Earth Day is celebrated every April 22, and it does a wonderful thing- it reminds us to stay (or get) focused on the environmental challenges we face.  First held in 1970, Earth Day was the brainchild of U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson, who saw the opportunity to take the growing public concern about pollution of all kinds (some of us remember the intense air pollution over Los Angeles, the industrial pollution of waterways and skies around cities like Pittsburgh and Cleveland, and the growing impact of pollution on our wildlife back then) and focus that energy in a positive manner- not just be more aware, but to make sure to do something about it.

We’ve seen great things take place in the past 34 years- not to say there isn’t much more to do, but to recognize that we’ve gone from being relatively unaware and naïve to now knowing there are positive actions we can and need to take at all levels. Each individual step we take is a viable and important part of bringing us to the goal.

Green Depot uses our Green Filter to identify products that enable everyone to make the best choices for our planet.  We have a continually growing lineup of products to meet your needs- here’s just a few;

We have an exceptional selection of Flooring products, such as Marmoleum resilient tiles and sheets, Vida Cork and Capri Cork Tiles and Planks, Serafina, Nature’s Lodge and many other Hardwood Floors, and Wool Carpets from Bloomsburg, Woolshire along with a host of other fine manufacturers.

Whether it’s for rooftops, backyards, courtyards or balcony spaces, we now have remarkable choices that contribute to a better world. From rapidly renewable bamboo decking and tile products to durable and economical FSC Western Red Cedar to exotic FSC Tigerwood or composite  Trex decking,  our selection of products will satisfy the discriminating customer all while delivering on the commitment to being environmentally responsible.

And there’s no need to sacrifice style, color and innovation while being environmentally responsible by using Zero VOC paints. All of our paints from Yolo, Ivy Coatings, and AFM Safecoat provide excellent performance for both residential and commercial uses while positively contributing to our environment by eliminating Volitile Organic Compounds.

This year’s Earth Day global theme is Green Cities. We need to look both inward and outward to see the undeniable need for the world’s communities to become sustainable.  Without each of us, nothing big can, or will happen. This is a magnificent world we have the privilege to share and the responsibility to protect. Happy Earth Day to all of us.

 

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Showing that green building has effectively moved into the mainstream, USA Today published an article this week titled “‘Green’ growth fuels an entire industry”. In it, they take a close look at the nationwide adoption of the United States Green Building Council’s (USGBC) green building certification program, LEED. The article reports that, today, over 200 government agencies now require that buildings meet LEED standards, and that the green construction market could reach $122 billion in the next 3 years. It goes on to say:

LEED has won wide acceptance among people who plan, design and construct buildings as a way to win environmental approval and boost profit. There are 13,500 LEED-certified commercial buildings in the U.S., and another 30,000 have applied for LEED approval.

Offering encouraging news about the nation’s growing awareness of the importance of green building and energy efficiency, the article also takes a look at the evolution of LEED standards and the role that the building industry plays in the process. It is encouraging to see these topics being discussed on such a mainstream platform as USA Today. It shows just how far we have come in the last 10 years, and we see it as a clear indication that the green building movement, while continually evolving, is here to stay.

To see the USGBC’s response to the USA Today article, click here.

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One of our country’s hubs of industry and innovation Chicago has a great sustainability story to tell. Chicago can boast both a  City Climate Action Plan and a City Center for Green Technology, not to mention countless other resources, events, and initiatives to help their residents adopt sustainable practices. One such event is coming up in just a couple of weeks, openhousechicago 2011 (OHC) on October 15 and 16! Presented by the Chicago Architecture Foundation, OHC is a free public event to get you into and behind-the-scenes of over 125 of the city’s greatest spaces and places.

The central themes for this event are sustainability and community—how buildings demonstrate a commitment to energy efficiency and green technology, and how design connects people and places to create great communities. Speaking to those themes, Green Depot Chicago will be a hub for green-building activity that weekend with great speakers, exhibitors and workshops lined up for both days!

Please see below for a complete schedule of OHC Events at Green Depot Chicago. Be sure to add us to your itinerary!

Whether you are an architecture buff, history enthusiast, or cultural novice, OHC is a unique event that’s fun for all ages, locals and visitors, suburbanites and city dwellers. Participating in OHC is like getting a “backstage pass” to a wide range of Chicago’s most important and interesting locations in many different neighborhoods.

OHC EVENTS AT GREEN DEPOT CHICAGO

Saturday, October 15
9am
Choosing Materials, Contractors and Starting with a piece of paper and a plan by Mark Wille
9:30am Hands on: Working with Clay Plasters by Anna Wolfson
10am Insulated Concrete Forms – Benefits and Construction since 1966 by Eric Barton
10:30 USGBC – Educational Opportunites
11am Greening Existing Building with LEED by Jason LaFleur
11:30am Urban Prairie Cabinets: Design A Healthy Kitchen using Frienly Materials by Michelle Silver
12pm Insulation, Weatherization and Energy Audits by Tom Decker
12:30pm Earth Friendly Products: Cleaner Cleaners by Luke Bobek
1pm Impervia Fiberglass Windows by Kim Robinson
1pm Sprayon Sound reducing Coating by John Finn
1:30pm Demystifying Sustainable Coating Technologies and Performance Expectations by John Bennett
2pm Designing with Spray Foam Insulation by Chuck Skopelja
2:30pm Fuhr Industrial Coatings and Coverage by Adam Fuhr
3pm Growth and Desgin Potential of Fiber Cement by Michelle McKenzie
3:30pm The Greenest Home in America, Highest LEED points and Cold Cathode Lighting by Jacek Helenowsi
4pm Energy Star Homes and Businesses/Eco Smart Buildings by George Sullivan
4:30pm Foundations Bamboo Flooring by Stanley Sulkowski
5pm Chrysalis Clear and Creativly Designed Green Wall Panels by Steve Vegler
5:30pm reBuilding EXchange and Deconstruction Reuse by Meegan Czop
6pm Energy Efficiency within the Home:Property Services and Audits by Joe Konopacki
6:30pm Strange Patina – Unique, Vintage, Rare, Antique by Ron Smith

Additional Presentations:
Design and Construction by McKinley Wells
Solatube International by Tim Cofran
Winsol Power by Ron Cowgill
GreenBoo by Dennis Rossi
WCPT AM/FM with Mark Earnest
Illinois Association of Energy Raters and Home Performance Professionals by Corbett Lunsford
Grow Modular and & Readapted by Bill Mitchell
Builder Brothers Builders by Joe Builder
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and more R’s
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Sunday, October 16
10am Impervia Fiberglass Windows by Kim Robinson
10:30am Weatherize for Convective Heat Loss by Bob Chomko
11am Financial Incentives for Green Building and Remodeling by Dan rappel, Bill Seeger, Chris McAuliffe
11:30 Sustainable Back Yards – Compost Bins and Rain Barrels – Chicago Dept of Environment by Mark Wille
12pm PlyBam: A Grade Bamboo Plywood and Countertops by Mark Wille
12:30pm Foundations Bamboo Flooring by Stanley Sulkowski
1pm Experts Expert Consultant: Q & A for an Attainable Green Home by Tim Heppner Chicago Green Homes
1:30pm Eco Friendly Resin Panels for your home, business or design needs by Steve Zegler
2pm Growth and Design Potential of Fiber Cement by Michelle McKenzie
2:30pm Build Your Own Bamboo Tool Box  by Cynthia Main & Blake Sloane & Mark Wille, reBuilding EXchange
3pm Demystifying Sustainable Coating Technologies and Performance Expectations by John Bennett
3:30pm Fuhr Inustrial Coatings and coverage by Adam Fuhr
4pm Ivy Coatings by Joe Silver
4:30pm A Discussion on Acronyms from the Three Rs to the Three Cs by Robert Hammond
5pm Custom Designs: Bamboo, Cork, Reclaimed and Urban Forest Wood by Mark Wille
Looking forward to seeing you there!
 
Visit the Green Depot homepage: www.greendepot.com
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The cosmetics industry is astonishingly unregulated.  The most recent law governing the safety of ingredients that may go into cosmetics – for everything from moisturizer to shampoo to lipstick – is the Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics Act of 1938.  This ancient relic of a bill is so outdated that it allows known poisons and toxins into cosmetic products – like lead in lipstick, or hormone disruptors in fragrances.

On June 24 of this year, Representatives Schakowsky, D-Ill., Markey, D-Mass., and Baldwin, D-Wisc., introduced the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011 designed to update the aging Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics Act of 1938.  Doing so would grant regulatory authority to the FDA that it is now lacking, ensuring that all cosmetic products are free of harmful ingredients, and that all ingredients are fully disclosed by the companies that produce them.  As it stands, it is the industry itself that is responsible for all regulation and disclosure, which has lead to some surprising lack of oversight in the last 70-odd years.

Last year Annie Leonard (of the Story of Stuff fame) produced a new video chronicling the lack of oversight of the cosmetics industry, and what that means for consumers: The Story of Cosmetics.  The video is fun and informative.  Check it out by clicking the link below!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfq000AF1i8

For green building materials, like eco insulation, as well as many other green productsfor a sustainable lifestyle, visit http://www.greendepot.com.

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Exciting news for us here at Green Depot: our San Francisco location has been officially certified as green by SF Green Business!

SF Green Business is an area organization comprised of three city agencies: SF Environment, the San Francisco Department of Health, and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.  According to their mission statement, the organization not only certifies businesses, but “helps San Francisco business adopt environmental practices that are sustainable as well as profitable.”  They achieve this mission “by setting stringent criteria, providing technical assistance, and publicly recognizing and promotion Green Businesses with a seal that enables customers to shop in keeping with their values.”  To read more about SF Green Business, click here.

Our San Francisco location is one of our most ambitious locations. It isn’t designed solely to move product – it’s designed to fit the way people shop for building materials, and functions as a resource center, providing a space where San Franciscans can explore green building materials and brainstorm in a creative space.

The SF showroom is conveniently located at the corner of 9th & Bryant—easily accessible from I-80 and HWY 101. Our location is also within an easy walk of MUNI and BART stations, just a few blocks away on Market St. We also offer free parking in our lot off Bryant St.  Click here to find directions to this location.

For green building materials, like eco insulation, as well as many other green products for a sustainable lifestyle, visit http://www.greendepot.com.

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It may be surprising that it hasn’t happened earlier, but formaldehyde has now been officially included in the Health and Human Services Report on Carcinogens, paving the way for further regulation of the chemical.

As Treehugger reports, scientists and politicians have known about the risks for years, but the formaldehyde industry has fought long and hard to prevent its inclusion on the HHS Report on Carcinogens.  The Report is a federally-mandated document that “identifies agents, substances, mixtures, or exposures… known to be a human carcinogen.”

The commission responsible for the report, the National Toxicology Program has noted of the particular dangers posed to certain segments of the workforce – namely, industrial workers and embalmers – which include myeloid leukemia and rare cancers in the sinuses and parts of the throat.

We at Green Depot especially care about this issue, because it turns out that urea-formaldehyde is often added to the adhesives used to produce conventional particle board, plywood, and other lumber products.  Formaldehyde is a volatile organic compound (VOC) meaning that if products made with the chemical are found in the home, they can offgas into the household environment for years to come, meaning long-term exposure.  This is of tremendous cause for concern as homeowners push for higher energy efficiency through weatherization programs, which limits the draftiness of homes – confining offgassing formaldehyde in living areas.

It should be noted that wood intrinsically contains a small amount of naturally occurring phenol-formaldehyde. The levels of formaldehyde naturally found in wood is not considered to be hazaradous, and is not a cause for concern in the same way that the formaldehyde that off-gasses from many plywoods, insulations, particle boards can be.

Green Depot carries a number of no added urea-formaldehyde plywood, flooring, green building materials and other green products.  You can visit our Green Wood Supplies department by clicking here.

For green building materials, like eco insulation, as well as many other green products for a sustainable lifestyle, visit http://www.greendepot.com.

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