You’ve probably heard through media lately that it is trendy to build green…build sustainably. But what is sustainable building? Why build “Green”?
Environmentally sustainable building is defined as meeting current needs without depleting or degrading our resources for future generations to come. While you don’t have to be a “tree hugger”, by implementing just one or two sustainable materials when building or remodeling, you CAN make a difference.
Yes, more than just saving our planet, repurposing can save on energy, reducing our carbon footprint and costs…meaning more green in your wallet over the long haul! Installing low-flow toilets or on-demand hot water heaters, for example, saves on water or the energy to heat the water. Green building insulation, surfacing materials, and solar panels can also lower temperature variations, thus saving on heating and cooling costs.
Minimizing what goes in our landfills lowers the emissions required to put it there. Doesn’t that just sound better…make you breathe a little easier, knowing that you are doing your part to improve our air quality? And did I mention that building green is generally healthier…fewer toxins such as carcinogenic chemicals, VOC’s (volatile organic compounds, and mold spores?
Repurposing also means we leave more mountains and forests intact, more natural park lands for our children and us to hike and enjoy. By reducing mining of our mountains for granite and other natural stone and limiting our de-forestation, we become better stewards of our planet, endowing its care to generations to come.
Sustainable building is building that’s intended to last a lifetime, or beyond. It’s building with Mother Earth’s resources that are naturally strong, or building in ways more impervious to natural decay under her elements. Rather than “out with the old, in with the new,” why not consider “renewing,” giving a facelift to the old, making it new again.
Building “Green” doesn’t have to mean that you give up style. There are as many ways to repurpose natural existing materials as there are styles. And in studies performed 2007-2011 by the Earth Advantage Institute, a non-profit based in Portland, Oregon, they showed that new homes built “Green” with third party Energy Star, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), or Earth Advantage certifications sold for 4-9% more than homes without these certifications. As a follow-up in 2017, Earth Advantage rolled out a real estate appraisal addendum, allowing appraisers to certifiably document the increased value of “Green” sustainable features.
One more feel good and easy to implement strategy is to SHOP LOCAL, reducing on transportation costs, and thus emissions. In doing so, you support local tax paying manufacturers and businesses who supply jobs to the local community. They are more invested with where you live, because they live there too! Being able to put a name and a face to who supplies you reconnects us on this Earth. And we all need plenty of connections to keep our lives green and growing.
You can join us at Recycled Granite in our mission to “create jobs, reduce waste…and make the world a better place!”…together…where “Going Green Never Looked So Good!”
To your Green health!
How do you feel about building green?
On a scale of 1-10 (1 being I'm not going to be around long enough for any of this to matter in my lifetime so who cares, and 10 being if you could you would live in a container home, fitted with 100% recycled materials)