E11everage, Incorporated

E11everage is dedicated to rebuilding a cleaner and safer live and work environment, one home at a time. The initiative to making more communities  green will help to retrofit with natural (plant or milk-based paint) thousands of existing homes and make them more breathable environmentally friendly. More than 83 percent of Americans live in cities or their surrounding metropolitan areas. In fact, our metro regions comprise 37 of the world’s 100 largest economies. As a consequence, the choices we make for our ”people habitat” have enormous impacts on our well-being, economy, and natural environment.

The Need for Green in Affordable Housing

Buildings and associated development have an enormous impact on the environment. Buildings account for 40 percent of all raw materials used in the United States. Housing and related transportation also account for around 40 percent of global-warming emissions. Standard low-income housing poses additional hazards.

  • Poor ventilation, pest problems, and toxic building materials can lead to serious health problems. Studies estimate that 40 percent of doctor-diagnosed asthma cases among U.S. children are due to risks children face in their own homes. And more than 400,000 children have dangerously high levels of lead in their blood from indoor paint.

  • Energy costs for poor families have increased much faster than their incomes in recent years: low-income families will spend 17 percent of their income on energy per year, and the portion could climb much higher with rapidly increasing fuel costs. Studies show that high energy bills force poor families to spend less money on food.

  • Housing in sprawling neighborhoods is an added burden to low-income families. People at the poverty level pay nearly 40 cents of every dollar they earn for transportation. Sprawl also leads to more pollution and health problems: the Center for Disease Control has found that sprawl is a contributing factor to rising rates of obesity.

 A Blueprint for Healthier Housing

Our plan is to address these problems through a combination of environmentally friendly building re-designs and convenient locations that avoid the problems associated with sprawl. Not only will paint retro-fitting projects create appealing, livable homes, but they will also:

  • Slash energy use by at least 30 percent. Proper insulation, energy efficient appliances, and skylights and high-performance windows can bring dramatic savings in energy bills -- and keep pollution from power plants out of the air. 

  • Reduce health hazards. Green buildings use carpets, paints, wall coverings, and adhesives that emit low levels of potentially harmful volatile organic compounds, which can cause eye and lung irritation and other health problems. 

  • Bring residents closer to transit and jobs. To cut down on sprawl and reduce transportation costs, Green Communities homes will be located within walking distance of public transit, day care, shopping and job opportunities.

The good news is that retro-painting can create efficiencies that reduce per-person resource consumption and pollution. They are critical to any credible approach to environmental quality. But for decades we have allowed our older communities to deteriorate while allowing our newer ones to gobble up the landscape with suburban sprawl. That must change: by making our neighborhoods, cities and metro regions stronger, more livable and more efficient, we can save money, protect natural systems and dramatically improve our quality of life. 

Green buildings and infrastructure:

  • emit less pollution, which results in cleaner air and water and a healthier environment
  • are more efficient, which saves energy and energy costs
  • make neighborhoods more interesting for visitors or investors
[Natural Resources Defense Council; Smarter Business: Green Building, Affordable Green Housing http://www.nrdc.org/cities/building/fhousing.asp]

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