Guest Post: Basic Green Building Principals

By Mary Eisenhart These days, when we’re considering a home building or remodeling project, we’re thinking about the same issues that have driven homeowners for centuries: making the place more compatible with our taste and lifestyle, keeping up with necessary maintenance, enhancing the home’s resale value. We also have to consider the ever-growing pile of … Continued

The End of Paper Airline Tickets? Finally?

It remains amazing to me that paper airline tickets have persisted as long as they have. It’s merely testament to the complexity of bureaucracy and arcane technology trumping common sense and communication I suppose. Nonetheless, I’m happy to report that IATA (the authority which governs such things) has finally, magically, dealt a final blow to … Continued

Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship – Guidelines Posted

The Skoll Foundation (created by Jeff Skoll, the first employee and first President of eBay) is now accepting new applications for its social entrepreneurship awards. These three-year awards “support social entrepreneurs whose work has the potential for large-scale influence on critical challenges of our time: environmental sustainability, health, tolerance and human rights, institutional responsibility, economic … Continued

Terrapass Customer Survey Challenges Carbon Offset Myths

Although I still think there’s a lot of uncertainty in the “carbon offsetting” business, especially when individuals are concerned, the idea that people only buy offset to assuage guilt for an otherwise un-green life is looking more like a myth. Take a look at this PDF from TerraPass’s recent customer survey. The results show that … Continued

AskPablo: Wave Power

August 13th’s article on desalination received a lot of great feedback. On reader informed me of a technology that uses wave power to pump sea water, at high pressures, through a reverse-osmosis filtration system, using virtually no fossil fuel-based energy. He also informed me that the same technology is being used to pump seawater uphill … Continued

Trilby Lundberg: Got Reliable Sources?

Once in a while, it makes sense to check one’s “sources”. With the glut of information that is continually flooding my mind space from a seemingly endless array of sources and mediums, it is necessary to develop a system for both cataloging and qualifying information. The “system” I have developed is a hybrid of intuitive … Continued

Cost of Building Green GoesDown

Perception has held for a long time that “building green” was always more expensive than building in so called “traditional” manners. Of course, we’ve always argued than almost all extra up-front costs are accounted for before too long, and those that aren’t are paid for indirectly via PR, HR or other less easy to quantify … Continued

AskPablo: Commuting

This week Calvin Tran wrote to AskPablo about commuting. He wrote: “I spend a lot of time in traffic because of bottlenecks in the highway system (three lanes going to two lanes). How much gas (and $) could be saved in removing these bottlenecks?” What a great question. I have been pondering this on my … Continued

Online Bill Pay Saves More Than Just Trees

Scientific American points out that the benefits of online banking and billing reach beyond saving trees. Reducing paper use also reduces the resources needed to make, ship and discard the paper. Imagine every US household opting to receive no paper bills or bank statements. The fuel saved (26 million BTUs) in this scenario would power … Continued

Four (Green) Stars at Kimpton Hotels

“We know that we can still perform at a high level using our skills, resources and intelligence to operate our business and, at the same time, make a positive contribution to save the planet. We know this because we are already doing it with success stories across the country.” – Kimpton website Recently, we pondered … Continued

AskPablo: Desalination and the Water-Energy Relationship

This week Gary writes “my city is considering a desalination plant to provide drinking water. I have heard that desalination is very energy intensive. How does it compare to delivering water by pipe?” Luckily I recently came across a report that will help me answer this question.

Corporate Sustainability Reports Emphasize the “Upside” of Climate Change

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), together with consulting firm KPMG, has recently released, Reporting the Business Implications of Climate Change in Sustainability Reports, the results of a survey that analyzes sustainability reports published in 2006 by 50 leading international companies. It is an interesting read – well-organized and complete with charts, graphs, and mini case … Continued

TreeHugger Aquired by Discovery (A Personal Message)

Well folks, this is old news by now, but a lot of people have been asking about the TreeHugger/Discovery deal and what it means and here’s my brief take. When we started, 3 years ago I always knew it was going to be a cool, fun site. With what I learned at Gawker, plus … Continued

AskPablo: Is this a god dam?

This week I got an e-mail from Ken. He wants to harness the creek on his property to become more energy independent and lessen his personal impact on global climate change. I am going to examine the variables that will determine if Ken should go ahead with this project, and how much it might cost … Continued

Shell’s Eureka Film – Utter Greenwashing or Interesting Progress?

A while ago I got a copy of Wired Magazine with an interesting DVD inserted into the package. It turned out to be a highly polished 10-minute advertisement/film for Shell entitled “Eureka”. You can watch the whole thing yourself below. What first struck me about the film is that the production value is incredibly high, … Continued