Our Green Guide

green guide

workingwonders green guide™

Stepping into the world of green products and services can be an adventure, rather like landing in an unknown country with a new language, a new way of thinking, and no travel guide. Knowing that feeling, we've done the research, explored the industry standards, and created workingwonders green guide to help you map your journey to green. All of our products are carefully selected and identified according to workingwonders' eight green values for creating clean spaces. Each of our product descriptions will help you make informed decisions and quickly pick the eco-standards that mean the most to you.

Every one of our product descriptions includes icons that identify the ways that product qualifies as green by our standards. Each icon is linked to one of workingwonders’ eight goals for greening, where we list a series of strategies for achieving that goal, as well as examples of methods that various companies have used. Click on any icon to learn more.

Beyond being an online source for green home products, WorkingWonders™ mission is to build the first green department store. To learn more about this "Whole Homes" counterpart to Whole Foods visit Greeningdales.com. We invite you to participate. Donate to become a founding member of Greeningdales™ – a place where you can vote with your dollars for a healthy home and a more sustainable world. 

reduces waste

reduces waste

This product contains a large proportion of recycled and/or bio-based material which reduces or eliminates hazardous gaseous, liquid or solid waste.

This product does one or more of the following:

  • Uses pre-consumer recycled content
  • Uses post-consumer recycled content
  • Uses agricultural waste products
  • Reduces overall material usage
  • Reduces or eliminates solid waste in operation
  • Increased durability/low maintenance requirements for longer lifespan
  • Designed for recycling after useful life is past
  • Reduced impact of product demolition

For example, Balanced Design uses recycled soda pop bottles for 50% of the stuffing in their pillows, while C & A Carpet uses old vinyl carpeting, theirs and their competitors', to make new carpeting. This is called a "closed loop" process.

conserves natural resources

conserves natural resources

This product uses recycled, rapidly renewable, or certified sustainable materials, and/or reduces material usage overall, and/or increasing product durability and lifespan.

This product does one or more of the following:

  • Uses certified sustainable wood
  • Uses rapidly renewable raw materials
  • Uses agricultural waste
  • Uses pre consumer recycled content
  • Uses post consumer recycled content
  • Reduced material usage overall
  • Uses only renewable/sustainable energy sources in operation
  • Requires increased durability and reduced maintenance for longer lifespan
  • Designed for recycling after useful life is past

For example, Maria Yee produces a number of pieces of their designer quality furnishing line from Moso Bamboo, a fast-growing bamboo which has a five-year life cycle and exceeds steel in tensile strength.

improves air quality

improves air quality

This product uses natural or minimally processed, non-hazardous materials that do not release pollutants or ozone-depleting gases, and/or removes indoor pollutants, and/or blocks the introduction, development or spread of contaminants.

This product does one or more of the following:

  • Uses natural or minimally processed materials
  • Uses no hazardous chemicals or operation
  • Creates no hazardous chemicals or emissions in operation
  • Creates no climate change/ozone depleting gases in operation
  • Reduces or eliminates pesticide treatment
  • Removes indoor pollutants
  • Blocks introduction, development or spread of contaminants

For example, the Swiss IQAir cleaners, both free-standing units and whole home/building systems are a leading-edge product in the drive to improve indoor air quality.

saves energy and/or water

saves energy and/or water

This product reduces the energy and water required for a building’s functionality and the occupants’ needs.

This product does one or more of the following:

  • Uses natural or minimally processed materials
  • Reduces the energy required to maintain building at a comfortable temperature (a.k.a. "heating and cooling loads")
  • Reduces the energy required to support building functions (a.k.a. "managed loads")
  • Uses renewable/sustainable energy sources in operation
  • Minimizes total energy use in operation
  • Conserves water in operation
  • Reduces or eliminates stormwater pollution and harmful discharges to watersheds in operation

For example, Earthshade, our product line of natural window fashions, boasts an impressive degree of insulating and sun-shading properties that may increase the energy performance of window systems: their Hemp Insuliner™ alone provides an average calculated “R” value of 4.5!

improves air quality

better production practices

This company reduces the impact of production by using recycled/recyclable, non-hazardous materials, and/or reducing or eliminating solid, liquid or gaseous waste, and/or reducing or eliminating worker exposure to hazardous materials.

This product does one or more of the following:

  • Uses and creates no hazardous chemicals
  • Emits no toxic gases
  • Emits no climate change/ozone depleting gases
  • Eliminates solid waste
  • Conserves water
  • Reduces or eliminates stormwater pollution and harmful discharges to watersheds
  • Uses only renewable/sustainable energy resources
  • Uses alternatives to ozone-depleting materials
  • Reduces or eliminates pesticide treatment

For example, Indika Organics developed its environmentally conscious manufacturing processes for textiles in response to the needs of people suffering due to chemical sensitivities.

better shipping practices

better shipping practices

This company uses sustainable packing material, and/or uses minimal packaging, and/or minimizes total energy used in transportation, and/or uses renewable fuel sources.

This product does one or more of the following:

  • Minimizes total energy use in shipping and company transport
  • Uses renewable energy resources in shipping and company transport

For example, Riverside Designs ships their recycled glassware using renewable resource packaging materials which are easily recyclable and biodegradable.

better community relations

better community relations

This company protects the safety, health and well-being of its workers, consumers, and community, while providing fair compensation to all workers, and/or taking responsibility for the environmental, social and health impacts of its operations.

This product does one or more of the following:

  • Takes responsibility for environmental, social & health impacts of operations
  • Warns workers and community of health hazards
  • Enhances community well-being
  • Protects workers’ safety, health, well-being
  • Protects consumers’ safety, health, well-being
  • Provides fair compensation for all workers
  • Contributes positively to affected communities

For example, Valcucine founded a non-profit organization, Bioforest, which supports environmental protection in the Amazon basin as well as reforestation and education programs around the world. Their CO2 sink program plants twice as many trees as necessary to absorb their annual CO2 output.

better shipping practices

manufacturing location

The location where this product is extracted, processed and manufactured may make it eligible for being used in a project seeking USGBC LEED certification (as a nationally recognized green building or interior). Alternatively, it may represent a country or community which you would like to support.

For example, Natural Knots' heirloom quality rugs are produced by hand in a village suburb of Kathmandu, Nepal.