Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Earth talks, cities listen


The Earth has been talking. Hailey, Blaine County and Ketchum have been listening.

The city of Ketchum is just the latest of the three to adopt a "green" building code designed to conserve energy, water and other resources in new buildings by requiring smart systems and design.

Green building codes, which are becoming more prevalent nationally, commonly call for enhancing indoor environmental quality as well as requiring or encouraging materials that are health-friendly.

With green codes, buildings can be ranked and rated for buyers who are becoming more aware of their power as consumers to influence how new homes and commercial buildings are constructed.

It's ironic that the green codes have been drafted and approved in a time when new building permits have hit an all-time low. But the building hiatus has given developers, contractors and the public the time to discuss, debate and come to agreement on requirements that will conserve critical resources.

It's been clear for decades that the nation is far from any kind of national consensus on energy and resources. However, while major national and international energy companies can lobby Congress for policies that benefit them to the detriment of consumers, consumers and small businesses can be just as powerful when they vote with their pocketbooks and enact green policies at the local level.

When faced with choices between inhabiting green-certified buildings or energy and water guzzlers, consumers can be part of the solution to the Earth's climate change and resource problems by choosing "green."

The cities and the county should be proud of joining builders and consumers working toward a healthier planet.




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