Amerika

Token Gestures Replace True Environmental Concern Among Real Estate Firms

Equity is seeking to achieve at least minimum LEED certification for all its buildings in the Boston area. The program is based on a ratings system that measures the efficiency of commercial and residential buildings. The system assigns silver, gold, and platinum certifications based on a building’s adherence to an environmental checklist.

The checklist includes dozens of conservation measures, ranging from paper and plastic recycling to use of water-saving plumbing features to installation of automatic lighting features and rooftop landscaping. Equity Office said it expects to spend about $4.7 million on a pilot program that includes upgrades to four buildings. The effort will ultimately result in all its buildings being upgraded over the next several years.

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It’s sad that gestures like this gain widespread news coverage, when the real problem is being ignored. Sure, let’s make all of our over sized office buildings, which use far too much energy and water, “green”, by making them use slightly less energy and water.

The process of digging up a huge swath of land for the foundation of a large building is an environmental disaster. If these companies really wanted to go “green”, they would tear down their buildings and grow organic food for people instead.

The “green” movement, for the most part, is a trend; a fad used by politicians and rich people who want to be seen in a better light. It’s terrible that people actually buy into this LEED certification stuff, that they actually believe rate of consumption matters with the overall level of energy, water, and food consumption required for office buildings (and 6.5billion people on the planet).

I understand the usefulness in responsible consumption – sure, using less water and energy in a decades-old building is a technological marvel, as is paper recycling, which should be a service used by every household in all of our towns. But once again, people use these trendy ideas as surrogate solutions, and ignore the real problem: there are too many people, consuming far too much food, energy, and water. This problem will not go away no matter how much you try to squeeze more and more out of every watt of power.

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