Happy Friday! End of the week and time for the ‘Being Green‘ post. It’s going to be a short post this week, mostly because it’s too beautiful outside to invest too much time in front of a computer. So, in honour of today’s beautiful weather and in honour of summer in general, I thought I’d just offer a couple of links to things that are worth celebrating (from a ‘green’ perspective):
First is a development I recently heard about in Germany called ‘Solarsiedlung (Solar Village)‘, which has the main building (Sonnenschiff (Solar Ship)) at its heart. This community incorporates many ‘green’ standards, including rooftop gardens, rainwater collection, passive solar orientation, a woodchip boiler for winter heating and Passivhaus standards for construction, but the reason for the ‘Solar Village’ moniker is the huge number of solar panels in use in the project. Not only does their use make the project ‘net-zero’, it actually produces more energy than it uses. Four times more energy… which definitely makes it energy positive. The designer of the Solar Village project is Rolf Disch. You can find out more about this and other projects on his website; he also has a site on what he terms ‘PlusEnergy‘. In a time when people are wondering what they can do to help reduce their energy costs, this development proves that it’s possible to go far beyond that, in a practical way.
Second, Cree Lighting and Habitat for Humanity have begun construction on the first Habitat house that will incorporate all LED lighting. According to the Cree website, lighting is the single biggest energy user in the average home, at 22% of energy use. I did a blog post on lighting a while back, and while LEDs do have some disadvantages, at the moment they’re the most efficient and most environmentally friendly lighting technology. Continued development can only make them better.
Next, a little fun with a story about three swimming pools on Park Avenue in New York city. The project was done by the development company Macro Sea, in cooperation with the city of New York. Each pool is made from a converted dumpster, and completely portable. Drop it off the back of a truck, fill it with water, plug in the filter and have fun! The pools opened at 7:00 a.m. daily, and from the images I’ve seen there was no shortage of participants! Given the heat islands presented by most cities, this is a great idea.
And finally, for now, also from New York, the office tower at One Bryant Park has become the first office tower to achieve LEED Platinum certification. That’s something that’s definitely worth celebrating!!
Okay, the links for this week include:
- Greenroofs.com Project of the Week
- International Skyrise Greenery Conference – Nov. 1-3, 2010, Singapore
- Planet Green
- Social Venture Network Newsletter
- inhabitat weekly news
- Green Building Advisor eLetter
- BuildingGreen.com eNews
- LEEDuser News
- GreenExpo365.com – The Interactive Green Community (virtual conference and on-demand webinars)
- A Solar Flare
- Sustainable Facility eNews
- US EPA: Federal Register Notices for Hazardous Air Pollutants (Title I, Section 112) – Proposed and Final Preambles and Rules
- Social responsibility doesn’t have to hurt profits
- SF Approved List: Products that meet San Francisco’s Health and Environmental Requirements
- COOL SCHOOLS | Complete Rankings (US)
- Mannington is Expanding the Flooring Industry’s Largest Solar Array
- Commercial Building Tax Deduction 101 for Tenants and “Non-Commercial” Building Owners (US)
- Wrong time for the Oregon Sustainability Center?
- Transmission Towers Transformed Into Landscape Monuments (local power generation is better, but why not create art?)
- #csr Daily
- Purebond Wood glue doesn’t use formaldehyde
- Dave Ulrich, HR guru, recommends CSR for HR
- Realizing Your Worth: How to Discover the Value of Volunteering
- Greenbuild International Conference and Expo – Nov. 17-19, 2010, Chicago, IL
- “It’s Nature’s Way”: Innovative Tech Design Through Biomimicry
- Automotive Design Studios Envision the 1,000 Pound Car
- Do Unlimited Vacation Days Mean Happier Employees?
- ‘Green’ coffin made from newspaper in Gloucestershire, UK
- CaGBC Living Building Challenge Roadshows
- Couples put green touch on weddings
- Green Jobs Award (apply by Aug 31, 2010)
- USG Corporation (NYSE:USG) publishes 2009 Corporate Sustainability Report
- Green Initiatives Conference and Expo – Sept 29-30, 2010, Atlanta, GA
- GBCI Celebrates 10,000 LEED Green Associates
- Ford Focus Electric Cars from New Green Michigan Plant
- 10 Things I’ve Learned About Engaging Consumers on Sustainability
- The CSR Blog: Professor, Heal Thyself
- EPA to Take Action on Chemicals Used in Dyes, Flame Retardants, Industrial Detergents
- Sustainability Dashboard – official launch Nov. 10, 2010
Okay, that’s it for now. Have a great week!
P.S. Looking for something to do with your summer? How about making some giant soap bubbles? (YouTube video) We’ve had a lot of fun with ours over the years – we even had them at our wedding reception!! You can get them here: BubbleThing The ingredients are non-toxic, and they really are a lot of fun for kids of all ages.