Making green work for you



Editor’s note: Radon kits can be purchased at the Center for ReSource Conservation, 2639 Spruce St., Boulder, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for $15. For more info, call 303-999-3820 or visit 

The new year is a great time to turn over a new leaf and make some eco-friendly resolutions. In this week’s column, we’ve gathered a few suggestions for making your home a greener, healthier place to live.


Test for radon

January is Radon Action Month, which makes it a good time to check out your domicile, whether that’s a house, apartment or mobile home.

There are serious levels of radon in 54 percent of Boulder County homes, according to the county’s public health department, compared to only 6 percent of homes across the United States.

Radon is an invisible, odor-free, natural gas that can cause health problems when it builds up indoors. It is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.

An easy, nationally certified radon test kit can be picked up for under $25 at most hardware and home improvement stores. For more about radon and how to fix it if you discover an unsafe level in your home, see

Learn about BGBG

Creating healthier, more “resource-efficient living spaces” is what green building is all about, according to the Boulder Green Building Guild, which was created in 2004 by industry professionals.

The BGBG is the local go-to portal for guidance for:

• homeowners hunting for information on tax credits, rebates and microloans • business owners seeking savvy pros • contractors who want to be current on codes and techniques • anyone looking for training, certification and employment in the blossoming green building industry The BGBG has a directory of green building professionals, a long list of vocational and accreditation/ certification programs, and a ton of other helpful information.

But it also keeps an eye on city, county, state and national legislative doings, and reports on them. It offers Footprint Radio, a radio talk show on KGNU that focuses on “green building, conscious living and shaping sustainable futures.”

Their Brown Bag Series — for both private individuals and professionals — presents the latest news on everything from homeowner rebates to professional heating and air conditioning system retrofits.

Speaking of incentives, if you’re considering making green improvements to an existing or planned building, jump in now.

“It’s a unique time. There has never been so much money available,” says Julie Herman, BGBG executive director. “Federal tax credits, utility and state rebates, local programs, more kinds of financial incentives than ever.”

More information is available at

EnergySmart contractor meeting

If you’re a contractor participating in Boulder County’s EnergySmart service for local energy efficiency retrofitting — or if you’re a contractor who wants to get involved — there are a couple of free but mandatory information/training sessions coming up.

These sessions will be held in Boulder on Jan. 13 and Feb. 15. For more information and to register, visit

Join the Eco-Buzz network

Did you resolve to do more for the environment this year, but already find yourself a little short on time, money and ideas? Check out EcoCycle’s program for weekly e-mail tips you can use and pass on to your friends at ecobuzz/index.cfm.

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