100 episodes

The Everyday Green Home Podcast helps you GET the value of green: for you, your family and your community. Whether its green homes, green living or the people who make it happen, join Marla Esser Cloos to learn how green and sustainability practices and products work for you.

Everyday Green Home Marla Esser Cloos

    • Leisure
    • 4.6 • 11 Ratings

The Everyday Green Home Podcast helps you GET the value of green: for you, your family and your community. Whether its green homes, green living or the people who make it happen, join Marla Esser Cloos to learn how green and sustainability practices and products work for you.

    Home Inspection - Not Just for Real Estate Transactions with Stacey Page

    Home Inspection - Not Just for Real Estate Transactions with Stacey Page

    Do you ever think about home inspection?
    Most people only ever think about home inspection when buying or selling a property. However, the truth is that you will benefit from a proper home inspection because it will allow you to live in a healthier and more comfortable home environment.
    I’m Marla, the Green Home Coach! Today, I’m excited to introduce a remarkable Oklahoma City lady I recently had the pleasure of meeting. Stacey Page is a home inspector who brings a unique perspective to the field. She joins me on the show to discuss the importance of home inspection for our daily lives.
    Becoming a Home Inspector
    Stacey started home inspecting about two years ago, working with her husband in the company he started five years ago. She initially helped with the administrative side of the business, but her passion for homes and woodworking led her to shadow her husband and eventually become a home inspector herself. She did the necessary nine months of training, passed the state test, and has been doing inspections with her husband for two years.
    Women in home inspection
    Stacey believes that many women feel intimidated by home inspection due to the male-dominated construction industry and the perception that women have less knowledge about home maintenance and functioning. However, she emphasizes that women have the capability to learn and can bring a different insight and perspective to the job. 
    Stacey acknowledges that home inspection can be dirty and uncomfortable, with hazards such as spiders and unpleasant environments. However, she assures that there are ways to protect oneself, such as wearing coveralls, booties, and gloves. Despite encountering some dirty and unpleasant situations, Stacey has also inspected immaculate houses.
    Why regular home inspections are important
    Regular home inspections are essential to catch issues early on before they become major problems. Inspections can reveal problems like moisture build-up between window panes, overflowing condensate lines, and active leaks. Those issues can lead to wood rot, termites, mold, and other expensive problems if not caught early enough. Even if a homeowner is already aware of an issue and has attempted to fix it, it is still necessary for inspectors to thoroughly check the area to ensure there are no remaining issues.
    The biggest reason for people to have a home inspection
    The most important reason is the health and safety of your family and having a healthy home. A home is one of the biggest investments in people's lives. Issues can arise with new builds due to contractors cutting corners. Home inspections and maintenance are essential for ensuring the home is safe and efficient. 
    The long-term costs of maintaining a home 
    We must consider the long-term costs of maintaining a home and not just the initial cost. Homeowners need to be educated on how to maintain their homes because small issues, like failing caulking, can lead to larger problems like flooding. 
    The unique thing about Stacey’s company
    One thing that sets Stacey and her husband’s company apart from others is that after something they point out gets repaired, they go back and re-inspect the home for free to check that the job was properly done.
    A wellness check for your home
    Having your home inspected every few years is a bit like going to the doctor for a wellness check.
    Potential issues and safety
    It is essential to address potential issues in a house, such as roof problems, moisture, mold, termites, mildew, and electrical hazards, and to have safety measures such as smoke detectors in place to avoid potentially life-threatening situations.
    A clear understanding
    Stacey’s company aims to provide clients with a clear understanding of the condition of their homes without using scare tactics. They categorize issues into normal, minor, and major, so their clients can prioritize their concerns. The goal is to help

    • 34 min
    Expert Insights on Eco-friendly Real Estate

    Expert Insights on Eco-friendly Real Estate

    Real estate is a massive part of our lives! 
    We live in homes, buy homes, sell them, fix them up, and rent them, and real estate is at the heart of all that!
    Much about real estate has been in the news lately, with home prices being turbulent during the pandemic and people moving to different places. 
    The side of real estate that has recently been taking hold is one that I love working with most. It’s the side that brings better, healthier, and more sustainable homes to the forefront, and there is a whole group of people out there trained to work with it. They know how to talk to you as a buyer, seller, or renter and can help you find a home that works best for you and everyone living with you!
    I’m Marla, the Green Home Coach. Today, I’m excited to have Kari Klaus from Realty Sage, and Ashley Rose Gonzalez from Ashley Rose Sacred Spaces, joining me on the show!
    About Ashley Rose Gonzalez
    Ashley is a NAR Green-certified realtor located in Boca Raton, Florida, and does surveys on most of South Florida. She has been a green realtor for the last two years. Her green journey began about ten years ago when she had a tumor in her stomach. Fortunately, she caught it before it became cancerous. At the time, she had been living in a toxic environment and was in a toxic relationship. So she had to learn how to take charge of her life and health, and it became her passion! Ashley’s life is now a sacred ritual for herself and the earth. She believes she is here to assist and educate her clients. 
    Small steps
    Ashley believes it is her dharma to save the earth and help people live in the healthiest way possible! She started with small steps, changing the products she was using. She used to be a fashion stylist in New York, working with eco and hemp designers, and had no idea that her journey would lead her to where she is now! 
    Customized service
    Ashley learns about her clients and customizes her services to suit their specific needs.
    About Kari Klaus
    Kari is the Founder of Realty Sage and its sister site, Realty Sage Pros. Realty Sage started as Beaver Green Homes, which was based on Kari's struggle to sell her property after making it as green as possible. Realty Sage is a different kind of real estate market that uses a sage score system based on features like solar systems, energy efficiency, and certifications to help market properties. It gives buyers a better understanding of a home’s features and helps sellers market more accurately. It also gives real estate agents like Ashley a platform to work from and showcase their skills.
    Realty Sage Pro 
    Realty Sage Pro is a site for green real estate agents to list and market properties. It has more than 120,000 real estate agents across the country on its database. They are preparing to expand into other professionals like architects, interior designers, and landscapers.   
    Women in green homes
    There is a growing group of women working and collaborating in the green home space. 
    Taking care of ourselves
    Women are starting to understand that caring for the earth begins with ourselves. That means we must also take care of our physical homes because everything is connected, and they are an extension of who we are. Ashley believes it is our collective and individual duty to care for and preserve our environment.
    Economics of green building
    Building a green home today makes financial sense because doing so now is way more affordable than before.  
    Understanding the difference
    It can be hard to understand the difference between different eco-friendly homes. Realty Sage allows real estate agents to help people understand the finer differences, apart from price, like quality and certifications.
    Feng shui principles 
    Designing a home with feng shui principles makes it feel better! Ashley Rose is delighted to have connected with Kari and loves having a place to showcase her feng shui skills and help peop

    • 45 min
    Empowering People to Build or Remodel Better Homes with Green Home Institute

    Empowering People to Build or Remodel Better Homes with Green Home Institute

    There are so many green home experts out there! That makes it hard to know where to go for help and who to approach for the resources you require.
    People need to know where to go to get trusted information. So today, I would like to introduce the Green Home Institute because they have been extremely helpful to me! They have vast resources, products, and education that they focus on and update regularly.
    I’m Marla, the Green Home Coach! Today, Brett Little from the Green Home Institute joins me to unpack the resources, education, and product knowledge they provide! 
    About Brett
    Brett is the Education Manager at the Green Home Institute. He started as a volunteer for the organization thirteen years ago. It paid off and has been with them ever since. Now, he encourages others to go out into their communities and volunteer.
    Brett lives in West Michigan with his wife and two children. He is currently working on his own home to make it sustainable. He also uses his home to tell people stories about what they can do to their homes.
    About the Green Home Institute  
    The mission of the Green Home Institute is to empower people to make healthier and more sustainable choices when constructing or renovating their homes. They work internationally and do specific things in some areas of the United States. They focus primarily on certification and educating people on making their new or existing homes more sustainable. They also offer continued education for people to maintain their accreditation and make real-world changes through their certification.
    In West Michigan, they provide grant funding to remove the cost barriers and provide education and certifications for local affordable green and sustainable housing projects.
    ICCF Community Homes
    ICCF Community Homes is a large entity that recognized the affordable housing crisis even before it hit the news in 2017. They committed to buying up properties to sell or rent to the local community at affordable rates and to Green Star certify a portion of their portfolio. Their goal is to get people into homes.
    A lot of education is necessary within the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air-conditioning) industry. 
    Ventilation is essential for our homes to stay healthy. We need to have fresh air inside our tightly-built homes, and we need to exhaust the stale air containing pollutants and moisture.
    The Green Home Institute produces a webinar series every Wednesday. Most of the webinars get recorded and posted on their YouTube channel.
    The five pillars of green homes
    The Green Home Institute uses the five pillars of green homes to educate and advise people, simplify and expand some of their concepts, assist people in understanding the trade-offs they may need to make, make it easier to know how to build and improve homes holistically, and help people maintain their green home certifications. They are:
    Policy and Advocacy
    The Green Home Institute has been engaging politically by speaking up and focusing more on policy and advocacy.
    The Green Home Institute newsletter
    The Green Home Institute newsletter focuses mainly on educating people and the webinars they do.
    The Green Home Institute website
    The Green Home Institute website is currently being redone. They are updating it and adding many more of the professionals with whom they have been working. 
    Green Star Program
    The Green Home Institute's Green Star Program is open-sourced and free to use.
    Have a great green day!
    Healthier Home Checklist 
    Green Home Institute 
    Learn from Green Home Institute's YouTube Channel 
    Products to help build green 
    Get Involved with Green Home Institute 
    Living Green Effortlessly: Simple Choices for a Better Home book

    • 31 min
    2 Reasons to Certify an Existing Home for Sale

    2 Reasons to Certify an Existing Home for Sale

    Have you read about the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in the news over the last six to eight months?
    The Inflation Reduction Act was passed to help combat climate change, upgrade electrification, and move people toward new technologies in their homes and businesses. It is a big piece of work that applies to almost all of us because a large part has to do with our homes.
    So, what can we do to improve our homes, and how can we be assisted in paying for them? I have two wonderful guests with me to walk us through their experiences and help answer those questions!
    I’m Marla, the Green Home Coach. Today, Brett Vredevoogd from Eco Equity Real Estate and Pamela Brookstein from Elevate Energy join me on the podcast to talk about the Inflation Reduction Act and how we can use certifications and energy efficiency to improve the homes we buy and sell.
    Brett Vredevoogd
    Brett is a realtor in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He focuses on helping eco-conscious homeowners increase energy efficiency and maximize their home equity.
    Pamela Brookstein
    Pamela works for Elevate, a non-profit based in Chicago. They work nationally, designing and implementing energy efficiency programs. They focus on reaching anyone who could benefit from energy efficiency and cleaner home upgrades.
    Assistance for low to moderate-income housing
    Pamela believes that the Inflation Reduction Act will rectify many of the wrongs that have happened in the past. It will provide assistance for all homeowners to improve the experience they have in their homes and reap the benefits of energy efficiency, cleaner indoor air, and lower utility costs.
    The value of energy efficiency
    Brett works primarily with existing homes. At this point, he focuses on getting as much data as possible on the MLS about the energy-efficient aspects of homes and educating all the players in the industry about the value of energy efficiency.
    Understanding how people feel about energy certification
    Brett and Pamela work together to understand how people feel about energy certification and its effect on market value. Brett has had favorable responses from sellers and buyers after seeing what homeowners have done to make their houses healthier and more energy efficient.
    Pamela’s classes
    Pamela teaches two classes. One is on solar, and the other is on high-performing homes. An entire module focuses on setting agents and sellers up for a good appraisal.
    Appraisers have started going to Pamela’s classes. They have been asking her to meet them at the houses to tell the story of what makes those houses so special. Having all that data upfront makes things much easier for them when an appraisal gets contested.
    A checklist
    Brett feels that a checklist will make it much easier to prove that a house is more energy-efficient than all the other stock in a particular neighborhood.
    Pearl Certification
    Pearl Certification has a practical and light-hearted approach to explaining things to professionals and home buyers. Brett found them about four years ago. He has been using them because they do an excellent job of providing potential buyers with a client-facing report that quickly lays down all the logistics of why a house is more efficient than most other stock in a given area.
    The magic of certification
    Home buyers appreciate the third-party certification because most people don’t fully understand the range of benefits of an energy-efficient house. So they want a third-party certification to prove that the house is truly energy-efficient.
    An overview of the Inflation Reduction Act
    4.3 billion dollars will come in over the next ten years, by way of tax rebates and programs to improve the existing housing stock. That money will go a long way in helping to change people’s lives and their experiences in their homes. There is a strong emphasis on upgrading electrification. Money has been allocated for training energy assessors, a

    • 36 min
    Helping You and Your Unit Breathe Better with Gay of Green Screen Air Filters 

    Helping You and Your Unit Breathe Better with Gay of Green Screen Air Filters 

    Many different aspects of our homes may impact our health and well-being and the ease with which we can maintain our homes. 
    Something I learned to take in hand during the pandemic was the filtration in my home. Filtration systems may vary, but they all serve the same purpose: To filter the air moving through the heating and cooling systems, making it cleaner and better to breathe.  
    I’m Marla, the Green Home Coach! Today, Gay Harris of Superior Air Quality and Green Screen Air Filters joins me to discuss better air quality for our homes.  
    Taking over the Green Screen Air Filter company
    Gay and her husband worked in construction on and off for years until seven years ago when they took over the Green Screen Air Filter company. After that, they continued doing home and garden shows as the original owners had done. They liked the product because it creates better airflow for filtration units and saves electricity. 
    Green Screen Air Filters
    The Green Screen Air Filter is a commercial-grade filter. It has been around since the 1950s, although not in the residential form. The main difference between Green Screen Air Filters and others is that all pleated filters collect dirt particles predominantly on one surface, so they quickly start restricting the airflow. Whereas the Green Screen is a one-inch fabric that layers the dirt according to the size of each particle. The Green Screen has hundreds of surfaces to collect the dirt particles, so it does not restrict the airflow.
    Gay and her husband suffered from severe allergies when they first heard about the Green Screen Air Filters. When they started using them in their home, they began getting better and better each year and using fewer and fewer allergy medications. They no longer need to use allergy medications, so they know it works! 
    Cabin air filters
    Most cars have odors, so Superior Air Quality supplies cabin air filters cut to specific sizes for different types of vehicles. 
    Setting up and replacing air filters
    Gay and her husband help their customers figure out all they need to know about setting their air filters up and how often they should get replaced. 
    RV filters
    Those living in RVs want to make sure that less dust gets inside. Green Screen Air Filters keep the dust out of RVs and ensure the air conditioning units stay clean.
    All Green Screen filters, frames, and grids are customized and cut to fit any specific size.
    No risk
    The Green Screen Air Filter technology and design ensures there is no risk of slowing air conditioning systems down or causing them to burn out.
    The importance of air quality 
    Air quality is extremely important because it directly impacts our health and well-being. According to the EPA, indoor air quality could be up to seventy times worse than the outside air. That’s why good filtration is essential to ensure optimum indoor air quality.
    Purifiers are an important addition to indoor air filters. Different options are available, many of which are inferior, so Gay is happy to talk to anyone looking to find out more about them.
    MERV rating
    The home building and home maintenance industries are fraught with variables. So they tend to cling to products that work. Many heating and cooling companies are unfamiliar with Green Screen Air Filters, and that’s why Gay has a MERV rating equivalency on the Green Screen Air Filters. 
    The ASHRAE Test
    The MERV rating helps in general. However, it only shows the number of particles collected and says nothing about the airflow. The ASHRAE Test has taught Gay about airflow, so that's how she knows that the Green Screen Air Filters are amazing and provide way better airflow than any other filter!
    A tip
    Turn the thermostat fan from auto to on between dinner and bedtime and back to automatic again when you go to bed to filter the evening air and keep all the pollens out.
    Have a great green day!
    Links and resources:
    www.GreenScreenAirFilter.com CO

    • 31 min
    Green Community and Resources at Rate It Green with Allison Friedman

    Green Community and Resources at Rate It Green with Allison Friedman

    What is the green home industry?
    If you’d like to learn more about it, find out how to connect with people within it, and get to know about all the new things coming out in it, you’re in the right place because you will hear all of that today! 
    I’m Marla, the Green Home Coach, and I am excited to have Allison Friedman from Rate It Green with me today to talk about all the wonderful work she is doing! I love what Allison has built by tying her product, company, and service together! 
    Rate It Green
    Rate It Green is an open directory network for the green building industry or anyone interested in green building, from beginners to experts, including trade professionals, consumers, and advanced DIY-ers. They are both residential and commercial and have individual members, as well as organizational and company members. The aim is to get people together to shorten the learning curve by engaging, collaborating, sharing information online, and talking about their experiences building sustainable and healthier places to live.
    It’s all connected
    People are finally beginning to understand that health, sustainability, and living better lives are all connected. It is a learning process, and we all need to know that we are not alone and can help each other.
    Where it all started for Allison
    It all started in 2006 when Allison decided to renovate her home. It did not start out as a green project, and she made several mistakes along the way. She learned that it is hard to renovate sustainably while learning on the job- particularly back when it was hard to find any information on sustainable building practices.
    A learning process 
    Renovating her home was a learning process for Allison. If she had known when she started the project what she now knows, she would not have done it. However, she hopes all she has done and is still doing make her the best steward for building green homes.
    The future
    Allison is optimistic about everyone living healthier and more sustainably in the future, but moving the needle has been more difficult than was predicted.
    Sharing information   
    Allison would like to make the experience of sharing information online more human. However, she still prefers to engage with people and share information in person whenever possible.
    Sharing her journey
    Allison would like to use her resource to share her journey with others. She would like to talk more about improving indoor air quality, reducing the energy load, having clean water, and the things we are unaware of that could endanger us or cause health problems.
    Health and energy assessments
    The Inflation Reduction Act requires energy audits and assessments for some rebates. Unfortunately, there are very few companies doing those assessments. Free energy audits are available in Massachusetts. 
    Tighter homes and indoor air quality
    People have been getting excited about energy efficiency over the last few decades. Many have been tightening up their homes and learning to make do using less energy. As a result, better indoor air quality management is necessary to avoid any health risks associated with air pollutants getting trapped inside tighter homes. 
    Advancing indoor air quality systems
    Advancing indoor air quality systems happens on a level above the regular kind of energy audit, and Allison is working toward finding that.
    Initial energy assessments
    For an initial assessment, find someone with either a BPI or a HERS certification. Many utilities also offer some type of energy assessment, but they tend to vary from municipality to municipality or state to state. You can also go to www.energystar.gov  and www.energy.gov to learn more and find resources.
    Rate It Green has five key types of content:
    Discussions Groups Articles News Open Events Calendar Feedback and member content
    Rate It Green is a member-driven community that depends on member content and questions to thrive. So they like to know which features, informatio

    • 44 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
11 Ratings

11 Ratings

Amie Nicole Hope St. Amour ,


A free education in all things green that unites people with the pragmatism of visionary Marla Esser Cloos, author of the Benjamin Franklin Award winning reference book "Living Green Effortlessly", and her incredible guests. Marla Esser Cloos decodes the idea of "Living Green" when it can seem indecipherable, daunting, and even exhaustingly patriarchal (not unlike Shakespeare). This podcast addresses and faces existential questions, specifically in moments masked in jocularity, about sustainability and home. Creating better, healthier, thriving stories through our actions (or inactions) can happen each and everyday. Why can't our world be automated and normalized to that effect??

MC1RAmie ,


Everyday Green Home Podcast at it's best feels like Ask This Old House (I love Ask This Old House) and This Old House, and the podcast seems similarly seeking of inclusion and diversity. Marla (greenhomecoach.com) distinguishes Everyday Green Home Podcast by stressing the importance of expertise in the planning stages in efforts to prevent what Ask This Old House and This Old House address. Tony is at his best when he is critically thinking and using his experience and knowledge to add to the conversation. (If I ran into him now, I'm not sure I wouldn't want to hit him with a 2 X 6. He is best when he is convincing the listeners NOT to do that because they would miss him). Speaking of 2 x6s, I found an example of what I'm trying to say. There was a podcast episode where Tony was talking about how a contractor or someone had changed to 2 X 6s instead of 2 X 4s and there had been increases in costs. Marla suggested talking lumber prices which was interesting (see NPR's "What the Rise and Fall of Lumber Prices Tells Us About the Pandemic Economy"), but instead of saying, "Yes, and-", Tony said it wasn't that at all. He said it was because the builders had to carry more upstairs or something?!?! For the longest time, I thought that whoever suggested that to him was likely non- union, messed up, and having a "joke" on "Harvard". I felt for him, aside from his not actively listening to Marla or taking her generous cue for him to go on a happy tangent into economics or the shortages in the building trades. (There was a great podcast episode about it, too! But I think, unlike Tony, that there is more than enough time to make experts but not enough accessibility. If an 18 yo kid wanted to learn and work in the carpentry union in St. Louis, is it free and easy for them to find resources or to apply themselves to that gainful career path? Or, is it easier to find work in restaurant or retail or carrying 2 x6s upstairs for minimum but immediate pay?) ANYWAY, I recently saw an episode of Ask This Old House and found out that I might have been wrong (I know, shocking... <facetious) about the "joke" on "Harvard" (see the very appropos titled Drilling into Studs for Electrical Wiring/ Tool Lab episode). Could the 2 X 6s (and their increased costs) have been more about the contractor/ builders claiming the need for the ease of winging it while drilling and still likely being up to code in any state?? I love Ask This House because they ask questions, try to help problem- solve, and don't judge people's consumer spending, socio- econnomic status, houses, problems, family, or friends. I think Everyday Green Home Podcast is WICKED BEST when it is trying to be the kind of rising tide that lifts all boats, while also warning of the rising tides.

Ty$-Kube ,


Inspiring and educating podcast. The two hosts have great knowledge and great guests!

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