Green Isn't Just the Building

If you’ve been researching green building, LEED®, or any other environmentally motivated subject, you will have noticed that green building isn’t just in what and how you build.  It also has a lot to do with green living.  For the average person in the US, green living means recycling your newspapers and maybe driving a little less.The fact is most people have developed specific lifestyles that revolve around their energy usage.  Many individuals don’t think about the constant stream of energy they use; it’s just what they do.  Get up; use hot water to shower.  Use an electric or gas range, or maybe a microwave to fix breakfast, and then it’s off to work.Let’s not even talk about the accidentally left on lights, the window that was left open, the iPods, cell phones, laptops, computers, TV’s and game systems.  All of which are eating slowly away at the pocketbook and environment.When this is what we’re used to, how do we change our patterns?  Well, thankfully, there are a few companies out there with the innovation and forward thinking that can help us all change our lifestyles.Mostly available for new construction, energy dashboards are designed to identify patterns, and help us to adapt our lifestyle to a more conservative approach.  They record usage, identify energy hot spots in the house or building, and keep and display a running tab of all usage.  You can even have your energy dashboard sound an alarm if your energy usage spikes above a preset level.Energy dashboards have helped many buildings, including dorms on college campuses; reduce their energy usage by up to 56 percent.  So it seems like individuals are willing, we just need the knowledge.  With the constant feedback given by this tool, we can be aware, and make efforts that have visible results.

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