Being Green – The Long View

Hi Folks!

Happy Friday!!  The basis for this week’s ‘Being Green‘ post comes in part from a couple of articles I read recently on the  ED+C magazine website.  The first, titled, ‘An Ethical Equation’ was quite surprising to me and begins with the following:

“According to a recent study by the University of Wisconsin, a developer could have saved more than $300,000 and spared the atmosphere more than 850 tons of CO2 (1,885,500 pounds) had he used an organic solvent-borne air barrier rather than a water-based product.”

The article is quite comprehensive and worth reading, but at its heart the author Ulf Wolf suggests that when considering a ‘green’ product or service that one considers everything related to the material or procedure’s ‘carbon footprint’.  Sometimes this may seem like a simple matter, but as demonstrated in the article, such answers are not always simple.

In a conversation I had with a friend recently she mentioned that while incandescent bulbs generate more heat than light, this may be a good thing in cold climates.  Such regions tend to have much longer daylight hours in the summer and therefore more natural light, while shorter daylight hours in winter create more need for artificial lighting but also for heating the space.  Therefore, according to her argument, one might spend less on electricity for lighting by using CFL or LED lighting, but this would be more than offset by an increase in other heating costs.  I don’t know what information she had to support this argument, but it’s something I hadn’t considered until she mentioned it.

The second article I read from ED+C’s site, titled “Paving the Way“  related to permeable paving materials and the fact that while permeable paving is becoming more and more popular as inviduals and businesses do their best to become more ‘green’, not all such ideas are new.  The Romans for example used a very durable paving stone called porphyry, and their roads are still in place 2000 years later.  Evidence of stone roads from Mexico and South America demonstrate similar durability.

Among Native Peoples there’s a term known as the ‘Seventh Generation’.  The idea is that we must plan now for the people living seven generations from now.  That’s a bit different than simply trying to improve profits over the next business quarter or politicians thinking ahead to the next election four years hence.  In living green, whether it’s related to sustainable agriculture, buying locally, ‘green-sourcing’ materials or developing new sustainable procedures for a business, there is definitely more effort and more dedication required by everyone.  As someone who’s been learning about green building and sustainabilityfor some years now, I’m the first to admit that I sometimes find the conflicting standards and certifications baffling, and that taking the long view is not always easy.  Still, I maintain that it’s worth it – for all of us – and wanted to take a moment to say thanks to you, dear reader, for all that you’re doing to make this world a little better.  By the way, if you haven’t read it, I’d suggest looking up ‘The Man Who Planted Trees‘ by Jean Giono.

Okay, the links for this week include:

Okay, that’s it. Have a great week!


P.S.  This seems like a good idea to me, and is another example of taking the long view: How Chocolate Can Save the Planet

2 Replies to “Being Green – The Long View”

  1. pwr

    I've heard the same thing myself. I think I heard it in the movie "cool It!", which would mean that it is in the book the movie was based on, The Skeptical Environmentalist:, by Bjorn Lomborg


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