USGBC and Other Green Resources

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USGBC Resources

Additional Green Resource Links

Information is power.  And green-building information is, seemingly, everywhere.  The USGBC-FGC has compiled the following list of green websites in hopes that these resources encourage best practices and the tapping of reliable information and solid industry contacts.  If you wish to add a resource website to this listing, send your suggestion to Your submission will be vetted by the Chapter’s volunteer leadership.  The links provided below are shown for reference only.  The USGBC-FGC is not responsible nor can be held liable for any linked content, claims or representations within the websites listed.

Interesting Green Facts

  • Americans throw away enough office paper each year to create a wall 12-feet high reaching from Los Angeles to New York City.
  • Every ton of recycled paper saves almost 400 gallons of oil.
  • By recycling all of your newspapers for only one year, you could save an estimated four trees and 2,200 gallons of water, and stop 15 pounds of pollutants from entering the air.
  • You could operate a TV set for an estimated three hours with the energy saved by recycling just one aluminum can.
  • Each gallon of gas used by a car contributes 20 pounds of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.  A single car driving 1,000 miles a month adds up to 120 tons of carbon dioxide produced annually.
  • Choose healthy paints for your interior projects.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advises caution when using products such as paints that contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs); exposure to these compounds can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches and nausea.  Nearly all major paint manufacturers offer low- or zero-VOC water-based paints that are comparable to conventional paints in terms of price and durability.  Look for paints with the Greenguard Certification Seal to ensure healthy indoor-air quality.
  • Look for eco-friendly wood.  Since the EPA banned the sale of pressure-treated wood containing arsenic (a known carcinogen), lumber manufacturers now treat wood with other chemicals.  To avoid chemical exposure altogether, use untreated redwood or cedar (which are naturally pest- and decay-resistant), plastic lumber, or wood-plastic composite lumber.  For interior woodwork, use sustainably harvested wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI).
  • Choose alternatives to plywood and particleboard.  These composite wood boards are often manufactured using formaldehyde adhesives.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates the use of formaldehyde (a suspected carcinogen) in industrial settings, but there are no such regulations for residential use.  Green Seal provides a list of fiberboard manufacturers that use alternative materials.
  • When considering new flooring, FSC-certified wood, SFI-certified wood, or wood salvaged from sources such as old houses and barns, are good choices for hardwood floors because they lessen the burden on our Nation's forests.  Other attractive, sustainable flooring materials include bamboo, natural linoleum, tile and cork.  If you prefer carpeting, choose natural fibers (such as non-mothproofed wool, jute or sisal) over synthetic fibers, which are primarily made from fossil fuel-based chemicals.
  • Replace old toilets, showerheads and faucets with water-saving models.
  • Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lights, which last seven times as long and use up to 75% less energy but provide the same amount of light.  You'll save money on your electric bills, and won't have to replace a bulb for over half a decade.
  • Insulate your attics, basements and crawlspaces to help retain heat.  Seal air leaks around doors, windows and fireplaces, and replace old windows with Energy Star-labeled models. Wrapping your hot water heater with insulation improves heat retention as well.
  • Try driving less. When possible, take a bus or train to your destination rather than driving or flying.  Mass transit options are better for the environment and give you the freedom to sleep, read or do work on the way.
  • Drive smarter.  Plan your trip route ahead of time to minimize gasoline use.  If you're traveling with coworkers or a group of friends, reduce automobile use even further by carpooling.
  • For many short- to medium-distance trips, airplanes emit more heat-trapping gases per person than cars.  If you must fly to your destination, consider making your trip "climate-neutral" by making a donation to zero- or negative-emission projects -- e.g., building renewable energy facilities or planting trees -- that cancel out the carbon dioxide produced by your flight. Visit Green-e for various options.
  • Laundering sheets and towels consumes large amounts of energy, water and detergent.  When traveling, ask your room attendant to change your linens and towels every other day (or less often if you prefer).
  • Reduce waste by bringing your own shampoo, soap and toothpaste instead of relying on those provided by most hotels.
  • Make your own liquid fertilizer by mixing seaweed (an excellent source of potassium) and water in a container and letting it decompose for about two months.  Since the resulting liquid will be concentrated, you'll need to dilute it before adding it to the soil.
  • Provide additional calcium for your soil by spreading dried, crushed eggshells.
  • Dry some coffee grounds and scatter them around plants that need a nitrogen boost.  Your local coffee shop may be willing to give you its old grounds.  It never hurts to ask ... and you can do some green educating while you're there!

USGBC Florida Gulf Coast Chapter, c/o Florida Atlantic University, College of Engineering and Computer Science,
777 Glades Road, Room EE 329, Boca Raton, FL 33431-0991, / 561-373-7367
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