Bothered By Your Green Conscience? Artist & Author Franke James Certainly Is, and You – yeah, YOU- Should Be, Too!May 4, 2010 at 3:17 PM | Posted in Animal Redemption & Environment, Best Practices in Business, Build Green Save The Planet, Earth Friendly Business Ethics, Eco Living and Lifestyle, Environment, Environmental Stewardship, Ocean Environmental Rescue, Organic Health, Save the Oceans!, Stop Genocide, Sustainable Business Economics, Uncategorized | 2 Comments
Tags: Green Conscience, Our Planet Needs Rescue, Save Our Natural Resources, True Peace On Earth Starts With Consumer Demand
I Samuel 17: 1-58
Then David took his staff in his hand, and chose five smooth stones from the wadi, and put them in his shepherd’s bag, in the pouch; his sling was in his hand, and he drew near to the Philistine…
When the Philistine drew nearer to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. David put his hand in his bag, took out a stone, and slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead; the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell face down on the ground.”
The taxpayer, the consumer, the concerned citizen, everyone breathing is like a “David” against the “Goliath” polluters who ignore their conscience in the the name of today’s profits.
My interview last week with Franke James, the whimsical Artist whose new book, “Bothered By My Green Conscience,” revealed how her personal journey started by wondering what kind of a world we are leaving our Grandchildren, Great Grandchildren…. will there be a world if we don’t act now?
Franke talked about how her steps to taking action to go green with her own driveway were met with governmental red-tape and politics that were the exact opposite of the “Going Green” image her town had promoted itself to be!
…. and I have personally had experiences similar to this myself in my own journey to Greening my world…. why are so many people who put themselves in positions of ‘power’ out of touch with reality?
By the way, the permeable underlayment for Franke’s all-green driveway is called “Permaturf.” Now I am inspired to use this for my driveway, too! www.PermaTURF.com
How many disasters need to happen before an awakening takes place with our Governmental ‘leaders’ around the world? How many eco-systems are literally murdered by oil spills, over development, illegal logging, “chemtrail” spraying in our skys, pollution belching from smoke stacks, etc.?
The list of environmental destruction in the name of a few people profiting from exploiting our planet is an extensive one…. and they are all the same groups of conglomerates that somehow lobby our elected leaders to KEEP polluting without conscience!
The time is now to demand environmental clean-up and practices that are sustainable.
Franke’s book wonders via her artistic illustrations what will come of all the trashing of our planet by a few bad, greedy, short-sighted industries… and by voter and consumer apathy.
Her book is fun to read and look at for all ages, and it WILL motivate even the most apathetic person to take the first steps to cleaning up their own environment and having some fun doing it, too.
Franke\'s Blog And Artwork For the Planet is a MUST SEE
This was a live interview on WGCH Radio, and now you can listen to it on Podcast on WGCH.com under “Conscious Lifestyles” on April 26th, 2010.
March 15, 2010 Show: Thinking of a Remodel for your home? Don’t do anything without first checking out ConstructionCoach.comMarch 29, 2010 at 2:23 PM | Posted in Be Careful With Contractors, Build Green Save The Planet, Conscious Lifestyles Radio Show Blog, Eco Living and Lifestyle, How To Remodel/Build Green and NOT Get Ripped Off! | Leave a comment
Tags: Architects, bad contractors, Construction, Contractors, Engineers, finding qualified home contractors, Green Building, home building, home improvement, home remodeling, protecting homeowner
“When someone shows you who they are…. believe them the first time.”
— Maya Angelou
My interview with Sabine Schoenberg, the founder of ConstructionCoach.com revealed just a few pitfalls that any homeowner could fall prey to…..
There are more “Lemons” in the building/contracting industry when it comes to home improvement than any other industry in America. No other industry has enjoyed so much power over the consumer, and causes more complaints to State Consumer Departments.
Our candid discussion talks openly about some of the horrifying trickery that my family and I were subjected to…. and how this is all too common in the home building/remodeling industry.
Preparation, and then more investigation is necessary prior to starting ANY project– whether ‘small’ or large scale– because the crocodiles are awaiting regardless of what kind of an economy there is, but especially when the economy is less about “spec building” and more about “homeowner related remodeling.”
– Require Surety Bonds from ALL Contractors you do business with. This ensures the Homeowner that the company will stand behind their work, and if they don’t properly repair/pay for any damages, then the Surety Bond will pay the Homeowner.
– All consumers need to be aware that the local Building Department Inspectors are NOT perfect and the WILL miss some critical mistakes in workmanship. The local Building Departments are not liable for their own errors and omissions, so the homeowner MUST hire a qualified Owner’s Representative to double-check workmanship prior to any payments to Contractors are made. The homeowner is sadly left with the myriad of expensive fixes if important protective steps are not taken.
– Trust no one. Sabine Schoenberg explained in my interview with her that one of the most common complaints from homeowners who were badly duped is that they all said the contractor seemed “SO NICE” in the beginning of the project! Don’t trust glossy brochures, references on a piece of paper, slick talking, or manipulative [and very convincing] words to make you let your guard down. Often times, contractors have dubious past records and even criminal records.
– Never give in or “downgrade” your standards or requests. This is a big one to be aware of when it comes to manipulation. White Collar professionals in the building industry, such as Architects and Engineers, are all too often guilty of simply being too lazy to give the Client what they want…. so they either ignore the Client’s requests entirely or go through great lengths to convince the Client that they really don’t want the high standards that they are asking for. Don’t subject yourself.
– Sabine talked very squarely about how the Homeowner keeps hoping for the best when things are faltering and not going as planned. She advised that to stop the project and to re-evaluate and even take the steps to terminate a contractor who is not up to your expectations IS exactly what you should be taking action upon…. and sooner better than later. Sabine also stated that this is why you should always start a project with a qualified Owner’s Representative to oversee this process so that you, as the homeowner, are not subjected to the many twisted mind games that any given Contractor will play with the unknowing Homeowner only to ‘bide more time’ on the project when it is clear that the project needs and deserves better talent.
– Collecting on Judgements if you win against a Contractor for everything from Small Claims to Major Stuff: The truth is that a piece of paper is gratifying yet very expensive and time consuming to get. The bad Contractors know this, and are counting on you not bothering to take them to court. However, should you be motivated enough to do so, remember that MOST Contractors have no assets. If they do have assets, then they still refuse to pay and make you spend more money to continue to chase after them in order to collect on the Judgement. Tired yet? They are counting on this. Every State has a Department of Consumer Protection and usually has a limited amount of monetary recovery that is available for Legal Judgements. However, it is a whole lot easier to protect yourself from the very beginning. Get a local, qualified, honorable Owner’s Representative FIRST before you start hiring anyone. Then hire a qualified CONSTRUCTION Attorney to protect you and to write ALL of the legal contracts that protect YOU.
– Never give big deposits. Mike Rosa of MMR Contracting warned my listeners of this in my January 4th, 2010 show. Sabine repeated this warning.
– Assume that if you live in a nice, well-known area that the price for goods and services are going to be inflated. Don’t get duped. Protect yourself, and take the time to respect your time and efforts enough to get the proper “team” assembled before starting any project.
– Finding a good team is tough. Many people, both White and Blue Collar, masquerade as professional and qualified when they are not. Not everyone is even consistently good….. so homework on your part is the most important and time consuming part of the project. It’s worth it!
Visit http://www.constructioncoach.com and get educated, prepared and find the right person for your job who is qualified, honorable, knowledgeable, and worthy of your home!
Tags: Green Design and Architecture
The show February 15th on WGCH Radio: After the live broadcast, available on Podcast on wgch.com
John Maddocks, AIA, is a fantastic, Green Architect who is both knowledgeable and ethical in his practice of Architecture that is kind to the earth.
1.) How to find a qualified Architect that understands and practices Green Architecture: visit http://www.usgbc.gov for LEED Certified Architects, along with visiting http://www.buildinggreen.com to educate yourself on materials and to become a savvy consumer.
2.) See a track record of Green practices over several years. Everyone wants to advertise themselves as “Green” but very few professionals are qualified to offer the consumer truthful, honorable advice on sustainability and eco-friendly building practices.
3.) Is attention to Permaculture a part of their design when considering a low-impact home that is in-sync with the topography, native plants, beneficial insects and animals? THIS IS A MUST-HAVE in Green Building/Designing/Living!
3.) See the work of the professional. Visit the homes they have done and talk with their past clients. This is part of your due diligence and investigation prior to hiring anyone, along with doing the research you need to in order to educate yourself.
Homes in Europe and other parts of the world have been built to last with local materials and structural methods that have been used for thousands of years.Going “back in time” to native, old culture methods of building standards IS Green!
4.) Visit http://www.greenhomeguide.com to research Green Architects in your area. You may get a list of Architects from doing a zip code, city, or state search. This is a good starting point, but don’t simply rely on any trade organization to be a mark of excellence for any professional you are looking to hire…. Your investigation is only beginning at this point, and never let your own personal standards be compromised for anyone.
5.) Does the Architect show any interest or knowledge in using Structural Insulated Panels, and/or Insulated Concrete Forms? Are recycled materials considered in the structure, such as recycled steel framing? What about how the residence sits on the property? Are such terms and design elements such as “Passive Solar” and minimally invasive construction on the site ever brought into the overall plan?
These are extremely important STARTING POINTS. Any Architect that does not practice with these basic elements is NOT a Green Architect!
Never allow anyone to design a home for you that is “stick framed.” This is NOT ecologically sensible nor sound practice, and it is a major contributor to the depletion of our natural forests.
Additionally, ‘stick framing’ is very wasteful in how it is constructed, and it is prone to mold, pest infestation, and is not fire proof.
I would personally RUN from any Architect who did not understand this primary idea behind Green building. Don’t allow yourself to become a victim of slick marketing, smooth talking, or unproven people who lack the professionalism to seek sustainable building methods on their own.
The word “Green” has become very cliche because of its overuse by unscrupulous conglomerates looking to cash-in financially from ‘looking green’ rather than truly being ecologically responsible…. and it is too bad since there are some talented and visionary professionals who have, for many decades now, been on the cutting edge of Green lifestyles and eco-conscious design.
So don’t get confused with the many mixed messages out there: someone with many years of experience and a sensitivity to the environment as a whole will start to become easier to decipher from the Charlatans– Notice whether a professional shows you design that is thoughtful in saving our Old Growth trees in national forests AND on your property, along with preserving wildlife habitat, and showing a concern for toxins in the environment [and having knowledge about such toxins that can wind up in your home]– theses are all signs that will point you in the right direction to an HONORABLE, GREEN Architect.
6.) Another Green Design Element everyone should include in their plans: Water Conservation and permeable driveways and walkways that help curb water run-off that causes flooding in other parts of town.
The home is where we laugh, celebrate, congregate, love, eat, pray, sleep, raise kids and animals, and find comfort from our daily lives….
This is your most important investment, and making a commitment to your own health [and to the health of the planet] is such a gift of life and truly one that will pay for itself.
Make sure you have fun, and if anyone– ANYONE– during a small or large project is stalling, giving you grief for your ecologically responsible choices, or even making you feel pressured or uncomfortable for any reason…. you stop that project immediately.
You remove the poison out of your life and out of your home, and stop. Breathe. Now make the personal choice to attract the RIGHT people who are truthful, honorable, knowledgeable, creative, Green minded, respectful of your vision and happy to be around….
Life is a journey and you deserve a really cool journey in your Green Building project.
“Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in deserving them.”
–Aristotle, Ancient Greek Philosopher, 384 B.C. – 322 B.C.
Tags: Build Green and Live Green
It’s easy when you have the tools to know WHAT to look for….
Continue Reading January 4th, 2010 Show: How To Build Green And Find An Honest Builder…