As an interior designer, the green and sustainable movement has always perplexed me. I thought architects, contractors, designers, and others were already supposed to be thinking about making buildings “green”?
I was taught to space plan floor layouts carefully….to place plumbing in different rooms back-to-back or as close together as possible to use less materials, to take advantage of natural light, to use the best materials for the purpose intended, and many other eco-friendly practices.
Growing up, I watched my dad many times fashion a piece of metal into a tool or other machine part he needed. He only went to the store when he had to….and most often that was a salvage yard.
My Pappaw (Southern term for granddad) never threw away a piece of wood. Pappaw always made leftover scraps of wood into something else. That’s what my dad told me. I don’t remember the details since I was only 10-years old when he died.
If the handle broke on his hammer, he didn’t trash the head and go to the store to get a new one. He just searched through his woodbin for the right piece of lumber and made a new handle. That I know. Dad gave me one of those hammers.
Our ancestors didn’t need a “green” movement or laws on sustainability and energy efficiency. That was the way they lived. They used every item to its very end.
I am a third generation of green teaching…..actually probably many more generations back than I know about and they believed in the saying:
Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do, or do without.
What happened the last 40 years? Simple. Complacency, due to “option glut”.
We have become a throw away, I-want-it-now society. Tired of it? Toss it out and get a new one. We have forgotten to “wear it out”.
Oh and the “Use it up” part of the saying doesn’t mean resources are limited. The earth made for the benefit and use of man. There is enough and to spare, BUT we are expected to take care of it.
It’s about common sense. Not fanaticism. Not government regulations.
Just common sense.