I read a lot; It’s the only way to stay somewhat current on what’s happening in the world of green building, and the environment. Below is a list of my favourite articles from this past week.
http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/index.cfm/2011/3/30/Are-Wind-Protestors-Full-of-Hot-Air: Paula Melton talks about the darker side of building large wind farms. In Vermont there is a proposal for 21 wind turbines to be installed along the pristine Long Trail, a hiking trail that eventually feeds into the Appalacian Trail. The Green Mountain Club is a group of volunteers that helps maintain the trail and make sure trail signs are clear. Now they’re working with the Wind Turbine company to ensure that do as little environmental damage as possible — which, it turns out can be fairly significant when you’re installing 21 wind turbines.
http://inhabitat.com/mit-scientists-create-artificial-solar-leaf-that-can-power-homes/: Over at Inhabitat, Lori Zimmer talks about the development of a new type of solar energy system that Dr. David Nocera of MIT has just developed. The size of a playing card, it can produce enough energy to power a single house for a continuous 45 hours. This little gem is apparently now ready for mass commercial production and could be a huge boon for homes in third world countries with no access to power.
Over at Building Green again, Brent Erlich highlights some of the latest green building products for your new kitchen including cork flooring, super efficient appliances from Bosch, and the latest “hot” gadget in the world of water efficiency, the foot pedal for your kitchen faucet. Great tip, faucet aerators in the kitchen aren’t so great if you have to wait five minutes for a stock pot to fill. (Update: article no longer available on the web. August 23, 2012).
http://inhabitat.com/5-tips-to-green-your-living-space-from-zem-joaquin/: Ecofabulous founder, Zem Joaquin, has an interview with Inhabitat columnist, Jill Fehrenbacher about the little things you can do around your home to make it greener. Not only are her tips practical, she also suggests specific products that you can use the next time you do a renovation.
http://thestoryofmeaningfuluse.com/2011/03/10/the-new-normal-an-agenda-for-responsible-living/: Over at recently launched online magazine, The Story of Meaningful Use, there is a thought provoking excerpt from a new book, The New Normal: An Agenda for Responsible Living, by Dave Wann. His book calls for a paradigm shift about how we view “success” in life, and look at it in ways other than consumption, because at the rate we’re going, we’re outconsuming our future.
http://blog.practicallygreen.com/2011/03/composting-making-things-nontoxic-housecleaning-fluoride-toxins-gaia-girls-your-chelsea-green-bookshelf-starts-here/: At Practically Green, Sam Roach interviews Allison Goodwin who works for Chelsea Green, a publishing company which, for the past 27 years, has been publishing books on “the politics and practice of sustainable living.”
http://www.jetsongreen.com/2011/03/first-passive-house-north-carolina.html: Preston over at Jetson Green has written about, (and included pictures!) of the first passive house in North Carolina. There are some great specifics in the article about the HVAC system, the type of windows used, and some energy saving appliances installed.