Get Green with Style Blog



Interview with Eco Remodeler Ira Singer – Part 3

Ira Singer interviewed by Hilary Sopata

What is the greatest impact that going green has made on your life?

The lessons we have learned together as a family is the greatest impact.  I understand that spending money for the sake of accumulation is wasteful and expensive.  My kids now understand that, too.  Our quality time as a family has improved because we aren’t consumed by “things”.  We are more connected due to smaller space and the lessons we have taught our kids.  We are more sensitive to the environment so we often look at things through the filter of the environment first.  My wife has created an eco-curriculum for K-5 grade schools.  Children are being taught about the environment at a young age so they can teach their parents how to make better choices.

I understand you are remodeling a home to make it green.  Tell us about that. 

We actually sold our home so we could remodel a smaller home green.  We realized that our kids don’t need as much space as they continue to grow.  We felt that emotional support is so important over the next 8 years and that can take place in a smaller space.  We made a decision to have less to take care of (size of home), less energy to produce, less land to manage.  We wanted a home that would be congruent with our values.  As a result, our family lives an eco conscious lifestyle.  We produce virtually no garbage, instead recycling almost all of our consumables.  We compost, we use rain barrels, we don’t have plastic bags for shopping or lunch.  We pack re-usable containers for all lunches.  We turn off water when we brush our teeth and none of us take baths (only short showers).  We use organic landscape fertilizer and have cut back on our lawn service so lawn mowers aren’t on our property every week.  The remodel will incorporate solar water, energy efficient windows and doors, roofing, solar roof vents, green flooring, cabinets, counters, foam insulation, high efficiency HVAC, low flow plumbing fixtures, energy star appliances, eco washer and dryer.  The new house is much smaller than the one we sold so we have reduced our carbon footprint, too.  Our kids have bought in to the whole eco lifestyle too so when we furnish our home much of the items are from Craig’s List (gently used, repurposed) or from Freecycle (free products, being repurposed).  Smaller is better, less is more 

In conclusion, is there is any other information that you think important or pertinent to your work or to a reader learning about green?

We are finding that our decision to sell and get smaller is appealing to others we know.  They applaud our effort to focus on what is important.  We are a role model for our children and they are a role model for us.

Thank you, Ira!  I have enjoyed this time to get to know you better.  You’ve taught us all an important lesson on how children can teach us new things and how once you begin to go green, you learn more and the process seems to become easier.

Source: Interview with Ira Singer, Mosaic Construction, LLC, 847-504-0177, www.mosaicconstruction.net

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