Melissa Rappaport Schifman
Melissa provides sustainability consulting services for businesses in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Melissa is also the founder of Green Intention LLC, where she writes and blogs about her experience in getting her own home LEED Gold certified--and then trying to live more sustainably in the home. She chairs her congregation’s Task Force for Sustainability, has her MBA, Master's in Public Policy, and is a LEED AP for Homes. www

Understanding LEED for Homes: Innovation and design

Understanding LEED for Homes: Innovation and design

Innovation and Design is the first of eight categories in the LEED for Homes Rating System. It awards up to 11 points toward certification. For those homeowners who are not that interested in LEED certification, but are interested in best...

Understanding LEED for Homes: Overview

Understanding LEED for Homes: Overview

Ever since we got our home LEED certified, I have gotten questions about what it takes to actually accomplish this. Is it all energy efficiency? Does it cost more? Is it worth it? While these answers cannot be thoroughly addressed...

5 ways to improve your indoor air quality

5 ways to improve your indoor air quality

The EPA estimates that indoor air quality can be 3-5 times worse than outdoor air quality. And since most Americans spend most of their time indoors, that can seriously affect our health — in terms of asthma, respiratory illnesses, allergies, eye irritation, and other sensitivities.

Is it possible to be green in a larger footprint home?

Is it possible to be green in a larger footprint home?

Question: Is it possible to be green in a smaller footprint home? Answer: I love this question, because so many articles are written about how the greenest homes are the smallest homes. Yes, smaller homes use less energy and less materials, and are therefore considered "greener." But does that mean larger homes cannot be green? No.

How does a green home benefit a family?

How does a green home benefit a family?

A green home benefits a family in several real, deep ways. The first and most important way is that it benefits our health.

Is it worth it to pursue LEED Platinum certification on a home?

Is it worth it to pursue LEED Platinum certification on a home?

This question needs to be divided into two parts: Is it worth it to pursue LEED Certification on a home? Is it worth it to get to the Platinum level? As someone who did pursue LEED Certification on our own...

5 Tips to save energy at home

5 Tips to save energy at home

Five tips to save energy at home: Become aware of your energy uses and get a watt meter to better understand it. Space heating and cooling accounts for the largest share of energy, followed closely by water heating, lighting, refrigeration, and electronics.

Remodeling with a clean site

Remodeling with a clean site

Many people dread the thought of remodeling their home because of the mess it creates. Trying to keep it clean can be hard, but here are some tips to consider: Choose a subcontractor that specifically lists end-of-day clean up as...

LEED-certified buildings reach record

LEED-certified buildings reach record

As a LEED AP and one who works with a firm that certifies existing buildings under LEED-EBOM (EBOM = Existing Buildings, Operations, and Maintenance), I am particularly excited about a green building trend that may have gone unnoticed. According to...

The greenest holiday gifts are free

The greenest holiday gifts are free

During holiday time, it's hard not to notice the shopping spirit in the air. Commercials scream at us to hurry up and buy while supplies last.

Living in a green home

Living in a green home

The beautiful thing about the word "green" is that it captures two of the most important things that most people care about: their health, and their money. And there is a wonderful third reason to go green: The community benefits...

Consider each type of hot water heater for a home

Consider each type of hot water heater for a home

ProudGreenHome: What is the most efficient hot water heater for residential use? Melissa Rappaport Schifman: As with most questions that deal with tradeoffs, the answer to this question will always begin: it depends. On what? Budget, type of home and hot water usage, and fuel sources available.

My favorite solar panels

My favorite solar panels

It has been almost one year since our solar panels were installed on our roof. I had written the whole solar saga in my blog, and if you had talked to me during the installation process, you would have seen a frustrated person.

Top 5 benefits of geothermal systems

Top 5 benefits of geothermal systems

This month's "Ask the Expert" column is about what to consider when installing geothermal. Since this topic is well covered by Ted Clifton's column, I thought I would add to the discussion by talking about the benefits of geothermal.

Wildflowers make for a stunning native landscape

Wildflowers make for a stunning native landscape

When you look at a huge, sprawling lawn, what comes to mind? Kids playing, taking naps, a serene afternoon walk? When environmentalists look at one, they usually think of all the energy and water that goes into maintaining a lawn...

Three reasons to go green

Three reasons to go green

When I am asked why someone would want to green their home or business, the answers always fall into one or more of these three reasons: To save money by reducing utility bills. To ensure a material is healthier for...

Ask the Expert: How do I add solar to an existing home?

Ask the Expert: How do I add solar to an existing home?

ProudGreenHome: How do you add solar to an existing home? Melissa Rappaport Schifman: We installed a 3.6 kilowatt solar panel system on our roof in October 2010, and I wrote about the entire process on my blog (it was not...

An unexpected benefit of a green roof

An unexpected benefit of a green roof

My office sits on top of half of our garage, which has a flat roof, so I look out on the roof of the other half of the garage. I had always been intrigued by green roofs, so that seemed...

Tips on energy savings this summer

Tips on energy savings this summer

We have solar panels on our roof, so a lot of people ask me about them as they consider how to decrease their electric bill. As much as I love solar panels, most people should not install solar panels until they have done a lot more energy conservation in their home first.

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