Sunday, July 18, 2010

Green Building, John Denver, and LeBron James

I guess the 1970s were my formative years. Whereas the sixties seemed to be the decade of psychedelics and drugs, the seventies ushered in a greater concern for our natural environment.

I'm not saying that there weren't drugs and free love in the 70s, but I guess I eschewed those in favor of Euell Gibbons (who famously ate pine trees), GrapeNuts cereal, natural food classes, and John Denver.

Growing up in equal parts West Virginia and Tucson, AZ, I developed a love for natural places. West Virginia was deservedly described as 'Almost Heaven' (although the song was really written about Maryland, but that state didn't have the proper number of syllables), and Tucson's beautiful deserts are ringed by even more beautiful mountains.

John Denver's songs really seemed to capture the spirit of nature. From the aforementioned 'Take Me Home, Country Roads' to 'Rocky Mountain High' and 'Calypso' and many, many other great songs, his music spoke eloquently about the glories of the natural world. I became a huge fan, and have remained so through the years.

Several years ago I was watching an interview with John Denver that was part of a concert he did to benefit the World Wildlife Fund. In it, he said that the most frequent question he got as an environmentalist is how one person could hope to have an impact on the enormous issues facing the environment. His answer was that no one person can do it all, but if each person can do what they can do, together we can make a difference.

That interview was the beginning of our commitment to the ENERGY STAR program. All of our homes since then have been ENERGY STAR certified. As a builder, I feel this is a small contribution I can make towards a cleaner, healthier environment.

Green building is a natural extension of our commitment to ENERGY STAR. I don't pretend to be able to save the world, but I do think that building homes according to green building guidelines can make a difference, especially if more people see the benefits of green building and insist upon living in green-certified homes.

As for LeBron James, he's been a real disappointment the past couple of weeks. First, he left Cleveland, and how he's bought a $45 million home. Seriously. I just hope that home never sees any championship trophies.

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