The extent that you participate in the growing green movement is a personal preference. There are so many different ways to contribute to saving the planet. The savvier you can be about products/services you use, the better. Today is the day you can start by changing 5 things in your life, then adding more next week until you find yourself as green as you can be!Weigh the issues and understand your role in the big picture
1. Avoid ozone-depleting chemicals in mechanical equipment and insulation.
- CFCs have largely been phased out, but their primary replacements—HCFCs-- also damage the ozone layer and should be avoided where possible.
- Reclaim CFCs when servicing or disposing of equipment and, if possible, take CFC based foam insulation to a recycler who can capture CFCs.
2. Use durable products and materials.
- Because manufacturing is very energy-intensive, a product that lasts longer or requires less maintenance usually saves energy.
- Durable products also contribute less to our solid waste problems.
3. Choose low-maintenance building materials.
- Where possible, select building materials that will require little maintenance (painting, re-treatment, waterproofing, etc.), or whose maintenance will have minimal environmental impact.
4. Choose building materials with low embodied energy.
- One estimate of the relative energy intensity of various materials (by weight) is as follows: Lumber = 1, Brick = 2, Cement = 2, Glass = 3, Fiberglass = 7, Steel = 8, Plastic = 30, Aluminum = 80 -- source: Building and Environment vol. 17 no. 1