which ranks second in terms of grain production worldwide, offers a great opportunity to make use of agricultural waste materials that are currently an ecological burden. So, the completion ...

Laminate Kitchen countertops can be beautiful & green too - Counter by Formica
Kitchens

Choosing green kitchen countertops for sustainable homes Including LEED v4 & Passive House PHIUS+ certified

The most common kitchen counters you will find in homes are traditional laminate countertops. And they certainly live up to the adage ‘you get what you pay for’, as most of them still contain a lot of formaldehyde and they aren’t very durable. Maybe the latest generation of laminate countertops for kitchens & bathroom...

Poly vapour barriers in air conditioned houses can cause mold and rot
Healthy indoor air quality

Why you should Never Install Air-Con in a Home with a Vapor Barrier

Vapor Barrier + Air-Con = Damp Moldy Walls So here's a little known fact that most HVAC installers won't tell a potential new client for central air; Polyethylene vapor barriers in combination with air conditioning in homes can rot walls because of the condensation they may cause. This is why if you have a newer hom...

Decentralized Energy Generation for LEED, Passive House & Green Homes
Renewable energy

Which is the Best Type of Home Energy Generation for Green Homes?

Home Energy Generation, which option is best? How the electrical grid is fed near you will be a huge factor in determining the carbon footprint of your home, with or without your own renewable power generation such as having solar panels on your roof . If you live near a windfarm, that's where most of your power com...

Non-toxic building materials can improve home air quality
Healthy indoor air quality

Maintaining healthy indoor air quality

...alternatives on the market now than the toxic paints we used to apply to our walls. For more information see our pages on safer paints , or you could even make your own DIY safe no VOC natural paint with our guide here . Formaldehyde Formaldehyde is one of the more commonly found contaminants in homes, and is used ...

Vinyl record album
Healthy indoor air quality

Keep vinyl out of your home (albums excluded of course)

...alternatives: Glass shower doors Choosing healthy and durable flooring materials Choosing green kitchen countertops Wood or metal siding for exterior cladding Fiberglass window frames Wooden baby toys and chairs There are a lot of toxic materials in homes and they have a cumulative effect on indoor ai...

Fire retardants in furniture are intended to slow flames
Interior design and furnishing

Flame retardants in furnishings - an unnecessary and serious health risk

...alternatives. Finding healthier furnishings: This, unfortunately, is not an easy feat. The old adage of 'buy local' may help you here; look for products made with natural materials such as wool, cotton and jute. You could also check with manufacturers to determine the nature of the flame retardants in their product...

4th generation blowing agents for spray foam
Insulation and soundproofing

New HFO blowing agents for spray foam will make it over 1,000 times less harmful to the climate

...alternatives to XPS and spray foam whenever possible, even considering the negative impacts there was often little choice but to recommend them as sometimes there were no suitable replacements. As dedicated green builders, it will be much easier to recommend foam in those situations now, knowing that the environmental ...

ProductiveHouse in Montreal
Choosing where to live

Green living in the city

...alternatives to pesticides etc. Check local bulletin boards and community centres for groups in your area, and watch our events page for workshops on everything from rainwater harvesting and urban farming to installing renewable energy sources. 3. Eat local and get started in urban farming. Buying from food co-op...

Choosing a building lot
Excavation

Things to look for when purchasing land for building a house

...alternatives, such as slab-on-grade , raft-slabs or screw piles . If a lot can only handle alternative building types, then that should be reflected in the asking price and if it isn't, it should be reflected in your offer. Contacting a local geotechnical engineer would be wise as they might have knowledge and experien...