Al Gore speaks of shifts, assumptions & limits

I spent the day at West Coast Green in San Jose, CA with my friend, Susie, learning about tons of new “green” or eco-friendly products and information to help my family and clients.  I’ll share some of my favorites later in this post.  The highlight today was listening to Al Gore  and Jerry Brown speak.  The packed venue was brimming with enthusiasm and energy.  Two major messages I came away with…

1. We continue to need, and are moving toward, a “paradigm shift” in our Country from one of being caught up in the assumptions of the day to paying attention enough to see that we are in the process of ending one era and beginning another.  Put another way, we are collectively beginning to look at a long term approach instead of a short term approach to our world.

2.  Our Country is entering an era of limits.  We are now exceeding our limits, both ecologically and economically.  Al Gore touched on the financial/credit/housing situation as an example.  The growth, growth, growth, went unchecked and here we are.  One of the areas of limits we “assumed” would continue to grow was housing.  One of the terms he used related to unbridled housing growth was the “human garage developments”.  What he means by this is… cheap houses, far away from business centers, cheap land, too much driving needed resulting in dependency on oil (our cars).  The analogy as it relates to climate changes is that we are now dealing with “subprime carbon assets”.  The subprime part being the C02 emissions.  We can do something about it now before it becomes a crisis, he emphasized.

Mr. Gore ended by reminding us that if more and more of us absorb our reality, the shift will happen.

Here’s just a few cool booths I visited…there were so many more!  Let me know if you need a resource for a remodel or retrofit; I may have a contact.  My recyclable trade show bag is bulging!

LaCantina Bifold Doors – a folding door system that can accommodate up to a 52 foot wide opening for combined indoor and outdoor living.

InterWest Insurance, in partnership with Fireman’s Fund – for certified green building coverage and green upgrade coverage and other services (homeowners, start-up contractors, and commercial).

Woodshanti Cooperative – beautiful custom cabinetry and woodwork.  Certified by Scientific Certification Systems for the Forest Stewardship Council’s Chain of Custody (COC).  They also use local salvaged species of wood when possible.

ELT Easy Green – green roof and living wall systems.  Stunning designs using succulents.

Marin Outdoor Living – outdoor luxury products including portable fireplaces.

Bottlestone- countertop material made of 80% post consumer waste glass for many indoor and outdoor uses.

Clean Chute – Innovations in Trash & Recycle Systems.

Fireclay Tile – beautiful and fun designs and materials.

Ecofabulous – a creative resource for connecting you with eco-friendly products, reviews, tips, and more.