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Degree Of Green is First National Green Building Products Rating Program Designed for Retailers

Degree Of Green™ is the first national building products ratings program designed for retailers. While the program is intended to help educate consumers and contractors about the green and health aspects of home building and improvement products, it relies on retailers to convey the Degree Of Green™ knowledge – since retailers are in direct contact with consumers and contractors.

The Degree Of Green™ system rates products in three areas: environment, health, sustainability.



  • Degree Of Green™ is a new rating and educational program created to help retailers educate consumers and contractors about the real impact of “green” home improvement and home building products on the environment and on human health.
  • Degree Of Green™ rates products on four levels, with a rating of 4 going to products that have:
    • the least adverse effects on human health
    • the highest level of environmental sustainability
    • the least adverse effects on the environment
  • Each Degree Of Green™ report describes a product, its composition, advantages and raw materials sourcing, and offers comparative data.


  • The Degree Of Green™ rating panel includes:
    • Andrew Pace, founder and owner of Safe Building Solutions in Waukesha, Wis. (Pace created the Degree Of Green™ system.)
    • Lyn Falk, founder and owner of Solterra Studios in Thiensville, Wis., and executive producer of Healthy Style television show on American Public Television
    • Michael Fallarino, a builder, journalist and broadcaster, holistic counselor, and interdisciplinary writer and consultant, in New York State


  • Consumer interest in green and healthy home building and improvement products is rising. But until now, there has been a lack of easily understood information for homeowners and contractors to judge those products.


  • Degree Of Green™ panelists are based in metropolitan Milwaukee and in New York, and judge products available to consumers nationally.
  • Degree Of Green™ materials are available at participating retailers.


  • Degree Of Green™ was formally launched in January 2008. New rating reports will be released periodically throughout the year, and will be published in Green Building Product Dealer, a St. Louis-based magazine serving green building products retailers nationwide.


Recent News About Degree of Green™

2010 Will Be the Year of the Healthy Home

Jan. 5, 2010 -- Green Design Center owner Andy Pace says 2010 will be the year of The Healthy Home. 
"Consumers will be looking beyond green and will focus on the health and welfare of themselves and their families," Pace said in a column published in Green Building Product Dealer.
"A Healthy Home takes green to the next logical level," Pace said. "Building a healthy home means that it is healthier, safer, and is free from sources of indoor air pollution. There are various strategies to use in building a healthy home, but using only one strategy won’t make a healthy home."

Putting the Green Light on Home Improvements

Oct. 18, 2009 -- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article highlights sustainable, green products that homeowners are choosing for remodeling projects.

Northern Wisconsin Residents Gain Access to Green Building Products

April 16, 2009 -- Northern and north central Wisconsin residents and businesses now have easy access to green and healthy building products offered by The Green Design Center, a “store within a store” at The Color Gallery in Antigo. The affiliation also brings the knowledge resources of Degree of Green™ to northern Wisconsin.

Additional Manufacturers Agree to Sponsor Degree Of Green™

Oct. 27 , 2008 -- Three additional manufacturers of green building and home improvement products have agreed to sponsor Degree Of Green™, an independent rating system created to help consumers determine the health, sustainability and green attributes of products. The three new manufacturers in Degree Of Green™ are American Clay, ERSystems and FireCrystals.

Retailers Join Degree Of Green™ Program

April 3, 2008 -- Retailers, in St. Petersburg, Fla., Atlanta, Ga. and Corvallis, Ore., are now participating in the Degree Of Green™ mechandising program to help consumers and contractors understand which home building and improvement product are truly green and healthy.

Homeowners Put Their Ideals Into Practice

Feb. 24, 2008 -- "Translating a green sensibility into a green reality is getting easier, thanks to locally produced eco-friendly building materials and a growing cadre of green-minded designers, retailers and contractors," says Kristine Hansen in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article that includes insights from Degree Of Green™ panelist Lyn Falk, owner of Solterra Studios.

Green Library More Than Books

Feb. 24, 2008 -- Inside the Urban Ecology Center is the area's only library dedicated to green design, whether it's making improvements to an urban condo or building from the ground up. Lyn Falk, who has more than 15 years of experience with green design and owns Solterra Studios, created the library, which was unveiled a year ago and contains eco-conscious flooring, textile, wood and linen samples. Falk is a Degree Of Green™ panelist.

Green Flooring Options Offer Plenty to Consider

Jan. 9, 2008 -- "Environmentally friendly flooring options for homeowners include bamboo, cork, linoleum, rubber, recycled tile, carpet and American hardwoods," writes Donna Marie Pocius in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "Each is green for different reasons. Some are suited to busy foyers and family rooms, while others are best installed in a quiet home office. Price and design implications vary, too." Her article includes insights and advice from Degree Of Green™ creator Andy Pace.

Business Journal Story Highlights Degree of Green Panelist

Nov. 9, 2007 -- Article focuses on green design and education services of Solterra Studios, owned by Degree Of Green™ panelist Lyn Falk.

Defining What 'Green' Actually Means

Sept. 27, 2007 -- Anyone searching for home improvement materials recently has likely noticed a proliferation of products -- from paints to cabinetry -- now marketed as "green." But what that term exactly means is somewhat elusive, says Andy Pace, owner of Safe Buildings Solutions. As a result, Pace has developed a new "Degree Of Green" rating system to educate consumers on how well a product meets their particular needs.

Finally, a Green Rating System for the Retail Market

September 2007 -- What products count as green today? That question might be easy to answer if you’re a designer, architect or engineer. Just read through the data sheets and compare the information to the current LEED requirements. But those answers may not be as apparent to builders, contractors and end-users. That’s what prompted Andy Pace to develop a new rating system call Degree Of Green™. This Green Building Product Dealer article talks about the new program.


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