Tuesday, July 28, 2009

USPS Completes NYC's Biggest Green Roof

The United States Post Office's 2.5 acres lofted above the corner of Ninth Avenue and 30th St. now holds the title of NYC's largest green roof. In addition to the improved lunch breaks, and the projected 30% reduction in energy by 2015, the project also brings attention to USPS's other sustainable initiatives -- including Cradle-to Cradle certification for their Express and Priority packaging. (Michael McDonough's handling of the his Cradle-toCradle program, however, may not be as admirable).
This move by USPS points out both their current passive sustainable practices (delivering letters on foot rather than driving, for example) as well as their broad eligibility for further, institutionalized sustainable initiatives. All USPS offices have green roofs by 2020 anyone?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Solar Getting Closer...

As suspected, the transition toward renewable energy seems to start with legislation. According to a recent report from the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Hawaii, Florida, and California have been greedily sucking up sunlight, doubling their photovoltaic capacity in 2008. Surprisingly, solar thermal devices (hot water heaters to the laymen) account for much of the gain, increasing in usage 500% in the continental US in the last 4 years.
Anyone looking for more info on tax credits for sustainable energy usage, check out the DSIRE.
via grist

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Huge Green Innovation: Patagonia and Walmart

I should probably be fearing it as a sign of the apocalypse, but the news of the new Patagonia Walmart collaboration has me intrigued. You may be familiar with Patagonia's sustainability index known as the Footprint Chronicles, through which consumers can quantify the actual footprint of Patagonia products. According to an itnerview with Patagonia founder, Yvon Chouinard, Walmart is asking for help if developing a similar index for all of the products in all of its stores. Huge.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

IKEA: mixed feelings, but so affordable!

IKEA recently unveiled their newest convenience: Pre-ordering!
Speaking from a furniture-design perspective, IKEA represents some notably mixed feelings. Its easy to hate cheap and ugly furniture, but cheap and attractive? I'm torn. On the one hand, you can line IKEA next to, for instance, any department store and they're miles ahead. Alternatively, its tough to deny the portion of landfill-bound ikea products. It seems to me, until we figure out how to talk everyone into living with less, we're left to choose the lesser of 2 evils. Either way, you're bookshelf is going to fall apart in 2 years.
via Apartment Therapy

Good news for the tired cylist

Some recent sightings of electric bicycles. One is very much a retrofit and the other was being ridden by Genia Gould of WG, a local newspaper that serves Williamsburg-Greenpoint. She rolled up silently on the thing and let us take a ride around the block. It was surprisingly nimble and quick. Bike pedal mode seemed to work well but at 70 lbs, would be a tough climb to your third floor walk up. Top speed 20 mph and range of 20 miles. It is interesting to see the development of the application of electric technology to vehicles. Brings to mind the early variants of bicycles with small engines that became motorcycles at the turn of the century. The platform of the bicycle seems to be the most appropriate balance of weight to performance for electric vehicles at this point. If anyone's looking for a test-driver, let us know.

Boston's New Builder/Blogger

Getting Home Design of Cambridge, MA (who recently profiled us here) is a design and build firm responsible for gettinghomedesign.com, a resource for Boston area residents looking for advice and suggestions on home remodels. Check em out.

The first post. Im speechless.

We've done it.

A blog.
Stay Tuned.