‘Green’, ‘sustainable’, ‘environmentally conscious’…they’re important terms and things that, as a consumer, I try to be. But if I’m honest, I don’t understand as well as I should what theses terms really mean or their potential benefits to myself and the world around me. So before I get into the environmental benefits of awnings, I thought I’d take a minute to explain some of the jargon that gets thrown around when discussing topics like energy consumption.
• Green: began as a political term for advocates of environmentalism dating back as far as the 6th century. In day-to-day life, green is used to describe everything from bicycle couriers to reusable coffee cups. But the bottom line is that if a product or service is established with the environment in mind, it can safely be coined ‘Green’.
• Sustainable: is defined as using a resource so that it is not depleted or permanently damaged. An easy example can be found in farming. Crop rotation had been a common agricultural practice since ancient Rome. But modern agriculture found it easier to deplete soil and then move on to a new area, leaving the original soil to rest. Thus creating a non-‘sustainable’ cycle.
• Environmentally conscious: this might seem like a ‘no-brainer’. But making purchases and business decisions with the environment in mind is not as easy as it may seem on the surface. For instance, I’ve purchased many reusable grocery bags, but by the time I make it to the market, they’re in the trunk of my car and it’s raining, so I grab plastic instead. That bag will take up to 1,000 years to degrade! Or I’m on my way to the gym and realized I left my reusable water bottle sitting on the kitchen counter, so I swing into the convenience store and grab a Smart Water. If my gym doesn’t recycle, I’ve just added to the 20 million bottles that go to landfills in the US each year.
Reducing energy costs is a big topic when we discuss green, sustainable and environmentally conscious purchases with home and business owners. In a study just published by The Professional Awning Manufacturers Association (PAMA), a 50-city study proves that awnings and exterior shades can reduce cooling costs for homeowners by more than 50%! I was shocked to learn that the suns rays through your windows are responsible for almost 20% of the load on your air conditioner.
“The significance of this type of energy savings extends beyond reduced home expenses,” said Joe Huang, president of White Box Technology, who conducted the study. When numerous homeowners in a community reduce their energy use, there is less demand for energy during peak usage, resulting in overall savings to utility companies and the public.
So awnings are not just an aesthetically pleasing choice for your home or business. They are also a green, sustainable and environmentally conscious purchase!
Any more tips on reducing energy costs? Also, check out some Before & After photos of our awnings.