To answer the obvious question, The Good Home in Maui is good because it is the greenest home in Hawaii. It’s successful in meeting three of the most demanding green building standards: the Hawaiian BuiltGreen rating (three star), the National Association of Home Builders (gold) and it’s the only home built in Hawaii under the LEED for Homes Pilot Program, where they’re expecting a gold rating. Those are some Good ratings.
The Good Home is designed to be environmentally friendly in every way. Even during construction, they only used a portion of the site for construction activities and took care to separate and recycle materials. Drought tolerant plants are used for landscaping to reduce water use. Trees and shrubs are used as natural air conditioners to cool the air around the house.
I don’t care how green you are, if you’re going to live in Wailuku, you have to have a view of the water. Unfortunately, with the east and south facing windows, there is come significant solar heat gain. In The Good Home, you don’t have to sacrifice; the designers at Zilber, Ltd. just threw on some hanging lanais and deep overhangs, and the problem was significantly minimized.
Let’s get something straight. I love the look of BMW’s Mini Cooper and would buy it in a second — if only it were a hybrid diesel or an all-electric car with interface fabric seats. Sadly BMW doesn’t make the Mini with any of these options, so I have held off and continue riding my bike.
Maybe that is all about to change. Companies like Li-ion Motors have begun hacking small cars like the Mini and replacing their gas engines with zero-emission, all-electric motors and lithium batteries. A great idea — if you can afford to pay almost twice the price for a “converted” Mini. Parts are expensive to do this one at a time. The only way the price will come down is if, BMW and other companies decide there is a real demand and they start producing them. After the jump, watch a short clip by Popular Mechanics featuring a test drive of the hacked, all-electric Mini Cooper. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
If you’re one of those who thinks climate change is for the birds, you’re wrong. At least in the metaphoric sense. As for real birds, researchers from Auburn University have discovered a curious behavior pattern that might turn out to be the result of global warming.
As part of the North American Breeding Bird Survey (begun in 1966) that studied the ranges of common birds from Mexico to Canada, Alan Hitch and Paul Leberg observed the breeding patterns of eastern arboreal and semi-arboreal birds (the kind you find in backyards – 56 species in all). Some names with which you might be familiar are the Common Ground-dove, Bachman’s Sparrow, Northern Mockingbird, Bewick’s Wren and the Golden-winged Warbler.
What is Habode? It can be a vacation home. It can be a cluster of homes in a retirement community. It can be office space. It can be a three-bedroom family house.
A better question is, What do you want it to be?
Habode homes are environmentally responsible pre-fab buildings that are tailored to your specifications. All of the houses are the same size (80 square meters), but the floor plan, window placement and doors are all up to you. Rod Gibson, the creator, based Habode on happy childhood memories of clear waters and green grass. He wanted to create re-locatable, recreational homes that can be placed in areas where building by conventional methods is difficult.
You’re keeping your nutritional needs met in good shape at home now that you’ve worked out a diet that includes all the elements required for good health. You’ve also found the best stores and online sites where you can find them, and you’ve become pretty expert at preparing them, even the sprouts that play such an important role in balancing your nutritional requirements. However, you’re hitting the road now, and you don’t want to waver from your raw-foods diet. Also, you don’t want to jeopardize your health because you might not be able to obtain the nutritional elements your body needs. Following are ten foods to take with you so you can be sure to stay healthy.
1. Bee Pollen: Bee pollen packs a load of nutrition in a small package. Pollen can provide the following nutritional support when you’re traveling:
Assure that your diet includes all major nutritional components.
Improve physical and intellectual output.
Strengthen resistance to disease.
Heal disorders such as those in the gastrointestinal system, glands, and vital organs.
Restore equilibrium to all bodily functions.
Cleanse by eliminating sludge and waste materials.
If you’ve never eaten bee pollen before, test it out for sensitivity. If you’re extremely sensitive to bee stings, you may have a reaction when it gets into your system. Try just a small amount and be prepared to take an antihistamine in case you do get a strong reaction and go to the emergency room if you find yourself in respiratory distress. If you don’t have a reaction, try a little more the next day, increasing how much you’re getting up to a teaspoonful. If you haven’t reacted after five days, you are probably not going to have a problem with it.
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.
Are people really making engines run on french fry grease? Apparently they are. You may also know by now that Mr. Rudolf Diesel premiered the engine at the 1900 World’s Fair to run on peanut oil. So, this is nothing new.
But I still don’t get it. I have no idea what the difference is between biodiesel and a grease car, other than the fact that one is a chemical mixture of organic materials and the other is straight veggie oil. But isn’t it all the same? No. Lets break it down before Josh Tickell (Mr. BioDiesel) joins me for an extended chat on The Real G Room 101. Here’s what I know so far (the rest will get cleared up when we speak)…
Petroleum: 87/89/91 grade fuel. Good old Gasoline.
“Gasoline or petrol is a petroleum-derived liquid mixture consisting mostly of aliphatic hydrocarbons and enhanced with aromatic hydrocarbons toluene, benzene or iso-octane to increase octane ratings, primarily used as fuel in internal combustion engines.” Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
The ability to take one of the world’s oldest sustainable fabrics and spin it into a sleek, luxury designer line is exactly what G Living looks for. And this writer has a special fondness for hemp. Enter Viridis Luxe, where hemp is sexy and luxurious.
Hemp as a fabric is a time-honored tradition dating back to the Italian Renaissance. History would have us believe that hemp denim was even used in the creation of the very first pair of Levi’s.
Focusing primarily on fabric made from sheer silk hemp (you have to see their jersey tops), the Viridis Luxe creative team of Hala Bahmet and Amadea West have designed a collection of fashionable sweaters, skirts, wraps and tunics. (There’s also a terrific line of exotic bamboo t-shirts.) Their hands-on approach to beautiful, sustainable creation involves long fiber hemp harvested by hand, along with the use of all-natural dyes and routine supervision to ensure healthy factory working conditions.
This weeks Exclusive G/Fashion interview is with New York based Fashion Designer Mika Machida. Mika started her company after being influenced by Johanna Hofring, the owner of Ekovaruhuset / House of Organic. Everyone should remember, we interviewed Johanna back in January. I can see why Mika would be inspired by such a dedicated and amazing woman.
But Mika is obviously inspired by more than just other G Living fashion designers. One look at Mika’s line and you can’t help but notice something different is going on here. Mika literally wants you to wear your love of nature on your sleeve, chest, and back.
Julia: Mika, your dress have to be a major conversation starters for the women wearing them. I have to ask you about all the embedded animals in your design, what inspired this design path?
Mika: I think being a designer right now is an extension of what I have been doing since my childhood. I Always loved drawing, making things, flipping through animal books…and I still do the same things! As for green fashion, after I realized that there’s the other side of urban human life, the whole human impact on nature and on ourselves. With the knowledge of unfair labor practices in poorer countries, there was no other choice left for me than going green with a responsible production process. It’s still hard to be 100% ethical and have no impact on the environment, but I am trying as much as I can and hope this will someday make a difference.
According to a recent article in the New York Times, the Galápagos Islands are at serious risk. And they’re not talking about climate change or species extinction. It seems the planet’s first World Heritage site (and a major inspiration for Darwin’s theory of evolution) is being threatened by social and economic pollution.
A province of Ecuador, the Galápagos Islands are known for their endemic species, like humpback whales, sea turtles, albatrosses and herons. While long considered a must-see on the list of travel destinations, it’s believed excessive tourism has led to the islands’ recently added spot to Unesco’s “in danger” list.
Just like the title of the site says, I am a dark twisted green juice guzzling Monkie or at least that is my goal. Right now I have the dark and twisted thing down. I have been a vegan for about 12 years and in all that time, I have never really taken my health into consideration. I am a burn the candle at both ends kind of guy. I don’t know how to not be extreme. I am famous for confusing work as living. As soon as my eyes crack open in the morning, I start my long 12, 24 or 96 hour shift. Yes, for years I did 96 hours straight, with just naps and truck loads of espresso to keep my body going. So you know my blood is all out of wack and way on the acid side. Maybe not as bad as the average pillow butt American, but pretty bad. No offense to you Pillow butts out there.
Don’t get me wrong, I eat pretty healthy, I am a vegan, you wont find any McAnything stuck in my intestines, but I don’t eat with health in mind. My diet has been increasing over the years towards raw organic whole foods, such as salads and farmer market veggies. But I still eat a good amount of cooked items, such as asian noodles, frozen corn and worst of all bags of organic corn chips. I just crave chips, salsa and guacamole. I guess my years in Texas has altered my DNA, causing my cells to scream for anything remotely mexican foodish. For some reason I just love them in a sad food bingeing bag inhaling stomach aching way. You know what I mean. You think you want to eat them, but half way through the bag, they turn on you and form a concrete lump within your stomach.
Lets all come clean here, for most of us, eating processed foods is a way of life. Practically from day one, we are fed something which has made it’s way through the factory food shaping machines. For most of us, it started innocently enough with our baby formula and then spontaneously moves on to weekly happy meals, which we chase down with gallons of Coke Cola. It’s so universally excepted, we never think twice about it and that is always when something goes wrong. When we stop asking questions and just take what is given us. This is what the new documentary Processed People is all about. The film takes an in-depth look at the history of the industry and the health crisis it has produced in billions of people around the world.
Some of the shocking facts from the film:Two hundred million Americans are overweight and 100 million are obese. More than 75 million Americans have high blood pressure. 24 million people are diabetic. Heart disease remains the No. 1 cause of death for men and women, followed by stroke and obesity-related cancers. Obesity has overtaken tobacco as the No. 1 cause of preventable deaths in the United States. Over 50% of bankruptcies are caused by what has become known as “medical debt.”
Processed People features interviews from nine preeminent health and environmental experts/advocates. They discuss how and why Americans got into this mess, and what we can do to break the “processed people” cycle. You see more about the film and even buy a dvd at the movies site, processedpeople.com