hug a tree for me, please

written by alison

I swear I’m a tree-hugger.

I promise that I’m a hippie and do whatever I can to take care of mother nature. But the stack of paperwork next to me suggests otherwise.

Building a house is not for the weak at heart hipster.

For the last 5 months, I’ve been quietly weeping each time I have to print the lastest version of the¬†floor plans, what feels like the 40th contract or yet another amendment. Of course none of these files are single page documents. More often than not they have at least 12 pages. That doesn’t even include the amount of paperwork that I come home with from meetings with the bank, contractor or subdivision developer. And not an ounce of dirt has been moved yet.

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I know this is just the beginning.

What gets me the most is knowing that once all of this paperwork gets approved, trucks full of chopped down trees are going to head on over to lot 35. A few of the live trees on the lot may have to get cut down as well. I try not to think about it too much.

On the plus side, the neighborhood requires all homeowners plant at least two trees on their lot once they finish building. You can bet that I’ll be planting at least one more.

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

Scout’s honor that I am doing what I can to reduce the number of printed copies that I contribute to this process. When a new round of plans or budget sheets has been printed, the old ones are reused as scrap paper for my desk (I doodle notes + ideas all day long). Once the page is filled with window sizes on one side and Sharpie scribbles on the other, I lovingly toss it into the recycling bin.

It still doesn’t seem like enough, but that might be the wimpy hipster in me. At least I know that my house will be Green Built Certified and meet the Focus on Energy requirements. Plus it will have a hippie living in it. That has to count for something.