Read about CU's "solar decathlon" experience and find additional resources that will help you green up your home.
10 More Local Finds to Boost Your Home's Green Factor
Eco-Products An extensive Boulder-based online retailer provides customers with almost every biodegradable food-service product in the world. From plastic garbage bags made from corn to plates made from sugarcane, this is the eco-buyer's one-stop shop. www.ecoproducts.com
Housegreening A new Denver company specializes in environmental housekeeping. The professional service uses nontoxic products and bagless vacuums, and offers training for residents who want to continue to "green clean" their home between housekeeping visits. www.housegreening.com
Eco-Cycle One of the nation's largest nonprofit recyclers is based here in Colorado, supplying recycling options for almost every unwanted household item imaginable, from bathtubs to bicycles to those annoying packing peanuts. www.ecocycle.org
Econscious Market Shop this Boulder-based e-commerce site for environmentally friendly and socially responsible furniture, kitchenware, and office supplies, all from the comfort of your green home. Better still, half of the after-cost profits from your purchases are donated to charity. www.econsciousmarket.com
Simple Solar This full-service solar electric provider manages the entire solar process for its customers, from site analysis and Xcel rebate applications through the design and installation process. www.simplesolar.com
Eco-Savvy Design and Landscape Sustainable landscape construction that emphasizes the use of local and renewable materials to build the backyard of your dreams. These award-winning landscape designers strive to make every part of their business green, including their offices, which run on wind-generated electricity. www.eco-savvy.com
GET Microsolutions Louisville-based GET (or Global Environmental Technologies) is one of the leading manufacturers of organic fertilizers for your lawn or garden. Its products capture nitrogen from the air and convert it into a usable form for grass roots—a good way to make your lawn the "greenest" on the block. www.getmicrosolutions.com
Via Viva Located in green-minded Carbondale, this furniture manufacturer and retailer can help customize your interiors with sleek and modern products such as sofas, tables, and beds that are made from eco-friendly and sustainable woods, fabrics, and materials. www.viavivastyle.com
EcoGreenOffice As more Americans start telecommuting to work, the home office is taking on a critical role. Reduce the resulting waste with supplies and products from Boulder's EcoGreenOffice, which provides a variety of affordable items and services with Mother Earth in mind. www.ecogreenoffice.com
An International Touch Looking to remodel a bathroom, bedroom, or home office? Let Danish-born interior designer Jeannete Sörensen Hickok incorporate her green-focused design techniques to ensure a fresh look that's as eco-hip as possible. www.aninternationaltouch.com
New Power Generation
College students reveal the products that earned them honors in a national solar home-building competition.
The University of Colorado took seventh place at the national Solar Decathlon last summer in its quest to design, build, and operate a house entirely powered by solar energy. CU's student Decathlon team built a 700-square-foot competition house, constructed from recycled shipping containers, which is not only completely powered by the sun, but also uses some of the newest technologies in energy efficiency and recyclable materials to achieve ultimate sustainability. See below for a list of products that companies donated for CU's solar house.
The solar house will be on display through the summer on CU-Boulder's campus, after which a construction company will expand the structure into a 2,100-square-foot demonstration house for Xcel Energy, which will open the house to the public to promote solar energy (date and location to be determined). For more information on touring the home, visit solar.colorado.edu.
SunPower SPR 215-BLK Solar Modules and SPRX Grid Tied Inverters: SunPower's solar panels have a sleek, streamlined look, and the company offers a free solar evaluation for homeowners. www.sunpowercorp.com
Xantrex XW Hybrid Charge Controller/Inverter: A battery system to store solar energy for use at night or on a rainy day. www.xantrex.com
ClimateMaster TMW Water-to-Water Heatpump: This high-efficiency water-pump system can be used for radiant floor heating as well as water heating and cooling. www.climatemaster.com
KitchenAid Architect Series II Appliances: KitchenAid's newest line of appliances not only looks modernistic, but also helps save electricity, as most of the appliances meet Energy Star requirements. www.kitchenaid.com
Wattstopper: Don't worry about forgetting to switch off the lights. Wattstopper's sensors detect when you leave a room, and switch off or dim the lights after a preset delay. www.wattstopper.com
Richlite Paper Countertops: These paper-based countertops are derived from managed forests in North America. The material is tough and dense (the company also makes skate parks). www.richlite.com
Forbo Marmoleum Click-Tiles: Ecologically produced natural linoleum tiling is easy to install and comes in a variety of colors. www.forbolinoleumna.com
Kohler Fixtures: Low-flow fixtures look snazzy and cut down on water use. www.forbolinoleumna.com