Angie's List members doing their part for the environment

Angie's List members doing their part for the environment

by Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List

Member mixers in Chicago and San Francisco last year made it clear that Angie's List was going green. Neither group could stop talking about it. Green building, green lifestyles — everyone assembled had at least explored the idea of becoming more environmentally friendly and most were eager to dive in.

So it didn't surprise me when a nationwide poll found nearly 80 percent of Angie's List members already live partially green. Three-fourths of members participate in curbside recycling and a third of them say their next car will be a hybrid.

Angie's List member Julia Russell had the jump on all of us. She's been living green in Los Angeles for more than 30 years. Julia is a great example to everyone because she started out small by recycling and using Earth-friendly cleaning products. She kept doing more and more until she got to such a green way of life that people now ask for tours of her Eco-Home and actively try to learn from her.

Chicago member Brian Warling and his wife, Lisa Wright, are also doing great stuff. They're gutting their two-story, two-unit building in Logan Square and making every change as green as possible — bamboo flooring, soy foam insulation and a solar hot water heater, just to name a few.

Check out Brian and Lisa's blog at urbangreenproject.com for ideas on how to add a bit of green to your projects.

Of course, going green isn't confined to interior jobs. As you start planning outdoor projects, ask your landscaper or your favorite garden center clerk about Earth-friendly products. And consider adding native plants in your garden, especially if you're in an area where water is in short supply.

While virtually every city in the country is offering curbside or convenient recycling options, it can be hard to find green products and green-focused professionals. But I don't think that hurdle will exist for much longer.

Consumer demand for Earth-friendly practices is growing every day. Soon, it will be harder to find a plastic bag at the grocery store than a contractor who isn't actively marketing a green side.

Angie's List is responding to the green demand, too. As some of you may have noticed, we've begun posting icons next to companies that have received lead safe work practice training. We're planning to use that model in alerting you to service professionals who have received LEED or other green building certification or who use green work practices and products.

We've been following the "reduce, reuse, recycle" creed around the Angie's List campus for years, but we're always looking for ways to do more to lessen our impact. Let us know if you have an idea. If you're only thinking about starting a green lifestyle and feel a little intimidated, remember that even green pioneers like Julia, Brian and Lisa started small. And together, our small actions can add up fast.


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