Green at work and play ... every day

| by Lois Vitt Sale
Green at work and play ... every day

We all live someplace. My “someplace” just happens to be more connected to my work than most people. I'm an architect and for the past dozen years have been focused solely on green building. My home not only holds the laughter, chaos and dreams of an active family, but is also my laboratory. 

At work, I've been busy teaching, learning and putting into place green building strategies and technologies. I've served as chair of the Chicago Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council and I'm the Chief Sustainability Officer at Wight & Co., an architecture, engineering and construction firm that focuses on institutional and commercial work. 

These days everyone takes work home … for me this represents something quite unique. From the green roof on my garage (the steepest green roof in the Chicago area when it was built six years ago), to the worms I nurture in my basement, taking work home for me means learning how to live greenly and applying that to my whole life – both work and play.

People may not realize it, but every home decision has a green context. My home decisions have been directed by a search for the greenest solutions relative to my specific circumstances.  I started taking bags to the grocery store long before it was in vogue, and at that time this earned me only rolled eyes and comments from store clerks that their bags were recyclable, so I could leave mine home. Today, I get rewarded with a raffle ticket for free groceries for bringing my own. 

I realize that the stories I share today will probably be old news with the next wave of invention.  But, that's exciting too, as it shows progress!  The context for making a decision will not change. 

The purpose of my blog is to share green home stories from my personal experiences – both at my home and from the green homes I've designed. I plan to cover the search for clean energy, green roofs, low VOC products, window and insulation, light bulbs and rain barrels, all with the hope of spreading some of the knowledge I’ve gained.  Along the way, I'll tell you about pets, teens and greens, and may even share my family’s reaction to some of this (hint: my kids and dual flush toilets!). I look forward to hearing from you, sharing stories and insights, and just talking trash! 


Topics: Cost of Ownership, Going Green, Indoor Air Quality, Insulation, Landscaping, Solar Power

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