December 30, 2015
There are many ways to think about sustainable living. Some define it as the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising future generations. To get a sense of what this means on a practical level, it helps to look at examples of those who embrace the concept in their daily lives.
Take, for example, Grow Community, a small but growing neighborhood on Bainbridge Island, Washington, funded in part by a group of clients from The Private Client Reserve.
Their airtight, solar-powered homes produce “net-zero energy,” meaning the amount of energy used is roughly equal to the amount generated. Neighbors have the opportunity to connect through the use of bike- and car-share programs, although most necessities are within walking distance. Community gardens provide locally grown sustenance.
Five Steps to a Sustainable Lifestyle
In a modern society, sustainable living can certainly be a challenge. However, a little education and effort can go a long way. A small but beneficial change may simply require the use of fewer, or better, resources. Grow Community demonstrates five basic sustainable practices that everyone can adopt:
1. Sustainable materials: This is one area where homeowners have an abundance of choices, thanks to the green products movement. Many consumers already do their part by using green cleaning products and low-flow water fixtures. The right selection of building materials can also improve indoor air quality. Here’s what to look for:
- No added urea formaldehyde (NAUF) — Composite wood products made without the use of formaldehyde
- No or low volatile organic compounds (VOCs) — Paint options that don’t emit toxic compounds
- Greenguard certification for carpets — Products that meet strict chemical emissions limits