Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Lorraine Alexander Interiors

Inspired Sustainable Design

By Lorraine Alexander 

Green Committee Chair for RERA

Published in Redwood Empire Remodeling Association's September 2009 Newsletter

In the building trades, we often hear the word “sustainable” used freely, without restraint. Although loosely used, the term sustainability can be somewhat daunting if one truly understands the vast scope of this global concept. For humans to live sustainably, the earth’s resources must be used at a rate at which they can be replenished. In simple terms, we must meet our present needs, without compromising the needs of future generations. While simply stated, there is an ever-changing sea of information with many complex levels of sustainability to consider before “true sustainability” is achieved. As professionals, we are both humbled and inspired by the technology and knowledge available to us. In order to best serve the goal of a renewable future, we must stay focused on our own personal green practices and professional contribution.

For many years, consumers were wary of the term “sustainable” or “green”. For some, it simply meant an increased cost of home construction, or a new fad that would soon pass. But going green has morphed into a cultural transformation, and created a significant shift in consumer awareness.

Today’s consumer has a clear understanding of the value of sustainable living. Consumers recognize the health benefits, energy savings, and comfort that a sustainable home offers. Their consciousness is forever changed. As trade professionals, we can no longer look away and ignore sustainable building practices. Consumers will seek out designers, contractors, architects, and trade-people that are aware, and offer state-of-the-art solutions and technology.

As building-trade professionals, we are fortunate that we can participate in the creation of greener healthier homes. If we choose to embrace this unique opportunity, we can make a difference in the environment and the health and well being of our clients. Awareness is the beginning of change, and we must all do our part. Whether our steps are small or large, together we will make a difference. Renew, reuse, rethink, recycle...each step takes us closer to a renewable future. 

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