Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Welcome to Choosing Green!

Welcome to "Choosing Green"; a blog about the daunting world of Green building and construction.

I've been in construction and remodeling for as long as I can remember. I've also grown up with a reverence for nature and environmentalism.

Recently, the building industry has undergone a dramatic transformation. Driven by a few visionaries, adopted by architects, and fueled by consumer demand and public policy, the construction industry has finally grown a conscience.

What this has done is presented the average homeowner with a daily deluge of new products and (buyer beware!) product claims that aim to capitalize on our interests in remodeling our homes in a way that won't harm us or our environment. This has left most of us wishing to "go green" with the question, "Where do I begin?".

That's why I've started this blog. The mission of "Choosing Green" is to help people take Green building one step at time.

Green Doesn't have to be Expensive.
You don't have to completely strip your home and rebuild with "green" materials (although the industry would love it if you did). In fact, this would only be contradictory to Green principles; preserve your resources, remodel only what is necessary to complete your project. Unless you're building a new home, you've already harvested the materials to create your space. Remember, in green, less is more.

Green Doesn't have to be Technical.
You don't need to have a master's degree in bioengineering to make green choices when remodeling your home. Nor do you have to employ the latest innovations in manufacturing to benefit from Green practices. In fact, much of Green theory is common sense; ancient wisdom that has long been available and only been overlooked since we opted to focus our innovation on capitalizing on the "low-hanging fruit" of fossil fuels.

However, you do need to know what's available. And you need to know what's an outright scam. You also need to know about the pro's and con's. This blog is here to help.

Green Building is about Choices.
Every day there are more Green options available to us. No one solution is ideal for all situations. Green building is most effective when the individual circumstance is taken into consideration. Each of has much to consider when making decisions about remodeling; style, function, budget, health, environment, maintenance, etc... Green building is about knowing what alternatives are available to you and what works for your situation. It's about asking questions and doing what you can within your means.

Green is incremental.
Remember when curbside recycling began? At first, all you could recycle were glass and soda cans. Now, millions of tons of reusable materials are diverted from landfills every day from the daily efforts of people like you and me. Building Green can work the same way. Small decisions can have a big impact if each of us pitches in. We didn't pollute the planet overnight, nor can we do the same to save it. In the aggregate, our choices as consumers will change the planet and preserve it for our children.

Future installments of this blog will explore choices for homeowners and anyone remodeling a home. I'll weigh the pros and cons of solutions, dispel myths and praise options that we can all take advantage of. Most of all, I hope to inspire you to think Green!

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