LivingHomes Modular Housing of California recently launched their line of semi-custom homes that are LEED certified. I’ve researched so called enviro-friendly homes as well as “intentional communities” over the last few years, and I’m definitely in favor of a switch to greener building methods.
I do have some thoughts regarding LivingHomes, though, which have nothing to do with their product, only their advertising. They compare themselves to traditionally built housing in their materials, time of building and costs. But this is apples to oranges in my opinion.
The modulars take up to six months for manufacturing before delivery to your property, with (good news) installation taking anywhere from eight hours to two days. These houses are the quantum-leap evolution of mobile home construction attainting the next level of sophistication with a definite “Frank Lloyd Wright goes green” design. LivingHomes claims their costs are twenty to forty percent less per square foot than an equivalent stick-built (currently between $180 & $270, not including design fees, transport or install or foundation costs), while being comparable in design, equipment and construction of a traditional home. I like this. Their final cost is around the million dollar mark (give or take a few thou), which in today’s market is above average. But, of course, financially solid purchasers have globally responsible desires, too, so why not take this plunge?
A new view of the ozone by the European satellite Metop showed a gruesome reality. As of late September, the hole in the ozone was twice as large as Europe.
Kicking into high-gear, an agreement was made by 200 government officials demanding a faster approach to eliminate the chemicals thought to be destroying this precious layer to the stratosphere.
Scientist at the German Aerospace Center, after analyzing data from the Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment 2 (GOME-2), found some most unusual activity which showed a thinning of the ozone over the South Atlantic as well as South America but a thick build-up over Australia.
While lots of bands are touring green this year,rockers Korn are going the extra mile.
Not only are they saving 50 tons of carbon dioxide by converting sixteen tour buses to rock their upcoming “Family Values Tour” around the country via biodiesel, they’re also marketing their own biofuel brand (composed of soy, corn and other vegetable oils) called Korntastic.
Katchy name. I wonder if it will inspire other kars to go korntastic as well. Korn’s Jonathan Davis was quoted on AutoblogGreen as saying they’re doing their part to “set the wheels in motion” to end our dependence on oil. “We all have children,” he said, “and I just worry about my kids’ kids.”
I’m always leery of bands trying to save the world through music or ideas. But when Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz and more than 67,000 activists took to the streets to show support for the people displaced by the Ugandan government, the effort was impressive. “We decided to put our money where our mouth is,” said Wentz, about his band’s commitment to help impoverished children.
The evident, organized by the California nonprofit group Invisible Children, was called Displace Me, in reference to the two decades’ worth of children displaced by Uganda’s bloody civil war. But evidently, sleeping in cardboard boxes and eating only crackers and water wasn’t enough for Fall Out Boy, who then traveled to the Central African nation to film a music video and help raise awareness of the conditions there.
Imagine how many people would have been drawn into art classes if the outside of Art League Houston had looked like this in the first place
Dan Havel and Dean Ruck called this tunnel “Inversion” and saw it as a celebration of the old space that had once housed art classes. Just before these houses were demolished to clear the site for a coffee house, they peeled off the exterior wood and recycled it into this awesome art installation. Locals knew the buildings and the classes they’d housed, but suddenly the sight drew in more attention. Kids and adults climbed in from off the streets to get lost in the stunning vortex of wood scraps.
Unfortunately, when the houses were finally demolished, so too was the tunnel.
Ahh, Hawaii. The sand. The surf. The sustainable buildings. The Hawaii Gateway Energy Center is aptly named. It’s quite literally a gateway – the first building created in an anticipated complex for renewable energy and high tech research. It’s also the Visitor’s Center – the gateway for tourists into the complex. And since Hawaii is one of America’s leaders in renewable energy research and use, the state itself serves as America’s gateway into a more renewable and sustainable world.
Not Only Are They Useful, They Look Cool
Because it is a tourist attraction (located close to the airport), the architects at Honolulu-based Ferraro Choi wanted the building to be visually exciting as well as environmentally beneficial. Architect Bill Brooks notes that “visitors come up the stairs with their eyes wide open” and that the structure is often noticed from the air. This is probably due to the enormous (and enormously cool) steel truss supporting the photovoltaic panels on top. The panels provide shade and energy – 10% more, in fact, that the building actually uses. Located in a beautiful area of Kona overlooking the water, the Center houses the auditorium, the welcome center and, of course, the bathrooms.
Okay, we’ve all felt the L.A. rage that happens when you round a corner or enter the freeway only to be met with gridlocked traffic. We’ve all wished we could see the other end of the city through the smog on a seemingly clear day. And over the last year, we’ve all been downright pissed off every time we pump half a day’s paycheck into our gas tanks in order to “buy in” to these problems.
I’d finally had enough. It was literally driving me mad to commute back and forth to work and my few favorite hobbies – all of which are fairly local – in my gasoline car. Even if it is a lovely, fuel efficient Subaru.
It all came to a head. I had to make a change. I wanted to become more “G”.
Heads and thumbs up for the greenest sailors on the blue highway, Solar Sailor Holdings. An Australian company focused on hybrid marine power and solar wing technology, Solar Sailor came about when founder Robert Dane was watching the 1996 Canberra boat race. That year, the winning boat used a solar panel inclined toward the sun. The only problem with the concept was that as the wind grew stronger, the panel became a hazard and had to be pulled down. This intrigued Dane enough to start wondering how to combine sun and wind to power a modern, seaworthy boat. Dane, a doctor, ex-NSW green ambassador, avid sailor and rower says, “I started reading about evolution and learned that insects had initially used wings as solar collectors and only later used them to fly. This made me think that boats, too, could evolve wings to collect solar power – not to allow them to fly, but to allow them to sail.”
Dane realized he could use a wing sail that doubled as a solar collector, and could adapt to sudden changes in weather by folding it onto the ship’s roof. Unlike the inspirational 1996 race boat, Dane’s sail could collect solar energy without destabilizing the boat. He registered the idea at the patent office and took his first solar sailing boat back to the Canberra race in 1997. In 1999, he founded Solar Sailor Holdings Ltd., with Bob Hawke (ex Prime Minister of Australia) coming on board as Chairman. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
While 24 and America’s Next Top Model probably don’t share many viewers, they do have one thing in common: a goal of season greenness. Entertainment Weekly recently announced that season 9 of ANTM is jumping on the green train. While green has always been a popular color, fashionwise, Exec Producer Ken Mok told the magazine that the show is taking steps to educate the contestants (and no doubt the viewers as well) on important every day issues.
Mok elaborated by saying that Tyra and the girls will be chauffeured around via biodiesel and living in a mansion that is not only painted green but equipped with tips on “using water and electricity.”
I’m guessing most of us don’t need to be taught how to use water and electricity. But that’s why we’re not models…
If you thought Sarah Michelle Gellar stopped saving the world when “Buffy” went off the air, think again. She may not be fighting vampires anymore but, thanks to her involvement with CARE, a leading humanitarian organization, she’s doing her part to fight global poverty. As she told SELF magazine:
“…3 billion people in this world live on less than $2 a day. And 1 billion of those people live on less than $1… One of the greatest experiences in my life was also during one of the saddest times in my life. It was right after 9/11 on the ‘Buffy’ set. […W]e raised $60,000 to help buy Christmas presents for all the women and children who lost their husbands and partners in the [WTC]. And it was amazing to see on that little scale what difference we can make.”
Here’s a hot topic from down under. Port Hedland, the largest town in Western Australia, has become known as the center for Australia’s major mining industry growth. China’s high demand for copper, aluminum, iron and gold are influencing the need to grow the industry and build even more mining operations throughout the area.
On the upside, the mining industry provides high paying jobs and millions of dollars to both the mining industry and the government. The downside is the high price paid by the people of Port Hedland.
The hotels and youth hostels that were once filled with tourists and youth are now being occupied by mining employees. Tourists have to stay in tents on the grounds of a local racetrack if they need a place to stay and are too tired to drive to the next town. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos