If you ask most people about sustainable living, they'll respond saying "sustainable what?" Of course, this whole idea of "green living" is still very fresh, and organizations around the world are beginning to recognize it more. This type of living means using solar technology as your primary source of energy, and having your house built with materials such as a bamboo floors, recycled steel and wood, etc.
Some people wouldn't care for this the slightest bit because it's a bit more expensive than standard materials, but I think that the aftermaths outweigh the cheaper and not-so-green side. Thankfully, there are blooming companies out there (amongst already existing ones) that are recognizing the beauty and significance of green design and living. I read an article over at Inhabitat.com talking about a company developing living quarters complying to LEED's Gold eco-compliance standards.
If more companies simply started doing things just like IBIS (Intelligent building = Integrated + Sustainable), it would kick in and become mainstream faster. This way, "green" housing and living would be a standard, and on top of all that, extremely afforable. More after the jump...
Now, speaking in terms of the average middle class person/household, making moderate changes within the home to have a smaller carbon footprint is pretty easy. First and foremost, running Energy Star certified electronics and appliances, and fluorescent bulbs will not only make you cool, but it will also save you a good deal of money every year!
Millions of people smoke in the United States, and many millions more do so around the world. These days, for the price of a pack of cigarettes, you can easily pick up a few fluorescent bulbs and save money towards newer, and greener electronics - and in return gives you a reason to buy a new entertainment set while saving you money on electricity.
This also goes for cars with great mileage! I give up trying to persuade individuals that hybrids and and electric cars are better now, and that it's the thing of the future. Now, I make my point, state the pros and cons, and move along. It's not my problem if this person doesn't want to save money on ridiculously inflated oil prices. I also throw in the fact that the more people buy hybrids, it'll developer further much sooner, and drop in prices to equal the average car sold of it's kind. I gave up on 400HP V8 engines a while ago, simply because I don't need it for anything! My ego is influenced upon by other things of more significance.
So it all comes down to this: Going green is not hard. It's not something that'll place you in a depressive state, but quite the opposite. If companies and organizations are doing it, why can't you? Heck, there are humans running those things, too! Plus, if you are one of those people raised to not give a damn about the things you do and how it effects the world and other people, you can leave this website right now (and if you haven't, then you must be going through a positive change).
Why wouldn't you want to live in a house that's powered by solar energy, with bamboo flooring, and appliances and electronics that take up minimal electricity? When you go shopping, do you enjoy having multiple plastic bags for every 3 or so items? Most plastics bags are non-degradable, and I'll leave it up to you to figure out what that could mean for the planet with 600 billion bags with nowhere to go. Just get a few reusable cloth shopping bags that are being sold everywhere, and see the great different - plus, no tearing of the plastic!
One of the greatest inspirations for me to encourage and motivate others to be as green as possible is the fact that there are people and companies out there who actually care! If they don't, but do it anyway because of external force, they'll realize sooner or later that it was the right move. I'm doing this because I love my planet, and I don't want the future of our generations to look back at us and curse in agony because we turned it all into crap. I want to make positive changes now, and later, for the future. After all, it's all about the children!
PS. Don't forget to recycle!!!