Friday once again! It’s also the end of the month, and that means our “Eating Our Way Through Victoria” post and my “Photo of the Month” post as well as our usual Sunday “He Says, She Says…” and Monday’s “Marcia’s Meanderings” posts are coming due as well! Going to have to limber up those typing fingers.
I was going to write a post this week about “Intentional Communities“, but I’m going to postpone that for a week. Please bear with me. In exchange, I’ll offer a couple of reminders of upcoming events this weekend. If you live in the US or know someone who does, the premiere of Jamie Oliver’s program “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution” begins this evening on ABC. If you’re asking yourself, “What’s green about that?” consider the enormous amounts of water and energy that go into not only the production of ‘fast food’ and prepackaged foods, but also the environmental costs of the packaging, transport, etc. There’s a link on ‘hidden water use’ in the list below. Also in the news this week are plans to ‘downsize’ parts of Detroit. Suggestions include the creation of a series of ‘urban farms’, more parks, and interconnected ‘villages’. Not a simple idea by any means, but it’s an idea Jame will agree with, I’m sure. Greensburg, KS might serve as a role model of sorts, since almost the entire town was wiped out by a tornado a few short years ago and rebuilt as a model green town.
Tomorrow night (Saturday, March 27) is ‘Earth Hour’, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. local time, wherever you are. For one hour people are encouraged to turn off all of their lights, and extending this to your computer, cell phone, television, radio, etc. would also be encouraged. If you’re on Twitter you can go here for a link to a site that will send a Tweet about Earth Hour, and it will also turn off the ‘lights’ on your Twitter profile page starting at 8:30 Saturday night. They’ll remain off until you turn them back on again. Of course, if you’ve turned off your computer for that hour, you won’t be able to see this! If you’re not on Twitter, you can go to the World Wildlife Fund page for more information. As to what you can do for an hour without electricity, I’ll leave that to your imagination.
From one perspective it’s a very small, almost trivial step in terms of reducing global energy use, but it has the potential for increasing long-term awareness of our individual and collective energy use. Especially for those of us in industrialized nations, water comes out of the tap, food comes from the grocery store, bread comes in plastic bags and meat comes on styrofoam trays. Electricity is there when we plug something into the outlet and light is available at the flick of a switch. Several decades ago when I enrolled in Scouts Canada I learned the Scout Law:
The Scout Law
A Scout is:
Helpful and trustworthy,
Kind and cheerful,
Considerate and clean,
Wise in the use of all resources.
A good reminder for all of us.
Okay, the links for this week are:
- USGBC 2010 Federal Summit – May 18-19, 2010, Washington, DC
- CaGBC’s 3rd Annual National Conference – June 8-10, 2010, Vancouver, BC
- LEED Canada for Homes Celebrates its First Anniversary with the Registration of its 500th Home!
- Understanding the New World of Sustainable Valuation
- Living Building Challenge Road Show
- BSR: Future Expectations of Corporate Environmental Performance (.pdf)
- Biomimicry Guild: Innovation Consultancy for Bio-Inspired Design
- PepsiCo Announces Global Water Goals
- Second Annual Ranking of U.S. Cities with the Most Energy Efficient Buildings
- New Compact Fluorescent Lamp Study Finds Lights Safer Than Perceived
- Green Roofs: Stormwater Management From the Top Down
- ED+C magazine: Articles
- ED+C magazine: Enviro Blog
- Gorgeous Modern Home is Built Inside a Cave (brings whole new meaning to ‘geothermal’)
- Is the Energy Star Brand Losing its Edge?
- United States Department of Transportation Policy Statement on Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodation Regulations and Recommendations (I think this is truly a wonderful idea, but do governments need to come up with such obscure titles for things?)
- Wanderest, a leaning perch for lamp posts (a simple but wonderful idea to encourage seniors and others with limited mobility to get out and walk more)
- Interface 1 Percent Shy of Zero Waste Operations
- Sustainability Conference Keynote Speaker: Jerry Greenfield of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream – Greenfield discussed business spirit, social responsibility and sustainability
- Follow the CSR Leaders
- Sustainable Brands ’10 Announces SB Innovation Open, a Contest for Sustainable Start-ups – conference to be held June 7-10, 2010 in Monterey CA
- New streams of responsibility – A company’s social work should be aligned with its business
- Corporate and Responsible – Lucia Candu’s blog on corporate responsibility, sustainability, corporate citizenship and ethical business
- IBM’s Approach to CSR & Sustainability
- From pomegranates to Plastiki: How biomimicry helped build the boat
- Top 25 Cities With the Most ENERGY STAR Labeled Buildings in 2009 (.pdf)
- TED Talks: Alex Steffen sees a sustainable future
- TED Talks: William McDonough on cradle to cradle design
- Ted Talks: Andy Hobsbawm says: Do the green thing
- More inspiring TED Talks
- National Geographic: Freshwater
- National Geographic digital magazine: Freshwater
- Jean Nouvel Unveils Sustainably-Designed National Museum of Qatar
- 5 Mistakes Businesses Make Trying to Go Green
- Recommendation GB 5 — Provide and promote statewide residential and commercial green building programs (Washington State, Department of Ecology)
- Forest loss slows, as China plants and Brazil preserves
- USGBC Massachusetts new web site
- What a Thorny Devil and Camel Nose Can Teach Us About Water
- Study Reveals “Hidden” Use of Water Resources
- Repower America: petition a strong clean energy and climate bill in the US Senate
- Amsterdam Global Conference on Sustainability and Transparency – May 26-28, 2010
- Science Progress: Energy for Regional Innovation
- Planet Green : Sustainable Living, Energy Conservation, Earth Day
- Our Clear Cut Choice: FSC & LEED
- BuildingGreen.com newsletter
- Can Bikes Change the World? An Epic Adventure Points to Yes (Interview)
- Green Building Advisor: GREEN HOMES – Factory Built Zero-Energy Townhouse
- Inhabitat Newsletter: This Week in Green Design
Okay, that’s it for this week!
P.S. On February 20, 2010 Mark Rolston (Chief Creative Officer of Frog Design) did a talk on combining reality and technology at TEDxAustin. The possibilities are astounding, in many areas of our lives.