So many of my clients tell me they want green design, without knowing what that means or entails. The government has come up with a system to not only make the consumer aware, but also to make sure that all architects, builders and designers congruently responsible. This method of Building called Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, or better known as LEED has 4 levels of classification. You can learn more about these levels at http://www.usgbc.org/leed. I encourage all potential clients to visit this website to see if this type of building is right for you.
Many assume that if it is a recycled or renewable surfacing products must cost less, but on the contrary green products are usually on the high end of the price spectrum. So how can you be green with out breaking the bank? I say, save something from the landfill! So many of my favorite pieces have come from thrift stores, flea markets, Consignment shops and Craigslist.
When accessorizing a project that needs a special piece I tend to visit thrift stores and flea markets. They both carry a wide variety of unique items. It is very easy to be distracted by the diverse selections, but if you go there with a particular space in mind that needs to be filled, it can be fun. Believe me when I say that you may have to sort through a lot of junk to find your treasure, but chances are if you find an item interesting, it is. I have scored countless vases, art, purses, crystal, etc.…over the years.
Consignment shops and Craigslist has become wonderful places to not only resource items you may need, but also sell. Consignment stores are a magnificent resource for gently used furniture at a reduced price. It has been my experience that consignment shops have high standards. They are looking for high quality with show little wear and tear. They will start pricing at 50% of the original price and then continue to reduce if it does not sell. Once the item sells the store will share the agreed upon amount. When remodeling a Kitchen you may consider selling the existing kitchen on Craigslist. You would be surprised with how many items in your kitchen are resalable. Cabinets, counters, hardware, appliances, furniture, and lighting fixtures are all great items to resell and recycle. Take pictures of the kitchen while still intact from several viewpoints. Be as descriptive as possible about your product and offer dimensions and a list of materials in your ad to deter anything but serious offers.
LEED is not mandatory in this country yet, but it does not mean that you can’t be aware of it. When planning your next project consider your options that can have a minimal negative impact on your environment. Try to buy local when possible, use local contractors, reuse and recycle.