greening my life
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Do you ever effortlessly sink into a book when the content is relatable, but then the story becomes so familiar that you feel as though the writer may have snuck into your house and scanned your journal? That is how I felt reading my friend David Gottfried’s latest book, Greening My Life. The book [...]
Do you ever effortlessly sink into a book when the content is relatable, but then the story becomes so familiar that you feel as though the writer may have snuck into your house and scanned your journal? That is how I felt reading my friend David Gottfried’s latest book, Greening My Life. The book chronicles the journey of David as he moves from working tirelessly on making design and construction in the world more sustainable, to actually following those ideas in his own life. He takes us through a painful and very familiar realization of how unsustainable his own life had become, to what he decided to do to change that. David does so with his usual insightful humor and generous vulnerability.
David founded the first green building council, which as since been adopted in 75 countries. He also created the LEED green building rating system (that so many of us use today). But after years of spreading the green building gospel and starting several non-profit and for-profit sustainability companies, Gottfried was exhausted, unhappy and alone. He had a back wrecked by years of stress, lived in a rental and had a string of short disappointing relationships behind him.
So he decided to apply the principles of conservation to a non-renewable resource – himself.
I couldn’t put the book down. I read it cover to cover during a one-day trip down to San Diego. As David goes through how he analyzed the different segments of his life and made some adjustments to bring more joy into his and his family’s life. Chapters on the “LEED for Life” sections of relationship, reflection, health, work, stewardship and also home all lead to his “green report card”. His stories have inspired me in so many ways, as I too have an incredibly unsustainable life, even while I focus all my attention on green building and design. But the path he lays is filled with hope and much beauty. I highly recommend both his book as well as his website that records the design and construction of the green house remodel for David and his family that has been called the “greenest little home in America”.