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Old Faithful: Durability as a Green Philosophy

Yesterday, we mentioned [www.sundance.tv] the idea that longevity (and the requisite durability that usually comes with it) is an important (and sometimes easy to overlook) facet of being “green,” using Porsche’s claim that 60% of the vehicles they’ve ever built are still on the road. A nice stat, for sure, but let’s be realistic: we all can’t go out and buy one today, or tomorrow, or maybe ever. The good news, though, is that you don’t have to (with tongue fully in cheek — in case you were really thinking about it); here are some of TreeHugger’s favorite old faithfuls.

1) One way to think about it is this: don’t settle for “design icing” — go for the cake as this building did [www.treehugger.com] by eschewing a simple green roof for high-efficiency boilers, heat recovery, and high-performance glazing. The results: a building that will perform at a high green level for at least 75 years.
2) That’s a nice example, but here’s some more practical context: this light bulb [www.treehugger.com] has been working since 1901 (!!), sipping energy to the tune of 4 watts thanks to a carbon filament.
3) Speaking of light bulbs, we have to mention that compact fluorescent light bulbs [www.treehugger.com] can last 10 times longer than the incandescents you replace them with.
4) Great, but when talking “longevity” and “light bulbs,” LEDs take the cake [www.treehugger.com]; they’re more expensive, but they’re super-energy-efficient and it might be the last time you ever change the bulb.

5) In the spirit of yesterday’s car example, check out this Volkswagen diesel [www.treehugger.com] that has topped 562,000 miles and is still chugging along.
6) Durability should be a regular consideration for almost every consumer choice you make, including choosing which clothes to buy [www.treehugger.com].
7) Okay, so buildings, light bulbs and cars; they all make sense, but where does durability fit in with the definition of sustainable design [www.treehugger.com]?