Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Instant Home for Christmas

The Instant House project was recently created by Hugon Kowalski of H3AR architecture and design. The theme is to link younger generations with temporary residential units and with a special twist on the concrete application. The cylinders themselves are from styrofoam concrete with a direct purpose of increasing acoustics and insulation and is 12 times lighter than traditional concrete. More importantly it contains T102, which will reduce air pollution.

Image Source: Design Boom

Monday, December 21, 2009

Rock Light and Steady

As Christmas approaches, little memories arise of the good times. What I remember and enjoyed as a kid was simply rocking. Rocking to music, and rocking in a cozy chair.

Take it from Rochus Jacob whose minimalistic-approach has folks lighting up as they rock. The rocking chair generates electricity as the sitter rocks in motion. During daylight, the energy is stored in a battery and bridges the world between complexity, consumption and relaxation. The interesting twist is how does one reduce consumption while enjoying the immediate "on/off" of consumption.

To rock or not to rock?
Oh...just relax and enjoy while using a CFL.

Image Source: Designboom

Monday, December 14, 2009

Hopenhagen Continues

The biggest Climate Change Conference, COP15, is still underway as Copenhagen hosts the 15th UN Climate Change conference. The Bella Center in Copenhagen, Denmark will host 192 countries as they work to come to agreement. The end of 2009 marks an important time to achieve this "last chance" agreement centered around cutting carbon emissions, setting technology action programs, and an overall framework for climate change mitigation. The goal for this agreement is to be approved and ratified in time before the expiration of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012.

We are at a defining moment. This is a critical path for our nations as they decide to take us closer to green prosperity and a sustainable future. Meanwhile, activists are detained, countries such as the U.S. have had no intention to ratify, and other countries such as Chad and Morocco simply are undecided. At this time, we need to unite forces to stablize greenhouse gas production and been to mitigate the pollution problems that not only have current consequences for our eco-systems, but also for future generations to come. Have Hope. Support Hopenhagen.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Looking Up for Greenspace

Need extra green space...when how about looking up? Directly up, above our heads there is a zone with plenty of space, air, moisture, light and general appeal that can be integrated with nature and infrastructure.

Design Boom shares with us Greenspotlight. It is a public light with living plants that were woven into a frame. The public street light provides an ample amount of lighting, the frame provides protection from mother nature's forces (shade, wind, rain, etc.) There is also a ring of integrated planters on the bottom, which helps to combine the light with the greenery.

This is exactly the type of outside-in thinking and approach that cities need to adopt. Too often we are trying to fix old ordinances, updates codes, file for more grants, and increase taxes. What about adopting new design practices and utilizing local artists and design minds that work with existing infrastructure and improve the city? Why do we need meeting consensus and voting on issues that are so tiny when we can make big changes by looking outside the box? Why are we so stuck in our ways when it comes to municipalities and organization?

My vote this week is for Greenspotlight. A brilliant sustaino idea!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Cheaper Than Cardboard

We know that when it comes to moving, we have options - green ones. Boxes and packing materials certainly create an insane amount of waste, and sadly, there just are not many other packing alternatives. Providing a solution to this eco-problem is Rent-a-Green Box, a new moving company with an arsenal of green products and services such as:

Recopac (recycled ecological packing solution) boxes made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastics, available in three sizes.
Geami, a 100% recycled cardboard sludge bubble wrap alternative to roll your valuables in. Recocubes, the 100% recycled newspaper sludge "peanut". And my favorite....Reco-zips (to seal the Recopacs), made from 100% recycled plastic bottle caps.

You can order your materials, and Rent-a-Green Box comes to your residence in a biodiesel-fueled truck to drop the goods off, (how cool, eh?!) and picks them up at your new digs when you're done unpacking. Go Rent A Green Box! Go Sustaino!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Say Thanks

Today is a day we recognize heroes that making a difference to our economy and our freedom. If you go to this web site, you can pick out a thank you card, Xerox will print it and send to a soldier that is currently serving in Iraq. You can't pick out who gets it, but it will go to a member of the armed services. There are a variety of partnerships: some use sustainable inks, other use post-recycled shipping materials. Regardless, it is free, legit and will not ask you for your email or contact information. Whether you are for or against the war, our soldiers over there need to know we are behind them. We can never Thank You enough.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

No Tailpipe

There has been an overwhelming amount of interest, enthusiasm and courtship happening as the Nissan LEAF tour continues on the West Coast. It’s a beautiful thing to not have a tail pipeline, or pay for gas, or excrete C02 into the air like its counterparts. About 70 percent of the people in North America who have contacted Nissan about LEAF reside in markets where the all-electric, zero-emission car will be brought to market.

Well, I live in OHIO. Make note of that! Not CA, NY, OR or NJ (where the MINI-E is being piloted). I desperately want a LEAF and would be willing to have a big, phat Nissan logo on it. I’m enthusiastic! I’m ready to opt in! Call or email me! I’ll be one of your 20,000 reservations that the company is targeting.Meanwhile, we wait. Why? Production is geared for the Spring of 2012, where Nissan will be manufacture LEAF and its juicy core, the lithium-ion battery pack, for the U.S. market at the company's plant in Smyrna, Tenn. Go LEAF! Go Sustaino!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Landscape of Oil

In stunning photographs, Edward Burtynsky follows the path of oil from 17 years of work of our modern society. He illustrates from wellhead to pipeline to car engine, and then beyond to the projected peak-oil endgame. He shares how 1 liter of gas comes to be 23 metric tons of generated carbon. So when will peak oil come upon us? Are we close, or have we not seen the peak yet?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tesla + Downey

Elon Musk will be building the greenest and most efficient car manufacturing plant in North America at the Downey Studios in California (former site of a NASA plant). The vote was unanimous by city council that will allow Tesla Motors to bring 5,600 new jobs. The newly conceived Model S (Sedan, $57,000 300-mile charge) will be built in the Downey factory that seems to have a cutting edge reputation already. This location is the same place where the Apollo moon capsules and service modules were manufactured and later major segments of the space shuttle. The current movie studio area occupies roughly 5100 acres that Tesla will need, and the city pitched in nearly $2 million for roof repairs and gave rent on 20 acres that it owns. If Tesla completes the deal, it would be SoCal's first auto manufacturing plant since Chevy left Van Nuys in 1992. Go Tesla! Go Sustaino!

Source: KABC-TV Los Angeles, CA