GREEN TIP #10- Become an informed consumer
The web is always the ultimate resource, and the information on greening our world is amazingly plentiful and growing every day. Beware of green “wannabes” with unsubstantiated claims as all products are not created equal. Some valuable resources include: energystar.gov; goodtobegreen.com; green2green.org; nationalgeographic.com; buildingreen.com; fsc.org; epa.gov; usgbc.org.
Living green encompasses almost every activity, from running errands to cooking to taking a shower. Science as well as industry is keenly focused on developing new and smarter technologies and materials to replace wasteful and environmentally unsound practices. Being green is definitely in vogue and has finally come of age, and that’s a good thing.
“Biomimicry” is an emerging and exciting new science which studies the best kept secrets of the natural world and imitates and integrates nature’s efficient designs into engineering and product development. An early notable example is the Eastgate Shopping Center in Harare, Zimbabwe. Built in 1996, the center was “constructed using principles discovered in termite mounds in the desert. The termites maintain an almost perfectly uniform temperature for their food inside, even though outside temperatures range from near freezing at night to over 100 degrees (Fahrenheit) in the day. The even temperature is accomplished by continuously opening and closing a series of vents throughout the day. The Eastgate Center uses 10% of the energy of a traditional building to keep cool.” As a early success story of biomimicry, this project certainly points to the near limitless potential and application of this new science.
As we grow in awareness and new technologies and resources expand, we can all do our own part to protect and positively impact the planet. Public education will need to be a big component of the process, and there is much work ahead. But our future now indeed looks green and bright!