With green marketing raging, contractors and homeowners alike are being bombarded with messages about green products and features—many of which are far-fetched, contradictory, or misleading. Created for building supply retailers, the new Degree of Green program aims to debunk environmental myths about products all over the board and clarify to what level they are considered green.

The national program uses a simple rating system from one to four; products achieving a four meet the following attributes: the least adverse effects on human health, the least adverse effects on the environment, and the highest level of sustainability.

“The rating is determined through a series of documents sent to the manufacturer, and through several experts who’ve actually used these products,” says program creator Andy Pace. “We give anecdotal information about the products and enforce what the manufacturers are promising.”

Identifiable through rating sheets as well as point-of-purchase signage and/or manufacturer labeling, the Degree of Green designation will help contractors and homeowners make immediate decisions on their projects.

About a dozen retailers have signed on since the program’s launch in January, most recently HealthyHome in St. Petersburg, Fla., Pure Life Healthy Homes in Atlanta, and Your Green Home in Corvallis, Ore.

“There is a flood of information on the market, so there is a need for a single-source provider of good, deep information on products,” says Tom Chasm, president of HealthyHome. 

The interest from remodelers and contractors has been so great that a Degree of Green Pro version is expected to be released by summer, with specific focus on aiding pros in project estimates and submittals. Builders and remodelers interested in helping to shape this system are encouraged to contact Andy Pace at andy@safebuildingsolutions.com or 800-697-5371. A list of participating retailers can be searched at www.degreeofgreen.com.