The weather that night was perfect. The stars were out, the skies were clear, and the air was warm. One by one, curious neighbors showed up to my housewarming with gift baskets, cheap wine, and even toilet paper. Feeling proud of my contribution to sustainability, I did a couple of tours of my home for my guests, pointing out all the green features. Talking excitedly I said, “Here are the 100% recycled glass tiles and countertop and my lovely bamboo floors; I even installed the greenest lights! There are LED lights, can you believe it?!” Most of my neighbors had never heard about LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design), so I explained that it was a voluntary, third-party certification system where different levels of certifications are based on the number of points met (USGBC). “For example,” I said, “the most basic certified LEED home needs to meet at least 45 points.” I went on to explain that the house had cost a little more than a conventional home, but that it was well worth it: better indoor air quality, lower power and water bill, and reduced construction waste. Booming with pride, I looked around at my guests, and suddenly I recognized the look they were giving me. Typical reaction I get when I start mouthing off about green design. I call this the lectured look because of the glazed eyes, stupefied face, and the constant yawning.
-Joyce Leibowitz, “Accomplished But Not Really”