Posted in Counter tops, Energy Star, Green Design, Hot Topics, Return on Investment, Sustainable Design, Who Knew, Windows

It is easier finding green building materials, wish the same was true for cheap gas.

It used to be finding earth-friendly, energy efficient products was harder to source out. Now, there is a buffet of green options before us. The options are within our reach; energy efficient; recycled content; fsc certified wood products are easier to find and closer to home. See the latest articles and products shown in ECOHOME.
While we have freedom of choice to order the best, most energy efficient and eco-friendly products. The disparity of choice has never hit us harder than it has with the cost of gas.
As I waited at the freeway off-ramp to get home tonight, several thoughts came to mind. The insane price of gas at close to $4.50 per gallon makes me extremely grateful that I live less than five miles away from work. Others don’t have it so easy. Commuting to Los Angeles and the surrounding cities in grid-lock traffic is a way of life for many. 50 to 60 mile round trips are common travel distances for Southern California suburbanites. People I talk to everyday are telling me they are rethinking how they are getting around. The wait lists for carpools is increasing. Others have to rethink sales trips to the city. My vendors are faxing notices that they are forced to add fuel surcharges to our orders to offset the cost of delivery.

All around me, I am witnessing people adapting. Water rationing is another thing we need to be aware of here in California as we face news of an impending drought. As I sat there idling at the jammed offramp I noticed a rider on a new motorcycle in the lane next to me. I quickly took note of the new bike and the fact that the rider was a women. I wondered, did she trade in her SUV for the motorbike? Would she have purchased that bike if it wasn’t for the crazy cost of gasoline?

We live one city away from the agricultural farm lands and another unusual trend is coming about. There is a long stretch of farm land from Camarillo to Ventura where the strawberry, lettuce, avocado and orange crops are grown. Commuters are trading in the gas hogs and the farm laborers are buying these these newer and bigger SUV’s and trucks because the prices of these vehicles are becoming more affordable.
So what does this mean to us? Adapting to the changing times is a way of life. The choice to go green will be the new desired trend. Remember when real estate ads read “gourmet kitchens with all new stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops” were all the rage?

I predict in five years from now, it will be the norm to see real estate ads describe homes for sale as “green built, energy efficient homes”. Energy robbing appliances, single pane windows, non-low VOC paints and particle board cabinets will drive the cost of homes down, while installing the more expensive energy efficient building materials will bring a higher return on investment.

Now, you are probably wondering about the symbols above. Maybe you have seen some before. Do you want to know what they mean:
Here you go, read on. Next time you come across one of these symbols, you will know what they mean.
ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices.
Green Seal works with manufacturers, industry sectors, purchasing groups, and governments at all levels to “green” the production and purchasing chain.

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization that certifies sustainable businesses, homes, hospitals, schools, and neighborhoods. USGBC is dedicated to expanding green building practices and education, and its LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™.

The Alliance to Save Energy promotes energy efficiency worldwide to achieve a healthier economy, a cleaner environment, and greater energy security.

For businesspeople focused on evaluating, selecting and manufacturing environmentally preferable wood and paper products, Metafore is a source of tools, information and innovative thinking.



Laurie Burke, connected to the design and construction industry since 1996. A seasoned residential kitchen and bath design specialist , Laurie has designed thousands of kitchens & baths as well as other cabinetry projects requiring technical precision in design drafting utilizing state of the art 2020 software for creating accurate plans and elevations. Through on- going product knowledge training and a desire to always stay current with an evolving marketplace, Laurie Burke maintains a strong command of knowing the appropriate Fit & Finish materials required for a residential remodel to meet the budget, the timeline of a project and a client's need for a finished product that meets their satisfaction. Kitchen Designer by trade, foodie, techie, weekend traveler for fun. For more information contact me at

4 thoughts on “It is easier finding green building materials, wish the same was true for cheap gas.

  1. Good points, Laurie! (and good links.)We’re already seeing the real estate ads tote “green” here. Also, here’s another thought: I’ve been steering people away from soaker tubs because so many people aren’t using them but they aren’t the best use for a state with water rationing, are they?So many choices these days…


  2. love the green aspect of kitchen design…this post is a good resource. I recently advised a friend on updating her old farmhouse kitchen in Atlanta. I also discovered a new green counter top surface called IceStone…Have you used it on any projects?…If not,ck out my latest on it…Thanks. Fay


  3. Thanks for the compliment Leo. I like your blog too. Kelly, I too have found more people satisfied with the outdoor jacuzzi and transforming the tub into a larger shower with a bench, his and her vanities and better bathroom amenities. Fay, I have not used IceStone. Heard some controversial things about the way they distribute it though. Don’t know much about this product. I predict the pricier green building materials will be more affordable as accessibility in the market place becomes common place.


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