Sunday, June 8, 2008

inspiration 1

Luminato's Silent Dance Party in Toronto.

Canadians get into these things...We need some of that.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Environmentally friendly the old fashioned way


We need to understand not just environmental but LOCAL. It favors a return to Carolina regionalism in our area, as Frank Harmon advocates. Folks a long time ago knew how to work with our climate and environmental resources...We need to rekindle that old wisdom and integrate it for modern life. In effect, we can have a vision for integrating the best of both eras. Now that's thinking!

Permeable Pavers (materials/construction)

This is an idea for our parking area:

ISFA installed the largest parking lot made of Unilock's permeable pavers for the US Cellular Field in Chicago. ISFA is claiming it "achieved a $400,000 cost savings compared with what it would have cost to install and maintain traditional asphalt paving...Not only does installation and maintenance of permeable pavement typically cost less than it would for poured-in-place concrete and bituminous asphalt, but it is highly durable and stronger that those materials and it lasts twice as long as traditional paving, according to an ISFA press statement." (hat tip: Philip Proefrock)

Another solution is to use an Ecogrid, which not only keeps gravel in place but helps distribute weight evenly on the parking surface. It assures filtration while preventing problems with pooling/gravel dispersement. An ecogrid can also be used for a green roof.

A less effective solution is the Eco Stone or other such pavers. It seems to me the permeability of the concrete itself is the major benefit of Unilock's paver, which will allow easy adoption by more commercial applications...and help lower landscaping costs associated with open cell systems.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

How this princess is saving the world

princess, originally uploaded by Tatiana Cardeal.

A carbon footprint study concludes that even the homeless and the most carbon efficient lifestyles in America leave a carbon footprint twice the international average.

The study concludes:

In general, spending money on travel or on goods that have substantial energy costs in their manufacture and delivery adds to a person's carbon footprint, while expenditures on locally based labor-intensive services--whether it's going to a therapist, taking an art class, or getting a massage--leads to a smaller footprint.

But the biggest factors in most people's lives were the obvious energy-users: housing, transportation and food. "The simple way you get people's carbon use down is to tax it," Gutowski says. "That's a hard pill to swallow--politicians don't like to step up" to support such measures. Absent such national actions, he says, it is important to study "what role consumer choices can play" in lowering the nation's carbon emissions.

Thomas Friedman, incidentally, recently concluded similarly...blaming Congress, so the last hope is changing consumer habits.

All this makes me wonder, can we truly make an impact if our economy fundamentally is tied to consumptive lifestyles? Steering Americans to local choices would be a start. Can we learn from Africans? David Ajaye thinks we can...Look at the energy resilient nature of African cities he points. We might try to save Africans, but maybe they can also save us. ')