Sustainability Minus Marketing
Today is Earth Day. If you didn’t remember this morning, chances are that the news reminded you. I was watching the Today Show this morning on NBC. Laura Bush, our first lady, was a guest news anchor. One of the segments showed her and President Bush’s Texas ranch. Did you know it was built with green standards in mind? I didn’t. The ranch home features geothermal heating and cooling, and a sophisticated system of catching rainwater and storing it in a cistern for irrigating the landscape. They also have plans to install a wind turbine to harness power for the home.
The average Americans focus on the environment has come a long way since the first earth day in 1969. Regardless of your political tendencies, you probably do things today for conservation and recycling that you didn’t do 10 or 15 years ago. We are in the midst of a change that is inevitable.
You may have noticed like me that “green” is getting to be big business. This is good and bad. The good news is that awareness and interest has created a marketing niche. The bad news is when things that aren’t terribly sustainable or green are marketed as such, we aren’t really helping the environment after all, are we?
Even though I regularly research materials and concepts in Portland Oregon, interior design that are functional, sustainable and esthetically pleasing, I am constantly learning new techniques, uncovering improved materials, and working with new build and design experts.
Last night, I met up with a group of like-minded individuals who are part of GreenPDX. We are discussing a wonderful book entitled, Natural Remodeling for the Not-So-Green-House – by Carol Venolia & Kelly Lerner. It’s a great book with no-nonsense advice to remodel and build greener. It’s also written by an Oregonian.
Each of the attendees reviewed a chapter. I marveled at the knowledge in the room from several occupations including a Portland real estate agent, Amber Turner, who has a passion for helping Portlanders find sustainable housing, a savvy NE Portland architect, Kendra Lwebuga, specializing in remodeling, and a Portland general contractor, Blair Edmiston who restores historical housing. Their knowledge and dedication to living greener, sustainable lives in Portland is inspirational.
If you are sincere about wanting to have a greener remodeling or design project, I would recommend hiring a local contractor/coach to help you achieve a truly sustainable home. The task is daunting and confusing to go alone. Otherwise, you may get caught up in the green marketing hype, spend needless dollars, and (worst of all) not be achieving your sustainability goals. If you contact me, I can introduce you to lots of wonderful people like these!
Please consider yourself invited to the next Green PDX meeting.