Vancouver is aiming to be the "Greenest City" and they're taking large strides to do so. They've made improvements and implemented ideas that wouldn't fly anywhere else. One recent change is the mandate that all improvements, renovations or construction on existing 1 and 2 bedroom homes be done with all green materials and
The city is already building green for new structures, but this new push takes aim at current properties that are already in existence. 54% of Vancouver's greenhouse gas emissions stem from buildings that are already in existence and their lack of proper insulation.
This new by-law doesn't push homeowners to replace everything about their house if, say, they're remodeling a bathroom, but it does mean that within the confines of the remodel, materials and labour should come from green sources and supply.
Having spent a great deal of time in hardware stores lately for personal renovations, the idea of finding a plethora of green products on the shelf is mind boggling—not having to hunt because companies stock those supplies regularly. It's a small change, one that a city of this size and participation level can take on and we hope to see it spread to other communities as well.
We know we'd be hard pressed in our current standings to see something like this happen in the US, but we know it's the future and hopefully one day This Old House will be This Green House!