Here is an article on Eco Brooklyn in today’s NY Times Blog.
The general gist is that green building can be affordable. They say Eco Brooklyn “practices guerrilla green-building techniques” to achieve this, which involves a lot of dumpster diving and salvage.
We try to set up more formal ways of collecting material but it is not easy. I had an agreement with a contractor who was renovating a brownstone that instead of cutting the wood joists and throwing them out he would take them out whole and give them to me. He saves on dumpster fees, the wood is saved, and I save money while being green. Triple bottom line – people, planet, profit.
I hadn’t heard from him so today I drove by his job site to see how his progress was. I was met by a dumpster full of cut joists. Very discouraging. I see a lot of waste and am used to it. People don’t know any better. But I get bummed when people blatantly waste when there is an alternative. Forget about saving the planet for a second, the irony is that being green would save the contractor money.
This contractor inertia means a lot of our salvage is done without formal supply streams – dumpster diving, catching contractors at the moment they take out the material, getting an inside garbage tip from a worker etc.
We’d much rather not have to be so guerrilla. But unfortunately it is one of the few green building options for now.