Green With Acronyms

I don’t lean toward tree-hugging. But I support and respect the architectural precepts of green building and sustainable reuse. Because I’m a human being with senses of observation and humor, I also love the preternaturally human propensity to make acronyms for darn-near everything. Case in point:

The practice of green building has spawned a set of rating systems for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of green buildings, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council — Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Not to be outdone, our counterparts in Britain created the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM). And where would be we without Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE)?

One of my favorites, of course, is the Home Energy Rating System (HERS); although, I can’t help but notice the parlance of green building seems to be conspicuously absent Heat Insulation Systems (HIS). But I don’t want to start anything.

The More the Merrier

Apropos the green building industry, and given the irresistible urge to create acronyms where none is needed, I decided to create my own. After five years of painstaking deliberation, countless hours of brainstorming, thousands of pads of Post-It notes, innumerable focus groups, and six surgeries for carpal tunnel syndrome, I finally (and proudly) came up with this: Guaranteed Reusable Energy Efficient Notions (GREEN).

After I got over my surprise at the fact that no one had yet coined that particular acronym, I decided I’d better define it and its tenets. And since it’s more a random amalgamation of ideas than an actual thing, I decided GREEN would include:

  • Having people wear cooling vests to work in the summer to cut down the demand for air-conditioning, thereby reducing electricity consumption and demands on the grid
  • Having people wear union suits to work in the winter to cut down on the demand for heat, thereby reducing energy demands, as well as fossil-fuel consumption and carbon emissions
  • Giving people summers off to eliminate the need for air conditioning
  • Giving people the winters off to eliminate the need for heating
  • Constructing buildings without windows to keep out heat in the winter and to seal in warmth in the summer
  • Having people work from home so we don’t even need buildings
  • Firing Al Gore off in a space pod to reduce atmospheric hot air, lower atmospheric methane (don’t EVER walk behind him), eliminate a gargantuan carbon footprint, and rid the planet of a public nuisance.

Don’t Be Bashful

Since green is all the rage, I encourage you to create your own acronyms. (Please be sure they’re acronyms, not just  abbreviations.) To officially register your acronym with the Green Acronym Registration Board (GARB), just call 1-800-GO-GREEN.

Operators are standing by.

Image by geralt, courtesy of