There’s kind of an edgy, underground movement of conscious homeowners and environmentalists that are finding creative ways to capture water and reuse it for their needs. BusinessWeek’s Malia Wollan just wrote an article called "Rainwater collectors work to ease shortages," and she talks about the popularity of the movement. In the article, Wollan mentions a website called HarvestH20, which has seen an increasing number of visitors seeking information and advice on rainwater collection and reclamation.
So the big day is September 8, 2008 — the day Mr. Thomas Friedman’s next book goes on sale. It’s called Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution–And How It Can Renew America. I have a feeling it’s going to be good, too, but I can’t pinpoint why. Maybe it’s because Friedman does a lot of research and assesses that research with a fresh perspective. Maybe it’s because he says new stuff — he’s not necessarily regurgitating what we hear everyday. Maybe it’s because he takes a strong position. Whatever it is, I have a stack of great books that I’ve been trying to get through, but this one will likely make it to the nightstand.
The NAHB rolled out its Certified Green Professional ("CGP") program earlier this year and already 1,000 builders, remodelers, and other members of the home building industry have earned the CGP educational designation. Potential CGPs must complete 24 hours of classroom training, of which, 16 hours must be qualified green building instruction. In addition, potential CGPs must have two years industry experience, sign a code of ethics, and commit to fulfilling continuing education requirements.
Keep your eyes out for the newest tool designed to rate cities in their efforts to push environmental stewardship. The STAR Community Index is like LEED, but it’s designed to rate local governments. With myriad green city rankings and websites trying to calculate the sustainability of local governments,* it’s high time for a highly respected, standardized formula for measuring a community’s sustainability. According to ICLEI, the STAR Program will create a process, not unlike LEED, to bring in leaders in the field toward the goal of establishing shared measures and processes for greening communities. STAR will have tiered levels, with the aim to accomplish the following:
The Silicon Valley-based law firm of Cooley Godward Kronish has just brought online the largest on-site solar system of any Bay Area law firm. The 465 panel, 87 kW system was installed on the roof of their Palo Alto-Hanover building of 130,000 sf. Installing a solar system of this size has almost lost its newsworthiness, especially with tons of companies placing monster solar arrays in service by the end of this year to take advantage of the tax benefits. But what’s really interesting, I think, is one of the reasons the firm decided to generate some on-site green power: their clients are in this business and inspired them to go green.