In a recent Angie’s list poll, more than 70 percent of respondents said that they were interested in green services. .
Fifteen percent of people said that they would exclusively hire green service providers, according to Angie’s List founder and owner Angie Hicks.
“With green practices being a new trend, consumers are a little skeptical that they truly are providing green services,” Hicks said. “In a recent poll, more than 2/3 of respondents said that they were skeptical. So, I think the important thing for consumers is to do their research and not take their word for it at face value.”
Hicks said there were a lot of eco-friendly opportunities around a home.
“If your hardwood floor is in need of attention, you can potentially repair it instead of taking it out,” Hicks said. “Also, when you are painting, use non-toxic, low VOC paint. Even housecleaners are looking for eco-friendly opportunities to use eco-friendly products when cleaning.”
According to a nationwide Angie’s List poll:
• 72 percent of respondents consider green work practices important, and of those, 15 percent try to hire only green service providers.
• In a separate poll, however, 62 percent of respondents say they’re either somewhat skeptical or consider most green claims to be gimmicks.
Green often means different things to different people. Researching a company’s certifications will help weed out the shady from the sincere.
• For example, LEED certification means that an independent, third party verifies a home meets high performance standards in sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.
• Contractors certified as green professionals by the National Association of Home Builders and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry must document experience and training.
Angie’s List Tips: Is a company really green?
• Scrutinize ads: Advertising often misleads consumers with words, artwork and vague or exaggerated statements.
• Seek certifications: Companies who care about the environment should take the time to earn industry-specific green certifications from a reputable third party, such as LEED, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) or the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Membership in NARI or NAHB doesn’t guarantee the company is green. Check that the company has earned their green certification for design and construction.
• Do your homework: Confirm green training, licensing (if applicable), credentials, and work practices. Solar panel installers, for example, require licensing in some states.
• Track materials: Ask companies if they use sustainable products, such as the Forest Stewardship Council’s certified wood from sustainably harvested forests. The National Fenestration Rating Council certifies windows for energy performance, and products earning the Energy Star or WaterSense labels ensure energy and water efficiency.
• Have a conversation: Take time to make sure your potential hires know that work practices that protect the environment are important to you. As you discuss your priorities, you’ll get a good feel for whether the contractors share your passion. It will set your project off to a great green start.
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