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Throwback: Henry David Thoreau on Small Living

Hdt Recently, I wrote an article for another website (full disclosure: I decided to stop writing for this website) called, "What’s the Deal with Big Green Homes?"  The article lead to some good comments and discussion, but I’ve been nagged by some thoughts that were in the comments.  Two of the homes that were discussed in the article were very green by almost all green measures except that of size: one was 4,700+ sf and the other 6,000+ sf.  I readily admit the superior green amenities and features of each home, but here’s a portion of my argument:

Think about all the materials that went into such a behemoth. In many ways, big a** homes represent the unsustainability of gross commercialization and over-consumption. Good old fashioned American waste. If you’re the Cheaper by the Dozen family, a big house might be necessary. Otherwise, big does not equal green.

One of the entrepreneurs of this green website disagreed stating, "if it’s Green, go as Big as you can and want."  I don’t understand this line of thinking because for this to be logical, a green home would have to have absolutely zero impact.  But there’s always an impact, even if it’s managed or negligible or offset or balanced.  There’s always an impact, even if it’s the impact of taking something that could go to someone else. 

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Eco-Advantage: Green to Gold–the Business Case

Green_to_gold_1 One of my goals for the new year is to flaunt the business case for sustainability.  When you add that to the fact that I’ve seen several blogs talk about reading 1 book/month (as a New Year’s Resolution), you get a nasty combination: my resolution + your resolution = reading Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Building Competitive Advantage.  As a caveat, however, I haven’t read the book yet, I’ve only thumbed through the pages and table of contents.  (I couldn’t get it before Christmas because that’s when you shop for other people, but now, the copies are all gone and I’m waiting).  The book was written by Dan Esty + Andrew Winston and is getting considerable attention in business circles.  The authors also have a blog called Eco-Advantage that I’ve been reading since November or so.  It’s good.  But here’s the gist, if you need a book to read, give it a shot. 

Fiona Harvey of Financial Times recommended Green to Gold in her list of books designed "to help the entrepreneur take advantage of [the green trend]."  I’ll leave it up to you to determine whether this is a trend.  Here’s what she said: "The business reader may have more luck with Green to Gold, a manual on how to turn your company into an eco-success, catching the current wave of consumer and government interest in saving the world from environmental catastrophe."  There you go, what’s your review??

Blog Tagged by the Eco-Entrepreneur

The Fountainhead Well…I’ve been blog tagged by the eco-entrepreneur, Shea.  Here it goes…

A Book that Changed My Life:
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.  Honestly, I don’t agree with the concept that one can find true greatness sans religion (or one’s personal, internal inspiration), but otherwise, this book is an amazing articulation of the greatness humans can acheive, intertwined with modern architecture commentary. Other notables:  Enchantment by Orson Scott Card, Dune by Frank Herbert, Zen in the Art of Writing/The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury, Autobiography of Ben Franklin, and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

A Book I’ve Read More than Once:
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque.  Had to do it for class, but I really like the themes expressed in this book. 

A Book I’d take with me if I Were Stuck on a Desert Island:
The Bible.  Honestly, it’s one of the biggest books I can think of and the authors pass the batton every now and then.  It offers a modicum of variety. 

A Book that Made Me Laugh:
Skin Tight by Carl Hiaasen.  His stuff is non-stop, hilarious.  Some parts are more scandilious than I prefer, but otherwise, his stuff is absolutely ridiculous. 

A Book that Made Me Cry:
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes.  This book really pulls at the heart strings.  Gotta read it, however. 

A Book that I Wish Had Been Written:
A personal diary of Genghis Khan.  He’s an interesting character in the spectrum of dominant world leaders, so I’d be interested to know what was going through his mind, that is, other than fleeting thoughts of goat’s milk and riding horses. 

A Book that I Wish Had Never Been Written:
I don’t know, everyone has the right to put it down on paper, so I can’t really think of anything, but I thought the recent book called "Jarhead," by Anthony Swofford, was utterly crass.  I tossed it 25% through the book. 

A Book I’ve Been Meaning to Read:
Still River by Harry Hunsicker (a mystery situationalized in Dallas real estate). 

Books I’m Currently Reading:
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and Lone Star by T.R. Fehrenbach. 

Okay, so now…I blog tag:
Tom Konrad (EE/RE Investing), Karen (Emerald Market), and Michael Davis (Dallas Progress). 

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