What can positive look like?

by | Nov 29, 2023 | Rate It Green Newsletter | 0 comments

Check out November’s newsletter from Rate It Green- our Green Building Marketing Partner

Rate It Green Members and Friends – 

There are so many pressing crises, it can be overwhelming to decide what to do first or next. At a time when we need to take immediate and drastic action to mitigate the worst climate change consequences, some of which have already arrived, how is it possible that there are ongoing and disastrous wars and famine, extreme weather crises, raging fires, disease, and areas that are literally becoming uninhabitable for human life, among other global challenges which are hard to fully imagine and truly process.  

At a recent event, the question came up: “Is it acceptable to talk about climate right now?” Our group concluded that it has to be ok to continue to think about and talk about climate, as environmental crises don’t take a break for other urgent challenges of our time, and also because many of these problems are directly and indirectly related to climate change.  You don’t have to shut other concerns off to think about climate change. As our fragile environment certainly doesn’t get better and may further degrade when we focus on other, valid emergencies, it might even be a more key time to make sure we don’t forget to stay the course of trying to change our course.    

I’ve also been part of conversations recently where one or more people acknowledged that they are not really ok. And although this of course makes me concerned, I am also relieved when people can admit challenges, whether they are asking or need help or not. If you’re not feeling right in some way, I encourage you to try to say so and to ask for support in whatever way and venue works best for you. 

I hope you have been able to or plan to gather soon with people who are important to you, just as my family did this past week. Even if there’s an argument around the table, or we can’t gather as we’d ideally like, a pause in regular routines can provide such a valuable opportunity to appreciate what we should be grateful for; to recognize and try to plan for what needs to be better; to celebrate friends and family, and wish each other well; and also to take stock.

For me, part of taking stock means thinking about a perspective change.  Where negative news is easy enough to find, some positive information has come across my inbox that I hope will also help you think through what makes you optimistic or “positive” as well.  

  • Global GreenTag Global launched the first “Nature Positive” certification standard and declaration program in recent weeks, and this seems to me a sign that the leading edge is actually moving. Where once energy efficiency was a dream and environmentalists and early solar folks were made fun of, net zero is now a common enough term, and net positive is no longer the outer green building positive edge.  
  • Several leading green building organizations recently shared progress about the Common Materials Framework – I am interested in hearing more about how and when this key tool for information and search will roll out for practical application.     
  • As I noted in a previous newsletter, the Inflation Reduction Act, or IRA, is already producing benefits, with more to come. Significant tax breaks are already available now! States had to apply for rebate programs by August, so rebate funds will be available when federal approvals roll out. 
  • The COP28 global climate change convention starts tomorrow. Despite reported controversies, tens of thousands of climate-concerned experts, representatives, activists, and citizens have gathered to discuss, plan, and finance a more inclusive, cleaner global energy future. No, we are not currently on target to meet critical Paris Agreement goals, but I personally have hope yet for some big announcements.  I am pleased to see the first top-level “health day” at COP28 dedicated to understanding and addressing the health and welfare impacts of climate change, which account for a significant percentage of deaths globally. 

Oddly, I am reminded of the movie where Adam Sandler’s character looks up and sees the “Beyond” area of the former brick and mortar retailer, Bed, Bath & Beyond. He had always wondered somewhere in the back of his mind what “beyond” really meant. I don’t know either, but I sure want to get there too. I like the sound of “nature positive,” and I don’t intend to give up.  I hope we can keep taking that journey together and can find ways to support each other as the warm green building community I know we are.  Take care of yourself.  Do what you need to do, spend time on the things and with the people who make you feel positive and bring joy. Celebrate the wins, and let’s find and build community wherever and whenever we can.  

We have many ideas for the next months, and for “beyond” as well.  I’d love to hear from you about your ideas, any time.   

Thank you,
Allison Friedman
Founder, Rate It Green

‘Want to catch up? Check out some of Rate It Green’s favorite past newsletters

The “Perfect Wall” – Explained and Demonstrated
Strategic Ventilation for Efficiency & Health
Build It Tight, Build It Right
The Future of Gas Cooking
The Forgotten Side of Buildings
Residential Green Building and Certifications
Ugly Needs a New Definition 
Humidity Control – Protecting Your Investment & Health 
How Much Do We Really Know about Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)? 
Important Conversations about Electrification 






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