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Rate It Green Featured on EveryDay Green Home Podcast with The Green Home Coach Marla Esser Cloos

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EveryDay Green Home Podcast with The Green Home Coach Marla Esser Cloos

Rate It Green was fortunate to be featured recently on The Everyday Green Home Podcast with Marla Esser Cloos.  An expert green home coach, consultant, and educator, Marla talks with her guests about a wide range of green home and green living topics.  Marla focuses on how to leverage the benefits and get the best out of sustainable products and services without sacrificing on comfort, quality, or cost.  In other words, doing the best for ourselves and our families can ALSO mean lowering energy consumption and overall environmental impact.  We all deserve healthier and more sustainable places to live, work, learn, and play.  Marla is talking with many people who are working to make that vision a reality.  

Marla invited Allison Friedman to discuss the green building industry and community, and to introduce Rate It Green and explain how people can get involved with green building information sharing through the platform.  One of Marla’s first questions is priceless: "How do we connect and learn? Even to find out what you don’t even know yet?”  That’s a fantastic question, as one of the main goals of Rate It Green is to make everyone in the green building industry feel welcome, whether an expert or beginner, trade professional or consumer - or passionate DIYer, and whether they’re interested in residential or commercial construction. The idea is that we all have something to share and many things to learn.  Individuals, companies, and organizations are all welcome to join Rate It Green, and to add their voices and brands and names to the conversation.  


Allison and Marla clearly agree that everyone cares about health, comfort, saving money, and protecting the value of our assets.  Green building products and practices readily support these priorities, as green building is just building smart - using products and practices that protect health, add comfort and control, and reduce waste, including energy.  The good news is that more information is available and that there have been positive changes in recent decades.  The challenge is that it can still be difficult to get efficient and timely information to make green building decisions, especially when a project is already in progress. In fact, Allison’s own attempt to green an in-progress project in 2005 was the inspiration for Rate It Green. She wished there had been someone to answer her questions, so she decided to create a resource where everyone can contribute and where we can all reach our sustainable building goals together.  


As Marla points out, it’s all connected, and we all have a vested interest in building green building community.  As she says, the good news is that we’re not alone.  She absolutely sees the value in asking questions, and also of course in helping others if you have the answers.  Allison points out that some people feel hesitant to share what they know until they feel more expert - but the idea of Rate It Green is to create an open and safe space so that these conversations can take place, and so that we can all learn together as a community. Another challenge is of course that people feel they will contribute more information when they get more time.  But people can’t dialogue with you or help you until someone takes that step to share what they are thinking. The sooner, we ask, the sooner we can get some assistance.  And, there are multiple benefits from sharing expertise, including branding building - and feeling great.  Sharing information also shortens the industry learning curve and helps move the whole industry forward faster.  As marla points out, open conversations provide a way to make information approachable and human.  Green building education can’t just be about certificates and training - we need to be able to share and translate and apply what we’re learning on our own projects and for the greater good.  And as Allison points out, while in-person sharing is truly valuable, we do need ways to share when we can’t be in the same room, between meetings or events, or say at 2 am.  We have to keep these conversations going.      


Marla and Allison each share some specific examples of challenges they’ve faces and upcoming top topics of interest.  Indoor air quality and reducing energy loads are certainly going to continue to stay relevant for the foreseeable future.  Allison shares how it’s been a challenge to find a vendor for a home performance energy assessment.  She’s ready to balance her zones and really work on air quality and energy consumption.  Allison also shares a story about mini split location and snow… This is still an issue that needs more discussion and ideas.  The idea is to have these conversations and to provide enough information and answers that someone new can come along and reach their own conclusion, having been helped by the information provided by those who came before.


On Rate It Green, Community Members create profiles and post discussions, and they can then create and post to groups, submit articles and news, and can add green building events to an open industry calendar.  Allison and her team then promote this information widely, across 23 social media channels.  Information on the platform is curated according to 60 product categories and 30 service categories, with a space for additional categories, and endless possible subcategories.  The idea is help make it so that information can easily be found in a logical place by someone looking for a particular topic.  Everyone is welcome to ask questions, and the idea is that people in every segment can contribute their expertise.  It’s important also to keep in mind that someone who is an expert in one segment might be a newcomer to another - we all have something to learn. 


Allison’s key parting thoughts:

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions
  • Share something 
  • Don’t give up


There are so many ways to get involved and approach green building and it’s important to know that we can reach our goals together.  There’s more work to do, but we are making progress, and some giant leaps are coming.  We will be sharing that news and progress on Rate It Green! We’re working to build the biggest community we can so that we can reach those goals of healthier and more sustainable buildings for all.  


Marla’s optimism is terrific.  She’s confident that living a little greener and better is easier than you think… and she will keep sharing more ways to do so! 




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