Green is about using what is available with as little impact as possible. This is a very Algonquin concept.
Green is using the best design, construction and maintenance processes of all time. Some are rudimentary even primitive, and some are highly sophisticated. An open window, streaming sunlight and a room-by-room computerized heating and cooling system all fit together in the same building, just like an ancient Algonquin longhouse is built to house a state-of-the-art video-casting theater.
This building, the Thomas E. Curtis Wildlife Hospital and Education Center, was conceived and built by the Center in accordance with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards at a time when there were only forty-two LEED buildings in the world. Now there are tens of thousands. We never applied for official certification because we could not afford the application and evaluation fees. We are a skin-and-bones community based non-profit, and if we can do this then anybody can: especially businesses, corporations, and government facilities. Being green is about being responsible; it is a polite, unselfish and often unnoticed deference to the animals, plants, our human neighbors and the future generations that share Earth.
Being green can be a personal action, and it can be collective community action. Personal green actions include things like drinking water from the tap and not from throw-away water bottles, turning off the TV, computer and lights when you leave a room, mowing your lawn less often, not idling your car, and walking and biking instead of driving. Sustainability, a term often heard today, refers to collective community acts that deal with resources over the long term. For instance, recycling at town refuse centers, fees on recycling bottles and cans, community water bans, and taxes on carbon (if we ever get there).
Celebrate raccoons, celebrate Algonquians, celebrate ourselves, celebrate Earth. Be GREEN.