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Sadly, going "green" isn't always about the environment or conserving energy. Companies in and out of the housing industry make claims that their products offer environmental benefits -- such as fewer toxins, recycled content, or resource efficiencies -- but fail to back them up with independent testing, quantified results, or other forms of verification.
In many cases, such claims are simply misstated or overstated in an effort to grab your attention and sell products. Words and terms such as "eco-friendly" or "environmentally sensitive," while catchy and conveying a certain benefit, have no true basis in fact.
In fewer cases, the claims are intended to deceive you; the company is simply jumping on the green bandwagon without the proper documentation and worse, little sincere concern for the environmental impact of its products. The goal is to cash in on the green movement, not contribute to it.
In both cases, the effect is called "greenwashing." It's something we as professional builders confront all the time with our suppliers. And while it's our job to ferret out true and impactful environmental claims from those that are greenwashed before we offer those benefits to you for your new-home project, we encourage our homeowners to take initiative and protect themselves, as well.
Here are some tactics you may find useful to avoid greenwashing:
As your builder, we consider it our responsibility to provide you with products and systems that perform as promised. Greenwashing gets in the way of that goal, while avoiding such claims helps deliver the environmental and resource efficiencies you expect and desire.
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