March 25
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Green Year's Resolutions

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Photo credit: Álvaro Daniel González Lamarque/morgueFile

Penny-pinching is—by necessity instead of choice—in vogue. Given the current economic storm, consumers actively seek out appropriate measures to cut spending, even if that means no more fountain coin-tossing in exchange for a wish. During the early morning local news broadcasts, the major network morning programs, such as "The Today Show" and "Good Morning America," advertise their upcoming segments on frugal living. And we eagerly tune in to discover whether “The Economy [Is] Causing Your Marriage Gift-Giving Stress,” or to learn “How to Decorate the Tree on a Budget.”

While I have noticed that even closet companies are offering sales this holiday season, I wonder whether some industry professionals feel that added dash of inspiration to consider the possibilities of offering sustainable, green products. Or, perhaps you’ve started to weigh the options of partnering with the builders and contractors in your area who are interested in developing environmentally friendly homes. After all, many reports suggest that there is a direct line that connects the dots of environmental sustainability and savings in cost-of-living.

Even though the 2007 McGraw-Hill Construction SmartMarket Report on Attitudes & Preferences for Remodeling and Buying Green Homes is already a year old, the report offered several intriguing factoids. According to the study, a genuine green home fulfills the standards of three out of five possible categories, including energy efficiency, indoor air quality, water efficiency, resource efficiency and site management. While the report isn’t a document of clairvoyance that precisely foresaw the impending mess of the stock market crash and current mortgage crisis, it does make one very solid point: Housing market woes could benefit from something that differentiates homes from others and captures the attention of leery homebuyers. And that “something” could very well be green amenities.

On another note, the study also finds that nearly two-thirds of homeowners are aware of green building, while 40 percent of 2007 remodeling projects revolved around a distinct green emphasis. But homebuyers are motivated to settle on a green home purchase primarily because of potential cost savings in heat and utilities.

So this week I wonder whether some of our trusty storage professionals have partnered with builders for upcoming green projects. Are you investigating the possibility? Planning to jumpstart a line of sustainable storage components for all regions of the home? Or, perhaps you feel overwhelmed or frustrated by the momentum of the green movement. Maybe the topic of environmental sustainability intrigues you as a business opportunity, even though you question the best way to leverage your brand as a green enterprise.

Talk to us, no matter your situation. Since we’re on the cusp of a new year, perhaps now is the ideal time to experiment in an ever-churning, changing marketplace.

For more information on sustainable renovations, visit www.greenhomeguide.org, where you can read about green housing projects across the country and sign up for a series of REGREEN webinars sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council and the American Society of Interior Designers.   

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Spring Lake Park Empire Campus

Spring Lake Park, MN

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