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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, April 5, 2010

Eco-friendly indoor living

BY Mike Gordon
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Green Builder's Depot vice president and chief operating officer Michael Reeves says his customers are happy to find the green home products available in Hawaiçi through his store, which opened in December.

Photos by DEBORAH BOOKER | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Find out more about Green Builder’s Depot at


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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

This graffiti remover is among the eco-friendly products at the store, in Hono­lulu’s airport area.

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Green Builder’s Depot sells green home products such as American Pride paint, which carries a “green wise” seal.

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Michael Reeves, Green Builder’s Depot COO and vice president, promotes green home products such as a wood stain called Ecoprocote.

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Believing that a greener world begins inside your home, the owners of a new building supplies store in Honolulu have created an eco-friendly niche that they hope will leave your home smelling less toxic.

Green Builder's Depot on Pai'ea Street specializes in paint, sealers and floor coverings that are not made with chemicals that evaporate into your breathing space.

That evaporation, called offgassing, can put acetone, formaldehyde, methanol and thousands of other chemicals into the air, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Called "volatile organic compounds," they are chemically unstable and come from some paints, wood finishes, stains, varnishes, adhesives and more. It's the reason a freshly painted room smells funny.

Green Builder's Depot co-founder Michael Reeves boasts paint brands that are "doctor approved" and popular with pregnant women.

One line from Mythic is free of toxins, he said. "It doesn't put out any offgassing, and it performs well," he said. "It's a durable paint, and it's very safe to use."

A line of stains and sealers from Ecoprocote is made from soybeans.

There is even a safe cleaning product to clean away Hawai'i's stubborn red dirt, Reeves said. It's strong but safe.

"You can rinse it off and it won't hurt your plants or grass or flowers," he said. "It's made of lime extracts and EPA approved."

The small store, which opened in December, also sells wood flooring that comes from managed forests, and rubber flooring made from recycled tires. It also sells carpet made from biodegradeable wool shorn from sheep raised without herbicides or pesticides.

It took Reeves seven months to set up his store, and now he's on a quest to convince people to pay attention to their indoor environment.

"People are getting sick from using traditional products," Reeves said. "People want to be safe in their home."