Here are some of the products we’ve chosen. We’ll try to update with pros/cons/recommendations as we go.
Air Krete insulation: We chose this because our exterior walls are made only of wood siding, studs, and drywall. No moisture barrier, no exterior sheathing, nada. Had to use something not affected by moisture (namely humidity), and also critter resistant, mold resistant, and eco friendly. Currently being installed, so we will update once the product is in place.
GeoGreen Drywall Glue: I didn’t particularly like the ingredients listed in regular drywall adhesive, so we used a low VOC alternative. Works very well, both on drywall/studs and to clad old beadboard to a wood cabinet.
American Pride Drywall Primer: Fantastic. Very happy with the lack of oder, coverage, and how it left the surface in good shape for paint.
Eco-Wise paint: Not my favorite. It didn’t cover as well as other brands. Lowest price for no voc paint I could find though.
Enviro-Safe paint: Pretty good choice. Good coverage.
Sherwin Williams Harmony paint: Great coverage, lovely finish, locally available (the only we used that I could go to a store and buy right away… big plus). However, it’s expensive and not zero voc with colorants added
Yolo Colorhouse via Home Depot: My favorite by far! Truly zero voc paint with nothing at all toxic, and it works really really well! Wish it was carried in store, but buying from homedepot.com and getting it shipped was easy.
Vermont Natural Coatings PolyWhey: LOVE! We didn’t want a plastic-y look or feel to the old floors in our house. PolyWhey in satin finish left a nice coating that brought out the rich tones in our oak flooring without making them look new at all. This was also really easy to work with and has only a slight, pleasant smell during application, and none within a few minutes of drying (which is uber fast). Can’t recommend highly enough!
We have shopped at and like the following stores.
Eco-Wise: This is a great store in Austin. It has a great baby/kid area with lots of toys, which is a nice way to distract Patsy Lou while we shop, but does require one of us to be in the back with her while the other looks at everything else up front. The staff is knowledgeable. Good website.
Habitat for Humanity ReStores: We’ve been to all 3 locations in San Antonio and I love them all! We’ve found doors that match the original ones in our house, cabinets with egg and dart trim that match our front door, an antique cast iron sink, and lots of small things (gloves, drop rags, etc) for fantastic prices. Also can’t beat helping a great cause at the same time.
The interwebs are full of great info from amazingly talented folks with far more eco knowledge than we have. Here’s how we learn about lots of the stuff we use and get lots of ideas (besides entering really long search strings in Google).
Re Nest is Apartment Therapy’s eco arm. It’s awesome.
Build San Antonio Green is the local group of eco focused building people. They often have seminars, festivals, building shows, house tours, and other fun events.
My Water Bloggle is a neat blog run by our friend Carol. She is passionate about many things, including water sustainability issues. Her blog focuses on reviews of reusable bottles and issues related to water conservation.