As a contractor, I’ve seen both commercial and residential use of green materials and sustainable building continuously grow over the years. Today, it’s a booming business. Analysts have shown that it’s a $116 billion market. That number is surprising, but not as surprising as what the future is projected for green materials and sustainable products. In 2020, the green materials industry should grow to over $254 billion. That’s an incredible amount of change in just several years. The hope is that this number relates to the number of people around the world who switch to green products and choose sustainable energy over draining the Earth’s resources.
The Las Vegas Palazzo Hotel and Resort is a prime example of a business choosing green materials and sustainable building. For their water system, the hotel chose a drip irrigation system for their landscapes. They also replaced part of their outdoor areas with fake turf grass. The grass looks incredibly realistic but it doesn’t cost any water to keep beautiful. They also incorporated moisture sensors to continuously save on water. All of these methods add up to 10 million gallons of water being saved. In fact, this hotel alone saves eight million gallons of water every year. These types of methods aren’t just unique to this hotel. As a result the hotel was recently named the most eco friendly hotel in America.
Homes today have a variety of different ways to save on water. They install tankless water heaters that don’t require a whole tank of water to be stored and heated. Homes also have drip irrigation systems to water lawns and gardens that use gray water from showers and washers. In addition to low flow toilets and shower heads, they can also save on water just by cutting down on their usage of water for routine activities as well. All of this combines to reduce a home’s carbon footprint.
The Three R’s rose as a popular way to look at materials around the home when deciding what to throw away or recycle. “Reduce, reuse, recycle” has become a mantra for businesses as well. For example, the ARIA Hotel in Las Vegas developed a large sorting center to reduce 47 percent of its waste from going to landfills. They also save food scraps and send to local farms in order to feed pigs. As more technology becomes available, it’s easier than ever to save by reducing harmful products, reusing containers and other products and choosing to recycle whenever possible. Most homes have a variety of recycling bins, compost bins and even up cycling practices that achieve the three R’s every day.
It is important for homeowners and businesses to continue innovating the industry. This innovation is what makes it possible for facilities in the desert to go green as well as facilities in one of the most populated cities in the world. It is important for not only businesses to continue to embrace sustainability, but for those living in homes and apartments across the world.
Ed Note: Today’s guest post is courtesy of Sam Marquit, an independent ‘green’ contractor and co-author of Fair Marquit Value.