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How Green Is This Gas Station?

[Image by flickr user arturochang]

One of the contributors to our Northern California sister site Someone claiming to be a contributor to our sister site, Curbed SF (seriously, you should think about aiming higher than claiming to be a blogger. it gets us nowhere. trust us), also writes a real estate blog on sustainable design, Greenerati. Today Keith turns his green-colored glasses slightly south. More specifically, he offers us this analysis of the new-ish BP Helios stationBP constructed this Blade Runner looking metal canopy with shiny triangles of uncoated, recyclable stainless steel. The rooftop holds 90 solar panels and a water collection system that gathers rainfall to irrigate drought-tolerant plants nearby. They outfitted the underside with low-energy lighting. Even the driving surface contains a mixture of concrete mixed with recycled glass. Most people would consider these green attributes a big green step ahead. Still one thing bothers us. Where's the bio diesel? Where the alternative fuel? What about selling carbon offsets to customers? In our mind this scenario seems like kissing your sister. It's a tie. A wash. It's one Green step forward and one petroleum polluting step backward.