Saturday, October 29, 2011

Very Light Car


Edison2 was the research and manufacturing team that made the "Very Light Car". While its name is simply and elementary, the best part is that it won $5million (in the mainstream class) from the Progressive  Insurance Automotive X Prize. If you have been under a rock and don't know about the X Prize or what it stands for, then I highly recommend you engage in some quality Inter-web time to review. The four-passenger vehicle was accredited by the EPA for obtaining 245-mpg equivalent for the stringent test (delivering a combined 350-mpg in the standard test), almost three times that of the best market models. The car fully charges from ordinary household outlets within six hours, enabling a range of 114 miles. If this car had a theme it would be, "design by competition, formed through competition and favored by physics." More simply, it is the most efficient automobile platform ever built.

Source: Design Boom 


Sunday, October 16, 2011

National Plug-in Day

National Plug-in Day was on 10/16 - an unprecedented nationwide observance drawing global attention to the environmental, economic and other benefits of plug-in electric vehicles through simultaneous events staged in at least twenty major cities nationwide. Plug In America, the Sierra Club, and the Electric Auto Association teamed up to plan for this effort, which notified cities across our nation to commence plug-in parades, tailpipe-free tailgate parties, test-drives and other grassroots activities. Our flagship event will be a huge parade of plug-in vehicles in the L.A. area. Chris Paine, director of the films “Who Killed the Electric Car?” and “Revenge of the Electric Car,” has agreed to be among the speakers at this celebration. We expect to at least double the number of vehicles from history’s greenest procession, the 78-vehicle parade staged by Plug In America in 2009 (and 180 in Santa Monica's 2011) was in sync with President Obama’s inauguration. Electric vehicles already enable thousands of miles of cleaner, petro-free driving. Help tell the world about the benefits of driving on electric avenue!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Farmigo

A fresh way to feed your family. Now that is a brilliant idea! Why would anyone pass up that opportunity? We don't have to exclusively rely on the industrial machines or corporate engines for food that is packed with pesticides and other chemicals. Farmers and producers now have a chance to make a profit, offer consumers lower prices and our bodies will have more nourishment. The program, called Farmigo, works by connecting consumers to locate farmers and producers and conveniently coordinating pick-up schedules, similar to a co-op and pre-paid shares. See the video below on how to arrange for local produce from farm to table.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Cities help to save the future

How can cities help save the future? Alex Steffen shows some cool neighborhood-based green projects that expand our access to things we want and need while reducing. Gone are the days of the classic dream home, and now is the time for dream neighborhoods. He shows us how eight billion people with enormous energy demand will live in shifted environments with unique solutions from infill, to urban retrofitting to density shifts.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Breaking Ground: Bullitt Center takes on Living Building Challenge


This will be one of the most ambitious green buildings in North America. Aiming to set a new standard in urban sustainability, the Bullitt Center is envisioned as a living building designed to satisfy all of its energy, water and waste consumption. One of the most iconic aspects of the building will be an extensive photo voltaic array that will generate 100 percent of the building's energy. Timbers for the six-story building's frame will come only from forests certified as sustainable by the world's toughest review body. To reduce the project's carbon footprint, the steel, concrete, wood and other heavy materials all will come from within 300 miles.

The Seattle-based Cascadia Green Building Council, for instance, developed the rigorous performance standards — known as the "Living Building Challenge" — that the Bullitt Center aims to meet. The mixed-use building will serve as the future headquarters of the Bullitt Foundation as well as provide office and commercial space for leaders in the green building industry. Located at the intersection of Seattle's Central Area and Capitol Hill neighborhoods, the building will become a focal point for education and growing awareness about sustainable development. Construction is under way.

Source: Seattle Times

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Charge Me Up

Thanks to a $99.8 million U.S. DoE grant, the largest electric vehicle experiment in our country’s history is underway. The company, ECOtality, will oversee the installation of the charging stations, which is a $250 million, six-state roll-out program of roughly 15,000 charging stations. Their pilot program called, "The EV Project", is a data-gathering exercise intended to document the performance of electric vehicle charging stations and monitoring of driver habits. More importantly, Portland, Oregon is leading the way as a test market for the massive batch of electric vehicles that hit the roads.

At the most basic level, ECOtality’s EV Project, funded with nearly $1 million in federal stimulus funds, will bring work to a network of regional contractors who will be accountable for installing the charging systems, 1,000 of which will be peppered around businesses, 150 at public buildings, 90 at the homes of Nissan Leaf owners, and another 45 quick-charge units. At a more practical level, public awareness is increasing at a national level. Personal "range anxiety", which is EV slang related to the fear of running out of gas, is making an EV purchase a more practical and realistic option for consumers. And even more exciting is how start-up companies are thinking of creative ways to help consumers get from Point A to Point B in their fast, buzzing, fully charged EVs.

Picture Credit to Oregon EV Association: Blink station at Columbia Center in Vancouver Wa. They are peppered along Fisher's Landing near Regal Cinema, Best Buy, Olive Garden and other retail locations.

Friday, July 15, 2011

E.Chromi Project

In 2009, seven Cambridge University undergraduates spent the summer genetically engineering bacteria to release a variety of colors visible to the naked eye. They designed standardized sequences of DNA, known as BioBricks, and inserted them into E. coli bacteria. Each BioBrick part contains genes selected from existing organisms, enabling the bacteria to produce a color such as red, yellow, green, blue, brown or violet. By combining these with other BioBricks, bacteria could be programmed to do useful things, such as indicate whether drinking water is safe by turning red if they sense a toxin. The E. chromi project won the Grand Prize at the 2009 International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition (iGEM). To read more about this project, click here.


E. chromi from Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg on Vimeo.

Tsuno SolarWay

Japan had a series of bad luck from numerous Toyota recalls, high unemployment and the horrible tsunami of March 2011. Yet, their hard work prevails with the positive news from the Miyazaki Solar Way Company. A large scale solar project finally comes to completion in Southern Japan. This is the second stage of the Tsuno Solarway which consists of 12,520 solar modules arrayed after the first stage of Tsuno SolarWay stretching out a roughly 3.6-kilometer-long near the Hyuganada Sea. The capacity of the second stage is 1,000 kilowatts (1MW) - enough to supply approximately 300 households. It is specially designed against typhoons, rust and corrosion and its lifespan is estimated about 20 years. Although there is no personnel on the site, they are remotely monitored all the time and also maintained regularly.

Source: Japan for Sustainability, July 2011

Saturday, June 25, 2011

BYOB at In.gredients

Austin, Texas is now home to first ever zero packaging grocery store that encourages you to bring your own bag. In.gredients, launched in the backyard of Whole Foods, encourages shoppers to bring their own containers to pack up items like grains, oils, and dairy. If a shopper doesn't have his own containers, the store will provide compostable ones. Their philosophy is that no matter the case, real, natural food will always be healthier than food that’s been chemically modified. They are working towards a collaborative effort between business, community, and consumers with the goal of eliminating food-related waste while supporting local businesses and farmers.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Yummy, More Pesticides!

The Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 (FQPA) mandates that pesticides be screened both as carcinogens and as endocrine disrupters. Endocrine disrupters are chemicals that imitate the body’s hormonal system and consequently disrupt chemical text messaging amongst cells and other glands. As big “endo” words have been used recently (BPA, PCBs, PBDEs), scientists continue to publish and scream their findings of the alarming rise of hormonally driven cancers (breast and prostate) in younger adults. More recently are the intense battles between the EPA, FDA, farmers and pesticide manufacturers. Sure, republicans and democrats are involved. Why? Because the thresholds from the FDA and EPA are argued because the “minimal amounts” haven’t been met. Why do you I need any DDT in my food let alone my body? Why would I want neurotoxic organophosphate insecticide in my child’s apple sauce? Who needs three legs? Let’s not argue about the particulars. In fact, our government agencies have hired independent, third party “partners” to conduct research. Now, whether to prove them good ole farmers right or to prove the pesticide manufacturers wrong…let’s just read the facts:

An analysis made by the Environmental Working Group of more than 110,000 government-tested food samples on children’s food consumption discovered and confirmed numerous pesticides known or suspected to cause brain and nervous system damage, cancer, or hormone interference.

• More than a quarter of a million U.S. children aged 1–5 ingest a combination of 20 different pesticides every day. More than 1 million preschoolers eat at least 15 pesticides on a given day. Overall, 20 million children aged 5 and under eat an average of 8 pesticides every day.

• Preschoolers’ eating habits are even more dramatically different from those of adults than previous data indicated. When weight is taken into account, kids aged 1–5 consume 30 times more apple juice, 21 times more grape juice, and 7 times more orange juice than the average person in the population.

• Ten years after the Alar scare, apples are still loaded with pesticides. The average apple has residues of four pesticides after it is washed and cored. Some have residues of as many as ten. More than half of the children exposed to an unsafe dose of organophosphate insecticides get it from apples, apple sauce, or apple juice.

PCBs in our environment are not a new phenomenon, but rather and old injury the environment must deal with. It is pressure on private industry and governmental organizations to deal with the problem effectively that seems to work best. Companies that produced these toxins years ago are reluctant to pay for their cleanup now.

Source: Northeast Organic Farming Association
Image: Treehugger News

Monday, May 30, 2011

Holy French Solar


Occupying 89 acres and generating power for 9,000 families, the two solar farms in Le Mees of north central France are getting mass attention this week, thanks for energy firm Efinity. We've heard enough about the solar industry....the ROI,payback takes too long....the wind turbine industry is more mature...blah, blah, blah. I've said on multiple occasions that solar is sexy (and lucrative). What is remarkable about solar farms is that not all of the installation involves concrete foundation and solar arrays. The concrete blocks typically block water absorbsion into the land creating more runoff with the need of strategically placed bioswales. Either way, this farm is both functional and gorgeous.
Source: Good, 2011

Sunday, May 1, 2011

EV Road Tax

Senate Bill 5251 - haven't heard of it? Of course not since Washington is quietly trying to push this bill through that would add $100 to the annual ownership cost of an electric vehicle. They are proposing EV owners would pay this so called road tax when one renews the vehicle registration. Those in Washington that favor this bill claim that there is a loss of revenue when gas consumption decreases when more EVs hit the road. OMG! We need to reduce our dependency of foreign oil and secondly gasoline prices will continue to sky rocket only putting more profits in the pockets of corrupt leaders. At this stage of the game, it has taken about a 100 years to transition from gas to electric. Kudos to companies like Nissan, GM, Honda and Toyota for responding to the demand, whether high or low, to produce EVs in cities with supported infrastructure.

What happens next? Folks will continue to complain that the cost of an EV is still too high. However, the Federal Government already provides tax credits up to $7,500 with the purchase of an EV. Additionally, many states provide their own incentives such as state tax credits, purchase rebates, and free parking and charging for EVs. If SB 5251 is passed and signed into law, Washington would be the first state in the nation to impose a tax on EVs while others are providing incentives.

Time to stand up and get loud about this is now. If you would like to show your opposition to SB 5251, please contact your representative in the Washington legislature.

To find the names and contact information of your Washington State legislative districts, please visit: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/districtfinder/default.aspx

Click here to download a template for a sample letter to send to your legislative representatives.

Click here to download GM’s letter of opposition,

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

We are Sprout People

Have you noticed how expensive food is lately at the grocery store? As a vegetarian, a large portion of my grocery bill goes to fruits, veggies and fish; yet in particular I was paying a fortune for leafy greens. Mescaline mix was high, red leaf lettuce and arugula, too, and I don't dare eat swamp lettuce (head lettuce with no nutrients). Thus we (more like the hubby) stumbled upon Sprout People - a site dedicated to selling a variety of sprouts (alfalfa and more) and providing instructions on growth and harvest. Here is our journey to growing sprouts and saying goodbye to all lettuce.
Step 1: Get a sprouter (we chose the cylinder version to save space). It is the best all around sprouter offering great drainage of water and air circulation ($13.85)
Step 2: Measure out 2 tablespoons of seeds. We went with the Russian mix (hardy and crunchy). Be sure rinse and remove any debris.Step 3: Soak the seeds for 8-12 hours. Cold water and lots of it. Water is the key ingredient to growing sprouts.Step 4: Sprouting - empty the seeds into the sprouter. Be sure to drain off all the water.

Step 5: Grow - place your container on the counter top away from direct sunlight. A plant can only perform photosynthesis when it has leaves. Until a plant has leaves, light has no effect.

Step 6: More rinsing and draining - add more water up to the top and drain it ALL out. Don't shake the container (we like to use a smooth swinging motion - waving the container side to side to drain out all the water). Do this every day for at least 3 days.

Step 7: Greening - You should see the sprouts budding by now and this is the best time to place near the sunlight. Not in direct sunlight just nearby light (e.g. window sill, coffee table, etc.)

Step 8: Dehull - by now you should see your green sprouts by the 6th day. The hull is the dryer outer covering of the nut/shell. Transfer your massive sprout ball to a bowl or big container. Loosen the sprout mass by pulling it a part with your fingers. I like to place under the facet to loosen the mass and continuously pull out onto a towel.

Step 9: Spin and Dry - you can also place in a salad spinner to throughout dry out all the sprouts. Sometimes we just place on paper towels to soak up the access water.
Step 10: Refrigerate and Eat - store in a sealed container of your choice and enjoy any time.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

25 Most EV Ready Cities

Hot off the press (thanks to FastCompany) is a listing of cities that are best suited for electric car ownership. What is sad is that I live in Pittburgh, PA (a non-EV ready city) and my family lives in Los Angeles, Boston, Orlando and Denver - all of which are EV fantastic. So what would really need to happen? Answer - EV advisory councils. We are talking red vs. blue divide but in the form of gas vs. power divide. Cities together are presently forming EV advisory councils that consist of city and utility officials as well as manufacturers such as Ford that are changing the landscape of city infrastructure.
This massive initiative, while still somewhat under the radar, is putting cities like Detroit, Phoenix and Charlotte back on the map to brew jobs, infrastructure, and innovation. These so called hot-spots simply allow for more permits to be released for home charging stations, the ability for a city to work more openly with utility companies to set up cheaper rates during the night (when people will charge), and use an urban planning approach for public charging stations - meaning that they look at traffic flows and where people spend their parked time to determine charging locations.

Now all of this work will mean that the government needs to interfere in our lives a little more to make electric cars a feasible reality. However, from my perspective, I'm pleased if that occurs since we all know that gasoline is not getting any cheaper. And if you haven't driven a Mini E, Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, or a Brammo Bike, then I suggest you step into the year 2011 and experience the rush of being behind an electric vehicle. I have...and you will enjoy it!

Source: Fast Company

The Power of Pesto

My first year being a vegetarian was pretty damn good. Flushing my body of toxins, animal hormones, and other yummy chemicals from my spraying days in the Florida orange groves to the afternoon beach swims in toxic Lake Erie. Fast forward to now, the second year of going about 80% vegan has done wonders for my hair, skin, and mood. I say, 80% vegan, due to completely eliminating eggs and some diary from my diet. This difficult food decision was brought on through a series of family deaths, books, research, conferences and simply educating myself about the dangers of factory farming (To read my personal view, click here).

So here I am, it's 2011, I don't have a roof top garden, or an eco-friendly home (...yet). And my soul and every fiber of my being is craving to be the most healthy individual in order to be a role model and decent contributor to society. What better place to start then food, which is how we meet and greet with strangers and feed our brains with nourishment. Food is how each of us share no matter what nation one lives in today. It is amazing how powerful pesto can be at dinner parties and even afternoon snacks. It is the new brain food that I recommend every household should carry in their refrigerator. From barn to bowl, or pasture to plate, we have a choice to eat healthy, reduce our obesity epidemic, get off the sugar-fat hamster wheel and eat wholesome meals.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Micro Gardens at Work

Anyone can be a gardener. You don't need to have a green thumb and you don't even need a garden. Gardens are old school and the new trend is micro gardens. With raising concerns of pesticide and fungicide usage, consumers are craving wholesome food that is local and organic. As with most organic fruits and vegetables, the price tag of those delicious organic tomatoes or blueberries makes your mouth water and your wallet cry. Yet, our busy lifestyles are preventing some of us from simply playing in the dirt. (e.g. working mothers, single parents, grandparents who can't afford to retire early) Families are spending less time weeding, planting, and mowing the grass and more time working, commuting, and eating (I'll touch on raising obesity cases later). But this doesn't mean we can't plant and grown our own food.

According to Plant Green, they have a list of 66 things you can grow at home in a container, and not in a garden. I'll share their top 10 below and see if you are up the challenge for growing your own food that is extremely rewarding and gratifying. Even hops, the main "spice" ingredient in beer is on the list!

1. Apples can be grown in a container; you can also grow them on the balcony or other small space using a technique called espaliering.
2. Kumquats
3. Avocados (plenty of extra tips online if you search)
4. Blackberries
5. Blueberries (sometimes helpful videos are available online)
6. Pomegranate
7. Cherries
8. Figs
9. Pears
10. Dwarf oranges

Image Source: Jupiterimages/Thinkstock

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What Color is your Diet

Most of you might think the basic food groups are cheese, wine and coffee. However, there is something to be said about colorful food that simply tastes so delicious and fresh.

Thanks to Tattfoo Tan, a Malaysian-born artist who lives in Staten Island, New York, we can now better understand how to nourish our bodies. He takes regular trips to the Union Square Greenmarket and started the Nature Matching System.

The concept is simple and designed to extract 88 colors that would best represent 88 different fruits and vegetables. The magic 88 were developed as a reminder to consume your daily recommended doses of color. One might think of these intense colors as nature’s nutrition labels. Ruby reds, deep purples, vibrant yellows....all the vitamins and compounds that play a vital role in filtering out all the junk and free radicals. To learn more about the Nature Matching System, click here.

Sunglasses for The Earth

National Geographic had a “big idea moment” in their August 2010 edition. I felt it was relevant to reiterate this topic as it touches on geoengineering and called for giving the Earth big sunglasses. This scientific, wacky idea sounds simple in theory with a goal of combating global warming by essentially making our world cooler. If we can’t reduce our reliance on fossil fuels fast enough, then this is one of many Plan B’s in our pocket.

The radical technique calls for shooting up (more like beaming up) tons of tiny particles, mostly sulfate, in the stratosphere. The mechanism for blasting up these sulfates soldiers could be planes, battleship guns, rockets and even balloons. This cloud of sulfate disks, thin as a Kleenex, would help to dim or reflect sunlight around the Earth by 2 percent, substantial enough to cool our planet.

You are probably thinking…yeah right? How is this possible?

When you crunch the numbers, this could be a mega shade about 60,000 miles long and about 1 million miles away from the Earth and 92 million miles from the Sun. With that much time and money, couldn’t we reduce our fossil fuel consumption, take our foot off the gas, and actually change our behaviors? Unfortunately, some believe that the recession is still to blame, which is why we haven’t made true progress toward this goal.

My philosophy: There are no mistakes; only lessons. I hear Arizona has sunny days and could use some cooling.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Nano Man and Big Food

Space travel, visiting other planets, engineering healthy food...can we really put all of that in one sentence? The answer might be yes given the intelligence and new thinking from three experimenting minds.

One is Manfred Clynes, who coined the word cyborg more than 50 years ago, and the second individual is Craig Ventner, famous for sequencing the human genome. Combine these great accomplishments together and you have Arne Hendricks who wonders whether it might be possible to just re-design humans. The approach of altering mankind to be 19-inches tall and 4 pounds sounds crazy, right? Yet he has spent the past several years seriously researching the possibilities and implications of shrinking the human species. As he explains on his project website:

The Incredible Shrinking Man is a speculative design research about the consequences of downsizing the human species to 50 centimeters [19.7 inches]. It has been a long established trend for people to grow taller. As a direct result we need more energy, more food and more space. But what if we decided to turn this trend around? What if we use our knowledge to shrink mankind?

I know you are getting excited plus questioning the whole concept; however, imagine baby pineapple fruit, mini-cows, and more. From a scientific approach, this could translate into less energy requirements, less food, smaller footprints, and potentially less garbage. From an emotional and natural perspective, it sounds completely wacky. In today's age of complete out of control consumption, you have to give these guys credit for re-thinking our approach to food, genetics, and space technology.

If anything the Incredible Shrinking Man research project could yield evidence for improving farming and agricultural to medicine and technology. We know this small methodology has nano-lifesavers and the field of nanotechnology is expanding far and wide with nanobots, nanofabrics, nanochemistry and other nanomaterials. We are a small world after all, but we still have big problems to solve. Consume Less. Conserve More.

Source: Good, 2011

Reverse Graffiti

The urban land artist, Anna Garforth from the UK integrates her interest
in urban ecology and sustainability through her creative practice. Some of us know this art as "graffiti art" and it crosses many different mediums such as reusing materials, plants, moss, reverse graffiti, chalk, or the use of other natural resources. Various activities have driven her to discover and understand more about her natural surrounding and express this passion through the following projects.

Rethink is an installation set up in front of regents canal in London, England which is an electrical power site with two main resources: gas and water. This simple word communicates a need to rethink what our society consumes and how we collectively use our resources.

Head Gardener is a guerrilla gardening project. The approach involves turning milk bottles into characters with plant hair styles. Some of these guys took to the streets, while others couldn't handle getting their hair wet.

Have you seen any local graffiti art? Share with us on Twitter @GoSustaino and Facebook.

Monday, February 21, 2011

BMW i

BMW just confirmed a new sub-brand! The BMW i could launch in 2013 and become an umbrella brand for a range of advanced stand-alone hybrid, range-extended and plug-in electric models. The innovative architecture reminded me of a blend of Tron-meets-iPhone. The style is one facet; however the mobility services and intuitive smart options will enhance our choice-based options for general services (e.g. restaurants, banking, parking availability, transportation and more).

The theme of Born Electric aligns well to the components of electric motors, power electronics and lithium-ion batteries. Fold in some solar arrays and unique terra-mapping, this video will surely make you appreciate superb design.




Sunday, January 16, 2011

Green Power for the Empire State Building

I believe for 2011 we are going to hear more about renewable energy credits. R.E.C.s are tradable, non-tangible energy commodities in the U.S. that represent proof that 1 megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity was generated from an renewable energy resource such as wind, solar or geothermal. These attractive credits are part of larger initiatives that impact climate change, reduce emissions, increase savings and more importantly help us reach operational efficiency.

Green Power has been evolving on the compliance and voluntary markets with different prices to suite a business need. However, the Environmental Protection Agency, which “supports the organizational procurement of green power” through its Green Power Partnership Program, is a prime mover along these lines. The program’s Green Power Leadership Awards for 2010 recognize a number of businesses and organizations — including the Indianapolis Zoo, which now covers 100 percent of its electricity needs (14 million kilowatt-hours annually) through R.E.C. purchases. The Intel Corporation, which buys 1.4 billion kilowatt-hours worth of R.E.C.s about half of its annual consumption in the U.S. has been the national leader since 2008.

Now the Empire State Building on January 6th, announced it will be become the largest commercial purchaser of renewable power in the state. A two-year deal was brokered with Green Mountain Energy, (recently acquired by NRG Energy of New Jersey) allowing the Empire State Building to purchase 55 million kilowatt-hours worth of renewable energy certificates annually, which are primarily sourced by wind power facilities. This assists in preventing about 100 million ponds of CO2 each year. The CO2 reduction is the equivalent of nearly every house in New York state turning off their lights for a week or planting nearly 150,000 trees, more than six times the number in Central Park.

Source: The New York Times, 2011

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Global Village Construction Set

Using modern technological knowledge and methods, and very little cash, the Tiny Farm Blog are designing and building a set of machines and methods that are open source (plans are free for all), low cost, easy to replicate, highly efficient, simple to maintain, and sustainable to operate. They call is the Global Village Construction Set which has just about everything you would need to build a community, from the house you live in to the food you eat, from scratch. I like how they describe it as a "Lego set".

Or as their blog puts it: “We are farmer scientists – working to develop a world class research center for decentralization technologies using open source permaculture and technology to work together for providing basic needs and self replicating the entire operation at the cost of scrap metal.” Check it out:

Global Village Construction Set in 2 Minutes from Marcin Jakubowski on Vimeo.

Sands of 2011

Reflecting back to 2010, most journalists and activists would agree that the biggest environmental disaster occurred on April 20th, 2010. That will be a memorable day for when BP's, Deepwater Horizon, oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers and commencing months of oil leaking unrestrained into the ocean. After numerous efforts and continues tries to plug the leaking well, dispersants were released to control roughly 205 million gallons of oil.

Even though the white sands have transformed to brown, even though the marine population has been hindered and not to mention the unemployment rate climbing in most parts from Louisiana to Florida, I find it remarkable that the spirits remain alive, unbreakable and passionate about 2011. Recycling efforts appear to be increasing along beach fronts, community groups are initiating networking sessions and the economic development offices continue to push for state and local support.

When we look back at 2010, we can easily focus on the bad, but more importantly there is plenty of good that also can't be overlooked. Art, culture, and technology will continue to collide and transform our world for 2011 and years to come. The creativity and engineering that emerges will remind us we can make smart choices, support local businesses, and encourage design and innovation. There is no doubt that risk will present itself in how we are to reshape our beaches, our cities, our communities and nations. With that risk comes reward; one that most are willing to take for 2011 and beyond.

Consume Less. Conserve More.