A yellow house in the country with solar panels on the roof.What on earth is sustainable design?

Sustainable design is an often used – but not necessarily understood – term.  And it’s one of those terms that can have a very simple explanation, or a very complex one.

At it’s root, sustainable design is a process that considers how a building, product or service will impact the planet and all who live here. From the tiniest microorganism to the tallest tree. And of course, people like you and I.

In order for something to be truly sustainable, we have to consider how it will effect the environment in every stage of its existence. From its conceptualization, to its production, to what it becomes at the end of its life cycle.

A few important sustainable design principles include using materials that are renewable and have a low environmental impact. Employing manufacturing processes that use less energy and create less waste. And designing buildings and products so their parts can be reused or recycled when they outlive their original purpose.

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Sounds like a lot of work, you say?

Well, it kind of is. But only if you look at it the way most of us have been taught to see the world. As something that belongs to us instead of something we are a part of.

As Canadian activist and writer Peter Denton puts it, “Good people make bad choices because they don’t think enough (or at all) about what they are choosing.”

Sustainable design is about making better choices in the things we build and the things we create.

Of Houses and Trees focuses on the things we as individuals can do to help sustainable design become the norm. From the homes we buy and build to the furniture and decor we put in them, together we can make better choices.

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Let’s be treehuggers together!

Oh, and let’s be friends too…

Former architectural technologist. Current treehugger.

I’m here to help you green your home – and your life.


Plant a tree with Click a Tree. It really is that easy!

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Here are a just a few eco-conscious items I own and love.  Visit the Sustainable Products page for more!

Find out more about our 40 acres of land in Parkland County, Alberta and the sustainable home we built amongst the trees.