Being Green – Thanksgiving

Hi Folks:  It’s Thursday as I write this week’s ‘Being Green‘ post, even though you won’t get to read it until tomorrow.  It’s just that tomorrow also happens to be the birthday of someone very special to me, and, well, we have other plans.

Today is also Thanksgiving for our friends south of the border, a day where everyone takes time to reflect on that which is important to them.  By some strange twist of fate tomorrow is ‘Black Friday’ in the US, which I understand is like Thanksgiving Day for retailers and credit card companies.  Here in Canada we celebrated Thanksgiving last month, a topic that Marcia and I covered in our weekly ‘He Says, She Says…‘ post, but one can never have too many things to be thankful for!

To that end, here are some new ones I’ve uncovered:

Topping the list is a green school in Bali (TED video) developed by John Hardy and his wife.  It’s not only an off-grid school, it’s completely made of bamboo, in a flowing design, and they’ve transformed the traditional ‘administration building’ into the ‘heart of the school’.  They sourced as much as possible locally, built the buildings using traditional techniques, raise livestock and grow gardens right up to the edge of the classrooms.  They use innovative teaching techniques, engage the students, and have a minimum 10% enrollment of local Balinese kids.  There are children there from 26 countries all learning how to grow up with each other, and instructors (many of them volunteers) from around the world.  There’s a lot more…  You can find them online at ‘Green School‘, and they’d be more than happy to help you develop one in your neighbourhood.

Next on the list is a man in Texas named Dan Phillips (TED video), who has build about a dozen homes in Texas using 70-80% recycled/ reclaimed materials.  Part building contractor and part philosopher, Dan riffs on everything from waste in building construction today to the differences between Appolonian and Dionysian design aesthetics.  It’s an engaging talk to be sure!

In the news recently, two friends in Toronto, ON, one a designer and one a developer have collaborated to create ‘luxury’ model housing without the luxury price.  They’ve founded a company called ‘MEKA‘ (an acronym for modular, environmental, kinetic, assembly) that uses steel shipping containers as a basis for their homes.  They currently have four models, ranging from 320-1280 square feet.  Although theirs are larger (and more expensive), the overall look of the MEKA homes remind me of the homes offered by MK Designs of Waltham, MA.  The MKD Breezhouse for example is 1632 – 2244 square feet but there is a similar feel to both designs.

And finally, for now, I pass along this wish from Terry Patten… Thanksgiving: All of Us Have Reasons to Be Grateful.  Give yourself an opporunity to appreciate yours! Oh, and since this is a ‘Being Green’ post, “Tips for healthier indoor air on Thanksgiving Day (and any other time!)” from GREENGUARD.

Okay, the links for this week include:

Okay, that’s it for now. Have a great week!

Hugs,
Mike.

P.S. Art, or science? How about ‘Science for Art, Art for Science‘? (YouTube video)

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