Weekly Round Up of What’s New in Green Building and Eco-News

April 10th, 2011 by Cathy Rust Leave a reply »
Here is a round up of some of the interesting green building and green living articles I’ve read this week.
Toronto is unique because of its Ravine System: A few years ago I finally discovered the bike trail system through our city’s complex ravine system. I’d been trying to find it for years, but it wasn’t until I went with a seasoned veteran that I learned how to get downtown and back using almost entirely, the ravines. Little traffic, lots of open meadow, rickety bridges and beautiful bridges, the ravine system  is a true treasure and hard to believe that this relative wilderness weaves its way through a thriving metropolis.
Action #6 on Practically Green Unplug your cellphone charger: Speaking of the Kill A Watt, Practically Green is running a series on the most popular “eco actions” that people have committed to undertake on their road to a lower Carbon footprint. I was a guest blogger on Tuesday, and tackled the subject of why you should unplug your cell phone charger after your phone is charged. Here’s a hint: you can save $$$ with this simple action, no special tools required (although we look at a few to help you if you can’t do it on your own). Stay tuned to Practically Green for more Green Actions you can take to lighten your environmental load.
http://blog.practicallygreen.com/2011/04/celebrating-earth-day-all-month-long-6-most-popular-action-on-practically-green-unplug-cell-phone-chargers/
Deconstructing instead of demolishing a home and all the costs and considerations: A great article about how much it currently costs to deconstruct a home and divert more materials from landfill, versus just demolishing and tossing everything into landfill. Sure, the latter is faster and still cheaper, but there are great salvage companies out there who will deconstruct homes and can divert between 70 and 85% of all materials from landfill. Factor in the dumping costs and transportation, and suddenly deconstruction versus demolition starts looking a little less lopsided. Most interesting fact: Currently there are about 270,000 homes demolished in the US each year, imagine all that waste going into landfill! Now imagine finding new business streams and models developed out of secondary markets and new “input” materials. It’s happening slowly, but at least it’s happening.
Food for Thought: There is a debate going on in California between a group called “Stop Smart Meters” and the Environmental Defense Fund. An interesting take on why smart meters, in which Toronto Hydro and other utilities around Ontario are investing millions installing, may not be a “green” and energy saving as they were first reported to be. According to this article they may be worse for our health and for global warming than not installing them. There are other, cheaper methods that will curb electricity consumption, for example, the Kill A Watt. But EDF argues that they are still worth the investment over the long haul and will help us learn how to conserve energy.
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