Green design has been making headlines for over 15 years, and over time will become a
requirement by local governments. Green
(Sustainable or Eco-Friendly) Design pertains to
any design feature, product or act that is used intentionally to "save or protect" the Earth and the environment. This can range from: using less energy/fuel/natural resources, to using materials that are "re-usable" and will not end up in a land fill.
Many ask me: "where do I begin?" and my reply is educate yourself. It is easy and really fun to learn the little things you can do on a daily basis to be more "eco-friendly." The Internet is a great resource to start with to learn about what Green design is.
Almost every manufacturer of home building products has introduced "green" products and will gladly educate you on what they are doing to "save the earth." Manufacturers, who produce 'cradle to grave' products that contribute zero to landfills, are the most desired by environmentalist as are those are the ones that emit zero VOC's (volatile organic compounds) into the atmosphere. Cradle to grave products can be broken apart after their first life span and rebuilt for future use.
Low or zero VOC products include paint; adhesives and many others are safe before, during and after installation by not adding any dangerous chemicals to the air. If you are building a new house and want to implement green design features, you may not only have to educate yourself, but your builder as well.
Green living does require retraining for the traditional homeowner, because we have developed "unhealthy earth habits" over the years. Having a compost program (container or garden) rather than dumping kitchen waste into the garbage is one. Using large windows that open for cross ventilation rather than depending on air conditioning is another. Collecting rain water in barrels for watering your plants and washing your car is another. There are hundreds of simple, green and eco friendly actions you can take advantage of. You do not have to go 100% green right away, but you can start to think about what you can do, step by step to create a more eco-friendly home and lifestyle.
Regardless of your approach to becoming more "Earth Friendly" every little thing you do will make a difference for the future. Plus, being more eco friendly is a very rewarding act. By doing so, you are taking responsibility for the Earth's future. And you will also be creating a more healthy living environment for you and your family.
Take responsibility and get educated on what green/eco/sustainable design is and implement it in your mountain home!
Labels: Eco design, Green design, healthy living, sustainable design