TAG: Sustainability

Shock Tactics Required ?

Communication and climate change

Climate change activists were on a high five years ago. 2006 and 2007 might well go down in history as the golden-years of public support for action on climate change. According to various surveys at that time, environmental issues topped the list of many people’s concerns. Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth had hit screens world-wide. And equally widespread was agreement amongst scientists that climate change was real. But the climate change ‘high’ was short-lived. With the global financial crisis of 2008, popular interest in rising sea temperatures and extreme weather events promptly crashed and burned. People stopped worrying about melting ice-caps… read more

Live Sustainably – A Choice

Living more sustainably

Sustainability is a term thrown around loosely in today’s media, but it is a real choice that every single person makes in their daily life. You can choose to be greener and live a more sustainable life by making the right choices that effect the environment and your wallet. Turn the lights off! Three 60 watt light bulbs left on 8 hours a day for a year can cost $90 and waste 525 kWh for the year! Minimizing “phantom loads” in your home or office is an easy way to be more energy conservative. These “phantom loads” are electronics in… read more

The Biosphere Project

Biosphere 2 - University of Arizona

In Santa Catalina, Arizona, the largest eco-research system on Earth rests near the mountains just north of Tucson. It’s called ‘Biosphere 2’, and its goal is to educate the public on the importance of conserving Earth’s ecosystem through smarter living and researching climate change. Built in 1986 by Space Biospheres Ventures, and now owned and maintained by the University of Arizona, Biosphere 2 is roughly the size of two and a half football fields, and is elevated 4,000ft above sea level. The glass facility has several biomes, each one unique to different Earth terrains. There’s a 1,900m rainforest, an 850m… read more

Doing Less-With-More…

Global cooperation

A common green perspective is that solving sustainability problems is a matter of increasing levels of global cooperation and economic efficiency.  Thomas Princen – Associate Professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment – suggests that today’s world is characterized by increasing levels of cooperation and efficiency, often in the name of sustainability. Global forestry organisations are impelled to extract more fiber per hectare of forest; and the world’s water managers are compelled to draft new water management agreements. Yet deforestation proceeds unabated, and freshwater availability continues to dwindle. Could it be, Princen asks, “that the… read more

Efficiency By Design

Low usage and high efficiency homes

Buildings are by far the most important venue for efficiency by design. More energy and materials are used in their construction as well as energy consumed during their lifetime, consequently their design and construction practices should be implemented in the most sustainable way possible to attain the goal of carbon neutrality and only natural materials used. The structure of our buildings and homes should be made from sustainable materials bought regionally to increase the economy and increase longevity of the structure. As an example, standing seam metal roofs last longer and can actually reflect solar radiation, keeping your attic and… read more

Self-Sufficiency

Growing vegetables at home

Modern technology has revolutionized our lifestyles. Many necessities are mass-produced and you can eliminate almost any task by switching on an appliance. But like any great invention technology is a tool that can be used appropriately or abused. A struggle of modern life is to remain self-sufficient. But doing so can help you save money, energy, and better your sense of accomplishment. This doesn’t mean taking drastic measures. Just by sewing a ripped pair of pants you’ve saved time and money by not buying a replacement pair. These are a few suggestions to get you started. When buying fresh produces… read more

Eco-Friendly Bamboo

Bamboo

Bamboo is like a miracle material. It has endless advantages and is highly renewable. It is actually from the grass family, not a wood, as commonly perceived. It is a perennial evergreen and giant bamboos are the largest of the grasses. Bamboos are some of the quickest growing plants in the world so it makes it quite a resourceful product indeed! It can be used for building materials as well as a food source and many other products. Bamboo matures in three to five years. When compared to other soft-woods, which take ten to twenty years to mature, bamboo is… read more

Green Building For Profit

Building better and more efficiently

Triple Bottom Line (TBL) is a cyclic thought and action process: engage stakeholders, understand the problem, find solutions, repeat and repeat again. One result of TBL in the design and construction industry is that we are finally moving past the egocentric view that we can design whatever we like and then engineer the systems to make the building comfortable for others to live and work in. We can save money and energy as well as improve our health if we incorporate location-based diversity into how we design and build and renovate buildings. We also see that construction work is the… read more

Eco Friendly Design

Eco Friendly

Eco Design is an approach that incorporates an awareness for the environment, that it is sustainable and ecologically friendly. Many businesses today are adopting a “green” approach and feel they have an increased responsibility to find better solutions for the future of our Earth. For eco-design to be effective, a life-cycle approach must be adopted. That is, thinking about and adapting the best outcomes for the environment with as little negative effects as possible over the products life. Designers are responsible for the beginning stages of a product and it is here that they can really shape what impact it… read more

Zipcar for scooters

Scoot Networks

A startup called Scoot Networks has launched a Zipcar-style sharing network for electric scooters. The company is a graduate of the Greenstart accelerator program which is focused on incubating startups in the intersection of green and IT. Scoot Networks is building a fleet of smart-phone-enabled, 30 MPH (50 km/h), electric, Vespa-style scooters offered in a convenient, bicycle sharing-type system. They will be available on-demand throughout major cities and priced competitively with taxis and public transit. Shared electric motor-scooters have the optimal combination of speed, cost, convenience, and sustainability for the BILLIONS of intra-urban trips that take place every day in… read more