People tend to get a bit funny when you mention the words climate change. Maybe they find the size of the problem overwhelming, maybe they don’t believe the consensus of 95% of the world’s scientists, maybe they’d just rather talk about other things.

Largely I avoid the topic of climate change, too, because it never seems to do any good. That’s why I much prefer thinking about making houses more energy efficient or speaking to the people who have already adjusted their lives in other ways, inspiring people. There’s no downside to these things. In fact, the more I consider where these actions lead, the more I am sure they improve life as well.

In my latest podcast I interviewed Lloyd Alter, Managing Editor of TreeHugger. This episode was one where I did want to take in the bigger picture – as Lloyd publishes stories about sustainability from all corners of the globe – but we got onto the subject of Lloyd’s recent trip to China, which was preceded by a stopover in Denmark. He said that the two places could not have been more different. Yet in some ways you could argue that Copenhagen might be the more backward! For example, 30 years ago they set out to make driving cars in the city centre almost socially unacceptable. They gave priority to people on bikes, got rid of car parking spaces and created bike lanes everywhere. Lloyd described the feeling in the city today as wonderful. No doubt it’s better for the health of the people who live there in terms of less pollution and they are probably fitter, too. Win win.

You may think this blog post has nothing to do with building a house but I think it does. One of the trends that Lloyd believes is happening all over the world is that people are moving back downtown. Location, location, location is taking on a more important role. Having those amenities on your doorstep is something we should be very conscious about.

We cover quite a lot of ground in this episode as Lloyd shares his thoughts about worldwide trends in green design. Hear what he has to say by downloading the latest podcast from the iTunes library.

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