The term green as it relates to home improvements and renovations can be confusing. "Green" broadly means projects that maximize benefits. This can come through focusing on things such as energy efficiency and indoor air quality and health.

Amy Dryden, the director of policy and innovation at Build It Green, spoke with Curbed about "green" materials and finishes that can be considered during a home remodel. From flooring materials and finishes to lumber to tile and countertops, Curbed presents tips on how to go "green" during a remodel. Here are a few product sectors highlighted by Curbed:

If replacing flooring, the following options are all considered more environmentally sustainable: cork, bamboo, natural linoleum such as Marmoleum, and hardwood. For carpet, look for ones that contain recycled content and/or the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Green Label Plus logo. The latter denotes that the product has been independently tested and found to produce low-VOC emissions.

If going with vinyl, pick one that does not contain phthalates, which are known endocrine-disruptors that are also potential carcinogens.

The Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association created an Environmental Stewardship Program to help identify manufacturers making cabinets that use pressed wood products with lower emissions.

Tile and Countertops
Look for tile with recycled content, such as those from Fireclay, Hakatai, and Oceanside Glasstile, or a sustainably-minded product line from a manufacturer, such as Ann Sacks’ Eco-Thinking.

For countertops, quarried stone has quite the environmental toll, so consider counters made from rapidly renewable, reclaimed, or recycled materials.

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