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Published on September 19th, 2008 | by Stephanie Evans


The Hunt for a Greener Plumber

In an age where being green is quickly becoming an industry standard,
it shouldn’t be too difficult to find an ecologically conscientious
plumbing company.  Many have leapt on board whole-heartedly, realizing
the extensive water and energy waste produced by households with
inefficient appliances and fixtures.

In addition, many companies are
“greening” their services, from the vehicles they drive to the pipes
they use.  So how can you distinguish a green plumber from all the rest?

Tools of the Plumbing Trade

One surefire indicator is whether they are certified “GreenPlumbers”.  The Green Plumbing licensing program originated in Australia and was brought to the U.S. care of The Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association of California and Onni, Inc.

While California seems to be leading the way in bringing Green Plumbers to the U.S., there are those in other states who are way ahead of the game, such as A2Z Plumbing Contractors, Inc. of Asheville, North Carolina. Their website is a terrific base to use as a comparison when shopping for an eco-friendly plumbing service.

Here are the highlights to look for in a company and a cost-comparison:

  • Do they offer alternatives to PVC pipe? (Why one should avoid PVC).
  • Cost difference: Though alternatives such as polyethylene or clay are usually cost more initially, they are much better for the environment and for your health.
  • Do they use low VOC (volatile organic compound) glues and cleaners?
  • Cost difference: Should be none.
  • Do they offer appliances such as on-demand water heaters, low-flow fixtures, and rain and gray water harvesting systems?
  • Cost difference: Usually more initially, but significant water- and energy-cost savings in the long term.

And if they’re super green…

  • Do they use hybrid or biodiesel vehicles?
  • Are their office practices green—do they make use of recycling, alternative energy sources, e-mail versus paper mail, etc.?

Ultimately, if a company is invested in saving water and energy, it is better to go with them than a standard plumbing company.  Browse the net for your area and if you can’t find companies committed to low impact practices, encourage your local plumbers to invite a GreenPlumber workshop to your area!

Get the Green Living Ideas book in softcover or PDF for as low as $2.99!

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