I checked my inverter about midday today and saw that the solar PVC panels were generating 2067 volts. Not too shabby for the Sunset District of San Francisco (if you are reading this from Minnesota and do not know, the Sunset district is infamous for being a foggy mess in the summer, a detail not wholly grounded in reality) I am guessing the panels will produce at least 15 kilowatt hours today, so my eco pride is flowing. How apropos that this weekend is in fact Pride Weekend in the city.
I did visit the Pacific Coast Builders Conference in downtown San Francisco last week. PCBC is the premier trade show of conventional builders on the west coast, complete with vendors hawking their wares at a modern and far more “civilized” closed air bazaar, workshops, keynotes, little plastic badges and a crew of dancers from the gold club handing out coupons. I guess the recession is hitting everyone.
The floor was grim to say the last, it looked like half the number of sellers from last year, and for every regular guy like me walking around there seemed to be 20 people with listless eyes staring out from their respective booths. Whirlpool was jumping, they have Martin Yan every year doing cooking demos, but even he only had about 20 or so bodies when I passed by. The dye is looking a bit orange in his hair, they should have pinched better lighting from one of the LED booths nearby.
Toto had a new to me marketing push called “Totology” they are using to push their water saving line of fixtures, toilets and the like. Props to them, I bought 3 new Aquia Dual flushes this week for some bathrooms I am doing. Lots of the vendors were pushing their Sustainable Credentials with FSC labels, I like that. I met a guy from the Sustainable Forrestry Initiative. Rob Worthington, who was spinning his group’s angle as being a more local/North American oriented type of FSC group. They were originally an industry sponsored group, though he claims they have spun off to be 100% independent. Frankly I do not believe that, any industry group that claims to be “independent” instantly strikes me as bullshit, but I am going to keep my eye on them and see what I see, who knows, maybe they really are trying to do the right thing and balance our lust for wood with responsible forest management.
In general I thought most people were green-washing their products as opposed to really giving a crap about the environment and sustainable building. This is no west coast green to be sure, but even green-washing is to a degree progress. It is just that we need more.