Reuse is the new IT word. I see it becoming the next stage of green building. It is a reaction to over consumerism and a humbled economic situation where people want to buy less new and reuse old more.
I am happy to see this trend. I’ve always been uncomfortable with the green building movement that still embraced the business model of increasing sales. If your business model is based on selling more then how green are you? Sure it might be a great green product but it is steeped in the paradigm of consumption, and that is not a sustainable path now that we have over six billion people on the planet.
What would happen if six billion people bought low VOC paint? Great for that do gooder little green paint company. But it would destroy the world in one fell brush of paint.
Buying more green product is not the complete answer. Buying less product is.
So…back to reuse. Great word.
Check out this web site for more info. It is the Building Materials Reuse Association. They have it down.
Another place is PlanetResuse.com. We haven’t used them yet because if we absolutely must buy then we only buy local and they haven’t had anything in New York we needed.
But you don’t need to tear down a house and reuse it to be part of this great practice. Check out Craigslist.org. They were part of the reuse movement before it was cool to sell your old laundry. So don’t go out and buy new underwear. Buy reused from craigslist.
Ok, maybe not so sexy. But reusing building materials is very sexy. You do a double whammy of saving garbage from the landfill and saving the extraction of resources to make it new. You literally reverse the destruction. If you reuse a complete house you have created a home but as importantly you have turned garbage into something useful, thus making the world a cleaner place. That is cool.