Volume 47, Issue 8 - October 2008
Going Green Makes Me See Red
Who Made the Color Spectrum?
by R. Mark Reasbeck
I thought you mixed yellow and blue to get green? I’m starting to believe that we’ve got ourselves another band wagon to fall behind—and manure to dodge. “Green” is the buzz-word that is supposed to make us conscious of our environment. Take NBC, for example. Isn’t it supposed to be the “Green Network?” What exactly does that mean? By watching them, you save energy? Yeah, you sprawl out on the couch with the remote, expend no energy and eat guacamole! Didn’t they have an air conditioned outdoor set at the Olympics?
I Was Green When
Green Wasn’t Cool
My first recollection of Green was one of my favorites: Mr. Green Jeans, on Captain Kangaroo. Since we only had a black and white television, he may have, in fact, pulled a fast one on us kids by wearing regular denim jeans. I mean, who would have known? All I know is that my mom could never find any green jeans at Sears for me. It was probably my first encounter with a conspiracy theory.
My next encounter was with Popeye (as in the sailor—toot, toot). True story; Popeye was my hero. When he got in a bind, he’d somehow squeeze a can of spinach from somewhere, down it and kick butt. Not sure how it came about, but my mom agreed to give me an open can of spinach to sit in my toy box while I watched my celluloid hero. When he took a bite, I reached in the can and grabbed me a fist full of room temperature spinach, put my head back, and stuffed that gritty slime down my throat.
LEED or Follow
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The program was formed in 1998 by the U.S. Green Building Council (two made up agencies). By their own definition, they agree that building green is more expensive because, “the higher than orthodox standards could lead to misunderstandings between the design team, construction team, and the client, combined with a lack of manufactured building products which meet LEED standards.” So let’s review the plan: Create standards that everyone involved will interpret differently, resulting in reams of paper used for change orders, and require building components that don’t exist. Sounds like government to me. And, if you ask me, this derivation of the green label is because of the rainforest of paper required to complete the job!
I get it. We need to be good stewards of the earth. But with how the forests are treated today? Come on. The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) seems like an “Adopt-A-Tree” program. A “chain of custody” certification is now desirable for wood door and window manufacturers. “Hi, Mr. Doormaker, here’s little “Spruce.” He’s just a twig, but we will nurture him through the years as he em-BARKS on his journey to his fenestration destination. Once he matures, we will relinquish custody to you and then you can put him through a rip saw to become a beautiful building product. A complimentary “SFI” plaque will be issued to certify his journey through the joinery.” Sounds like “no pain, no grain.”
And Still Here We Are
“Matter can neither be created nor destroyed,” according to Albert Einstein. If this is true, then is everything we use to build a house natural, or green? Concrete is made of sand, lime, and cement. Isn’t that all natural and from the earth? Wood studs, even non-SFI, aren’t they all-natural? Even particle board has resin that is made from petroleum, which is from the earth. So, if you think about it, there is no such word as “synthetic,” because synthetic items have to be composed of existing compounds. I only know One who can create something out of nothing.
Think I’ll open a Green store here. I’ll call it Green With NV
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