Living Well with USGBC Living Standard

Living Well with the USGBC Living Standard with Tony Pratte

Today, Tony Pratte, our regular co-host from The Sound Room, joins us once again on the show. In the Everyday Green Home Podcast, we talk about green homes, green living, and green communities. And we discuss how to make all of it work for you in your life, and why it all matters. We offer solutions, and we love to talk about the kind of choices that all of us can make, to make our homes, and ultimately the whole world, a better place.

The Living Standard

The Living Standard, which was recently released by the US Green Building Council, is all about people. It’s about a dialogue about green living and sustainability, and it is here to help people understand.

In today’s episode, we discuss how the Living Standard helps people to help themselves, each other, and the environment. And we talk about what we can do, as individuals, to make a difference.

The Living Standard is a toolkit 

The Living Standard is a toolkit that has been designed to help us have a better conversation about what we can do to live a green and sustainable lifestyle.

Small things count

Tony explains that if you can make a small, incremental change in your life, you won’t have to worry about the big environmental problem. And if you can imagine a billion people making small changes, it makes a lot of sense because that ultimately adds up to a billion small changes that are happening all over the planet.

A big conversation

Talking about the environment is a big conversation to have, and there’s a lot that we need to understand. Unfortunately, a lot of people have problems when they talk about the environment because they become consumed with the big picture.

What we need to understand

We need to understand that everyone looks at things a little differently. And not everyone will always agree about certain things. However, not having everyone in agreement, will make no difference to the kinds of small changes that we can make, that are common sense.

There is always something you can do.

There is always something that you can do, to be part of the solution, and to change things for the better.

Sometimes we tend to become overwhelmed with everything we need to do to green our homes, but it does help to know that whatever we do on a small scale will ultimately also work on a bigger scale because, even if it’s a small thing, it will still move the needle.

The US Green Building Advocacy Committee

A few months ago, the Missouri Gateway Chapter of the US Green Building Council asked Tony to be on their advocacy committee.

Why the Living Standard was released

Tony explains that the Living Standard was released to move the environmental conversation away from jargonized, scientific, builder-speak towards a more common language that is easily understood by everyone.

A non-confrontational conversation

He points out that the conversation about the greening the environment, and sustainability, does not have to be a confrontational discussion. However, people tend to make it that way, mostly because it gets into politics.

The goal of this podcast

The goal of this podcast is to keep the politics out of the way, to have a real conversation. 

How to have the right kind of conversation, and take it to even more people

We need to speak to more people who live outside of our community, and we need to use inclusive language and powerful images to help everyone to feel that they have the ability to take the necessary daily action towards creating a sustainable environment for all.

It’s all about a choice

It’s all about the choice you make. And you can choose to take a small, incremental step that will make a big impact later on.

The top three things you can do to make meaningful small changes in your home

  1. LED lightbulbs
  2. Green cleaning products
  3. Use recycled toilet paper

Links and resources:

Living Green Effortlessly: Simple Choices for a Better Home by Marla Esser Cloos

The Living Standard Campaign

The Standard Issue Report

The Sound Room

Energy Star

The Watersense

NAHB (National Association of Homebuilders) Sustainability and Green Building Toolkit

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