Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fred Pearce at the Guardian

I recently came across Fred Pearce's recurring article for The Guardian. Fairly depressing, but enlightening nonetheless. Find Pearce's articles here.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

For the Love of the Planet...And Scotch

Scottish utilities provider, ScottishPower, announced this week plans to construct an tidal energy system projected to supply the island of Islay, known for its historic Scotch distilleries, with 100% of their power. The project foreshadows the Scottish government's goal of 2GW of tidal-generated electricity throughout Scotland by 2020. While there's no consensus among the island's 3000 inhabitants (one objection being the danger to fishing nets), substantial government subsidies and far-sighted investment groups appear to have won out. Furthermore, the "out-of-sight" nature of project seems to have quelled the NIMBY populace. See the full article here.
via The Guardian

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Brighter Planet's 350 Challenge

Monday, August 24, 2009

Introducing: LEED for Homeowners

The USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council) recently introduced its "LEED for Home Affiliate Program," and created a much more layman-friendly set of guidelines in the process. In a collaboration with ASID, the USGBC developed a program that is meant to cater to both the "renovation professional or a savvy do-it-yourselfer." While we admittedly have yet to dive too deeply into the material, those of you familiar with the New Construction LEED program might find the REGREEN Guide, that is; renovating single family dwellings, a bit tangential to the pretext of efficient urban density. In any case, the program may help to bridge the gap between the abstraction of "Going Green!" and the hard numbers used to actually make the project happen.

Modern Desolation

I am admittedly late in sharing this slideshow of Roger Black's Cinco Camp in West Texas. On a personal note, this is just about my ideal set-up. Five stilted shipping containers, each with a specific purpose (kitchen, utility room, etc.) and completely impervious to the elements when sealed-up in his absence. Purportedly built for around $200k, the simplicity of its design and its choice of materials seems to have done its job.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

More Inspiration (Of the Scandinavian Cabin Sort)

For those of you currently brainstorming about your next Scandinavian summer home, here are some ideas. It also makes for a good New-York-City-Summer-Stuck-in-an-Office-Daydream. My Scandinavian Retreat

Monday, August 17, 2009

Kitchen Review

So we are, admittedly, still working on the focus of the blog, but I came across this slideshow from LivingEtc and thought it worth sharing with anyone looking for some kitchen inspiration. Take a look.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Required Reading

Author John Grant's new book, Co-Opportunity, is available to read online (as a draft version--You can critique as he goes!). Grant's previous book, The Green Marketing Manifesto dramatically changed and clarifies how I look at marketing and sustainability in general. I haven't gotten my act together enough to start reading, but my hopes are definitely up. And for those of you not yet familiar with Mr. Grant, I recommend his blog Greenormal.

Analyzing the Sustainable Consumer

Speaking from the perspective of a sustainable marketer, it is sometimes difficult to reconcile the tenets of sustainability with those of buying a product (even if it's ours). For me, it comes down to the best possible compromise. However, the good people at Continium decided to take this a step further.

Based on a broad survey of consumers in Boston, Atlanta, and Fort Collins they conducted a study, titled Colorblind. At face value, the majority of their conclusions are not entirely surprising. However, it does point out that the variety of reasons people choose to act sustainably. Definitely worth a read.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Tesla Motors is Out of the Red

Tesla Motors of San Carlos, California, the love child of a group of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, announced recently that it turned a $1 million profit on $20 million in revenue in July--impressive not only in the context of the current automotive market, but also in the defiance of their oil-fed brethren. Having debuted their highly popular Roadster in July, 2006, Tesla has come to exemplify the potential of electric vehicles -- particularly their capacity for speed. Their flagship roadster boasts a 220 Miles-per-charge range and have an even longer-range family sedan, the S, is currently shipping to a short-list of U.S. customers.
If their independent success isn't sufficient, in July their efforts have earned them them $465 million in low-interest loans from the Department of Energy, which they say will go toward the development of their S sedan manufacturing plant, set to retail just under $50k. Aside from saving on gas, tesla owners also qualify for tax credits, are exempted from sales tax for the purchase, free parking, and a variety of other benefits.
I am eager to see how this all plays out. Kind of a curve ball.