Recycling, turning off your lights and opting to ride your bike instead of drive to your chosen destinations are all wonderful ways to lead a green life, but sometimes it can also be about where you live — in addition to how you live — that can make an impact. Cory McCallum, 29, had this exact idea in mind when founding GreenTex Builders
in January of 2009, a custom home building and remodeling company in Austin, Texas.
GreenTex Builders is described as
"a residential and commercial builder working to make older homes more efficient." McCallum founded the environmentally-friendly business with his friend and fellow University of Texas graduate, Cameron Ponsford, 26.
McCallum graduated from college in 2003, where he built up his real estate and construction expertise working as superintendent for various custom home builders in Austin, Texas. Ponsford finished school in 2007, and the two entrepreneurs took their shared idea of incorporating environmentally-conscious designs into everyday living with GreenTex Builders at the start of 2009.
"Our mission is to build and remodel top-quality custom homes in Austin, TX. We want to be your resource and advisor for all your green building
needs," states McCallum on the website
. Instead of the innovative builders only creating new customized green homes to Austin residents, they also provide services like Green Design consultations, remodeling and renovations to older homes, commercial construction and finish out.
GreenTex Builders doesn't let the size of the company discourage their business — or the timing they came into the market. "One of the things we initially perceived as a disadvantage, the timing of our launch at the absolute bottom of the market cycle for construction, has in many ways turned out to be a benefit to GreenTex," said McCallum.
"The strength of the Austin housing market, relative to the rest of the country, has led to a huge influx of both homeowners and builders in our area," said McCallum, looking at the glass as half full.
In addition to the dedication GreenTex puts into their building and renovations, the company's devotion to customer service is just as vital. One of the ways the business shows its appreciation for its patrons is through blogging
. The interactive medium offers general information on the corporation and all behind it, coverage of events and benefits hosted as well as tips on improving the quality of your home to better the environment and lower costs.
"As young builders, our knowledge is continually being updated as we receive formal and informal education," said McCallum. "This is a huge advantage for our customers since they receive the latest [updated] information on smart building science and sustainable design."
A little information goes a long way with the GreenTex blog
. On a post written Oct. 13, the company suggests investing in a Cree LR6 light fixture
— a bulb that fits in six-inch cans to give a high efficiency upgrade without installing new fixtures.
This may seem trivial, but these specific bulbs live 50,000 hour lives, reduce maintenance, conserve waste and energy, reduce your cooling and heating load and contain zero mercury. "If you have outdated can lighting in your house, look into a product like this. You'll save yourself dollars while doing a favor to the planet," said McCallum.
On top of helpful tips with residential and environmental information featured, the GreenTex blog
highlights promotional events through teamwork with Austin non-profit organizations, each with the common goal to better its customers' quality of existence.
The group is currently sponsoring the City of Austin Free Toilet Program
, an affair to encourage water conservation by replacing older toilets in residencies with new high efficiency ones. "Replacing old toilets with high efficiency designs can now result in excess of 15 percent water savings with no change in toilet performance," said GreenTex on its Oct. 18 blog
If intrigued, you can read more about the special offer or visit the website
to fill out an application to receive your new toilet — becoming one step closer to a living in a more environmentally-friendly and green home.
The Austin entrepreneurs additionally featured their involvement with Seed Our Future
and Tree Folks
— non-profit organizations that focus on planting trees all over the world and helping urban forests expand in the central Texas area.
While Seed Our Future uses proceeds to plant trees globally, Tree Folks Organization is in the middle of an annual happening, the Sapling Days Program
, where the union gives away free sapling trees during the fall "to dispel the notion that spring is the best season for planting trees."
During the time of the promotional event, Tree Folks gives out over 2,500 free trees each year to residents in multiple locations. You can find out more about Seed Our Future and Tree Folks involvement with GreenTex on the October 14 posting of the website
The good deeds with Green Tex don't stop there, either. On Oct. 6, GreenTex hosted a benefit with House + Earth to help support the organization 1House at a Time
. 1House at a Time is an organization that comes together to help homeowners that can't afford to make payments such as mortgage or utilities and to help them to avoid losing their home as a result.
A Nurtured World
, the Austin-based, non-profit organization affiliated with 1House at a Time, is described as "a research and educational not-for-profit corporation, dedidicated to transforming the way people think about the environmental impact of their day-to-day activities — at home and in the workplace."
GreenTex made sure to include business with pleasure that Wednesday night, where they offered Spanish-style tapas, refreshments from Deep Eddy Vodka and entertainment with live music from flamenco guitars to guests in attendance. Catering services were provided by The Vanilla Orchid
and Chef Molly Peck. "We couldn't have asked for better food or service. The presentation was stunning and the crew's service was friendly, prompt and readily available for any need," said McCallum.
With about 200 people in attendance throughout the night, the company managed to raise over $4,000 for its cause in educating the public about renovating their lives and activities at home to better fit the needs and costs for living. "It was a great success," said McCallum of the event. The aspiring Austin business is in talks to have another occasion like the previous in January, where House + Earth will join them to sponsor a different organization.
GreenTex Builders may not be the largest real estate company in the Austin area, but they certainly are one of the best. "We're fortunate to be able to take advantage of the wisdom and experience of several trusted mentors in Austin and around the country, [so we can] avoid some of the major pitfalls that plague other young builders," said McCallum.
"Competing for work against qualified and skilled builders has forced us to hone our sales and marketing processes down to an exact science in a very short period of time," McCallum continued. "We feel that will be a huge advantage as our company grows."
With GreenTex Builders, the only way to look is forward. The Austin company looks forward to improving its corporation through its employees and projects, while simultaneously looking forward to better customer satisfaction in creating the ideal homes toward a healthier world and inhabited life.
To find out more, you can follow GreenTex Builders on Twitter
or visit the official website
to get on board with green building
and other ways to protect our environment while we still can. If you have any questions or comments for GreenTex, you can send an e-mail
or visit the company's Contact
Photos: GreenTex/Wordpress, CoA Free Toilet Program/GreenTex/Wordpress, Sapling Days Program/TreeFolks.org