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“Green” real estate is a vague term. It is used increasingly these days to refer to multiple situations.

One of those is new construction being built to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) or another “green” certification.

But a home doesn’t have to be new or certified to be energy-efficient or have indoor-air friendly flooring, cabinetry, finishes and furnishings. And studies show that today’s homebuyers are increasingly interested in the health benefits and long-term cost savings of finding a home that is -- or has the potential to be -- people- and planet- friendly.

Elissa’s friends had some questions when she showed them the inspiration photo she had chosen for her dining room makeover. They included: “You’re doing wallpaper, seriously?” And, “You do realize that those chairs don’t go with that table, right?” Clearly, she recalls, her friends didn’t realize that wallpaper is back! And who says the chairs have to match the table? No designer we’ve ever heard of. Her vision for the room was clear and there were some unchangeable requirements.

National standard for composite wood products and products that contain them goes into effect June 1, 2018 Three years have passed since complaints erupted on 60 Minutes about excessive amounts of formaldehyde emitted by some laminate flooring products that were sold by Lumber Liquidators. 60 Minutes reported that some of these products did not comply with California Air Resources Board Phase II (CARB II) limits for formaldehyde, which only applied in the state of California. At the time, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it was working on making CARB II limits a national standard that would close a gap in the existing rule: Instead of applying only to composite wood products, it also would regulate finished products that contain composite wood products.

Look for third-party certification and optimization programs to avoid blue light at the wrong time of day A walk down the light bulb aisle at your local big box store will raise more questions than it answers. The point-of-purchase advertisements make a number of claims: “Natural Daylight,” “Sleep,” “White Light,” and more. But like a lot of advertising, it won’t raise the issue that lighting experts increasingly are trying to solve: Exposure to artificial light at nighttime has been shown to disrupt circadian rhythm, and has been associated with sleep disruption, cancer and other medical problems.