Last week we attended the Re-Sources for Sustainable Communities Environmental Heroes Banquet. The event was both a fundraiser for Re-Sources and an opportunity to pay tribute to individuals in our community that work to protect ecosystems using the tools of education, advocacy, sustainable business and land conservation.
The event was a reminder of what an amazing, engaged community we have in Bellingham. It was also a reminder that we have a lot of work to do. Which brings me to the heart of this blog post: what are we, at Chuckanut Builders, doing to help protect the environment? Are we doing enough?
The green building community has so many opportunities to make a difference. These include increasing recycling, re-use of materials and waste reduction on job sites; increasing the building performance of structures through air sealing, insulating and heating systems to save energy; choosing sustainably harvested, environmentally responsible materials and focusing on local buying. Despite this list of opportunities that we can, and often do, make I left the banquet wondering if we could, and should, be doing more. This feeling stems in part from the fact that I can’t stop reading the National Climate Assessment. But the truth is, the green building industry is doing a lot. In the U.S. nearly 40% of energy is used on residential and commercial buildings. By working to decrease that number we are making a difference.
So while we’re not on the front lines of the environmental movement advocating and fighting for the environment and the lifestyle that so many of us hold dear we are making a difference. The truth is, not everyone can or should be on the front lines. But we can all make a difference. We can all continue the work of reducing our carbon footprint, improving our environmental practices and supporting the Environmental Heroes in our lives. Because, let’s be honest, someone has to remodel, build and weatherize the homes of the environmental heroes! It takes a community of individuals to support the environmental heroes and that is just one more way that we at Chuckaut Builders are making an impact.