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Why We Must Integrate Buildings into the Natural Environment Through the Envelope

[I wrote this for the “Sustainable Design as a Way of Thinking” class at the Boston Architectural College.]

 

When natural systems are destroyed in the process of creating a building, it is important to replace them by incorporating them, or a reasonable replacement, as much as possible into the building’s design. This is the only way […]

Loose ethics about Canadian oil

Earlier this week, I saw a short article about a series of posters designed to convince people that oil from Canada’s tarsands/oilsands (pick your term based on whether you are pro- or anti-oil) is “ethical.” That article has a nice slideshow that displays all of the posters.

The designer, Alykhan Velshi, who at one time worked […]

Valuing where we live

Two items.

First, the concept of natural capital, which seems to finally be getting some serious attention. Putting a price tag on nature. Not because of how much you can earn from harvesting and selling parts of it (extracting oil, cutting down trees, whatever), but how much economic value there is to be gained by leaving […]

Life- Cycle Studies from Worldwatch Institute

Every Friday for several weeks, the Worldwatch Insitute has been posting a quick life-cycle study on some common item – topics have included antibiotics, beer, dry cleaning, and toothpaste. They’re entertaining to read, and provide some nice historical background as well as a few paragraphs about the environmental impacts of the production/use/disposal/etc. of the product […]

More on women and climate change

Last month, the UN Secretary-General announced a new climate change financing group. Its purpose is to identify short- and long-term financial resources to aid developing countries in dealing with climate change, and is a result of the recent Copenhagen climate talks.

The article on the UN’s site quotes the Secretary-General as saying that, in the […]

International Women's Day

This may not flow well, because I am sick, but if I wait until I am fully recovered, it will not be timely.

Via Twitter (how did I live so long without you!), I found an article pointing to this fine piece by Elaine Cohen, “One Day a Year is Not Enough,” on International Women’s Day […]

Green jeans

A post on GreenerDesign, an excerpt from a speech by the CEO of Levi Strauss, which describes how the company took a look at some of their products, to get a good look at the actual environmental impact of those products, what they found, and what they decided to do about it:

Our study found that […]