Of geese, ganders and grace

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You’ve all heard the saying, “If it’s good for the goose, it’s good for the gander.” The goose-gander axiom applies to sustainability as well. If it’s good for people, it’s good for the environment.

Product design that incorporates the goose-gander axiom exhibit true grace. That’s the principle behind the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System.

LEED is “a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.”

Creating and remodeling buildings following LEEDdesign principles create extraordinary spaces, like the Orchard Garden Hotel in San Francisco. Not only is it a eye-poppingly gorgeous space, it’s only the fourth hotel in the world to earn LEEDcertification. The Orchard earned certification by, among other things, employing an energy-saving keycard system that saves 20 percent more energy and pays for itself in two years. It’s simple, you leave the room, you take your key, the power goes off. In another stroke of grace, the hotel was designed in such a way that 80 percent of the regularly occupied spaces take advantage of daylight, which makes the spaces warmer, more habitable and energy efficient. Saving energy, saves money and makes LEED buildings good for capitalist humans as well as human humans.

When people and environment taken into equal consideration, it’s a winning formula for building a healthier, more sustainable world. Good for the goose. Good for the gander. Now, that’s grace.

About The Author

Sweet connects all the dots of Shannon’s life, combining her passion for the environment and human rights with her love of travel and women. Obsessed with finding a way to make the economics of doing good in the world work, Shannon strives to create a successful and green business run by happy employees for blissed-out guests. It’s her favorite kind of situation—a win-win-win. Recently, Shannon was named one of the “Advocate Magazine’s 40 under 40″, Go Mag‘s “Women We Love” and the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association‘s Travel Innovator of 2010. In her spare time, Shannon enjoys sleeping, hiking, building treasures from trash, chasing her little bear and burning brush. She lives in the Sierra Nevada foothills with her son, Theron aka little bear, and dog, Reggie.

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