Find A Green Building Product

We’ve moved four times in thirteen years and during that time we renovated bathrooms, kitchens, painted interiors and exteriors, stripped wallpaper, relandscaped, added decks, replaced windows,….whew! I get tired just thinking about it. I have always been the one in charge of sourcing and choosing everything from the trades to the tiles they’re installing. I have been the one at home and had to juggle kids’ schedules with contractors’ and trades’ schedules. I’ve calculated whether I can make it from midtown Toronto to Mississauga and back to pick up my kids from nursery school (the answer is no), and I figured out how to entertain a three year old while looking for toilets in showrooms (animal crackers while they’re buckled into a stroller).

Now, try to do all that AND source green building materials. Your time becomes more precious and you spend more of it researching where things are — and likely what you’re looking for is in the opposite end of the city.  That’s where this blog comes in. My goal is to provide you with information on available products, where to find them and when possible, how much they cost.

Ed. note: When I first wrote this, we lived in Toronto. In 2011 we moved to Montreal, so now I cover Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa and surrounding areas.

If you’re looking for something specific, email us or leave a comment on this page and we’ll do our best to track it down for you.

Thanks for stopping by!

Cathy.

17 comments

  1. Cathy Rust says:

    Hi Blanche,
    Thanks for your inquiry. That’s terrible that your Paperstone sink came off your counter! The first think you need to do is contact your installer and tell them what happened. If that doesn’t work, I would contact Paperstone directly and tell them your story and get them to make suggestions. That shouldn’t have happened if it was installed correctly. I have seen Paperstone counters used in bathrooms successfully, but I wonder if they were undermount sinks. I can’t remember. Here is their contact information: http://www.paperstoneproducts.com/contact-us.php They are based in Washington state.
    Good luck and I hope you can resolve your issue!!

  2. Blanche Roy says:

    Actually we are in need of repairs for eco-friendly materials.
    We had an undermount kitchen sink installed 2 years ago to a countertop that was made of Paperstone.
    You guessed it: the sink sunk. It came undone. We need to know who we can call to have it set again.
    Can you help?
    We are in the Hull sector of Gatineau.

    Many thanks!

  3. howard wetston says:

    good morning i am trying to locate in toronto an eco friendly wallpaper. i have multiple chemical intolerances and paint is out of the question including zero voc paints. i am also trying to locate Auro Paste in toronto. i would appreciate your assistance. thanks

  4. Cathy Rust says:

    Hi Philippe,
    Thanks for your note. If the marker is on plywood, is there any possiblity of sanding the marker out of the plywod?Or would it affect the smoothness of the wall afterwards and the finish of the plywood. The other possibility is cutting that piece of plywood out and replacing it with a new one. Finally, you would look at some of the products from AFM Safecoat that seal in VOCs. Here is the link to the post I wrote on their products, they have a product called Safe Seal that is made for sealing VOCs in plywood, particleboard etc. http://becgreen.ca/2010/04/afm-safecoat-products-high-quality-low-to-zero-voc-low-toxicity/
    Good luck!
    Cathy

  5. Philippe says:

    Hi there, my name is Philippe and I am a contractor.

    I have recently done a job for a client who is super sensitive to VOC’s and chemicals.
    We did the best we could as for the installation of the products and everything.

    There is only one place where plywood has been marked with a big black marker which smells strong.

    She still smells the marker several weeks after job completion.

    I know BIN sells a product to help cover smells on walls or floors, but these contain chemicals…

    Do you have anything you could recommend me to help cover the smell of that small marker area?

    Thank you very much in advance,

    An honest contractor.

  6. Cathy Rust says:

    Hi Katrina,
    There are two paints I can think of that might work:
    1. Allback is a lindseed-based paint. While it doesn’t specifically say that it is vegan. I don’t believe there are any animal products in it. However, it is best to check. Living Rooms in Kingston, Ontario sells it. If you’re not in the area they will also ship.
    http://www.livingrooms.ws/page/home
    2. Tockay in Montreal sells a line of paints that is classified at vegan. It comes from Germany. I’m not sure if it’s good for fabric, but you can ask Carole (the owner) whether it is. http://tockay.com/fr
    Good luck!
    Sincerely,
    Cathy Rust

  7. Katrina says:

    Hi Cathy,
    I am looking for a paint that is non-petroleum based and vegan.
    Will be used on fabric but it does not have to be specifically for fabric as this will only be used once and won’t need to adhere to the fabric for more than a day.

    Thanks!

  8. SLAMA ABDELKADER says:

    I’am new promotor in south Tunisia :Kebili
    I have idea project in green economic: we need to valorize oasis waste and palm wood to produce molded wood: molded pallet; package,slub for green building;..
    and eco green product from wood molded

    we need capital venture early stage; to proceed a study and prototype and
    find market : an investor associat

    Thanks for understanding

    Regards
    SLAMA ABDELKADER
    a.slama@topnet.tn

  9. Cathy Rust says:

    Hi James,
    I know that in order for you to have the Enviroshake warranty you must use one of their certified installers. You can contact Enviroshake directly and see who all of their certified installers are in the Ottawa area. Here is their number: 1-866-423-3302

  10. James says:

    Hi Cathy,

    We are looking to reroof with enviroshake and are looking for recommendations in the Ottawa area. Got a fairly high quote from enviroshake so we are shopping around. Just not sure who the reputable suppliers are in the area.

    Cheers,
    James

  11. Cathy Rust says:

    Hi Nora,
    Thanks for contacting me regarding your panels. I’ve done some searching around and all eco-resin plexiglass alternatives that I have found are made on the US West Coast, Europe, China or the Middle East. There is a significant lack of eco-resin plexiglass makers in Eastern Canada. 3-form seems to have the most choice. The only alternative to plexiglass that I can think of would be a tempered glass panel (infinitely recyclable), but it would be heavy, and I’m not sure it’s what you’re looking for. I’m sorry I couldn’t be more helpful.
    Best,
    Cathy

  12. Norah says:

    I am looking for an alternative to plexiglass. I discovered 3-form ecoresin (http://www.3-form.com/) in Utah, but I am wondering if there is anything like that closer to home. Do you know of any kind of “eco-plexiglass”? I would like to make a child-safe barrier that will still let in light. Great website you have!! Thank you.

  13. Bettina Hoar says:

    I highly recommend Paul Gancman’s work at Premysis. He is able to make custom made closet shelving/inserts using NAUF mdf or plywoods and he’s a pleasure to work with. http://www.premisys.ca/Premisys/Home.html

  14. Cathy says:

    Hi Steve,
    If you’re looking for a supplier to provide you with no formaldehyde-added particleboard, check out Nu Green Particleboard.
    http://becgreen.ca/2010/05/20/nu-green-no-ureaformaldehyde-added-particleboard-by-uniboard/

  15. Steve says:

    Hi Cathy,

    I am looking for a no formaldehyde added supplier for closet organizers, and was wondering if you had any suggestions. Thank you.

    Steve

  16. Cathy says:

    Hi Sharon,
    Thanks so much for your comments. Regarding your flooring decision, I completely understand, having fought with a flooded basement for three years running (don’t ask).
    Given that your floor is uneven, you might want to consider cork tiles which can be put right over concrete. It’s a very flexible material and has a lot of “give” to it.
    Good luck. You might try The Healthiest Home in Ottawa. Also, Alexanian’s sells cork flooring.
    http://www.thehealthiesthome.com/
    http://www.alexanian.com/index.asp

  17. Sharon says:

    I stumbled onto your site after doing hours of research on flooring for our basement playroom after it had some water damage awhile ago. The flooring company that the insurance company sent me to were so rude when I asked about eco options – I walked right out the door. Now I am finally doing some research but I am still undecided between marmoleum, Flor, natural rubber or cork. A big consideration is that the floor isn’t exactly level – so I am not sure what is best for that. Plus finding a place in Ottawa is another thing I must do. Anyways – thank you so much for your site and the amount of work you put into it! Well done!

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