- Editor’s Choice: Indian Man Single-Handedly Plants 1,360 Acre Forest
- Architecture: The Radisson Blu Hotel’s 82-Foot Aquadom Aquarium Brings Sea-Life and Scuba Diving to Berlin
- Science/Technology: Wilson Solar Grill Stores the Sun’s Energy For Nighttime Grilling
- Transportation: Aerofex Develops a Working Hover Bike That’s Straight Out of Return of the Jedi!
- News: Indian Man Single-Handedly Plants 1,360 Acre Forest
- Energy: Germany Sets New Solar Record By Meeting Nearly Half of Country’s Weekend Power Demand
- Art: Takanori Aiba’s Amazing Bonsai Tree Castles are Miniature Living Worlds
- DIY/How-to: HOW TO: Grow an Avocado Tree from Seed
- Interview: Interview: Building Science Pioneer Dr. Joe Lstiburek on the Good, Bad and Ugly Side of Buildings
- Furniture/Interiors:Jake Dyson’s CSYS Lamp Extends the Life of Its LEDs by a Whopping 37 Years!
- Original Photos: Ray Villafane Unleashes an Insane Army of Ghastly Zombie Pumpkins at the New York Botanical Garden
Inhabitat’s 2012 Readers’ Choice Awards January 4, 2013
Non Toxic Gifts December 10, 2012
Check out these great sources to make your holiday gift giving less toxic!
The Non-toxic shopping is a great aggregator of information on the topic and includes links to database on toy testing, an article on finding responsible clothing companies, searchable information on fragrances toxicities, links to site on non-toxic art supplies, and offers help for finding green products made in the USA
Check out US PIRG’s toxic toys list – download the PDF on Toy Safety or view on your mobile device; and a link to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s searchable database on safe products.
Before buying anyone cosmetics check out the real ingredients from the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database.
Other tips for toxic-free gift giving from ToxicFreeNC!
- Look for safer materials to start with—items made from wood, cotton, wool, metal, glass, etc. will contain fewer toxic chemicals. However, remember that products labeled as “natural” or “non-toxic” aren’t necessarily so, because those labels don’t refer to any specific standards.
- Silicone is not necessarily safe, especially not in the oven, or in kids’ mouths. It often contains siliconates, which have been identified as cancer-causing chemicals. Instead, look for toys made from wood or latex, and kitchen gear made from stainless steel, ceramic or tempered glass.
- When looking for rubber duckies and other soft toys for young children, try to find natural rubber or latex. (PVC and vinyl are highly toxic.) You can sometimes identify PVC/vinyl products by looking for the recycling #3 label.
- Skip “junk jewelry” for older kids, which can include heavy metals like cadmium, lead, and sensitizers that can cause allergic reactions. If you purchase jewelry, look for products made of real silver or gold–it’s a bit pricier, but it’s safer will last longer and can be passed down through your family’s generations.
- Indoor air quality is often worse than outdoor air quality due to the cleaning products, pesticides and fragrances folks often use at home, chemical off-gassing from furnishings and of course, mold, dander and dust. Give gifts that encourage your loved ones to spend more time outdoors.
- Know your body products. If you will be purchasing perfumes or other personal care products, check out the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. It’s a great, easy-to-use website that helps you learn about what’s in the products you’re using AND find safer replacement products. Cosmetics aren’t well regulated, but preliminary testing has revealed heavy metals in make-up and endocrine-disrupting phthalates (often listed as “fragrance”) in make-up, bodywash, shampoo, cologne, body spray and a host of other products.
Save Ink February 21, 2012
A 2010 study at University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, showed they saved $10,000 by switching all default printing to Century Gothic (this blog post is set in this font face). They say it uses 30% less than Arial.
This article explains others fonts to use to save ink mentioning a study by Matt Robinson to determine ink usage of various typefonts. His study shows Garamond followed by Courier are the most economic.
Reviewers Needed January 23, 2012
A message worth passing along - textbook reviewers needed in all disciplines for education for sustainability!
Are you helping to educate for a more sustainable future? Help impact hundreds of thousands of students by infusing sustainability into textbooks from major publishers and get paid for your efforts.
Textbook publishers have seen the demand from educators and students for sustainability related materials in all disciplines. We have been asked by major textbook publishers, Cengage and McGraw-Hill, to gather names of potential reviewers who are interested in receiving remuneration for suggesting ideas about how to educate for a sustainable future. These ideas will be used as examples and themes in their textbook revisions. If you know of anyone in any academic discipline involved in educating for a sustainable future, please forward their names and contact info to EducationForASustainableFuture@gmail.com (include their discipline(s) in the subject line) and we will follow up with them about these exciting possibilities.
Debra Rowe, Ph.D.
U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development
Higher Education Associations Sustainability Consortium
Founder and Facilitator
Disciplinary Associations Network for Sustainability
American Recycles Day 2011 Video Winner January 10, 2012
America Recycles Day (11-15-11), a program since 1997, the only nationally recognized day dedicated to the promotion of recycling in the United States gathered community groups in 35 state to embrace the message that plastic bags should not be treated like trash.Over 130 plastic bag collection activities were held to celebrate the annual event sponsored by Keep America Beautiful and aimed at raising public awareness to reduce, reuse and recycle throughout the year. America Recycles Day includes school-wide collection competitions, craft fairs showcasing items made from reused plastic bags, and earth patrols promoting sustainability with help from their toolkit. Read an article about the day. be sure to check out the winning video of 2011 America Recycles Day “Recycling is No Joke” video competition:
Libraries for Sustainability – Networking Event at AASHE 2011 November 9, 2011
Librarians who attend the AASHE Conference in early October gathered together for a networking event called “Libraries for Sustainability”. Though the participants mostly included sustainability officers there were also a handful of librarians. Their discussion resulted in 10 ideas for connecting campus libraries as partners in the sustainability movement. Madeleine K. Charney, University of Massachusetts Amherst and Bonnie J. Smith, University of Florida wrote up a summary of the discussion which is a must read for any academic librarian to review! Read the full report here.
Thanks to those who participated and wish I had been there in person too!
Article Alert – A Whole Systems Approach: Integrated Building Design October 19, 2011
Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, a 2010 LJ Mover & Shaker, is Coordinator for Library Growth & Sustainability at the Mid-Hudson Library System, Poughkeepsie, NY wrote this wonderful article in Library Journal A Whole Systems Approach: Integrated Building Design. She tackles the concept of IBD is “a collaborative process, resulting in optimized solutions from an engaged team that is committed to the process from start to finish” in a way most every librarian can understand. Want to know more about this IBD concept and how it really work well buy-in and support by all when building greener sustainable libraries – well you have to read the article and follow Rebekkah on Facebook.com/SustainableLibraries!
The Green Teacher magazine June 1, 2011
Green Teacher is a magazine who’s goal is to help youth (ages 6-18 yrs) educators enhance environmental and global education inside and outside of schools, including practical articles and resource reviews. This quarterly magazine is the primary publication of the non-profit organization based in Toronto with a small staff of hard-working people – read more about the history of the Green Teacher. The Green Teacher offers a lot of online resources and publish other worthwhile books, too but the yearly subscription (depends on your county) for the US is $32 print and $26 for digital (go digital!). The Green Teacher also offers free online webinars!
There is a current Call for Proposals for a special guest issue on Poverty and Environmental Education issue of GreenTeacher due on or before June 30, 2011 to Sheila Giesbrecht Guest Editor. Check out the writer & reviewer guidelines and they are looking for regional editors too.