A Better Way to Get Green Product Guidance

Enhanced readability and new features have improved our product guides, but they still offer the deep knowledge you need.

sugar on snow
Image: BuildingGreen, Inc.
Ever heard of a sugar-on-snow supper? Before the pandemic took hold, that’s the way churches, fire departments, and grange halls here in Vermont would advertise their late winter fundraising dinners—by enticing people with these old-time maple-syrup-on-snow sweets. These clever promoters knew that, even though the wholesome and delicious dinner is important, it’s dessert that gets people excited.

At BuildingGreen, we’re taking a page from their book and putting dessert first with our newly designed “enhanced product guides.” See our screen shots and descriptions below to understand how the new product guides work. For a closer look, click through to our sample (free to all) product guide on board insulation.

What makes it green?

Let’s start with the basics: what makes products in this category green? You’ll notice first that there are two lists: attributes of the best products vs. what to watch out for.

Which ones we like

Next up: a list of the cream-of-the-crop products in the category. Note that these are not all the products that meet the stated criteria above—they’re just a sample of the ones we like best. For a fuller slate, you can click the “More products we like” button to link out to the same category on Designer Pages.

Unlike on a lot of sites, manufacturers don’t pay us to be listed here. We strive to be an independent and objective voice, and our publications are not sponsored or supported by ads.

The full meal

“Behind the recommendations” offers the deep dive you need in order to fully understand a whole product category and make your own selections. This is the “meat and potatoes” of the meal. Here is where you will find warnings about performance, installation, or other details that go beyond the basic criteria for selection.

Relevant labels

With “Certifications & Documentation,” we let you know which labels are relevant to the category.

Related databases

Most of these labels have associated databases, and we link you to those as well, with as much specificity as possible. (Unfortunately, some databases don’t allow you to go directly to filtered data.)

Learn more

Finally, if the product guides aren’t enough for you (!), most will connect you with other content on BuildingGreen that provides even more context and nuance—product reviews, features, and more.

A limited number of product guides have been enhanced so far, but we’ll be updating more as time goes on in order to keep up with ever-changing product criteria. Stay tuned!  

Published August 3, 2020

Melton, P. (2020, August 3). A Better Way to Get Green Product Guidance. Retrieved from https://www.buildinggreen.com/op-ed/better-way-get-green-product-guidance

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