Make Every Day Earth Day

Apr 12, 2024 | News

The first Earth Day occurred April 22, 1970. Since then, Earth Day has evolved to be the largest civic event on the planet, mobilizing over 1 billion people annually. Learn more about Earth Day and how to get involved with here.

Healthy Living System™: A 10-Step Holistic Approach

Wellness Within Your Walls® celebrates Earth Day every day through education, certification and the Healthy Living System™. Like-minded industry professionals strive for the health and wellness of people and planet. Creating a more sustainable, healthy living environment for all takes more than one day a year.

 Consumer Tip #1 | CLEAN AIR |

WWYW: Earth Day Every Day | Avoiding aerosol sprays, synthetic fragrances and harmful chemicals, including formaldehyde, benzene and other VOCs, keeps the indoor and outdoor air free from toxins. Introduce ventilation, purification and filtration strategies to further clean the air. This makes breathing easier.


 Industry Spotlight: Kohler Company

Pioneering members of the building industry spark innovation and move the needle forward towards a healthier future for people and the planet. Kohler is one of these pioneering members of the building industry. Kohler doesn’t just set goals, they exceed them. For years, Kohler has been a steward of good for our planet, Earth. Kohler’s Innovation for Good was created in 2011 as an in-house startup to commercialize business opportunities put forth by its employees with a social purpose. Since then, Kohler has brought together innovative associates to explore products and solutions for pressing global, social and environmental issues. Learn more here.

Safe Water for All, another Kohler social impact initiative, focuses on water saving innovations, strengthening watersheds, creating solutions for communities experiencing water scarcity and partnering with organizations to meet the needs of communities around the globe. Since 2014, Safe Water for All has impacted more than 2.2 million lives around the Earth. Learn more here.

Kohler is turning waste into something more. WasteLAB takes landfill-bound materials from the manufacturing process and converts them into functional products. Taking a note from nature, WasteLAB works to support a sustainable circular economy by reusing, rethinking and repurposing “waste” materials. WasteLAB creates products, such as decorative tiles for kitchens and baths, which diverted over 73,429 pounds of waste from landfills between 2019-2023. Learn more about WasteLAB and the offered products here.


 Consumer Tip #2 | CLEAN WATER |

WWYW: Earth Day Every Day | Test your water for pollutants and use a systems approach to filter out toxins, such as whole-home filtration, tap filtration, in-refrigerator water filter dispenser or a water filter pitcher. Avoid products containing known chemicals of concern, such as disinfectant byproducts and grout with silver. Dispose of RXs and other chemicals responsibly.


What’s in your water?

Wellness Within Your Walls advocates for healthier drinking water globally. WWYW 4-Course Series addresses filtration and purification through education. The EPA announced this week the first-ever national drinking water standard. This regulation requires municipal water sources to reduce exposure to harmful per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also known as “forever chemicals.” GET CERTIFIED. 

WWYW Launches HLS Approved™

The HLS Approved™ seal acknowledges healthier living environments created using the Healthy Living System™ (HLS). A 10-step holistic approach, the HLS links all home systems through the application of healthier home strategies, related to mechanical, electrical, plumbing, smart-technology and security systems. Taking a systems approach results in high-performance, more resilient, healthier homes. Highlighting innovative products, including ventilation, filtration and (de)humidification, speaks to new home buyers. WWYW was the first within the building industry to stand with the consumer on its mission to reframe the conversation that “health matters.” HLS provides pathways to bring healthier living environments to the forefront and provides the builder with a way to make a difference using healthier outcomes to stand out among the competition, while benefiting from a healthier bottom line.

HLS Approved™ residential buildings, including new or remodeled homes for sale or rent, design centers and amenity buildings, result in healthier homes and happier families. Learn more contact


Consumer Tip #3 | NATURAL LIGHT |

WWYW: Earth Day Every Day | The power of the sun is important to human health. Circadian rhythms regulate cycles of alertness and sleepiness by responding to light changes in our environment. Understand your home’s orientation to natural light in order to take advantage of the sun’s rotation. In addition, install alternative solar energy sources to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.



WWYW Spotting

Throughout the year WWYW Spotters search for products and companies that align with WWYW’s three categories: natural, sustainable & innovative, and responsible. Click here to learn which products were spotted at Design & Construction Week, IBS and KBIS exhibit floors.

New spotter alert! Sarah Caldwell (Living Stone Design + Build) is the latest to join WWYW’s group of design/build professionals who find and share healthier design/build industry products.

Be on the lookout for WWYW Spotting tents at High Point Market this spring, April 13-17th. Discover what is new and innovative in the home furnishings industry. 

Consumer Tip #4 | CHEMICAL CONTROL |

WWYW: Earth Day Every Day | Use natural cleaning products. Select building products with low- or no-VOCs. Handle and dispose of unavoidable chemicals responsibly. Apply off-gassing strategies when toxins are present.


Now Available: 2024 WWYW Healthy Home Check Up™ Report

WWYW surveyed consumers in North America and compiled data on the health status of their homes through the WWYW Healthy Home Check Up™ in 2023. WWYW 2024 Healthy Home Check Up™ Report reveals consumer responses about the health and wellness of their homes.

Download your complimentary copy here.

 Consumer Tip #5 | PHYSICAL WELLNESS |

WWYW: Earth Day Every Day | Embrace nature in your exercise regimen: walk or bike for at least 20 minutes along nature trails or swim in safe rivers, lakes and oceans. Exercise to build up and maintain your muscles to support the human body.


Congratulations All Around

WWYW celebrates award-winning builders, architects, designers, manufacturers, publications, non-profits and WWYW-professionals!

Living Stone Design + Build (LSDB) received top honors at the International Builders Show and was named NAHB Custom Home Builder of the Year. This LSDB, WWYW-certified home, Sweet Fern Hideaway, won Best in American Living Award’s Gold Healthy Home Specialty award.

Congratulations to Carl Harris for becoming NAHB’s 2024 Chairman of the Board. Harris is the co-founder and president of Carl Harris Co., Inc and managing partner of Harris Homes. He has been an active member of NAHB leadership structure at the local, state and national levels. Learn more here.

WWYW congratulates Marla Esser Cloos of Green Home Coach, the incoming Chair to the NAHB Healthier Homes & Communities Subcommittee!

BALA Hall of Fame highlights the value and importance of good home design. It spotlights building industry professionals who have redefined design excellence for homes and communities nationally and internationally. This year’s class of 2023 includes: Bob Youngentob (EYA, LLC), Terry Eakin (EYA, LLC), Judy Brociek (SGC Horizon LLC) and Manny Gonzalez (Lifestyle Design Consulting, LLC). Click here to learn more.

Captain Planet Foundation held its annual gala, emceed by Monica Kaufman Pearson, in Atlanta on March 16th, 2024. They recognized environmental heroes, Josh Bernstien and Oluwaseyi Moejoh. The benefit raised over $800,000 to support the Foundation’s global educational programming and grant-making efforts. Learn more about the Gala here.

Consumer Tip #6 | MENTAL WELLNESS |

WWYW: Earth Day Every Day | Creating a positive, safe and healthy home environment promotes a sense of wellbeing. Spring affords everyone the opportunity to enjoy their backyard oasis and local botanical gardens. Cultivating a sense of community by forming a neighborhood walking club will reduce stress and have a positive impact on overall wellbeing.


Meet WWYW’s Newest Ambassador

Christy Reyes-Howell (CRH Design + Build), a WWYW-certified professional, has joined WWYW’s team of health-conscious ambassadors. Christy has worked in the building and design industries since 2004 and advocates for workforce development and women in the trade.

Christy designed, built and certified the first WWYW home in Oklahoma. Working alongside fellow WWYW-certified pro and compliance coordinator, Marla Esser Cloos (left), and Elizabeth Davis, homeowner (center), Christy (right) achieved WWYW compliance February 2024. Congratulations!

Consumer Tip #7 | SPIRITUAL WELLNESS |

WWYW: Earth Day Every Day | Spring is the perfect time to ponder your core values and beliefs, fostering purpose, hope and resiliency. Find a peaceful location in nature to read, meditate or practice yoga. Time for unplugging is elemental for health and wellness.


The Next Generations

Ashton and Zara Hawkins, two U.K. siblings, fight plastic pollution. In 2020, they founded Hidden Plastic with the goal, through videos, to educate on the dangers of plastic. Through Hidden Plastic, the Hawkins siblings outline the problems plastic presents and work to provide solutions while making a difference. Check out their videos here.

World renowned-musician, Grammy-winning artist and climate activist Billie Eilish has made lowering the environmental footprint of her music a priority. Billie has been using her platform for years to raise awareness on climate issues, lobbying leaders at COP26 (the 26th Conference of the Parties), working to make her tours as “green” as possible and, of course, creating music that contains pertinent messages. In 2022, she launched “Overheated,” a climate action event that brings youth activists, musicians and designers together to discuss how to tackle the climate crisis. Learn more here

At just 22, Oluwaseyi Moejoh is an accomplished Environmentalist and National Geographic Young Explorer. Oluwaseyi works to educate young leaders on climate action and help them build the knowledge and skills needed to create innovative solutions to environmental issues.

In 2018, Oluwaseyi co-established U-recycle Initiative Africa, a youth-led, non-profit organization committed to advancing circular economy, environmental education and climate action across Africa. U-recycle’s efforts focus on mitigating plastic pollution and protecting oceans, communities, the planet and people from plastic pollution. Their strategies involve education, behavioral changes and creating value from waste. Learn more about U-recycle here.

Oluwaseyi has received accolades for contributions to environmental protection and youth development, including The Diana Award 2022, being named a National Geographic Young Explorer, 2022 Planeteer Alliance Ambassador by the Captain Planet Foundation, being selected as an RSPB Official Youth Delegate to COP26, UNDP Official Youth Delegate at the 2022 YouthConnekt Summit, Keynote Speaker at the 2022 Korea-Africa Youth Summit and recipient of the 2021 Global Teen Leader Award. Follow Oluwaseyi on Instagram to learn more about her efforts and involvement.


WWYW: Earth Day Every Day | Reduce, reuse, recycle and reinvent products and materials you already own. Compost your food waste to decrease levels of methane gas emitted from local landfills. Today, electric countertop, home-waste composting devices are easily available and affordable, recycling your food scraps into ready to use soil for your garden.


 Featured Article

In February, Jillian spoke with NKBA staff writer Nicholas Tamarin. During this discussion, Jillian dove into her background, purpose and what she expects in 2024. To read the full “5 Questions With…Jillian Pritchard Cooke” interview click here.

Consumer Tip #9 | FOOD SCIENCE |

WWYW: Earth Day Every Day | Start a garden and grow healthy fruits and vegetables. Plant pollinator-friendly herbs and flowing plants to nurture a healthy bee population. Bees are essential to the global food chain; according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N., a third of the world’s food production depends on bees.


Topic on the Rise | Electrification: Pros, Cons, Considerations and Pathways Forward 

Lately, we’ve seen an uptick in the discussion on electricity with some states moving to ban gas and other fossil fuel appliances and other equipment. During IBS Design Central Beer & Banter, Jillian Pritchard Cooke (WWYW), along with fellow speakers John Barrows (P3 Builder Group, Inc.) and John McKeon (Allergy Standards), participated in a lively discussion on electrification: pros, cons, considerations and pathways forward.

With robust audience participation, everyone had a seat at the table. This discussion proved that there are multiple approaches to a tough topic.

NKBA Designers Learn that Connectivity is Key

Above: Remodeled by J Jordan Homes, this circa 1900s house is located in Hinsdale, Illinois, just outside of Chicago. Learn more here.

NKBA has always been an education advocate for kitchen and bath designers. WWYW partnered with NKBA during KBIS to produce a 2-hour master-class session on taking a holistic approach to designing kitchens and baths. The healthy and innovative how-tos in this session were well-received. Members of the audience were engaged in learning about how designing kitchens and bathrooms is more than aesthetics.


WWYW: Earth Day Every Day | Take the WWYW courses to learn how to implement pathways by applying behavioral strategies that result in healthier outcomes. Learning how to avoid and mitigate toxic chemicals from your day-to-day routine is an easy first step to moving the needle forward.


Get Involved Every Day, Not Just Earth Day

Every day is Earth Day. Get involved with Earth Day and year-round events that benefit our planet by joining organizations and attending events.

WaterKeeper Alliance is a global movement of community-based advocates united for clean, healthy, and abundant water for all people and the planet. There are many ways to participate with Waterkeepers, whether it is donating time, money or even a boat! Learn more ways you can help here.

Chattahoochee Riverkeepers have been stewards of Georgia’s waterways since 1994. They’ve created programs to educate, preserve and clean up the Chattahoochee River. Join the Riverkeepers through their volunteer efforts, which can be found here.

Captain Planet Foundation has been committed to engaging and empowering young people to be problem solvers for the planet for 32 years. They’ve funded over 3,300 projects across 50 states and 90 countries across the planet, engaging more than 1.7 million children. Learn more about how you can get involved here.

Earth Day Initiative is holding their annual Earth Day Festival in New York City’s Union Square on April 14th from 12-6 pm. The festival will have exhibits by environmental non-profits and climate campaigns, interactive workshops, live performances, a special art installation, kids’ activities and sustainable food. See their website for the full list and to sign up for workshops. This is a free event, open to the public. Also, check out Earth Day Initiative’s Climate Action Guide to learn how you can save money by “going green.” 

The Glacier Project Update

This Wellness Within Your Walls demonstration home will embody WWYW’s mission and vision to connect people to affordable, accountable, achievable healthier homes. WWYW is looking for like-minded partners! Aligning with WWYW brings increased visibility, invaluable exposure and strengthened customer loyalty to your organization. WWYW is offering a range of partnership opportunities for companies that are ready to demonstrate their commitment to the health and wellness movement. Click here to learn more.

Notes from Nonnie, WWYW EVP and Director of The Glacier Project:

WWYW wants to tell the story about the best healthy, natural materials and state-of-the-art systems coming together to create a beautiful home, ideally suited for the Flathead Valley in Northwest Montana. Design considerations include: the potential for wildfires in the summer, abundant wildlife and -30° in the winter. The WWYW Healthy Living System™, a 10-step holistic approach, will address each of these design considerations through practical, affordable solutions. The Glacier Project is scheduled to break ground summer 2024.

WWYW Spotlight: S. Robert August

More Than a Legend, More Than a Mentor

Known throughout the building industry, S. Robert August, President of North Star Synergies, is not only National Association of Home Builders most successful member recruiter but also one of the most distinguished, award-winning marketing, management, and sales strategist in the world. He has been honored for his milestone achievements with NAHB. Read more here.

Robert’s contributions to the industry go far beyond recruitment. He was named Economic Developer of the Year (1979) and Marketer of the Year (1981) by the Metro North Chamber of Commerce in Denver. In 1986, he created and developed the first centralized Parade of Homes, which is now a popular event held across the United States. Robert, a WWYW-certified professional, was awarded NAHB’s Legend of Residential Marketing in 2017 for his creative and innovative career in the real estate industry, as well as the Exemplary Service Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2020. Additional accolades include the HBA of Metro Denver’s Member of the Year (2022), now called the Onwards and Upwards Member of the Year Award in his honor. He continues to empower others to serve in the home building industry. Robert enjoys serving on many for-profit and non-profit boards of directors and advisory boards.

Outside of the building industry, Robert spends his free time keeping fit and satisfying his ferocious appetite for reading and enjoys writing. He is an avid collegiate and professional sports enthusiast and loves watching movies from the 1930s and early 1940s. He owns an extensive bow tie collection, his favorite being dark blue and red regimental stripes – it makes a strong, confident statement. Being a morning person, Robert starts his day with enthusiasm and encouragement to create a better universe in cooperation with everyone. Robert has supported and mentored many people who attribute their success to being one of Robert’s many mentees.

One of Robert’s endearing quotes is “Nothing happens in business without people getting along.” – S. Robert August



Every day is Earth Day – our planet and our health depend on everyday actions. Avoid single-use plastic, compost food waste and incorporate other Earth-friendly routines to help make your home and the planet a healthier place.