Saturday, November 7, 2009

It's Time to Stop Talking about Green

Are you tired of hearing people talk about Green this and Sustainable that? Have you heard enough about Petrol companies' commitment to the environment? I have.

Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't believe in protecting the Earth for future generations. Or that I think we should give up on designing responsible products and building smart homes. But the truth is if we're still talking about it we're not there yet.

A recent article in ecohome magazine tells the story of a public-private partnership that has committed $4 billion for the construction of affordable new green homes and renovations. Why? Because through an extensive study of affordable housing developments, they've realized that affordable green homes actually have a Return on Investment (ROI); they pay for themselves.

Yet just two weeks ago I reviewed a Request For Qualifications (RFQ) from a local Community Development Corporation (CDC) that didn't include any sort of efficiency requirements in homes designed and built for the people who could benefit most from low utility bills and a healthy place to live.

Make no mistake about it, there are plenty of individuals and organizations out there that are doing the things that make sense. They are conserving and striving to change the way they do things; to operate with a focus on the triple bottom line not just the bottom line. But we are still in an era where Green is largely about marketing and a derisive political talking point.

Only when we stop hearing about it on the Sunday morning talk show circuit and marketers move on to some other way of giving us the warm and fuzzies will we know that we've made any progress.

If you ask me, it's time quit talking about it and move on.

1 comment:

julie l rhodes said...

as someone who has worked in the environmental field for 20 years and worked on deconstruction, building material reuse and green building for the past 12 years, I don't know whether to feel frustrated with how long it's taking for sustainable development to be SOP, or excited to see people are finally taking about it, or enraged by all the green-washing. i get what you are saying, but we definitely aren't there yet -- not in Indy for sure!