How Supporting Local Small Businesses Is EcoFriendly and Why It Matters

Now more than ever local small businesses need your help.

During the Great Shutdown, many small business have been crippled by having to stop work, take care of their kids since their is no child care options, and to stay at home limited their ability to preform their jobs, make money, and provide for their families - yours truly included.

How Supporting Local Small Businesses Is Ecofriendly and Why It Matters

Your help is needed you can:

  • support small business

  • support your local economy

  • select local ecofriendly product

  • select healthier products

  • instead of supporting the big box corporations that have been able to keep their doors open.

In these times when design has become fairly easy to diy, green building takes you project to the next level. You project doesn’t need to seek green building certification to be a green building or to bring the best of what design has to offer.

So your probably wondering when your doing a home remodel, why does a green building standard have anything to do with residential?

Living Future is the first green building standard to branch into the residential sector to bring the latest in high quality design and building to residential. The Living Building Challenge offers residential projects a great road map for supporting local trades and the local economy with ecofriendly design strategies.

How Does Green Building Support Small Business

Of course your project will be hiring local painters and contractors, but you can do more to keep your dollars local, be ecofriendly, and healthy at the same time.

Green Building Standards Require Products Be Sourced With a Certain Mile Radius of the Project

As certain circumstances are right now, the hope is to see manufacturers move production and material sourcing to local and regional sources. It’s no secret that materials from overseas could be held up for months or even years at this point. What better time for companies to make a stronger commitment to local sourcing. The benefits are meeting product timelines for clients and creating local jobs.

As clients you can help shift the demand in the marketplace and show your commitment. Changes in the market often start with client demand shifts and we encourage you to voice your opinion to your design team and your contractors.

Examples of How You Can Shift Your Demand:

Maybe you would have gone to a big box store to get a free kitchen design - you could hire a local designer who also hires a local cabinetry shop.

Maybe you‘d buy furniture from a big box store with free design - you could hire a local designer with local furniture workroom.

How We In-turn Support Local Businesses:

  • instead of going to big box store we focus on use our local custom cabinetry shop

  • instead of using a big box window treatment fabricator we focus on using a small business workroom

  • instead of purchasing custom furniture from another state we focus on using our local fabricators

  • instead of sourcing decor online, we can source decor from local artisans like glassblowing artists and pottery artists

These are just a few of the ways we have committed to supporting our local businesses.

(Why Biophilic Design - The interiors of our buildings are struggling to provide the human body a health environment to thrive. Learn more.)

Why Is Sourcing Local Ecofriendly?

By sourcing as local as possible, we are reducing the shipping and transit effects on our planet. A product can be made from the cleanest materials but of it needs to travel across the global or the US it increases the carbon in the air, so while it might be called an ecofriendly product, according to the experts it would not be a preferred product based on its manufacturing location. This is a major forgotten factor in selecting products.

Another factor to consider is a products lifespan. If your buying from a big box store and the product is cheaper because of the quality of materials, it will only stands up to only a few years of wear. The price is not a cheap as it seems as replacing it sooner with mean it can cost more than investing in quality from the beginning. Life cycle costing is an analysis method in green building where a product is evaluated on its quality, expected lifespan, and overall cost of a product from beginning to end. Ignoring this factor can effect the whole quality of a project and require an earlier remodel than needed with selecting products. Green buildings often are 5-20% higher in cost but last from 2 to 5 times longer making them more ecofriendly than some of the major brands known for their low cost ecofriendly products.

Reconsidering Shifting Your Demand

Now is the time to reconsider normal decisions you would make for your project. Think about whether your project supports small business, whether your remodel will meet your goals for quality, and what you can do to improve your health and the health of the planet for future generations.