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Concrete: Eco-Friendly

Earth's Continents Formed Out of Leaves

Concrete is Eco Friendly

You know how being eco-friendly is like a thing now? Okay, well, it’s been a thing. But it’s really a thing now. I also spend a majority of my life on a college campus, and we have an entire staff of people who watch over the trees. I’m not kidding. Someone had set up their hammock between two trees, and the tree people, they showed up. No more hammock-ing.

I’m not bashing the tree people, in fact, I back them. They seem pretty cool. I get their main point, the whole “saving our planet Earth.” I can really get behind that. (I don’t necessarily think that we will get there taking down one hammock-er at a time, but I suppose we have to start somewhere…)

Concrete itself is certified by LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). One, as the name suggests, they probably hang out with my campus’s tree people. Two, they are doing great things. LEED did a whole write up on concrete, and here are the top 4 most interesting things:

1. If you use concrete in a building, you are more likely to get a LEED certification. For real, though. Concrete has such a great green “score” (that’s how LEED does it, check out their site), that the more you use, the more likely you will be certified. How about them apples. Specifically, green granny smith apples (trying to go with a theme here).

2. Concrete sticks around. Really, it does. I’ve talked about this before, and I’m going to bring it up again. I once was scanning the internet on one of my weekly hunts for interesting concrete life facts, only to find a picture of this concrete sink. I’m busy “ooh-ing” and “aah-ing,” thinking to myself what a nice sink, what a modern sink. It’s so colorful and pretty. This really says a lot about the sink, by the way, you’d be hard pressed to find me feeling this way about any other kitchen accessory. Though maybe you aren’t trusting me on that because I did just say I go on a weekly hunt for concrete facts. I live a weird life, what can I say. Anyways, the sink wasn’t modern, it was almost 30 years old and it looked: brand. new. That’s just it, concrete lasts, and because it lasts you don’t have to replace it (captain obvious, I know), and because you don’t have to replace it? You’re using less of a lot of different materials, resources and energy.

3. Reduce, reuse, recycle. Does anyone else know that song by Jack Johnson? If you don’t, you should go look it up. It was in the critically acclaimed, wonderful hit drama: Curious George. Don’t worry if you haven’t seen it, you may not be as cultured as I am. Good ole’ Jack though is not just telling us what we should do, but is also describing concrete (bet he had no idea about that one, surprise, Jack!). Recycled materials can go into the making of concrete, which is sweet. Also, old concrete, can be grinded up and used in many other materials (probably all construction related, this is me inferring here, but I’m thinking recycled concrete isn’t going to roll into the toy industry).

4. It uses local materials! This is awesome for a lot of reasons. One, it drums up business right where you live. And two, the less transportation required, the smaller your carbon footprint. I always wonder who came up with that phrase, I feel like maybe we could’ve said something better than “footprint.” How many people are trucking it barefooted across interstates? Or running across country without shoes? Sorry, I’m just saying that maybe we could’ve thought of a phrase more apt to describing this current carbon “situation.” Main point though: locality is great on both businesses and your planet.

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