The planning and designing of NewTree Ranch has provided us a great opportunity to rethink the way we integrate with our environment. Traditional approaches to sustainable building have focused on how to minimize the negative impact human activity has on natural resources. But what if we could make human impact on nature positive? This is the idea behind regenerative sustainability. In the regenerative model, human activity becomes less about minimizing damage and more about nurturing healing. According to Professor John Robinson from the University of British Columbia, “the goal [of regenerative sustainability] is not simply to approach net zero impact, but to reach net positive impact. The whole mind-set changes from damage limitation to improving environmental and human conditions.”1 We think this is a lofty goal but one we are dedicated to achieving. Sustainability at NewTree Ranch started with a transition to solar power for heating our pool. Today, we have doubled our solar panels, began transitioning to all electric vehicles and tools, incorporated green building materials in our new construction, and tapped into the thermal energy from our lake to heat and cool our buildings.
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