It’s Not Easy Being Green

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Kermit the Frog really did say it, or rather sing it best, “It’s Not Easy Being Green.” And as more and more consumers are making decisions based on sustainability from consumables packaged in post-consumer recycled materials, to hybrid vehicles, and even building materials, the question always arises, “How can I do my part?”

There are many trains of thought about stone in this regard. On one hand it is mined out of the ground making it a non-renewable resource. But on the other hand, other chemicals, poisons and such don’t go into making the tiles. Mother nature and millions of years already took care of that part, they just need to be cut. Stone tiles are also extremely durable and can last for decades, if installed properly. From a green perspective this is good as it not only reduces waste materials, but also eliminates the need to produce more flooring materials.

This one is the real kicker. Many green building guidelines, as they relate to stone, take into account the distance traveled from quarry to project as a part of their level of sustainability. Obviously, many stone products come from abroad. Granite and slate from China, marble from Italy, travertine from Turkey and the middle-east. Shipping these products from abroad leads to ship emissions and fossil fuel consumption.

So do you have to find a locally quarried and machined replacement stone, that is sort of, kind of what you want to do your part? Through the innovation of companies like SkySails, maybe not. SkySails states that the use of their football field size kites on cargo vessels can reduce the consumption of fossil fuels from 10-35% average per year and up to 50% during times of optimal wind conditions. Is this the wave (pardon the pun) of the future in ocean transport, I don’t know, but it is pretty ingenious just the same.

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Marc McPherson