For those of you who’ve been too engrossed in Britney’s custody battle to follow other celebrity news (she lost and was ordered to hand the kids over to K-Fed on Wednesday), Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie auctioned off her barely-driven Hummer on eBay and donated the money to Global Green USA. After 964,468 bids, the small penis compensator (with only 7,341 miles on it) sold for $64,199.91.
Not a bad sum for a used vehicle that guzzles gas and is too big to park anywhere. What’s gotten more coverage than the vehicle itself, however, are the vicious message board jibes at Fergie’s “generosity”:
“umm, i don’t quite get why global green usa is participating on this. last time i checked, hummers do nothing to help global warming…” said one posting on the dark side of eBay.
Sometimes you feel like a chair… sometimes you don’t… I love options. Especially when it comes to home furnishings. Indecision is the key to flexibility vis-à-vis the arranging and rearranging of a room. Things evolve as your needs change. At least that’s how it should be.
Which is what makes this design so perfect.
From Joel Hesselgren, the designer who brought us salt and pepper shakers made from old Legos, comes the amazing table chair – two modern, great looking chairs that become a table simply by pushing them together and sliding one into the other via specially designed notches. As chairs, it seats two; as a coffee table it seats four to six. How many pieces of furniture can you say that about?
Throw in a few hybrid cars and reduced lighting and you’ve got yourself a “Green” awards show. At least that’s what FOX seemed to think when it launched its “Green with Emmy” campaign. I’ll admit, the effort itself was impressive. But is Hollywood really prepared to pull it off? At least without complaining?
Let’s start backstage in the press room. Noticeably absent this year was the generator-backed air flow unit that kept a room full of journalists from boiling over. I heard more than a few people say, “Who turned off the air back here?” Replaced instead by a plastic bag-looking mechanism that swelled up like a sausage (excuse my lack of expertise in alternative air flow vernacular). But brownie points for the CFL & LED lighting, which pleased Emmy award winner Al Gore. He said “The Emmys have gone green, and I want to give them credit for that. So, whatever lighting they used, they’re one step ahead.”
We all know the importance of vertical urban agriculture, but here’s one of the coolest designs I’ve seen yet. Whether or not it holds the key to the future is another matter.
Seattle-based Mithūn Architects recently won the best of show prize at the Cascadia Region Green Building Council’s Living Building Challenge for their slick and conceptually functional high-rise urban farm. The competition challenges architects, engineers and designers to rethink and enhance the current trends in sustainable architecture and create buildings that can survive, like a living organism, by utilizing the environment.
Located in downtown Seattle, Mithūn’s winning Center for Urban Agriculture is a “fully self-sufficient” structure (fine print: in terms of its energy and water) that integrates farming and housing into the same appealingly livable design. Requiring a whopping .72 (point seventy-two) acres of land, the site features 318 apartments (including studios, one-bedrooms and twos), rooftop rainwater collection, solar PV cells (with hydrogen backup), fields for growing food, a chicken farm and a restaurant that uses site-grown food.
I definitely like where Chevy’s going with their new ad campaign, Gas-Friendly To Gas-Free, but I’ve been duped by a good ad campaigns in the past (think New Coke). So let’s take a deeper look at what Chevy is really selling us this time around, beyond the shiny green layout in the middle of Vanity Fair and other magazines.
Chevy unfolds their new green thinking in a five-part plan, but really, there’s only one part of the plan that’s selling cars now: their Fuel Efficiency category. Chevy is hyping their bio-friendliness saying eight of their 2007 models get 30 miles per gallon or better on the highway. None of which, of course, are their super popular trucks and SUVs. But they get to that, as the ad claims to offer the best V8 fuel economy of any full-size pick-up truck (that’s right, they use V8 and fuel economy in the same sentence). However, the fine print says it’s only for the two-wheel drive variety, which isn’t nearly as popular as the four-wheel drive variety, and it still only gets 22 miles per gallon on the highway. And what about the ever-popular Tahoe, the symbol of American over-compensation? Well, they spin that by saying it gets better standard highway fuel economy than 12 smaller SUVs with an estimated 21 miles per gallon highway. I’m sure there’s a lot more than 12 smaller SUVs on the market for one thing. Plus, isn’t 40 the new 20?
Alan Weisman offers yet another fascinating nonfiction with his eco-thriller “The World Without Us”, where he speculates what would happen if humankind no longer roamed the earth. A very common human pondering… as seen in the 1946 classic film “It’s A Wonderful Life”. George Bailey despairingly pondered what life in Bedford Falls would be like if he never existed. When things go wrong, and life doesn’t follow a path richly abundant, we ponder.
We now have a global view of community rather than worry over a small town. Those concerned with the state of the Earth quite naturally imagine what might happen if we were to vanish. Mother Nature is not a small town bully, but she definitely is in charge no matter how grandiose our perception of our importance in the scheme of things. Some of us think we are unique enough to alter our earth. At those times, our long-suffering mother gives us a whack and puts us back in line. Should we leave the planet, signs of our existence would slowly disappear into the redesign of the uninhabited planet state, as Weisman describes. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
Backed by the state of California, Sacramento, has set some pretty high aspirations. They want to be America’s Greenest city. With an entire state behind you, I don’t see how that could fail. Just don’t tell Chicago…
The California Environmental Protection Agency, which is located in Sacramento, was the nation’s first EPA to receive a platinum rating for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design from the U.S. Green Building Council. According to a story in the Sacramento Bee, the Governator himself has mandated that new state office buildings receive at least silver in LEED ratings. As of now, Sacramento has 4.3 million square feet of LEED-certified office space, with Chicago just ahead at 5.2 million.
The California EPA has indoor bike parking, waterless urinals and boxes of worms underneath employee desks. Yes, worms. They digest the scraps of food leftovers, which make for some pretty valuable compost.
Sacramento had its Greenhouse gas emissions certified by the state of California’s Climate Action Registry. In 2005, their emission was 63,000 metric tons, which was a 16 % increase of the 1990 levels. The goal is to lower the emissions 25% below the 1990 number by the year 2030, with Governor Schwarzenegger wanting local governments’ emissions to be 80% below by 2050. Keith Roberts, who is the senior engineer at Sacramento’s General Services Department, is developing a “climate plan” to achieve this goal – a plan that he figures will cost about $850,000 a year.
I found myself losing touch with nature. Bad Anthony. I went golfing. I strapped on my labor unfriendly, Nike golf shoes, grabbed my golf bag, hit the links and then thought to myself “isn’t nature beautiful?” Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
The fact that global warming is not wholly considered a fact is most disturbing. That those in power have not just the gall to question the validity of the facts, but that they can dismiss those facts Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
East Los Angeles College is the first university to become totally sustainable. Well, mostly sustainable. Okay, sustainable during the day…
The Solar Energy Project at ELAC is a photovoltaic “farm” that will produce one megawatt of electricity, which is currently a little less than the school needs to energize it’s daytime activities. But worry not; school officials, realizing the nighttime is indeed the right time, plan on getting the rest of the necessary energy by converting water into oxygen and hydrogen, then using hydrogen to power fuel cells. That’s some serious nightlife. All for the low low price of 9 million dollars.
Better yet, the school is one of nine community colleges in the Los Angeles Community College District, all of which are slated to be “off-the-grid” in the near future. The district is going big-time green. Not just solar farms, but a Sustainable Development Curriculum where kids can use modern day green advances as their practical learning tools while watching every new building in the district being built up to LEED certification. With 2.2 billion dollars of voter-propositioned money, that’s a lot of green buildings.
Kudos to the forward thinking community who voted on making the project not just innovative and imaginative, but also possible. Imagine, living off nothing but the energy a community can create. Imagine getting back exactly what it puts out. Imagine sustainability.
Is it me, or does this sound as much like “Imagine” as it does “Instant Karma”?