Tags: Green Building, How to find the right Green Contractor, What you should know in Green Construction, Where to start your eco-friendly building project.
Where do you start? You want to save the environment, you want to live like you actually care about the forests, the rivers, oceans, the air, and all living beings….
My show on October 18th was a lively and informative discussion on where to start first with any green project, and what NOT to do in any home related project.
1.) Do your own homework. The one reference book you cannot live without in any Green/Eco-friendly project is “The Green Spec Directory” from www.buildinggreen.com. Check it out, and learn as much as you can as a consumer. The more you know, the more you will be empowered to be an active voice for your environment.
2.) Build smaller, more thoughtful spaces. You can have a beautiful, spacious feeling home that does not have to have a huge, monolithic footprint… and you can save the environment by choosing [insisting on] NO wood for the framing– which rapidly deforests our last remaining natural habitats– AND to insist on a plan that includes sustainable practices in water management, natural [indigenous] landscape plantings, LED lighting and HVAC systems and appliances that are efficient, ecologically healthier. Insist on Solar for your hot water and even as your primary source to power your entire home and energy needs. Why not? The technology is here. The tax incentives are FINALLY here, and now there is no excuse. Geothermal is a good choice, and was the only choice I had a few years ago for my home, but it is expensive to install. The up side is the efficient system and the radiant floor heat is divine.
3.) The challenge: To find QUALIFIED, experienced, LEED Certified professionals to make your dreams of a Green home come true. This is a big challenge that cannot be taken lightly. The top, progressive, forward thinking Contractors now have LEED certified professionals on staff, and will have previous projects to show you. Also, look for a LEED Certified Architect to start with. But don’t leave all the decisions up to anyone but yourself…. learning about green materials and practices is totally fun, and you can start to be an important partner in this project that YOU are the CEO over. Never hand over full control to anyone other than yourself.
4.) Visit other green home projects and families that have actually Green built. Talk to other people. Get the lay of the land on what to do, and what not to do… I could personally spend days on end talking on my radio show about the tricks that I endured from every scoundrel who told me that they wanted “to learn green building” but had no intention of honoring my ecologically sustainable wishes once they were on board. Be vigilant.
The oil and gas industry has managed to destroy our natural environment with no one to stop them for longer than most of us have been alive.
It is time to let our voices be heard in Washington that we are not going to tolerate big tax breaks for this heinous industry. The “back room deals” with our elected officials who have allowed themselves to be corrupted, and the exemptions from the “Clean Air and Clean Water” Acts for the oil and gas industry is totally wretched.
What is the point in having such skeleton laws that do little to protect our water and our air? ALL life is dependent upon these two things…. and the worst polluters on this planet are EXEMPT from them!
Sabine Schoenberg suggested that people who have not yet converted to Solar or Geothermal should start to use “Biofuels” that are now available for the oil/gas furnaces and boilers.
Sabine also warned about the much touted “CFL” light bulbs. She warned that NO ONE should be buying these because they contain MERCURY and are damaging to the environment. The Department of Environmental Protection needs to re-evaluate this lightbulb, and it should not even be manufactured any longer.
Buy only recycled paper products. There is no excuse here. There are “luxury” feeling paper products for your bath and your kitchen. No one should think it’s okay to deforest our last remaining virgin forests for their own convenience. How ignorant.
Your office paper, school paper…. all paper should be labeled “100% recycled” when you make a purchase.
You can now also easily get bio-degradable trash bags. Whole Foods sells them and so does Home Depot! The other retail grocers need to catch up on this concept. The plastic bags are ruining our planet. They are made from petroleum products and never degrade.
As always, thanks for reading my blog for Conscious Lifestyles.
It’s time. Take action.