January 08, 2009

How can build materials be reused?

By Lian Mah

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2009, and the second entry in my sustainability blog. Many people make New Year's resolutions that tend to drift to the side as the months march on (I'm one of those people; I'm not going to lie). However, for 2009, I've made two resolutions that I'm hoping I can stick with and actually see through. First, I want to train for another marathon next fall and run it in 4:45. Second, I want to become more green and sustainable in my everyday actions and inspire more people to do the same.

Working on this project in Tampa with The Home Depot Foundation has definitely helped to make me more aware of my impact on the environment and the importance of sustainability. On every planning call, we are talking about ways to reuse items that we will have on site and different projects that we can do with any leftover materials. The community that I'm working with is planning another project for this spring, and they are going to reuse any leftover lumber and building materials for that project. As you plan your projects, ask yourself:

  • Are there any projects in the community where you are that could use lumber scraps or extra nails and screws?
  • Is there a Boy Scout Troop or a 4H Club or other similar organization that could use leftover building supplies for one of their projects?

Another important part of the project in Tampa is the landscaping that we will be doing. We have a Green Team on our planning committee that is charged with making sure our project is as environmentally friendly as possible, and they contacted a local nursery that was able to educate us on what plants would be best for the area where we would be planting them. From that contact with the nursery, we were also able to secure some donations of plants for the project. It never hurts to ask for donations; even if they can't donate, they might be willing to give you a discount!

I hope that everybody is having a great 2009 so far, and I would love to hear everybody else's resolutions and ideas on how we can all be more sustainable in the upcoming year!

Lian Mah is a KaBOOM! Project Manager based out of the Washington, D.C. office.

green, builds