Building With the Future in Mind Since 1955

Rick Dubrow’s “On The Level” Column in the Cascadia Weekly; Published 9-26-07

So my Mom sends me this newspaper article from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.  Yes, she’s as environmentally conscious as anyone I know and I’m so proud of her and that which she does for the planet.  It amazes her how unaware her neighbors are about all that is green, so when she sees something that offers some ray of hope she snips the article out and sends it to me.

Thanks, Mom!

This particular piece is called “Countless Ways To Go Green Inside Your Home” (written by Cathy Woodruf of the Albany Times Union) and it begins this way:

“So you want to live green.  Shrink your carbon footprint.  Save the planet.

“First the good news: there are countless ways to do that.

“Now the bad news: there are countless ways to do that.”

Good point.  That’s why I recommend you work with a designer and builder with deep experience in green building who can help you analyze, prioritize and price these “countless ways”.

Dead center in the article Cathy suggests that: “Once you decide you want to consider the Earth’s well-being in your construction or remodeling project…. sit down with your designer or your contractor or your family to clarify how you want to do that.”

Wait a minute!  Did she really say “Once you decide you want to consider the Earth’s well-being….”

What!  The Earth’s well being is an option?  At first I laughed at how ludicrous a comment this was; a spontaneous, cynical, depressing laugh.  Caught me by surprise. I decided to morph this hopeless feeling into a burst of physical energy on my bike ride home from work.  Blow out my tubes and shake off this senseless attitude of our mainstream culture. How could such a cultural norm be so detached from the pathetic condition of our natural world?

This article suggests that our cultural norm might read as follows:  the Earth’s well-being is an optional consideration in what someone does with their life; with their actions and decisions; with the votes one places with their spending.


What?  What?

If Cathy lived nearby I’d offer to pay her way – a bargain at $25 – to the upcoming Oct. 27th Pachamama Symposium in Bellingham called “Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream” (

Wake up and smell the effluent, Cathy! Don’t hit the snooze button and fall back asleep!

Yes, the American Dream appears to include an assumption that the well-being of the Earth is an option! The dream needs to change, don’t you think?

The health of our planet is as optional as your next exhalation. Go ahead, try to stop it.  I dare you.

Instead, with your next inhalation, acknowledge your need for clean, fresh air.

Feel the need to live your every breath as if, and because, the Earth’s well being is a critical success factor for everything you hold dear.

Thanks, Mom. You’ve taught me well; to work for a new dream; one aligned with the needs of my other Mother….. Mother Earth. Doing otherwise is not an option.

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