Frequently asked Questions(FAQS)

Q: The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute

A: The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute aims to protect human health and improve quality of life by enhancing indoor air quality and reducing people’s exposure to chemicals and other pollutants. As an ISO-IEC Guide 65:1996 accredited, third-party organization, the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI) certifies products and materials for low chemical emissions and provides a resource for choosing healthier products and materials for indoor environments. All certified products must meet stringent chemical emissions standards based on established criteria from key public health agencies. GREENGUARD Certification is broadly recognized and accepted by sustainable building programs and building codes worldwide.

Q: Chain of Custody (CoC)

A: Operations that use certified materials or that purchase and sell FSC certified products can earn Chain-of-Custody (CoC) certification. CoC certification ensures that a product bearing the FSC label can be verified to contain sufficient quantities of FSC-certified materials.


A: Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international non-profit organization devoted to encouraging the responsible management of the world’s forests. FSC sets high standards that ensure forestry is practiced in an environmentally responsible, socially beneficial, and economically viable way. Landowners and companies that sell timber or forest products seek certification as a way to verify to consumers that they have practiced forestry consistent with FSC standards. Independent, certification organizations such as the Rainforest Alliance (see Insert 11 – SmartWood), are accredited by FSC to carry out assessments of forest management to determine if standards have been met. These certifiers also verify that companies claiming to sell FSC certified products have tracked their supply back to FSC certified sources. This chain of custody certification assures that consumers can trust the FSC label. Trusted environmental organizations including Greenpeace, National Wildlife Federation, The Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club, and World Wildlife Fund all support and encourage FSC certification. Consumers wishing to support healthy forests and communities should look and ask for the FSC label when purchasing wood or paper products. The FSC’s international headquarters are located in Bonn, Germany. FSC has contact person and national offices in more than 40 countries, creating a global FSC network. More information can be found at


A: Greenhouse gases are present in the atmosphere naturally, released by natural sources like trees, soil, human breath and agriculture. These gases include water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone. The Greenhouse Effect is the rise in temperature that the Earth experiences because these gases trap energy from the sun. Without these gases, heat would escape back into space and the Earth’s average temperature would be much, much colder---too cold for humans to inhabit. Because of how they warm our world, these gases are referred to as Greenhouse Gases. In the last 200 years, through industrialization and urban sprawl, mankind has been releasing substantially more quantities of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. These extra emissions are increasing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, enhancing the natural greenhouse effect, which is believed to cause global warming.


A: Many things in nature hold a negative charge, and humans living close to nature are accustomed to being surrounded by a negative charge in the air, or Negative Ions. Inside today’s modern home and office there are computers, electrical appliances, electric cords, LEDs and synthetic plastic products (which includes most modern wall coverings like latex paint), all of which produce and maintain a positive charge in the air. Surrounding your interior environments with clay plasters, or paints, that produce Negative Ions will not only help neutralize the electromagnetic effect created by computers, appliances and synthetic plastics, but also will help eliminate static charge on walls and floors. Your walls stay clean. Also, by using clay surface materials you are helping to filter air of pollen and dander. You surround yourself with the charge humans are accustomed to when living in nature. Negative Ions are believed to produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of the mood chemical serotonin, helping to alleviate depression, relieve stress, and boost our daytime energy. Normal Ion count in fresh country air is 2,000 to 4,000 Negative Ions per cubic centimeter (about the size of a sugar cube). At Yosemite Falls, you'll experience over 100,000 Negative Ions per cubic centimeter. On the other hand, the level is far below 600 per cubic centimeter in an office with computers.

External Links

Fresh Start Recycling

Fresh Start Recycling helps home owners, building managers, and construction contractors in Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond and the North Shore to rid themselves of unwanted items. They limit our impact on the environment by contributing reusable items to charity and recycling as much as possible.

Forest Stewardship Council

Forest Stewardship Council is a multi-stakeholder organization, that develops forest management and chain-of-custody standards, and provides accreditation services to a global network of committed businesses, organizations and communities. FSC certification provides a credible link between responsible production and consumption of forest products, enabling consumers and businesses to make purchasing decisions that benefit people and the environment as well as providing ongoing business value.

Green Seal

Green Seal is a nonprofit organization that develops life cycle-based sustainability standards for products, services and companies, and offers third-party certification for those that meet the criteria in the standard. Green Seal has been actively identifying and promoting sustainability in the marketplace, and helping organizations be greener in a real and effective way since 1989.

Cascadia Green Building Council

Cascadia green building council is one of three original chapters of the U.S. Green Building Council and, as a chapter of the Canada Green Building Council as well, is the only international chapter in North America. The chapter covers Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and Alaska, but also includes members from as far away as Idaho and Montana. Cascadia continues to serve its members by helping the U.S. and Canada Green Building Councils meet their goals in the Pacific Northwest. We ......

US Green Building Council

US Green Building Council is a nonprofit organization that supports sustainable market transformation through its LEED green building certification program, robust educational offerings, a nationwide network of chapters and affiliates, the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, and advocacy in support of public policy that encourages and enables green buildings and communities.