resources | green primer


Green Primer




Use materials efficiently
Avoid scarce, irreplaceable, or endangered resources
Create healthy spaces
Use energy efficiently
Protect water systems
Consider pollution

Buying/Choosing materials

Buy local
Buy organic
Buy recycled-content
Buy reusable/recyclable
Buy conservatively
Buy non-toxic
Buy durable (long usable life)
Buy low-maintenance
Buy low energy-consumptive
Buy goods manufactured, transported, and installed without toxins

Using materials

Employ construction practices that achieve most efficient use of resources and materials
Reuse existing buildings and materials whenever possible

Disposing materials

Recycle or reuse jobsite waste
Clean up dog waste to avoid storm drain contamination
Dispose of paint, batteries, antifreeze, oil, and other contaminants at county roundups instead of garbage cans
Compost yard trimmings, egg shells, and stale vegetables
Keep trash in trash can
Collect and properly dispose of automobile trash

Protecting natural resources & habitat

See also buying materials
Avoid toxic mining or harvesting practices
Replace grass lawn with low-maintenance native plants

Fossil Fuels

Walk or bike, instead of drive, whenever possible
Minimize heating, cooling, and electric use whenever possible


Employ construction practices that achieve most efficient use of water
Select water-conserving appliances and equipment (shower heads, toilets, ...)
Landscape for water conservation (Underground irrigation system)
Capture and utilize rainwater
Wash cars and bikes at car wash
Turn off water while shaving, brushing teeth, …
Avoid watering plants and gardens in the middle of the day
Practice organic gardening

Harvesting natural resources

Select/harvest materials from abundant, well-managed resources
Select/harvest materials that are replaceable, renewable, or replenishable
Minimize damage to natural habitats

Creating healthy spaces

Select low-toxic products and materials
Select materials without toxic maintenance requirements
Provide for natural ventilation
Provide for natural heating and cooling
Specify mechanical equipment that will not trap water or pollutants
Provide high insulation value
Select products and equipment that save energy during building operations