Like many environmental activists, my knowledge has grown along with my journey to discover new ways to work toward a greener society. It was not long after my journey began that I stumbled across LEED.
LEED (“Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a program created by the U.S. Green Building Council that aims to address the application of green technologies, materials, methodologies and processes to private, commercial, and government buildings and their internal practices as well as creating comprehensive parameters for green neighborhood development overall.
Critics claim that this is just extra bureaucracy that will do nothing but further gum up a system that already has problems. This is a typical and generic “all-purpose” answer that in fact answers nothing, which I will demonstrate. If I can take you through the entire process in this short article, then surely the finest minds in local and national administration can make it work.
1. Certification: In order to comply with LEED requirements, anyone building or designing a structure needs to become LEED certified. This is so easily done that it can be done from a home desktop computer. A quick trip to a reputable training website like Everblue.edu and you have a one-stop, step by step guide to everything you need.
2. Application: Any existing building that wants to comply has but to apply for certification. After inspection by an authorized energy auditor, compliance is determined and if not in compliance, a clear strategy for refitting can be implemented to get up to speed.
3. Making It Happen: A simple regulation that contractors and other people directly involved with the design and construction of commercial, residential and other buildings take the brief amount of time and effort required to get the appropriate training ensures that green awareness permeates throughout the process from groundbreaking to the cutting of the ribbon and beyond.
And there you have it. That wasn’t painful at all was it? So the question is, if you can get it and I can get it, why can’t everyone get it? The answer of course is that everyone can get it. Don’t let bureaucrats push you away with non-arguments about increased bureaucracy and red tape or myths about inordinate expenses. It’s just not true. Tell them to stop crying and go get certified! Places like Everblue are just sitting there waiting to easily bring the whole world of building into the world of green. The fact of the matter is that bureaus of all kinds are like great ships in the ocean –they turn very slowly. We just have to keep applying the pressure. Construction alone eclipses all other types of material waste in this country. If we’re going to be actual advocates for a greener world, this is one of the most important places to look for and demand improvement.