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As energy costs continue to rise and sustainability becomes more and more of a prevalent concern, many business owners are looking for ways to be both economical, and environmentally friendly. One company recently announced a unique approach to help business owners find a sustainable green roof to suit their needs. Spartan Internet, in conjunction with Duro-Last Roofing, has created an online directory of contractors certified to install the Duro-Last reflective green roof. Duro-Last roofing systems are designed to accommodate specific needs and are pre-engineered and manufactured specifically to decrease waste and increase the durability and energy efficiency of a building.

"Businesses are looking for more and more ways to increase their LEED score," said Ryan Vartoogian, President of Spartan Internet Consulting. "With our directory, it's easier than ever for business owners to find local contractors that are certified to install any Duro-Last reflective roof."

Aside from savings on energy costs and increasing your LEED score, business owners can count on the Duro-Last roofing systems to be reliable, durable, resistant to high winds, waterproof and easily installed without disruption to daily operations. The Duro-Last prefabricated single-ply roofing system is ideal for virtually any commercial or industrial, flat or low sloped roof and comes with a 15-year warranty.

In addition to the Spartan site, contractors, builders and owners can go to Greenroofs.com and read the "Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof Design" compiled by Publisher Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA Associate and LEED AP, and Design Editor Haven Kiers, MLA. The focus of the Top 10 Trends is on greenroof design as a means to combat problems in t world of the built environment versus nature, and restore sustainability to the eco-system.

The Greenroofs.com Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof Design are:

  1. Client Specific 'Boutique' Greenroofs
  2. Design Competitions: Promoting Future Inspiration
  3. Earth-Sheltering for Sustainable Site Design
  4. Master Plans – Greenroofs in Every Corner
  5. Sustainable Stimulus: Green Buildings Creating Green Collar Jobs
  6. LID Strategies: Celebrating Water with Greenroofs, Rain Gardens, Stormwater Catchment & Beyond
  7. Championing the Green Machine: Policy Driven Ecological Development
  8. Healthy, Efficient & Affordable Green Housing
  9. Sky-High Green Living on the Rise: Condos, Townhomes and Lofts
  10. "Towers of Power" - Mega Vertical Structures Linking Earth and Sky

"The common element running through all the categories this year is the increasing shift in viewing the building not as a single physical element to be manipulated, but holistically – integrating the site, building envelope, and roof with cultural awareness – creating vegetated surfaces in 3-D and truly linking nature to human design," said Velazquez.

"In order to better understand if the products and services being considered are truly green or sustainable, or are considered Greenwashing -- the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service -- TerraChoice Environmental Marketing's report on the Seven Sins of Greenwashing is a terrific resource. The Seven Sins of Greenwashing, from most common to least common, are:

"1. The Sin of the Hidden Trade-Off occurs when one environmental issue is emphasized at the expense of potentially more serious concerns. In other words, when marketing hides a trade-off between environmental issues. Paper, for example, is not necessarily environmentally-preferable just because it comes from a sustainably-harvested forest.

"2. The Sin of No Proof happens when environmental assertions are not backed up by evidence or third-party certification. One common example is facial tissue products that claim various percentages of post-consumer recycled content without providing any supporting details.

"3. The Sin of Vagueness occurs when a marketing claim is so lacking in specifics as to be meaningless. 'All-natural' is an example of this Sin. Arsenic, uranium, mercury, and formaldehyde are all naturally occurring, and poisonous. "All natural" isn't necessarily 'green'.

"4. The (new) Sin of Worshiping False Labels is when marketers create a false suggestion or certification-like image to mislead consumers into thinking that a product has been through a legitimate green certification process. One example of this Sin is a brand of aluminum foil with certification-like images that show the name of the company's own in-house environmental program for which there is no explanation.

"5. The Sin of Irrelevance arises when an environmental issue unrelated to the product is emphasized. One example is the claim that a product is 'CFC-free', since CFCs are banned by law.

"6. The Sin of Lesser of Two Evils occurs when an environmental claim makes consumers feel 'green' about a product category that is itself lacking in environmental benefits. Organic cigarettes are an example of this Sin.

"7. The Sin of Fibbing is when environmental claims are outright false. One common example is products falsely claiming to be Energy Star certified.

"Whether it be green roofs or sustainable energy sources, the idea for builders, contractors and owners to be credible – to not make false. These are some organizations that can help you grow your business and develop credibility in the minds of today's green-conscious consumers.

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