I read a recent blog post which claimed that contractors and engineers do not see themselves as environmentalists. That's just too bad. Contractors and engineers, whether builders, diggers, HVAC techs, plumbers, or electricians all work to improve the environment in which we all live. The environmental focus for these contractors has historically been on the indoors. Today, we understand a greater dependency shared between the indoors and outdoors. Movements such as LEED, Green Home, and LIDs are an indication of the growing concern and public awareness of "contractor impact". What has come to be described as urban sprawl was unrestrained development without any regard to quality. This was an industry-wide mistake. It was not a mistake because of greed or neglect. We just didn't know any better at the time.
Now that we do know better, architects, engineers, and contractors should always strive for the highest quality. To be an environmentalist should mean that one has a knowledge and practice of environmental quality. If the people who design and build our communities do not have our overall environmental quality in mind, whether "inside" or "outside", are they really doing their jobs in the first place? I am an environmentalist because I am a contractor. Its a responsibility that comes with the job.