I’ve mentioned Home Depot several times on this blog. For a Big Box store, they are not too bad and they are trying by the introduction of Eco Options. When you compare Home Depot, Lowes and Dixieline, Home Depot definitely wins in the ‘Green Building’ choices.
Now they have taken it a step further on their Home Depot website.
#1) Home Page- has a click for the Top Ten Ways to Reduce Energy Bills.
#2) The bottom of the page has a counter on how many FSC product sold, trees sold, and CO2 savings. (Just in case you care to know!) The counter changes per section as well.
#3) Home Depot will take your CFL bulbs back to recycle!
#4) At the bottom of the Home Page buried under Corporate Info, is an Eco Options Link .
Personally, I think it should have been in BOLD at the top of the page, as who really scrolls down to the bottom? Lowes has a Healthy Home link (also at the bottom) When I clicked Cleaners and Disinfectants (Lowes) 0 products were available. They do have a Hurricane Recovery Center. Dixieline and Ace Hardware have nothing environmental on their websites.
Several sections are available on the Eco Options Link: All the sections have conservation tips, why’s and recommended products. It makes it very easy to shop and price out your projects on-line.
- Sustainable Forestry Section:
Tells you about Sustainable Forestry and FSC, and introduces Doors, Molding and Lumber, but it doesn’t tell you what products they offer, availability of the products in the stores.
As an example, I went to purchase 2×4. I was told to get the premium kind from my Handyman. When I asked the staff about FSC Wood availability, he- 1.) Didn’t know about FSC wood, 2.) Didn’t know about Sustainable wood. 3.) Told me they didn’t have any.
When I finally asked him about Columbia Wood, he did know that about that and pointed me in the right direction.. The problem: No Eco Options signage on the lumber, No FSC stamped on the wood, No Information at all.
- Energy Efficient
- Healthy Home
- Clean Air
- Water Conservation
- Tour the Eco Options Virtual Home
On the Side Bar
- Virtual Home is way cool, You click on a room and click again on a number, your Eco Option will show up with an Eco Tip.
- The Home Efficiency Audit
This is a great tool and I recommend it for everyone. You click on your State to find out energy averages for a typical house. I clicked on S. California, which said:
-Total Energy Bill should be $1246 per year. (Mine is max $240.00)
-Water Use is 67,806 Gallons: Don’t know what mine is as our condo assoc. pays.
-Also will give you potential savings and your Carbon Footprint!
- Green Project Guidelines:
This is a great first step, because we all wonder, where to start? What to do First? How much will it cost? Just click on a link and it will get you motivated
In Store Brochures:
If you forget when your in the store, pick up their Green Eco Option brochure, which has great tips and products to look at.
While I think it is great Home Depot is doing this, they still need work. Most of the In store signage makes it fairly easy to find your Eco Options. It’s unfortunate that the staff is not behind the Green Program. I can say this- 100% of the staff I have spoken with over the last 4 months in the process of remodeling, have not known:
1.) What Energy Star is
2.) What WaterSense is
3.) Was aware of Eco Options and the benefits.
4.) Made other recommendations other than Eco Options. The ‘Master Electrican’ on Staff told me not to use the CFL bulbs because you can’t dim them and tried to talk me out of CFL’s. When I asked about LED’s (also available) couldn’t give me much information.
5.) Most staff have ‘rolled their eyes’ at my wanting only EnergyStar and WaterSense appliances or fixtures. (Electricians, Plumbing)
Home Depot is a great source for building products, especially if you do not have a Green Building Center close by. But know your stuff before you go, don’t expect staff to know the options available and be prepared to shop elsewhere for Eco Options.