LEED – Leading the Charge in Sustainability

The Environmental Movement has been slowly evolving over the last few decades; a response to the warning of climatologists and the broader scientific community. Early on, there were those who jumped enthusiastically on the “Green” bandwagon, leaving the comforts and conveniences of the modern world for an “off-grid” existence. These pioneers have been tireless in their pursuit of a healthy planet, without which, we would not be where we are today. While the visionaries spent the last half of the 20th century developing possible solutions to an impending crisis, most of western society buried its head in the sand.

In 2000, USGBC launched LEED: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.  www.usgbc.org

At that time, there was a big concern around “Green Washing” and the environmental movers watched with suspicion. However, through persistence and helpful input from every aspect of the industry; USGBC and LEED have been pivotal in bringing awareness to the issue of sustainability for the public at large, offering viable first steps toward a real solution. LEED has become the standard for which “Green Buildings” are measured and offers a path for individuals and corporations who want to contribute to a solution rather than to remain part of the problem.

Here are a few facts!

Conventional buildings consume;

  1.  39% of the total energy use
  2.  72% of electricity used in theUS
  3.  40% of raw materials
  4. 14% of all potable water;

for more on the global water situation see National Geographic April 2010 http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2010/04/table-of-contents/

Conventional buildings account for:

  1. 38% of carbon emissions
  2. 30% of waste output

Facts can be daunting!  But the future depends on the present; it is imperative that we approach obstacles straight on and work effortlessly toward solutions.

It can feel overwhelming!  Just remember, the way to climb a mountain is one step at a time.

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