Greg Johns WIN Cookeville

Realizing The Value of New Understandings

You know those moments – epiphanies – so called? That’s that moment, usually very fast in experience, when you suddenly realize something you hadn’t before. Sometimes it can be of major import, while other times it may be of lesser consequence. I had one of those the other night.

Danielle, the left-to-my-right heart valve, purchased new toothbrushes for us. She has this knack, and hobby, of seeking out and buying products we use every day, but in a more earth-friendly manner. So, she found these toothbrushes from Zero Waste Cartel. They are bamboo. She bought us wooden toothbrushes.

Now, the box told the story of how we throw away oodles of plastic toothbrushes each year and those slender buggers apparently don’t biodegrade. This is when I had the epiphany. I had never paid attention to the idea of the plastic in my toothbrushes. I’m an earth-friendly dude. I recycle religiously. I owned an EV until I bought WIN Home Inspection Cookeville. I like growing non-grass crops in my yard. So, I’m pretty left-leaning when it comes to the environment (but, don’t get me started on our nation’s fiscal responsibilities). Yet, I had never stopped to realize my toothbrushes were sitting around for thousands of years in landfills.

Similarly, as a home inspector, I often feel most home owners simply don’t understand some basic aspects of home maintenance. That, in taking care of your home, you are best to sweat the small stuff. When I talk with my clients – let’s say about site drainage – so many of them have never had a conversation about why the slope of the soil around the foundation matters, how downspouts should be positioned, to where the water should be routed, and sometimes, sometimes, what a downspout is. I have yet to meet a client, after more than 2,600 homes, that isn’t concerned about water in a crawl space or basement. Yet, most seem entirely nonchalant about improperly draining downspouts and perimeter grading. These things go hand-in-hand, folks.

What We Come To Know Can Change Us

Accepting that we may not understand what we thought we understood can be mentally fatiguing. Almost four decades of using a plastic toothbrush and I bristled at sticking wood – bamboo or not – in my mouth to brush my teeth. It felt abnormal. In the end, it cleaned just the same. Home maintenance is similar – “If I connect this downspout to a drain line and route it out a few feet from the home, that will help resolve the water in my crawlspace? That’s all I have to do?” Yes, yes it is. I’m not saying it won’t involve some effort, or discomfort (after all, wood feels weird against the inside of my lips …), but the payoff can prove mentally and fiscally rewarding when we release what we thought we knew and will ourselves to adapt and change. Our homes, and those in them, may grow to love us that much more.