Wednesday, July 29, 2009

John Robinson - Green Saves Green ($)

John Robinson - Electronics Shop, Lead Electronics Technician

Sustainability Office: When did you first become interested in sustainability and how did it happen?

John: When I was a kid, I got my first Solar Cell; I was amazed, it was magic! When I bought my first home, I realized just how much building materials cost and how often great used stuff hits the landfill.

Sustainability Office: In what way do you practice or advocate sustainability?

John: Recycle, mulch leaves and grass, shut off unneeded devices, use CFL lights almost everywhere, combine trips and park my Pickup Truck (when the beds empty) and drive my Geo to limit gas use, 75% of our heat comes from burning wood pellets, put metal out front of house for road warrior recyclers to take for resale. Watch Craigs list and Ebay daily for my next great deal!

Sustainability Office: How has your life improved or been influenced by sustainability?

John: Save lots of money so that I can do more work on my old house, also makes me feel good about my own impact on my planet

Sustainability Office: Why is sustainability important to you?

John: You don't have to go broke to go green. It's easy, inexpensive and it would be criminal not to incorporate these simple practices into your every day life.

Sustainability Office: What advice would you like to offer others as they strive to incorporate sustainability into their lives?

John: Green saves Green ($), unless your flush with extra cash, do it and save! Old growth lumber and other old materials are highly desireable and beautiful. Be prepared to dive in dumpsters, monitor loading docks, go to garage sales and keep your eye on the side of the road for freebies.

Sustainability Office: Anything else you want people to know about your efforts in sustainability or about the "green" movement in general?

John: Green saves Green! I am proud to be a Times Two Green Rebuilder. I have a 150 plus year old Greek Revival that’s in need of serious revival! Over the last four years 90% of my many substantial renovations contained reclaimed or used materials. From my beautiful old growth “Library Oak" Kitchen, to my solid “Football Bleacher” addition and raised garden bed, EBay Windows, Copper Roofing Kitchen Backsplash, Cull lumber piles, Local Milled Fallen Tree Lumber, Auctions… Don’t get me wrong, its lots of work! The old growth White Oak I used in my kitchen started out as piles of broken up former built in library bookcases from Case Library. I virtually re-milled (by hand) all of the lumber from 3 truckloads of dumpster grade material as well as a hundred or so oak shelves (complete with gum and witty rimes) I bought from our very own Fred Sanford, Colgate Salvage Green Meister Craig Blanchard. Warning, Kitchen cabinets are not for the faint of heart! They came out fantastic, that said I will never do that again! Even the old beams and boards I ripped out of the house have gotten re-purposed when possible. The rest of the real s-crap made for a few fabulous bonfires (the piles growing for the next one).

Being Green Times Two means, the obvious “Let's all Save the Environment!” with the added bonus, “Let's all Save Some Big Green-backs”. I have saved well over $20,000 in the last four years with few regrets; the use of Green materials has only enhanced the beauty of our historic home. I am currenty collecting materials to build a grid-tie Wind Turbine, (I have most of the 90' tower, free). Last but very important, my wife likes it!

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