Healthy Indoors Magazine

HI October 2017

Healthy Indoors Magazine

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Page 48 of 63

Healthy Indoors 49 having on natural disasters, it is better to be prepared. The U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Efficiency & Renew- able Energy department has published a free guide called Rebuilding After Disaster: Going Green from the Ground Up. It might be worth sending to your mayor or city or coun- ty council before disaster strikes. Natural disasters happen, and in this era of climate change, they are happening more often and with more heartbreaking impact. But as Greensburg, New Orleans, and Larimer County show, as much as these catastrophes end one way of life, they can begin another. That may not be much consolation in the moment, but perhaps in the long term, it will prove to be a catalyst for more sustainable planning regardless of when and where disaster strikes ly and healthy materials, renewable energy, enhance water quality and aspire to continuously improve. Rebuilding after a catastrophic fire can be just as daunt- ing — and inspiring. Consider the 2013 High Park Fire in rural Larimer County, Colorado. The inferno torched over 87,000 acres of forest and 259 homes in addition to the one person killed and many hundreds of people displaced and financially ruined. But the Northern Colorado Rebuilding Network wasn't having it. Their goal was to "help our neigh- bors rebuild safer, better and smarter." And so they did. They raised $180,000 to help provide assistance to homeowners who wanted to rebuild. They offered "Dirt to Drapes" work- shops that covered such sustainable rebuilding topics as installing solar electric or hot water systems. The local utility explained how "thermal shells" help save energy, too. Said founder Phil Bernstein, "It really doesn't cost any more to build sound, tight and sustainable homes that will save the owners a lot of money on energy over the long term." Planning for the Future Given the increasingly deadly impact climate change is i

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