You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Greening Of America’ tag.
At last year’s Ocean Conservancy International Coastal Cleanup, 400,000 volunteers found more than 6.8 million pounds of trash at beaches and lakes in 100 countries and 42 states in just one day last year. Their flagship event in September is the largest single-day volunteer effort aimed at protecting our ocean and waterways. But don’t wait until September. Enter “beach cleanup” into your favorite search engine and there’s a good chance you’ll find one coming soon to a beach near you.
HAT TIP: oceanconservancy.org
According to worldcentric.org, 73 billion styrofoam and plastic cups and plates were put in the trash in 2003 in the USA alone. World Centric provides high quality compostable food service disposables and food packaging products for use in schools, corporate cafeterias, restaurants, hospitals, and homes. They use renewable resources like corn and discarded sugar cane and wheat straw fiber to make sustainable alternatives to plastics and styrofoam.
You can order a “generic sample pack for $7.50 plus shipping and handling at
Electronic waste, or e-waste, refers to the mountains of broken or obsolete computers, printers, televisions, stereos, and telephones that have entered the world’s waste stream over the past couple of decades. In fact, Greenpeace International estimates that up to 50 million tons of e-waste is generated globally each year. Bringing the e-recycling message to the streets, Best Buy gets kudos for a very clever billboard.
HAT TIP: scoutingny.com.
Wind power is currently one of the great hopes for long-term sustainable energy technologies… so you might be surprised to learn how long it has been around. The earliest known windmill design dates as far back as 500 A.D., to ancient Persia, where they were used to grind grain and pump water. Reeds were bundled together to create vertical paddles that spun around a central axis. More windmill history here.
Next time you’re in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, New York, check out the world’s only, LEED-certified bowling alley. Brooklyn Bowl uses 100% wind power and energy-saving LED stage lights, provides huge-capacity bike racks, and has spruced up the neighborhood by planting 16 trees. If you can’t make it to Brooklyn Bowl in person, you can visit their website at brooklynbowl.com.
HAT TIP: inhabitat.com.
John Hantz, of the financial services firm Hantz Group, hopes to rejuvenate the city of Detroit by creating the world’s largest urban farm. Hantz Farms – owned, operated and staffed by residents of Detroit – could provide the city with “hundreds of “green” jobs and a generous supply of fresh, local, safe produce for local families and the region in general.” You can read about the project in more detail at hantzfarmsdetroit.
Adam Gardner of the band, Guster, speaks about what he and the band are doing to do their part to help the environment, and about REVERB, the company he created to help other musicians go green.
Looking for a way to be eco-friendly even after you leave this world? Resomation is a water/alkali-based alternative to cremation that uses less energy than traditional cremation and produces significantly less CO2, while eliminating mercury emission into the atmosphere. So when you go, go green.
For details, visit resomation.com.
How’d you like to have your backyard (or your front yard for that matter) qualify as a certified wildlife habitat? Follow a few relatively simple rules and the National Wildlife Federation will take care of it for you. Start by using native and indigenous plants (e.g., cactus gardens in deserty Los Angeles). Fertilize organically, watch water consumption, use all-natural compost, and you’re on your way. For more information, visit http://planetgreen.discovery.com.
If you’ve been praying for a greater consciousness when it comes to global issues, you’re not alone. A collective of churches known as Interfaith Power and Light is mobilizing a religious response to global warming in its congregations by promoting renewable energy, energy efficiency, and conservation. A praiseworthy effort indeed! HAT TIP:interfaithpowerandlight.org.
This Friday’s Focus is FOOD. Nine delectable posts. And not coincidentally, you can purchase a copy of Food Inc. at your favorite purveyor of DVDs. If that happens to be Amazon, click: www.amazon.com.
This is Joel’s second appearance on greenlandoceanblue (some of you may have missed his debut in July). In any case, take a minute or so and watch it.
If you don’t have the time, take a half a minute or so and read Polyface Farms’ Guiding Principles:
TRANSPARENCY: Anyone is welcome to visit the farm anytime. No trade secrets, no locked doors, every corner is camera-accessible.
GRASS-BASED: Pastured livestock and poultry, moved frequently to new “salad bars,” offer landscape healing and nutritional superiority.
INDIVIDUALITY: Plants and animals should be provided a habitat that allows them to express their physiological distinctiveness. Respecting and honoring the pigness of the pig is a foundation for societal health.
COMMUNITY: We do not ship food. We should all seek food closer to home, in our foodshed, our own bioregion. This means enjoying seasonality and reacquainting ourselves with our home kitchens.
NATURE’S TEMPLATE: Mimicking natural patterns on a commercial domestic scale insures moral and ethical boundaries to human cleverness. Cows are herbivores, not omnivores; that is why we’ve never fed them dead cows like the United States Department of Agriculture encouraged (the alleged cause of mad cows).
EARTHWORMS: We’re really in the earthworm enhancement business. Stimulating soil biota is our first priority. Soil health creates healthy food.
Please pay a visit to polyfacefarms.com.
Häagen-Dazs, which relies on honey bees for many of the natural ingredients that go into it’s ice cream, has donated more than $500,000 over the past two years to scientific research that will help save them. Last week, the company collaborated with TwitCause in a “sponsored tweets” campaign in support of the bees. Here’s how a “sponsored tweet” works: every time you send out a qualifying tweet in support of a cause, the sponsor (in this case Häagen-Dazs) makes a donation to that cause (up to a maximum, of course). In this case, the bees collected $7000 (a grand a day).
Check out helpthehoneybees.com (also sponsored by Häagen-Dazs) – a beautiful and informative website.
If you’re wondering about how to replace the plastic containers you use for food storage, here’s a tip: recycle and use glass bottles or jars (a single one can save enough energy to light a 100 watt light bulb for about 4 hours). Or buy a SLOM JAR with lid for just $2.99 at Ikea (see photo).
Hat Tip: www.brighthub.com
originally uploaded by muha….
A unique foundation called the Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF) is determined to fight two of our planet’s most pressing issues – climate change and global poverty – with one of the Earth’s greatest resources: the sun.
SELF is working all over the world, targeting those places and issues that need critical attention, or wherever their work can have the greatest impact. In Burundi, for example, they’ve collaborated with Partners In Health to install a solar electric generating system that’s helping medical personnel treat thousands of patients suffering from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.
This remarkable group really is onto something – transforming the sun’s energy not only into power, but into hope. Learn more at www.self.org.
Living a greener life doesn’t necessarily relegate you to the slow lane. While many hybrids may be lacking in both looks and power, a few green car makers are working to ensure that you get where you’re going in style. You may have heard about the flashy Tesla Roadster, but the as-yet-unreleased Karma by Fisker Automotive represents a new breed of luxury hybrids, with a top speed of 150-mph. Pre-order yours today for just under 90k. Where? karma.fiskerautomotive.com.
Related articles by Zemanta
From biodegradable trash bags for your kitchen to eco-friendly shampoo for your bathroom, there are so many ways to make your home more green. But what about the bedroom? If your passion for the environment is matched only by your passion for your partner, Planet Green as some titillating ideas for you. How about showering together to save water? Or using silky-smooth bed sheets made from renewable bamboo? For many more ideas, check out How To Go Green: Sex. Grown-ups only please.
If you’re not familiar with the concept of upcycling, it basically means repurposing something into something else rather than disposing of it. We’ve heard of lots of great upcycling ideas for trash – fashion, household goods, art – but we haven’t come across ideas for an actual trash container – until now. Some very clever city-dwellers have repurposed dumpsters into gardens, skate ramps, and even swimming pools.
Eco-pods-by-Howeler-+-Yoon-Architecture-and-Squared-Design-sq1, originally uploaded by Fast Company
No doubt there has been some slimy business conducted in downtown Boston, but nothing quite like one budding architect has imagined. In response to a Boston Globe request for imaginative redesigns for stalled building projects, nearly twenty forward thinking designers responded with a range of solutions, including a futuristic stack of pods to grow algae for use in alternative fuels.
Hat Tip: www.asylum.co.uk.
PHOTO: Team Germany, winner of the 2007 Solar Decathon, has entered this year’s competition with a cube-shaped dwelling that has a unique solar skin.
The U.S. Department of Energy is hosting the 2009 Solar Decathlon – a competition in which 20 teams of college and university students compete “to design, build, and operate the most attractive, effective, and energy-efficient solar-powered house.” You can follow the action at solardecathlon.org.
Hybrid automobiles get great gas mileage but it takes 113 million BTUs of energy to manufacture a car like the Toyota Prius. That’s the equivalent of 1000 gallons of gasoline (or roughly 46,000 miles of driving). Keep this in mind when you purchase your next vehicle. A fuel efficient used car from the early 1990s might be the most responsible – and least expensive – solution. For example, to match the carbon savings from a 1998 Toyota Tercel (which gets 27mpg city/35mpg), you’d have to drive a Prius 100,000 miles. For more information, visit www.wired.com.
Fashions may fade, but plastics last forever. Fortunately, the designers at Bagir are picking up disposable plastic bottles (soooo last season) and transforming them into some of today’s hottest fashions.
For everything from washable clothing made from 55% recycled PET bottles to the transparent suit that turned a few heads at last month’s New York Fashion Week, click on over to bagir.com.
These shoes were made out of recycled plastic bags by Childean design student Camila Labra. The bags were fused together and the result is a material that is flexible, light, and non-toxic. They can be bought for about $45 USD. For more information, visit botasdacca.blogspot.com and if necessary, bring a translator.
SEAPLEX scientist Chelsea Rochman talks about the impacts plastics have on the ocean from the point of view of chemicals and pollutants. She specifically talks about Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) how they accumulate up the food chain, and how they affect us.
Hat Tip: Peligro
Lily, a 5th-grader at Montgomery County, Md., Public Schools’ Great Seneca Creek Elementary School, talks about attending a LEED-Gold school.* For more information, visit www.buildgreenschools.org.
*The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ encourages and accelerates global adoption of sustainable green building and development practices through the creation and implementation of universally understood and accepted tools and performance criteria.
If you’re in or near Washington, D.C. on October 17th and 18th, the White House invites you to visit Michelle Obama’s Kitchen Garden where carrots, peas, beans, lettuce, and other vegetables are harvested for the First Family’s meals and formal dinners. The tour is free but you’ll need tickets (they’ll be handed out on a first-come, first served basis starting at 8 a.m. each day at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion at 15th & E Streets). For more information, click travel.latimes.com.
An organization called, Matter of Trust, is collaborating with thousands of hair salons around the globe who donate hair clippings for use in soaking up oil spills. The effort was inspired by hair stylist Phil McCrory who began testing the oil-absorbing potential of hair after noticing the oil-soaked fur on Alaskan otters after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989. For details, click www.matteroftrust.org.
How do you design a home that can survive rising sea levels? You build it on a buoyant foundation (e.g., the basement doubles as a life raft). Architects from Dura Vermeer in the Netherlands believe the concept can work for entire blocks of cities. For more information, visit floatinghouses.
Many agricultural crops all over the world are pollinated by bees. The disappearance of bees as a result of so-called Colony Collapse Disorder would therefore be a calamity. The Beehaus provides a warm, secure, and dry place for bees to live. And thrive. It can be used in your garden or on your rooftop and is especially useful in urban areas where bees have difficulty surviving. For more information, visi www.omlet.co.uk.
TerraCycle was the brainchild of Tom Szaky when he was a student at Princeton University in 2001. The company has grown from being a purveyor of worm poop fertilizer to a developer of products created from up-cycled waste. For more details, visit terracycle.
Several times a month, Food Forward – an all-volunteer, grassroots group of Angelenos – convenes at a private property (by invitation) and glean the excess fruit on its trees, donating 100% to local food pantries. For more information – or to join them – visit foodforward.org. You can also read more about the Food Forward movement here.
Hat Tip: Kiko and latimes.com.
originally uploaded by San Diego Coastkeeper
The world’s first Plastic Bag Free Day will be on the 12th September 2009. Leave plastic bags at the checkout, help to make your town Plastic Bag Free or join in the celebrations at town’s that have already stopped using plastic bags. You could also write to shops and supermarkets asking them to support the day. For more information, visit adoptabeach.org.uk.
Headquartered on the island of Maui, Bamboo Living creates prefab bamboo homes starting at $60 per square foot. Their mission is to protect and restore our planet by pioneering with bamboo as a structural building material.
FACTS ABOUT BAMBOO: Bamboo is environmentally friendly. This woody plant (it’s a grass, not a tree) absorbs huge quantities of carbon from the atmosphere and replaces it with life-giving oxygen. It’s also the most renewable green building material on earth and also one of the strongest (it’s tensile strength is 28,000 per square inch versus 23,000 for steel). The fastest growing plant in the world, bamboos grow to full height and girth in 3 to 4 months (the growth of some plants has been measured at up to 4 feet in a 24 hour perio
Ohio Airships envisions “roadless trucking” with its zeppelin-like Dynalifter® aircraft. Dynalifter® airships – with transport costs and speeds comparable to trucking – are cost-effective for most developing nations. Dynalifters carry three times more freight than 747s but travel at about 200 kph and therefore require much less fuel. Hat Tip: freethinker.
Washup has created a device that integrates a washing machine with a toilet. The hybrid takes wasted water from the washing cycle and reuses it for flushing. Plus, it’s a space saver. Hat tip: tuvie.com.
Morris Architects’ visionary Oil Rig Platform Resort & Spa was the grand prize winner in the Radical Innovation in Hospitality design competition. The creators propose transforming an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico by turning it into an eco-haven surrounded by the sea. Hat Tip: www.inhabitat.com
Above: a Reusuable Fresh Snack Pack from freshsnackpack.com. BPA free, PVC free, lead free, kid-tested, mom-invented. We haven’t tried one but that doesn’t mean you can’t.
originally uploaded by candrews
The Bountiful Backyards’ team includes designers, landscapers, artisans, philosophers and educators who create “beautiful, diverse and sustainable edible landscapes for schools, communities, congregations and homeowners.” Among the services they offer: “Unique designs tailored to your needs and resources, from small organic vegetable gardens to food forests and “installation of designs using environmentally regenerative, and as-local-as-possible plants and materials.” They also offer consultancy packages (by the hour) for do-it-yourselfers.
Rubbersidewalks are made of 100% California tire rubber. Each square foot uses the rubber of one entire passenger tire and 400 square feet keeps over two tons of waste tire rubber from going into landfill. Rubbersidewalks also reduce the number of tires piling up in dumps and, because they don’t crack, they reduce the cost of repairing sidewalks. Rubbersidewalks have been installed in 60 cities across the country and Canada.
TRUCK FARM is a Wicked Delicate film + food project. Combining green roof technology, organic compost + heirloom seeds, we are creating a living story about growing a little food in a big city. Each “episode” is a partial excerpt of a larger film project, slated for completion in fall 2009. Visit www.wickedelicate.com to learn more, and stay tuned!
When he was 14, Andrew Angelloti got the idea to turn his 1988 Mazda pickup into an electric vehicle. The part-time lifeguard started buying parts in 2006 and finished his project in May, 2007. Powered by 20 golf cart batteries, the truck has a top speed of 55MPH with a range of 40 miles per charge. Now 18 years-old, Andrew reports that, despite the rigors of college life, he’s built a few motor controllers of various types on the small scale, digital voltage gauges, and “a few other non-EV-related items that I am equally unrightfully proud of – digital clocks, stepper motor controllers, that kind of thing.”