When Fred Gant built his own "green" home in 2005, it was the fulfillment of a long-time dream. During the 1980s and 1990s, Gant installed greenhouses and sun rooms for the nonprofit Sunergy, but by the early years of the new millennium, he was looking for a way to get back into green building after 10 years as a general contractor.
"In 2006, the city of Ashland certified my house through Earth Advantage. Then a job opened up for a local representative for Earth Advantage," says Gant, who now certifies green buildings for the Oregon nonprofit.
More recently, Gant co-founded Green Drinks, a social networking organization for green and sustainable industries. It's a loose-knit group that meets one Friday a month to talk about green topics that span the gamut.
Gant is quite the networker himself. He is a member of Green Building, a Rogue Valley home builders group, and a co-founder of the Rogue Valley branch of the Cascadia Green Building Council.
He's also an instructor in the new sustainable advisor program at Southern Oregon University and Rogue Community College.
As Gant sees it, there's a silver lining for green businesses in the current economic downturn.
"A lot of people are looking at existing homes and how they can be more energy-efficient," Gant says. "It's a focus inward."
Gant can be reached at 840-8302.