Can a 15,000 square foot home that houses two people be considered green? Today’s front page of the Marin Independent Journal features a picture of Michael Klein’s rammed-earth home designed by Sim Van der Ryn, which will soon be open to the public for the first time.
The story got me thinking once again about my dream home and what can really be considered green. As an article from Salmon Nation pointed out last year, the important thing to consider is overall resource usage, not whether a particular green technology was utilized or not.
I support Klein’s right to live in whatever size house he cares to and, if he’s going to build a mansion anyway, I’m glad that’s he’s chosen environmentally friendly materials and technology. However, if we are to label a structure as green, then I believe we should look primarily at the per capita ecological footprint of the structure, not just its performance relative to other buildings of the same size.
DriveNeutral the Presidio School of Management project that allows drivers to offset CO2 emissions made it to the pages of the Christian Science Monitor this week.
This is great news for our pet project of course but we also are gratified to see the idea of emissions offsets getting to such wide audience.
According to The Christian Science Monitor the European Union’s Energy Commissioner stated last Wednesday that, Europe needs to “look at nuclear power and at renewable energy,” to reduce dependence on imports.
With Russia cutting the flow of natural gas into Europe, nuclear is getting some new positive press. Some are even arguing that in order to meet CO2 reductions mandated by the Kyoto Protocol, nuclear is the only option.
Though renewables are also getting attention it is clear that, 20 years after Chernobyl, nuclear is once again being actively pursued in Europe.
There are (at least) two ways of approaching the subject of sustainable marketing. On the one hand we can look at marketing as a set of tools that have no inherent ethical, moral or sustainable implications.
From this view the tools take on the qualities of their object, but have no moral impact themselves. Thus two nearly identical marketing plans – one for hamburgers from cows pastured on a clear-cut rainforest, and another for local, organic milk – could have vastly different evaluations in relation to sustainability.
Another way to approach the subject would be to examine the impact of the marketing methods themselves and ask if some are inherently unsustainable and should be avoided. From this perspective the medium itself has an effect on the message, and an unsustainable marketing program could offset the impact of a sustainable product or message.