Welcome to my website on sustainable, green homes, where you will find free weekly tips on how to live more sustainably– based on personal research, experience, and bottom line cost/benefit analysis. I haven’t found another resource like this out there, so that’s why I’m here.
I started this blog in February 2010 to get our home LEED certified….which we did in May 2011! You’ll find each credit (there are 87) analyzed in posts, or an overall summary in my soon-to-be released e-Book. This blog continues as we try to live sustainably in our home and I share our experiences.
In my research, I have found many products and services I want to share. You will find these mixed within the blog postings as well as under the Resources section. You will not find any ads on this site, but you will find links to products that either I or a friend has personally tried and vetted.
Going green may be a lofty goal for some, but not even enter others’ minds. For those that don’t think they care, I offer two benefits:
- You will be making a smarter choice from an economic perspective – i.e., you will save money in the long run
- You will be making a healthier choice for you and your family – which ultimately both improves your quality of life AND saves you money
So – I’m going to go under the assumption that everyone would want to save money and be healthier. If that’s not you, quickly exit this website.
I named my business “Green Intention.” Why?
In today’s world, we are so overwhelmed with the number of choices we have–in everything from home furnishings to shoes to breakfast cereals. Each decision we make has so many factors involved: price, performance, design aesthetics, etc. With every decision, our mind tries to figure out first: Do I want this? Do I need this? Then: is this the best choice? Compared to what? And, How do I know? It’s not only exhausting, it can be paralyzing!
We are fortunate to have so many choices. So: we might as well be thoughtful about them. By that, I mean thinking about what effect our purchasing and consumption choices have on the next several generations–knowing that clean air, water and food supply is vital to all life. Green Intention is fundamentally an attitude of hope and optimism for our future, rooted in the belief that each one of our actions can and does make a difference.
But trying to be intentionally green can be hard, inconvenient, and sometimes cost more. Sometimes, though, it can be easy, cost less, make life simpler, or even be really cool design. That’s where this website can be helpful! I’ve spent the past five years (at least) figuring this stuff out.
There are two parts: BUILDING and LIVING.
The building section is based on my experience in getting our home LEED Gold Certified. What is LEED? LEED (not to be confused with Leeds, a city in England) is an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a national, voluntary rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council over a decade ago. LEED for Homes promotes the design and construction of high-performance green homes and encourages the adoption of sustainable practices by the homebuilding industry.
I had wanted our home to be LEED Certified from the beginning (see my article in the Southwest Journal to read why). The beginning was back in 2006, when we purchased a home that we intended to remodel, but ultimately had to tear down because of a major mold problem. Fast forward to 2009, when the home was complete but still not LEED Certified. What was the hold up? Me. I had wanted to do all of the LEED documentation myself in order to more fully understand the costs and benefits. (I do: I am now one of only five LEED Homes Accredited Professionals in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area!) So I set up a blog to go through each and every point. But nobody is ever really done with their house; this section includes additional articles on what I would call capital investments in our home — like solar panels, landscaping, etc.
Having a LEED Certified home is great, but it’s really the way you live in your home that can make a difference. So, this blog continues our family’s journey as we attempt to bring sustainability to every aspect of our lives — as we live in our home.
I have found that sustainability is a massive undertaking. To simplify, I have divided it into four simple, manageable ideas (that can also be tied to the seasons). And for the year 2012, I offer weekly tips–every Friday morning:
- Improve your Energy and Water Efficiency (for those cold and dark winters)
- Reduce your exposure to Toxins and Chemicals (for spring cleaning)
- Reduce your Trash and Waste (as a summer endeavor to follow Arbor Day)
- Go Local and Organic (for the fall harvest)
I hope you find it helpful. If you do, help me continue by (a) using the links, (b) telling others, and (c) giving me your own stories that I may share on this site.