Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Green: One Size Fits None

Rainbarrel a no-brainer? It depends.
I love my green museum work, but it has one down side: the frustration that, no matter what the question, what the situation, my answer can only be partial: I have to say “it depends” every time.

But “it depends” because green is truly local construct. Don’t be tempted or pressured to copy what anyone else does. Have the courage, and take the time to find the right green answer for your situation. One size fits none.
  •  Sunlight is different in New England compared to the Southwest.
  • There are lots of reusable timbers in the old sawmills of the Northwest, but not in the Southeast.
  • Geothermal doesn’t work on Cape Cod as well as in other places.
  • The Eastern Shore of Maryland is short on slate and any other rock, but big on wind.
  • Some historic sites have enough room for CSA’s or farmers’ markets; others are in urban settings and can hardly grow a window box. 
  • Waterpower in one region comes from waterfalls and in another from waves.
  • Some communities require all stormwater management onsite; in Denver you can’t capture rainwater.
  • Some offices can have a 5:1 ratio of people to printers; others have sensitive information or disparate locations that don’t allow for printer-sharing.
  • One museum might have rooftop space for an ESCo to install a solar array while another is in an historic district that isn’t interested.
Few answers fit more than one situation.

Green is an ecosystem concept that depends entirely on related systems and local situations. Local -- right here, in this place, in this way, right now – is what defines your green journey differently than anyone else’s.

Don’t let anyone sell you an off-the-rack solution.


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