Hi, I’m Tom. The idea for this website came about a few years ago as a part of a story I was developing for a science writing class. The basis for the story was my difficulty as a homeowner and do-it-yourselfer to find out exactly what chemicals and materials were used in many home improvement products (cabinets at a big box retailer don’t necessarily come with an ingredients list). In the end, the process of navigating certifications for just a piece of plywood was large and involved, and the point of the piece came down to the premise that for an everyday homeowner doing the right thing, or even attempting to do the right thing, is a lot of work. Still, it felt like important and valuable work.
As I’m often reminded (by family, friends, and neighbors) the work never ends. Therefore, with each new project I try to do more research and improve the sustainability of my house and lifestyle. All of this takes place in a Chicago suburb. While I’m fully aware of all the drawbacks of the suburbs, this is where we are and where we plan to be. We also share a lot of similarities with many homes and neighborhoods in the city and across the country. Hopefully, each step for us and readers is a step closer to a greener, more sustainable life.
Please use the comments section constructively – help each other out so we can all move in the right direction.