Jennifer is an LA-based writer, actor, host and a true Jersey girl at heart. Her passion is story-telling, which moved her cross-country to the heart of Hollywood. Whether it be creating a great script, embodying a new character, or reporting about the latest green trends or up to the minute entertainment news, she is up for the adventure. She is a red carpet reporter for several online sites- hosting live coverage of film premieres, awards shows, and charity events. She enjoys being environmentally conscious and hopes her contributions will help ensure a brighter, greener story for our future.
If you’ve being reading up on global warming’s effect on global conflict (and you should be), you know that seemingly minor temperature changes can have an enormous impact on heating up global tensions. But climate change is not only causing violent conflict over lack of usable land and food, it’s also causing a new type of global refugee to form — the “climate refugee”.
Global warming is causing a rise in sea levels, and according to the IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change), sea levels rose between 9 and 20 cm over the last century. As reported by BBC News, scientists predict further increases of 9 to 88 cm by the year 2100. For some of us, this may seem like a minimal height change over a hundred year period, but for coastal regions, this rise could mean the difference between having a home and watching your home flooded with water and washed out to sea.
As a kid, I was never one for climbing trees. When it came to recreation, the idea of getting a skinned knee wasn’t exactly what I called relaxation. I guess that’s why I wasn’t instantly impressed by the tree-house like structures proposed as new guest suites for Verana, a hillside resort in Yelapa, Mexico.
Verana is a secluded resort located a short boat ride away from Puerto Vallarta. It sits upon a hillside in the Mexican Jungle and has panoramic views of the mountains and beach below (Note: You must be transported from the beach to the resort by mules!). The resort offers a variety of rooms ranging from studios and bungalows to suites and houses, all with amenities and access to a full service spa and dining.
So, you might be wondering where these tree-houses fit in.
To accommodate the employees who work seasonally at Verana, the resort decided to build a housing system that looks as though it came from a page of The Swiss Family Robinson. They dubbed these structures V-houses due to their shape. Modeled after similar structures called “hooches” (good name change), they were designed by Joe Scheer, whose purpose was to provide temporary shelter with minimal disruption to its surroundings.
Looking at Cliff Spencer’s design gallery is truly like viewing a work of art. When I first heard there was a designer using old wine barrels to make furniture and cabinetry, I was dying to see what the pieces looked liked and how this idea had come about. And when I did, I was impressed.
My only prior experience with wine barrels was a wine-tasting road trip up the coast of California’s lovely wine country. I knew that wine was given its flavor from the wood as it ferments, and that after a barrel loses its flavor (on average 3-4) years, the barrels are either discarded or used for storage. It had never occurred to me that just as the oak flavor of the wood seeps into the wine, the color of the grapes would similarly leave a permanent stain on the wood — and in an array of natural colors.
I once stood a few feet away from one of the last wild dingoes in Australia. I was visiting the World Heritage site, Frasier Island — or as the Aborigines named it, K’gari, meaning “paradise”. It is one of the world’s most notable eco-tourism sites and is the largest sand island featuring rainforests, crystal clear lakes, dessert dunes, and a 75-mile beach. It’s famous for its array of rare plants and animals, and is home to some of the last remaining purebred dingoes.
In 2004, these dingoes were listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. Today, conservationists in Australia are pushing for a national campaign to give the dingo formal protection as a threatened species. A campaign that could not have come soon enough, as the already few populations of purebred dingoes continue to dwindle closer to extinction.
The dingo (aka “Australia’s wild dog”) is the largest native carnivorous mammal in the country and plays a vital role in maintaining the balance within its vast ecosystems. Dingoes are agile hunters whose game includes kangaroos, sheep, and deer, and smaller animals like rabbits, rodents, birds, and lizards, as well eating fruits and plants. Their hunting is vital in keeping populations of their prey in check. Dingoes communicate with howls and hunt cooperatively like wolves, but they prefer to travel independently or in small family groups or pairs rather than large packs. Dingoes are distinguished from dogs and wolves by white markings on their chest, feet, and tail, and their color ranges from sandy yellow, to red, and even black.
There’s no arguing that people are more nomadic than ever before. Technology has made it easier to travel, communicate and move from place to place. So, why shouldn’t you have a house designed to suit your on-the-go lifestyle? Just as air travel, cell phones and the internet have made picking up and moving easier and more commonplace, our homes are changing with the times as well.
Buying and selling property could become a thing of the past — at least the way we know it. Instead of purchasing a plot of land with a house, what if all you bought was the house itself? That’s what French company Drop Architectes had in mind when they built their prototype “drop house”, which won the Algeco design contest.
The idea behind the drop house is that you can literally purchase your home, drop it wherever you want and live happily ever after. (Or if you get tired of the location, you can have the house picked up and transported someplace else by truck. For someone liked me, who’s lived in four cities in the last several years, this would be great!)
What’s more green feeling then gliding across the sea in a recreational kayak, taking in natural surroundings and fresh air? Howzabout doing so in a Manitou 13 recycled kayak by Necky Kayaks, whose company has been bringing the most innovative upgrades to their equipment for over thirty years?
The Manitou 13 is made with 100% post industrial plastic, making it not only a high performance kayak (as is the Necky tradition), but the most eco-friendly sporting variety on the market. (In fact, it was named in Outdoor Magazine as one of the 75 Objects of Desire for sportsman in 2007. Sweet.) Necky uses their own cut-outs and plastic waste to produce these vessels. And this plastic “waste” contains stronger property materials than the rest of the Manitou line, making the 13-foot kayak more durable for rocky beach landings, driveway scrape-ups and beatings from windy conditions. Perfect for beginner kayakers like me, who are bound to get tossed around the first time paddling!
What comes to mind when you think of a deadly stampede? Cattle? Buffalo? A year-end sale at Barneys?
Certainly not walruses, right? But yet, thousands of them died this past spring on the Russian side of the Bering Strait — from a stampede that scientists say is a direct result of global warming.
Walruses are big-tusked mammals who, unlike seals, are unable to swim indefinitely, They typically use sea ice to rest or haul themselves onto land for a few weeks at time. (You may recall a poignant CG graphic in “The Inconvenient Truth” of a polar bear attempting to climb on various pieces of ice, only to have them crumble into pieces.)
Ford seems to be going down kicking and screaming and have only just begun to see the the green future growing before their eyes. Everyone knows in business, one simple principle has always rings true — build products the public is demanding and your business will thrive. Or use mass marketing, hot women, celebrities, and reality shows product placement to create an artificial demand for the toxic, low cost, self disintegrating, and bad gas mileage products you already make.
You know Ford is feeling the pressure to actually make better vehicles, when they make crazy announcements proclaiming they will cut greenhouse gases emissions by 30 percent on all vehicles by 2020. That is really crazy serious talk, how can they possibly cut 30 percent in 12 years. Hmm, I have an idea, why don’t they really go for it and just stop all production on gas engines. Think of the money they will save on production. Or better yet, build pure electric or electric and biodiesel hybrids and cut emissions by a whopping 80%, in lets say 4 years. If companies small boot strap companies like Aptera can design vehicles getting 300 miles per gallon, surely Ford spending billions on research can do it quicker, better and cheaper.
Everyone loves a good yard sale. It’s practically an American tradition to pull your car over on a Sunday afternoon and scour through a stranger’s belongings on a personal scavenger hunt for the best priced item to add to your collection. But has this American tradition gone too far?
The federal government has decided to hold its own sale. Their yard is a chunk of ocean floor in Alaska just smaller than the size of Pennsylvania, and the items for sale are the futures of Arctic animals like polar bears, walruses and whales. That’s right…the federal government is auctioning off 46,000 square miles off Alaska’s coast to petroleum leases starting next month. Gas companies, step right up.
Before 2004, I’ll bet many of us had never heard of Sumatra, Indonesia, or given much thought to daily life in places like Sri Lanka or Thailand. But that year, one word forever changed the way we think about these far off lands. That word, for those of you who aren’t already two steps ahead of me, was tsunami. And today, thanks in part to the tragedy, another word may change the way we handle similar crisis and relief efforts. That word is Sanctuary — a new emergency shelter concept from Sweden-based design firm Barometrix.
One of the greatest challenges in the relief operation of the tsunami disaster — which is still underway — was providing sanitary drinking water, food and shelter. In the aftermath, it became clear that two things were needed: a tsunami warning system to detect possible tsunamis & give time for evacuation, and a better response and relief plan for such disasters.
B+M+W=G. I’m not one for mathematical equations, but what if I told you that the initials BMW added up to the new green car and that it had actually beaten out the Toyota Prius in a 545 mile London-Geneva run?
I hope you placed your bets, because the results are in.
It’s a twist on the standard doomed love story: instead of two beings desperately wanting to be together who shouldn’t, we have two beings who desperately need to hook up but probably won’t. For ridiculous reasons.
For once, abstinence has dire consequences.
It’s bad enough that China had to say goodbye to the Yangtze River dolphin last year when the species was declared extinct. But without immediate action, the fate of the Yangtze giant soft-shell turtle will be the same.
The Yangtze giant soft-shell turtle is considered to be one of the largest freshwater turtles in the world. It is characterized by a wide, flat shape, leathery carapace (shell), and a deep head with a pig-like snout. Normally found in large river systems — specifically the Yangtze River in eastern China — they are, as of this writing, the rarest turtle in the world. The severity of their situation was first brought to light in the early 1990s, and in 2004 it was believed only six turtles remained.