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 […]

Share

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 […]

Share

Living on a giant crusty earthen raft

So, there’s been a lot of earthquakes lately.  Haiti back in January; Chile, last weekend; Japan, back in February; California, constantly for about the past month; and Taiwan yesterday.   I know many scientists will say “these events are not related”, but, as I reminded my friends yesterday, people act like we don’t live on a […]

Share

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 […]

Share

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 […]

Share

Do-It-Yourself projects are good for the environment

Lately I’ve been on a big Discovery Channel kick (it’s hard NOT to watch when Bear Grylls is on the TV), and I wanted to briefly mention one of their partner companies, called Planet Green.  Hopefully many of you have the Planet Green channel on your cable because it is full of great environmentally friendly-programming, […]

Share

How do you recycle a car?

Tucked away in Wednesday’s edition of All Things Considered on NPR was a short bit where they discussed listener letters, and they answered one letter that was sent in after a report on the Federal Government’s “Cash for Clunkers” program.  Specifically the listener wanted to know “what happens to the ‘clunker’ after it is turned […]

Share

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 […]

Share

Gray (Grey) Water

I’m now in Portland checking out the job market here. Portland is one of the most “sustainable” cities in the United States, a point proven to me after less than 2 days when I visited a restroom that uses a graywater system. Graywater systems recycle water that is used in washing hands and dishes to […]

Share

Meet Dorothy.

Dorothy is my new set of wheels.  Well, she is new to me, but actually she is quite old.  She’s a 1995 Ford Escort Wagon with only 27,000 miles that I received from a private owner for a VERY reasonable price.  She is in excellent condition for a car her age, and if I play […]

Share
keep looking »