Two Years Ago In TreeHugger: Cradle to Cradle, Anticipating the Credit Crunch


We love watching good ideas grow. Two years ago William McDonough and Dr. Michael Braungart announced their program for Cradle to Cradle Certification and John said "If the MDBC certifications become popular, and we certainly think that could be a good thing, it could transform the very definition of "green design." Since then, C2C has been accepted by LEED for credit, has certified everything from diapers to surfboard wax, and is launching a new and improved C2C program, with with revised criteria based on knowledge gained during the first two years of the program. There will be a new entry level called Basic, resulting in four tiers of certification- Basic, Silver, Gold and Platinum - to reflect a product's relative success against the criteria, which are so obvious that everyone should be designing for it: "using environmentally safe and healthy materials; design for material reutilization, such as recycling or composting; the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency; efficient use of water, and maximum water quality associated with production; and instituting strategies for social responsibility." ::MBDC and ::Inhabitat

Justin noted a book that will have more significance in the near future; Mortgage Free! Radical Strategies for home ownership He continued in another post to note that "Owning your own house outright can really be the biggest challenge for those seeking an simple, financially-free life. Yet it's one of the most eco-efficient goals out there. A mortgage is the largest monthly debt for many people, and it's what keep them going to the workplace day after day. If it's not a mortgage it's a monthly rent payment, which is often just a high as a mortgage, and there's no equity building to boot." Strategies include:

* If you already own a house that has increased in value, you can sell that house and downsize to a much smaller, less expensive home
* Similarly, you can gather your savings and buy a very inexpensive home, and spend your time improving it
* You can slowly save money over the years, and eventually purchase a house outright
* You can buy land, live in a temporary structure and build your own house using inexpensive materials
* More radically, you can build a small house on your existing land, and then purchase vacant land site and transport that house there

The era of cheap mortgages and NINJA loans (No income, no job, no assets) is over; These strategies are worth considering.