When we discuss green/sustainable remodeling, just few considerations to contemplate include:
1) Carbon Footprint is a measure of the impact our activities have on the environment, and in particular climate change. It relates to the amount of greenhouse gases produced in our day-to-day lives through burning fossil fuels for electricity, heating and transportation etc. (http://www.carbonfootprint.com /carbonfootprint.html)
2) Chain-of-Custody (COC) is the path taken by raw materials harvested from an FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) – certified source through processing, manufacturing, distribution, and printing until it is a final product ready for sale to the end consumer. The FSC website (http://www.fscus.org/ productsearch/retailers/) has a great resource for finding companies that are FSC.
3) Cradle-to-Grave: A term used in life-cycle analysis to describe the entire life of a material or product up to the point of disposal. Our selection process of the materials we use contractors we hire and disposal of materials from our projects all have bearing on the sustainability benefits and savings. As a contractor, I address these challenges by:
1) Carbon Footprint
- Purchase products locally. Geppert Lumber is directly across from us.
- Team up in vehicles when possible when more than one carpenter is going to a jobsite
- JRL Design, Inc. has added a smaller, more fuel efficient truck, Ford Ranger, to our fleet.
- We practice what we preach at our office including separate recycling, energy setback thermostats, CFL bulbs, paperless office system that includes scanning all paperwork into our
server with no file cabinets, uses of scrap wood for other projects.
- Us GPS in our trucks for routes to work sites
2) Chain of Custody (COC)
- JRL Design, Inc. seeks out suppliers that are FSC certified
- We offer FSC options when producing our custom cabinetry
- Products on display in our showrooms offer FSC options
3) Cradle to Grave
- JRL Design, Inc. works with Habitat for Humanity to repurpose kitchen cabinetry from our projects.
- We recycle old radiators and copper
- JRL Design, Inc. has one of our appliance suppliers; Gerhard’s, remove and dispose of the only appliances.
These are just three green/sustainable practices that JRL Design, Inc. considers with our customers during a remodeling project. It can be a complex and overwhelming process. Although impossible to succeed every time, we and our customers are taking efforts in our remodeling projects to be green and sustainable. Let’s keep saving money, enhancing one’s health, and improving the esthetics of our home and improving the environment in the world around us.