Monday, August 30, 2010

After Katrina

When I hear the name Katrina it is a painful reminder of the historic events of Labor day weekend 2005. I don't have a life experience to know the pain and suffering endured by the people of the lower 9Th on the days after the storm, but I can try to imagine.

So when my latest edition of O Magazine arrived with a story about Brad Pitt and his Make it Right Foundation, I hesitated a bit, not wanting to re-visit those emotions. But when I finally read the article and then checked the website, I was elated with what they are doing. . I was amazed by the beautiful structures and all the innovations built into these homes. The foundation is designing and building beautiful Eco sustainable homes that will eventually be available to build for $150,000. It is a working experiment of sorts, with talented Architects and Builders using new and better building products and systems. I loved Mr. Pitt's quote "We don't just want to make homes that are 'less bad'for the environment. We want them instead to have an environmental benefit."

These homes are esthetically pleasing in their modernness, produce their own electricity and have rain water storage systems to prevent runoff water. They also use carpets, paints and other finishing elements that are free of harmful chemicals. And you can see the happiness (and healthiness) of the new owners. But what is also important is the return of the vibrancy of these communities. These were working class neighborhoods with deep family roots. These folks owned their homes and cared for their neighbors and it was so nice to see the apparent pride and happiness return to people who suffered so much.

Right now the technology is only available for this project in New Orleans...Hopefully, someday soon, we will have homes like these in our little corner of the world. Thank you Mr. Pitt

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