Problem 4 - The Gizmo Green Focus

   This post is part of the serialization of the first chapter of the Original Green [Unlocking the Mystery of True Sustainability].

   The Gizmo Green focus is similar to the supply side focus in that it is based primarily on things that others can do for us: give us better machines to buy and better materials to buy and use in our buildings, and we’ll achieved sustainability. Or will we? We will see later in this book that Gizmo Green is a part of true sustainability, but only a very small part.

The Gizmo Green, unfortunately, constitutes a huge percentage of today’s sustainability discussion. Buy compact fluorescent light bulbs. Buy a Prius. Buy some bamboo... and everything will be OK. Or will it?

   The Gizmo Green focus allows us to ignore huge essential facets of sustainability that have nothing to do with equipment or materials. For example, why are we even discussing the carbon footprint of a building if it is built somewhere that requires you to drive everywhere? Or what is the value of the carbon footprint of a building once its parts are carted off to the landfill because it could not be loved?

   Gizmo Green, therefore, is by itself a losing strategy. But the concerns of the Gizmo Green are good, but only so long as they are incorporated into a much larger strategy that provides real sustainability.

~ Steve Mouzon

© The Guild Foundation 2013