Mother Earth Living

The Good Life

All things Mother Earth Living

Add to My MSN

The Winter of Our Content

1/27/2009 12:00:00 AM

Tags: stimulus plan, green building, green homes

It’s zero degrees here in Boulder today. But the sun is brilliant, and the foothills are majestic, all covered in snow. I’m dealing with an Inauguration Week hangover, vacillating between hope about our country’s fresh start and despair over rotten economic news that just keeps on coming. 

I really want to take Carol Venolia’s advice, from her “Design for Life” column in the current issue, and spend the rest of the winter in hibernation. But that’s impossible, so I’m looking on the bright side. And the good news is, there’s plenty of good news out there right now. My email inbox has been full of it. 

1. President Obama’s stimulus plan includes tens of billions of dollars to green up our electricity, putting 460,000 Americans to work on energy projects and doubling the amount of alternative energy produced over the next three years. The plan includes funds to 'weatherize' 2 million homes by improving insulation and leaky windows. Needless to say, we love this idea!

2. We’re trading in our status as a hyper-consumer culture and becoming a yard sale nationJames Howard Kunstler, author of The Long Emergency, about the challenges posed by the coming permanent global oil crisis, climate change and other 'converging catastrophes of the 21st century,' wrote last week on Alternet: “Say goodbye to the ‘consumer society.’ We're done with that. No more fast money and no more credit. The next stop is ‘yard-sale nation,’ in which all the plastic crapola accumulated over the past fifty years is sorted out for residual value and, if still working, sold for a fraction of its original sticker price. This includes everything from Humvees to Hello Kitty charm bracelets.” As advocates of reuse and salvage, we’re smiling about this one.

3. Homebuyers want green homes. At the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas last week, the National Association of Home Builders revealed survey results showing that 92 percent of respondents would rather have an energy-efficient home with lower utility bills versus a cheaper home without them. And homeowners said they would spend an average of $6,000 more on a home that would save them $1,000 annually on energy costs. Hey, we’re down with that.

4. Homebuyers want smaller homes. In the July-September quarter of 2008, the average size of a house under construction fell 7.3 percent, to 2,438 square feet from 2,629 square feet in the previous quarter, according to the NAHB. Ninety percent of builders told the NAHB that they’re building smaller homes.

5. “Many think 2009 will go down as the year green goes mainstream and homebuyers become much more savvy about the need for eco-friendly options,” columnist Michele Lerner wrote earlier this month in the Residential Real Estate Examiner.

2009 looks to be our year. And that ought to keep us all warm for a while.



Related Content

An Interview With Catherine Wanek

Insight into photographer, author and sustainable building advocate Catherine Wanek.

United We Go Solar: One Block Off the Grid

Interested in powering your home with the sun but don’t know where to start? Obtaining solar panels ...

6 Green Apps Designed to Save the Planet

Check out these 6 amazing green apps designed to make the planet a better place.

Veteran Green Building Editor Wins Hanley Award

BuildingGreen.com founder and Environmental Building News editor Alex Wilson wins Hanley Award for V...

Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 



Subscribe today and save 58%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.