Friday, September 25, 2009

The Trend Continues

This week is all about building green.

What is building green? Well, to me it is building in an environmentally friendly, environmentally conscious way, with little waste, the three R's (reduce, reuse, recycle), and making sure that what goes into the house, materials, paint, appliances, etc, is also sustainable, and earth conscious. For me, building green would also mean building off the grid (yay!), but definitely selling my unused power to the grid. Using non-conventional building materials, like bamboo, recycled wood, no- or low-VOC paints, radiant heating, and eco-friendly appliances, are all included in my idea of building, and living, green. I might also consider a green roof. When this is going to happen, I have no idea, but the idea is definitely percolating in my mind. I still have a lot to learn, but by the time I'm ready I'm confident that I will be prepared.

Some of the aspects of going green are really not that much of a shift for me, like life without dryers. I grew up with a washing machine, but not a dryer, and although I do love the way a warm, fresh out of the dryer towel feels against warm, wet skin, it is something I only experienced later in life, and that I don't really miss. In most of the countries I visit (and live), dryers are quite a rarity, and I am quite accustomed to life without them. Other aspects of going green are unaccustomed treasures, like radiant heat. I first discovered radiant heating in China, where many of my friends and coworkers had these wonderful warm floors. In Shanghai, where I spent most of the winter wearing a coat indoors, stepping into those homes was truly a treat, for the feet as well as the rest of the bdy. After one winter in Shanghai, I knew that if I lived in a cold place, I would want heated floors (and walls). It is a wonderful plus that something as luxurious, to me, as radiant heat is also green.

As of right now, the only major challenge to building green, is well, getting the green. Building green, although it saves money in the long run, is considerably more expensive up front. For now.

And for those of you that think building green means living in the woods (if that's your thing, go for it), or building ugly, here are some pictures of green homes to give you a few different perspectives. Enjoy!



From cnet uk:

From Alys Beach (you can buy one of these if you're interested):

That is just a small sample. If you see one you like, send me the link and I'll add a picture.

No comments: