BuildDirect Blog: Life at Home

Green Trends for 2014

It’s the time of year to wonder what the next 12 months will bring. What are the trends in cars, fashion and construction? What will be sustainable? Is it really sustainable?!

I found some far-out trends in my research! I am not technology-driven nor a fashion maven. Think of me as an old hippie/gardener/earth girl with a dumb phone, a recycled wardrobe, and lots of pens and notebooks for writing. Some of the things I came across are beyond my realm of understanding, but I am throwing them out there to see what other people think!

green arrow trend Green Trends for 2014

Cars

First of all, Trendwatching states that eco-friendly products will be popular. Of the seven trends they have listed, #1 is Guilt-Free Status. People with money want status combined with sustainable products. The example is the Tesla Model S, a $62,000 USD electric vehicle. So maybe it’s electric spewing no emissions and hopefully being charged from a solar array, but is a 62K price tag ‘green’? Aren’t frugality and simplicity parts of an earth-friendly lifestyle?

More sensible (to me) auto trend information came from Green Car Reports. The nominations for their Best Car to Buy 2014 Award are diesel, electric, hybrid and very efficient gas powered. Some of the criteria are lifetime environmental impact, mileage above 30mpg, and being affordable so enough can be on the road making a difference. I don’t think the Tesla Model S qualifies!

China

Number 3 at Trendwatching is Made Greener By/For China. As we all know, our big box stores are full of low quality ‘stuff’ made in China. It is America’s consumer demand driving that economic reality, so it’s ironic that China is greening its own territory.

They have developed a pedestrian-friendly city, Tianjin Eco-city, in collaboration with Singapore, and commuters can defray travel costs by recycling plastic bottles in Beijing subway stations. Intelligent street lighting with LEDs is becoming part of creating more sustainable cities.

China’s government seems to be far ahead of ours, and maybe more ambitious, in offering sustainable options to residents.

Fashion

The fashion arena is a place where sustainability is becoming more important every year. Supply chains need to be as sustainable as fabrics and other materials, but quality must not be sacrificed in the meantime.

Natural dyes from plant matter and recycled fabrics are at the top of the green textile list, as well as silk that is not harmful to silkworms. Organic cotton is on the upswing, and more efficient manufacturing processes (all aspects in one building) waste less time and material. Saving money in manufacture saves money for the consumer. More here.

See, here is something I cannot grasp – a smart ring in sync with your smartphone to alert you of emails, texts and social media updates. There is even a remote control for your camera and music! One reason I don’t have a smartphone is because I don’t want email and Facebook following me wherever I go. If I visit a friend or go run errands, I am happy to leave the computer behind!

Construction

Again the smartphone (or technology) is influencing society and its trends. Programmable thermostats are being replaced with Smart Thermostats. In a week’s time, the Nest Learning Thermostat learns what temperatures you like at what times of day. Once you ‘train’ it, it adjusts by itself, and it can be controlled from your phone. This is beyond me, with a dumbphone.

Net zero energy was a building trend for 2013, and it continues for the upcoming year. A net zero home produces all or more of the energy it uses via solar, wind and geothermal. California has included this in their building code now.

Neil Kelly says eco-friendly cabinets and urban downsizing are 2014 remodeling trends.

What do think of these trends? What is your definition of sustainable? What would you like to see as a 2014 trend? Why? Is technology sustainable? Should I get a smartphone?

Happy New Year!

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Nan Fischer

Nan Fischer has been living and building green for over 35 years. She writes from personal experience and backs it up through her extensive resource library. Nan’s emphasis on the BuildDirect blog is about how to make your dollar stretch further, while also moving toward a more sustainable lifestyle. She is a major contributor to the BuildDirect green blog. Nan also blogs on the website of her seed business, sweetly seeds. Nan on Google Plus.

1 Comment

  1. Nan Fischer Reply to Nan

    Well, I got a smartphone! It’s not here yet. Tomorrow……… Yes, moving into the 21st century and beyond! :)

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