Sheridan Foster, Founder, and CEO of Elemental Green has created “a digital media company with a mission to make green home building and renovation the status quo.” ElementalGreen was created as a place to dream, design and discover. A place for homeowners, builders, designers, and architects to research new materials, dream big, discover new products and share the benefits and attributes of green building and design. Sheridan states that ElementalGreen was founded on the vision that “every home can be a greener home.” The vision becomes reality by connecting people looking for sustainable solutions with up-to-date, easy to understand, information, and green products that are readily accessible.
It’s About More than Saving the Planet
Sheridan and Marla discovered they have a lot in common. The two green entrepreneurs were brought together through one of Sheridan’s employees who discovered Marla’s Green Gab podcast. Sheridan shares that the podcast series was so information rich and so inspirational that she approached Marla to feature some of her podcasts on ElementalGreen as an educational resource. Both worked for IBM and both share a passion for education. Sheridan states that ElementalGreen was designed as, “an educational piece to help people understand what ‘green’ actually means.” Marla adds, “it’s important to realize going green is about so much more than “saving the planet.” The planet is just a place for us to live as people – the people part is what’s important. Green isn’t just about conserving energy but about the chemicals that come into a home, the sustainable materials used in manufacturing and how they were sourced. It’s also about choosing more durable products that last. Going green is about being aware of the health benefits not only to individuals, families, and pets but to communities and the world. In Sheridan’s observation people have a hunger to understand why going green is so important as more and more studies are showing how going green may reduce asthma, result in fewer sick days at work and even improve cognitive thinking.
Keeping It Simple
Sheridan states, “going green is a journey and a constant learning curve,” and the myriad of decisions that go into a new build or remodeling project can be staggering. Born out of the frustration of her personal experience of building a new home and trying to make sustainable choices, Sheridan shares the arduous process of spending hours researching various sustainable products and practices. Sometimes the sheer amount of information available is overwhelming and other times it’s so technical it puts you to sleep. That’s why a major goal of ElementalGreen is to “translate, demystify, and hopefully even delight.”
It’s both Marla’s and Sheridan’s observation that builders who deal with a multitude of variables, requirements, and deadlines tend to be more open to incorporating green sustainable products and processes if the homeowner or designer provides adequate and timely information. Sheridan saw ElementalGreen as a potential tool to empower homeowners and designers to be engaged right away in the building and designing process. With ElementalGreen’s easy to navigate webpage, homeowners, designers, builders, and architects can view the site’s “top pics” in products, read educational articles, listen to podcasts, thumb through captivating design photos or do a quick search for specific categories, brands or topics. ElementalGreen helps people think outside of the box of the typical choices found at the big box stores. Sheridan remarks that “Part of what ElementalGreen does is to make it easier to make good choices.” Because, if it’s not easy to make new choices you’re going to go with what you know.
Top Green Trends
A few of the top green trends Sheridan and Marla discussed include “all-electric homes,” people having their own energy sources such as residential wind, the use of solar energy and photovoltaic products (Photovoltaics is the process of converting sunlight directly into electricity). Sheridan also mentions the innovative battery technology being developed, paints that pull VOCs out of the air, and virtually indestructible countertops that won’t scratch or dent. One of Sheridan’s favorite “geeky products,” is the LignoLoc® fireable wooden nail made of indigenous beech wood and used in industrial production and ecological timber construction.
When dealing with the myth that going green is too expensive, Marla stresses the importance of educating and encouraging people in the industry to not only emphasize the various features of a home but the extra thought, planning, and work that goes into green building and design as well. While it’s true that some green products are more expensive than their traditional counterparts, the long-term health, financial and environmental benefits far outweigh the initial costs. And the good news is that ElementalGreen provides tips, tricks and resources that include green budgeting and how to finance your green dream home that makes going green not only easy but affordable.
Going Green is Going Mainstream
As more people demand green practices be incorporated into their homes the more likely builders like KB & MERITAGE will make more sustainable options available. The 2018 Sustainability Symposium in Orlando, highlighted the fact that competing builders are coming from outside the U.S. bringing techniques from Europe and Asia that are more sustainable and energy efficient. It’s time American builders join the mainstream movement of going green. From a one bedroom apartment to a tiny house to a luxury home on the cover of a magazine, Sheridan Foster emphasizes that “having a green sustainable home does not mean you’re giving up something – it means you’re gaining something.” A beautiful, right-sized home, that fits your needs and benefits the health of your family, pets, and community, with an increased financial value is a win-win-win for the architect, builder, designer, realtor, and homeowner. And there to help navigate the journey is ElementalGreen, the ultimate green home resource that provides sustainable solutions for every home building and renovation project.
- a Green Gab podcast with Marla Esser Cloos
Get Marla’s award winning book Living Green Effortlessly: Simple Choices for a Better Home , now available on Kindle!
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