Who knew making wine was such a large factor in global warming? Apparently those in the Bordeaux region did. And luckily for us they’re doing something about it.
Reading this reminded me of the time I realized that leaving home meant losing my allowance. Something I once took for granted was now being turned into something for which I had to become responsible. So of course, I wanted to learn more about this unexpected splash into my glass.
I was prone to environmental passions early in life. I’ve run the gamut from tree hugging innocence to jaded “futilism”; evolving from “dark green” (embracing ideas that depend on relinquishing technology in order to reduce its impact on the earth) to my current “bright green” place, which fits me just right.
Bright Green refers to a subcategory of environmentalism where technology achieves ecological sustainability without reducing the potential for economic growth. Land reclamation/rehabilitation endeavors – the process of cleaning up a site that has sustained environmental degradation – have evolved, and in many cases allow for the restoration of the land, or conversion into a wildlife habitat.
An article by Stephen Moss in The Guardian espoused this very process with the restoration of Canvey Wick, on the edge of the Thames Estuary in the U.K. Moss states that the area, once the site of a huge oil refinery, now wears the crown as “England’s little rainforest”. He offers, “For its size, the site supports more different species of plant and animal than any other place in Britain”. As I read, the real impact on me was the joyful knowledge that the abandoned oil refinery sitting vacant all of those decades had become a magnificent sanctuary and preserve. Worldwide, many other similar sites draw a multitude of visitors and membership…
Calling a resort Tiamo is a genius bit of subliminal marketing. For honeymooners, it’s a way to say “I love you” in Italian. And for ecotourists, it can be an expression of one’s love for the earth.
Tiamo, located on a private beach in the Bahamas, was build by hand by a couple in love, Mike and Petagay Hartman, who shared a dream to build a luxury resort that minimized impact on the environment. They used sustainable construction practices in building the resort, even going so far as to create a prototype in Indiana to reduce construction waste.
Here’s the 2009 Ford Fiesta, which will be soon available in the U.S. in four-door and possibly two-door configurations. In addition, it’s assumed — though the official announcement is expected to be made in Geneva — that the new Fiesta will also be available as part of Ford’s ECOnetic line.
Last year, Ford revealed that low CO2 ECOnetic versions of most of their autos would be available soon, with the Focus first in line.
With insane gas prices and rising rage against corn based biodiesel, a new fuel looks like it just may just steal the spotlight. Simple green pond scum Algae is that new fuel and it may just prove to be the mightiest fuels of all.
Because of greenwashing, I’m usually really skeptical about new products and technology claiming that they’re green. But, this seems like the real deal. Using algae fuel instead of gas significantly reduces carbon emissions from cars. Not only that, but because algae is a plant, it needs CO2 to live while it’s being processed. And where does it get this CO2? Neighboring coal-fired or manufacturing plants! To sweeten the deal even further, the algae fuel doesn’t need any fossil fueled machines to make it. So, instead of just not polluting, the algae are also cleaning the air around it.
If you’re looking for a real international adventure this year, you might check out the Hotel ElquiDomos in the Chilean Andes. From this high camp in Coquimbo you can gaze at the stars through some of the cleanest air on the planet. And if you stay at the hotel, you can even look through the opening in the top of your dome tent.
Built with sustainability in mind, Hotel ElquiDomos’ “rooms” are actual dome-shaped, canvass-covered Eco Domes from the company Eco Domos. The domes include loft beds and plenty of space to keep your hiking, star-gazing and general out-in-the woods gear.
Not since Erno Rubik released his little toy puzzle has the cube seen so much attention. London-based architect David Adjaye teamed up with photographer Ed Reeve to create a moderately sized home in East London’s Hackney suburb. The buzz about this 150 square meter prefabricated cube: it’s completely covered in timbers instead of brick or cement like neighboring buildings, which reduces its carbon footprint. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
On the surface, things are looking good in Shijiazhuang, China: the population of this northern city is increasing, economic growth is up 11 percent from last year, and upscale waterfront housing developments are rapidly popping up in this provincial haven of more than two million people.
Underneath it all, however, is a different story. There is no prosperity for northern China’s water supply. Local groundwater has been two-thirds drained by municipal wells, while the underground water table sinks about four feet per year.
For the past thirty years, as China’s massive economic expansion led them to world power status, water has served a vital function. The usage of this resource has quintupled since late 1940s, but poor planning has led to a major water crisis, causing the New York Times to speculate that “leaders will increasingly face tough political choices as cities, industry and farming compete for a finite and unbalanced water supply.”
Owning a home always comes with its share of inconveniences. But it doesn’t have to be that way. At least according to ZenKaya.
The word “zen” means “a trouble free experience” and “kaya” means “home”. Together they represent the philosophy of South Africa-based ZenKaya, whose prefabricated lodges are unique forward move in sustainable building and designed to be trouble free. It’s a lofty undertaking.
Designer Eric Bigot says his interest in prefab was born out in New York and Japan, where construction methods are more rationalized and cost effective. ZenKaya’s offerings combine these methods with cutting edge design to bring you their idea of a trouble free turnkey. They drop it off, avoiding on-site disturbance and minimizing waste, and you move in.
New York City just got a whole lot greener. (Actually, that’s a bit of a misleader, but I knew my opening statement would show up on your screen in bold and I wanted to get your attention.) The city of New York is pretty green with its energy efficient housing options, good water supply and wide reliance on public transportation. (In fact, according to City Mayors, “per capita, New Yorkers use fewer resources and put less pressure on their surroundings than any other city of its size.” Impressive.)
But a more truthful statement would be: New York City green just got< a whole lot easier to find.
Where is this green (other than in Central Park)? That’s where the NYC edition of Greenopia comes in handy. Having just this week landed in the Big Apple, it features more than 1,300 local businesses, services and organizations. Yes, this must-have on the west coast has finally made its way east. (Take that, New York! We had ours before you!)
Want to see a house assembled before your eyes? Check out the above video featuring the installation of a NomadHome.
If you want more detailed information, you’re either out of luck or in for a chuckle. If you believe the verbiage on the official NomadHome site (which is clumsily — and often hilariously — translated from what appears to be German), the NomadHome is “a home for the people of today”, designed to provide flexibility in today’s ever-evolving world, especially for those they call the “fleeing fledglings” and “part time settled mobile homers”. Which I guess means this isn’t the home for me. After all, I’m an accomplished fleer and I like my mobile homer settled full time. Video after the jump.
While living green means making healthier choices for ourselves and for the planet, living “G” is about so much more. As the definitive voice for the modern urban human, the latest collaboration of G Living and BPM magazine takes you up close and personal to the latest in sustainable architecture and brings you functional, sleek and affordable gadgets that will take you beyond the ever-growing edge of off-the-grid living. And that’s only on the first few pages.
It’s beyond in-your-face. It’s in your life. And it’s within your grasp.
For example, did you know there was a company in Venice, California that produces ecologically based sports gear? Arbor Sports rocks everything from the waves to the slopes with natural materials like sustainable bamboo and koa. Not only do they manufacture the hippest, cleanest looking boards and accessories, they guarantee that your inward heelflip will have a conscience.