GreenDesignCollective

building a sustainable and resilient community

Shopping second-hand is easy on the planet and your wallet

How many times have you had a themed party to go to or simply needed a very – shall we say – “specific” wardrobe item, and you decided that going to Goodwill was your best option?  If you’re like me, then you’ve had that internal conversation a lot.  (Although, granted, most people might not like […]

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Possibly the world’s most excellent water bottle

Behold:  the Water Bobble. Who among us doesn’t now feel a little tinge of guilt when we are confronted with the prospect of drinking from a disposable water bottle?  At the conference I attended a few weeks ago, I went through three in three days, which made me feel awful and basically doubled my total […]

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Bundling up your house

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about insulation lately.  Part of that is because of HOME STAR, which provides incentives for homeowners if they choose to upgrade the insulation in their house, among other things.  My explanation of HOME STAR inevitably leads to explaining some of the measures available for incentives, and insulation […]

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Q: What’s wee, made of straw bale, and awesome?

A:  The ModCell Straw-Bale Pre-Fab home! File this under “better late than never”… I just learned about this house and knew I had to talk about it here because it embodies many of the things that I love in one tidy, very livable package.  Observe: It’s a house, which is great, since I love house […]

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America’s Greenest Building Code

Last week, the California Building Standards Commission unanimously adopted the first-in-the-nation mandatory Green Building Standards Code, also known as “CALGREEN”.  The new standards take effect starting January 1, 2011 and will require all new buildings in the state to be more energy efficient and environmentally responsible.  The new CALGREEN code will require: a 20 percent […]

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…and I dropped the blogging ball! More about the Solar Decathlon…

Sorry for going on hiatus after my last post from DC about the Solar Decathlon.  The truth of the matter is that the weather was 100% miserable the entire time I was there, and I had not the time nor the space to blog:  my hands were numb and it was raining, thus making it […]

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Outstanding.

Tonight on the Daily Show, Jon Stewart interviewed William Kamkwamba, a young man from Malawi, Africa, who built a windmill in front of his family’s home after quitting school because of the famine in his country.  William visited the library in his village – which was sponsored by the U.S., by the way – and […]

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Weatherization: not just a long, fancy word

I love it when the topic of weatherization comes up in political debates or speeches.  To me, it means that the people in charge are actually paying attention and realize that buildings need to be more energy efficient.  But, what exactly IS weatherization? First the definition:  Dictionary.com says that weatherization is the process of making […]

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Be lazy! Buy nothing! Do less!

While it’s not exactly a winning strategy if we are going to get our depressed consumer economy at least partly back on track, I have to say I agree in principle with this article by Matt McDermott on Planet Green.  Simply put, the consumer economy is, itself, largely to blame for many of the problems […]

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Every city should have one of these

Today I visited the Portland ReBuilding Center, and hopefully you can get an idea of what it is from the title:  it’s a place where people can donate used building materials so they can be sold again for new building projects.  It’s building recycling, or, “rebuilding”.  And it’s great!  Have a look: I am originally […]

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