Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Good intro article from Newsweek

Last week's edition of Newsweek had a good introductory article on Green Homebuilding. If you're thinking about it as an option for your home, or are just curious, this is a good article. It doesn't go into major depth or anything, but it's at least motivating, and definitely raises some questions, which I'll discuss momentarily. Here's a link to the article:

By the way, if anyone knows how I can legally post the entire article on my blog, please let me know. That way, you don't have to switch back and forth. While you read, I'll go get a glass of wine and some chocolate.

I'm back and feeling much better with my end-of-the-day treat. OK, so let's discuss some issues indirectly raised in this article. The first questions that come to mind are these: Why isn't this kind of building and remodeling standard? Why do we even have the choice of putting stuff in our homes that is full of toxins? Why aren't we all installing cabinets and countertops that are made with recycled materials? Why aren't we all buying water-saving showerheads? Why do we even have the option of toilettes that use a ton of water when there are toilettes available that barely use any water at all? In others words - why isn't this standard?

I asked my husband. His theory is that there isn't a clear and present "pain point." In other words, when we install our formeldahyde adhesive-covered countertops or paint our walls with fume-y paint, or step into our 9,000 gallon whirlpool tub, there is no obvious and immediate negative consequence (unless, I suppose, you drown in your unnecessarily large tub). That, and the message that this stuff is bad for you is still fairly quiet, and oft-disputed. Yes, I think my husband is onto something - human beings don't change unless there's a serious fire under their collective ass. There has to be a clear and present danger, and so far, we have yet to meet the critical mass of environmentally concerned asses to be making lasting, global changes in the way we live our lives. The demand for safe homes is increasing, and my hope is that by contributing to the call for change, I can inspire others to do the same, and we can become one giant ass calling for the elimination of unnecessary products that do way more harm than good.

Please, if you have any thoughts on the matter, post your comments, let's discuss amongst ourselves. Or just keep tuning in for more monologues on the topic, if that's more your thing.

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