Did You Know?

Decades of research shows that expanding roads doesn’t provide lasting congestion relief. More lanes means more traffic.

Your kid won't hate you for your R-11 wall insulation

 Treehugger blogged yesterday on new LEED homes in communities with failing Walk Scores.

Some developers in the southwest suburbs are pursuing LEED certification for their new subdivisions that are built on empty land, miles from jobs, stores and schools. So, that means you can exchange 20% of your utilities bill for doubling or tripling the time you and your kids spend in the car.

I live in an old bungalow that can't keep the upstairs – Active Trans' southland office – warmer than 58 when the temperature drops below 20 outside, and this with zoned heating. But, I don't use my mini-van for much of anything. (Except my job, it seems: covering a territory from Portage, Ind. to Plainfield, I claim the vast majority of Active Trans's carbon footprint, which is how I justify not doing it. It's for the planet!) We picked a south suburban town and a location within it that made car use an option for most of our travel , not a requirement, and we don't choose that option much. Dairy Queen is three blocks away.

But my town (and its weather) is just short of perfect, so I have to drive and sometimes I have to make my daughter go with me. My kid HATES being in cars, feels car rides are a COLOSSAL waste of her precious, super-important 10-year old prima donna time, and hates me for it when it happens.

Weird mole fur or whatever (really, it's like hairy paper) as insulation in my roof? A COLOSSAL waste of time for her to even TRY to hate me for that. Especially when making her get in the damn car does such a good job.

Overall, the kid likes me; we walk and bike most of the places important to us both, and sometimes I have to walk behind her, but that's not hate, just love percolating through pre-teen hormones. LED lighting and radiant flooring bring no benefit to me here.

How my family gets around, our self-powered mobility, has enormous impact on our lives. As for my radiating house,  I wear a stocking hat when I'm at work, make the little dog lie down on my feet, and keep the stair doors closed.

I've got a LEED certified lifestyle, and a LEED certified kid (Whatever…., cue eye roll). I should get that tatooed somewhere visible, bask in the glow. Wish the home scored better. But I'll choose the lifestyle and my daughter every time.