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Programs to help you buy green

Don't reinvent the wheel! There are many programs and resources available to help you buy green. Here are a few to get you started!

Federal  and State Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Programs

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) Program

The USEPA EPP Program includes information on recommended recycled content, fact sheets on environmentally preferable products and vendors, case studies, and interactive e-mail designed to elicit information exchange about helpful products, events, experiences, and tools.

Additionally, EPA, has developed "The Healthy School Environments" web page which serves as a portal to on-line resources to help facility managers, school administrators, architects, design engineers, school nurses, parents, teachers and staff address environmental health issues in schools. 

The EPA also maintains a Database of Environmental Information for Products and Services - a tool to make it easier to purchase products and services with reduced environmental impacts. Environmental information on hundreds of products and services is included in this database.  You can also look at Energy Star (energy efficient products) and the EPA Purchasing Decision Wizard  (cleaning products). The General Services Administration Federal Supply Service offers a wide range of environmentally oriented products and services.

The California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB)
To reduce the quantity and toxicity of waste in California, State law now requires that State and public agencies purchase recycled, repairable and durable goods. The California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) has an excellent EPP website to help you comply with state law and and with other resources on Environmentally Preferable Purchasing, including toolkits, best practices, product lists, and more. 

The CIWMB also has a School Waste Reduction Program that provides information to assist school district purchasing agents in their efforts to buy green and healthy products and services.  The site includes information on purchasing policies, practices and additional resources.

Certification and Assessment Organizations

Green Seal

Green Seal's mission as a non-profit organization is to achieve significant benefits by encouraging organizations and individuals to choose environmentally responsible products and services. Green Seal sets rigorous standards for products and services and awards a seal of approval to those products that meet their standards. Green Seal publishes Choose Green Reports to help organizations become environmentally sensitive shoppers. Choose Green Reports are available both for purchase individually and to those who become Green Seal Environmental Partners. Contact Green Seal at 202/872-6400 or visit the Green Seal Green Products Database.

Environmental Choice Program-EcoLogo program

This Canadian government program certifies a wide range of environmental products, and maintains a list of products that meet its stringent criteria. For more information, visit EcoLogo or contact 800/478-0399.

There are other certificaiton programs for building materials, wood products, and more. You can learn more about these in the Product Directories within the specific product categories.

Green Retailers

The Green Office
The GreenOffice.com is a company designed to promote sustainability in the workplace. Their products are labeled and ranked by greenness (from conventional to dark green), taking the research out of responsible shopping. The website provides a range of tools, services, tips and information to make office greening easy and cost effective. Low prices, free Climate Conscious shipping over $49, and next day delivery on orders placed before 3:00 p.m. www.thegreenoffice.com

Green Earth Office Supply
Green Earth Office Supply is a company that sells the widest range of environmentally friendly office, school and food service supplies available. They do not sell conventional products. Many unique products at good prices. You may contact Green Earth Office Supply as follows: PO Box 719, Redwood Estates, CA 95044, (800) 327-8449, (408) 969-0900, (408) 969-0909 fax, info@greenearthofficesupply.com or the web www.greenearthofficesupply.com

Additional Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Resources

The Green Guide and www.thegreenguide.com are published by The Green Guide Institute (TGGI), an independent research and information organization for consumers. They produce a 12-page newsletter and maintain a website covering numerous product categories.

The Responsible Purchasing Network

The Responsible Purchasing Network (RPN) is an expert in green purchasing.  RPN's step-by-step resources narrow the complicated field of green procurement and take the guesswork out of effectively implementing environmental policies at your organization, community, company or office.  We compile resources from the leaders in the green purchasing world and give you direct access to cutting-edge research, industry experts, peers and a team of consultants. 

Environmental Purchasing Starter Kit

A resource of the National Association of Counties (NACo), the Environmental Purchasing Starter Kit guides a county through the process of procuring products that are safer for the environment, public health, and a county's pocket book. The kit contains an overview of environmental purchasing; case studies of pest management programs, fleet departments, cleaning products, and energy efficiency in county buildings; a comprehensive resource list; a model environmental procurement policy resolution, and a sample press release. To order, call 202/393-6226 or visit the NACo web site.

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Green Buying Tools

"Environmentally Preferable Purchasing" or "Green Purchasing" means integrating environmental and health factors into all procurement policies and decisions. Green purchasing can also save money, protect students and staff, and reduce liability—something schools everywhere should care about.

The following tools will help you get started:

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Disclaimer: Listing in this Directory should not be construed as a recommendation or endorsement by Green Schools Initiative or any of its supporters or partners. GSI is providing this information as a public service to promote the use of greener practices and products. Listings in this Directory are based on information obtained from the product manufacturer, supplier, or service provider in question, and may not be complete. GSI reviews the information obtained from these sources to determine if its meets our health and environmental criteria, but does not independently verify the information. GSI provides no warranty or guarantee of product performance, safety, price, or availability.