June 8, 2010
GreenHomeNYC board member Alison Novak
reflects on behavior and green buildings.
Recently I’ve been hearing too much of the same depressing argument: we can’t solve climate change through technology alone but the masses of consumers won’t alter their behavior until there is a direct economic cost to them, such as vastly higher fuel costs. Then I was fortunate enough to attend the latest of the Garrison Institute’s “Climate, Buildings and Behavior” conferences (a GreenHomeNYC Partner-in-Practice was also in attendance, Miquela Craytor, representing Sustainable South Bronx). Re-examining the tenets of neoclassical economics in light of data provided to us by behavioral economics and neuroeconomics, gave me a glimpse of an alternate way of looking at the problem of getting people to change how they live without waiting for dire circumstances.
April 6, 2010
Catherine Ryan, Sustainable Infrastructure Research Analyst, Terrapin Bright Green
In simple terms, what did your life look like before you worked with Terrapin?
I was a graphic designer for corporate identity and marketing for about 4 years before I just got tired of doing work that had no real social mission. So, I joined the Peace Corps and moved to Thailand. At least that’s the long story short.
Describe your “Ah-Ha!” moment that shaped your decision to work in this field?
I actually had three “Ah-Ha!” moments that formed my decision. Though they were more like puzzle pieces that had to all fit together before I could figure out my next step.
The first was when I realized that most of the social and economic obstacles encountered by the people I worked with in Thailand had distinct links to environmental degradation, both in their communities and across the greater landscape. (more…)