Arkansas Pushes GREEN Sustainability into Action

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With a sense of urgency and passion being devoted to environmental sustainability around the country, many cities and states are at the forefront in leading towards a green paradigm. Striving to protect and enhance Arkansas’ environment, many public organizations are advocating this cause through activities, public awareness and activism.

With technology and education in eco-friendly resources growing at a rapid rate, living in a world where environmental sustainability is practiced is a vital concern to the future of mankind, it is important to take note of the consequences of improper building materials and environmental degradation. As citizens of Earth, we are obligated to nurture and sustain this planet.

Many older homes may still harvest obsolete and corrosive building materials which can create health concerns. Used throughout the 20th century, asbestos became one of most sought after building applications in the world. Asbestos is the name given for a group of fibrous minerals that were mined for their qualities as fire resistant, insulation and high durability.

There are many green, eco-friendly materials that replace the need for asbestos and can reduce energy costs annually. The implementation of eco-construction, alternative energy solutions and energy reduction solutions has continued to play an important role in the transformation to a healthier and sustainable world.

Many homes, buildings and public facilities built prior to 1980 may still contain asbestos and other hazardous materials. In many instances, the best action is no action at all. Disturbing asbestos in good condition may cause its fibers to be released into the air.

Prolonged exposure to airborne asbestos fibers can potentially lead to the development of related lung ailments such as asbestosis and mesothelioma cancer. Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of asbestos cancer that accounts for three percent of cancer diagnoses in the United States. Due to the fact many symptoms of mesothelioma cancer are similar to less serious ailments, diagnosis of asbestos-related illnesses is one of the more difficult tasks physicians encounter.

GREEN & Sustainable Incentives

“Green” home modifications will help save on energy costs and provide tax credits, but some of them may even be better for your health.

Recently, congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Included in this act were extensions to the tax incentives placed for energy efficiency in 2005, as well as new credits for homeowners who remodel or build using eco-sustainable methods. Some of the measures that are eligible for tax credits include added insulation to walls, ceilings, or other part of the building envelope that meets the 2009 IECC specifications, sealing cracks in the building shell and ducts to reduce heat loss. Storm doors paired with U-factored rated wood doors are also eligible.

Most people are unaware to the fact that eco-friendly products can cut energy costs by 25 % per year.

There is no need for any products used in construction to be made from asbestos, yet over 3,000 work and home-based materials still contain this toxin.

Rather than expensive and mal-treated wood, interior walls can be made from steel and concrete, avoiding many of the problems associated with asbestos and other insulation methods. Green alternatives to asbestos include the use of cotton fiber, lcynene foam and cellulose. These green options have the same beneficial qualities as asbestos, minus the health deteriorating and toxic components.

Arkansas is swiftly changing their construction practices to suit the environment and the health of human beings.