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Josh Dorfman: The Lazy Environmentalist

The_lazy_environmentalist A couple months ago, I wrote about Josh Dorfman and his Modern Green Living directory, so I wanted to kick out a shout for his new book in stores now.  For some reason I thought the book was coming out in August and had it on pre-order, but it never came.  Today, I was surprised to see it on the shelf, so I bought it on the spot.  With The Lazy Environmentalist, you’re not overpaying for the hardback variety just to get good information.  It’s out in sturdy paperback.  And if you’re wondering about taking the plunge, there are two good interviews of the author at Treehugger and Green Options.  Josh is smart and extremely informed on the subject of environmentalism.  Don’t be fooled about the "lazy" moniker.  There’s nothing lazy to his approach.  The way I see it, Josh is bridging the gap between idealism and behavior, finding ways for everyone to live happier, healthier, and more plentifully.  $10.17-$14.95

GreenSource: The Magazine of Sustainable Design

Greensource Do you read GreenSource? There’s a free read of the April 2007 edition of GreenSource online.  I highly recommend it, if you have a little free time and a fast connection.  It’s a quarterly production, supported by the editors of McGraw-Hill Construction, BuildingGreen, Inc., and the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).  GreenSource has a circulation of about 42,000 readers.  In March 2007, it was given the prestigious Neal Award for Best Start-Up Publication.  I spent way too much time online reading the articles…it just sucked me right in. 

Good Links:
+GreenSource, April 2007
+GreenSource Online Page
+GreenSource Magazine Wins a Neal Award [PRNewswire]

Botanical Visitor's Attraction: Eco Rainforest by Grimshaw

Eco Rainforest
Eco Rainforest

I’m not sure if this concept will make it into practice, but I like the idea.  We have zoos right?  Why not create a botanical visitor’s attraction of the tropical rain forest?  That’s the concept that Grimshaw Architects created and was rewarded with a 2007 MIPIM/AR Future Project Award in the Sustainability category.  Generally, here’s how it works: the enclosed greenhouse will create a tropical zone, a rain forest of sorts, housing both plant and animal life that people can walk through and study.  The goal of this man-made rain forest is to mimic the ecosystems from tropical regions of the world.  It will have 50 meter high gabion walls around the enclosure that contain composting tubes for heat generation during periods when the passive solar gain isn’t enough to sustain the tropical environment.  The idea is to harness the energy created by the decomposing biodegradable matter and re-create a tropical rain forest.  Grimshaw hopes that by doing so, the Rainforest will have the potential to grow fruits and vegetables with vastly reduced food miles. 

Transporting goods has a carbon cost associated with it, so people want to buy locally.  But climate can vary dramatically from one place to another making it tough to get some things locally…that is, unless you can recreate the climate of another area.  Think:  oranges in Canada.  To a small extent, this is what happens with a greenhouse.  Here, however, you are creating a greenhouse on a grand scale, one that is carbon neutral and cyclical.  It’s a good idea. 

TXU Boosts Wind Energy Portfolio by 29%

TXU Logo Looks like the new TXU is really moving in a green direction.  This is what I was looking for, so let’s hope similar news follows in the future.  Today TXU Wholesale, a subsidiary of TXU Corp. (NYSE: TXU), announced the purchase of about 209 megawatts of wind power from Airtricity.  This will be Airtricity’s third project in Texas and it will use 209 1.0-MW Mitsubishi 1000A turbines.  In total, the purchase now brings TXU’s investment in wind to 914 MW (powered by 965 turbines).  The farm, known as Roscoe Wind Farm, is currently under construction 45 miles southwest of Abilene, Texas.  By my BOE calculations, this news means that the portion of wind in TXU’s total energy portfolio (18,100 MW) is about 5.05%.  Five percent of TXU’s energy is generated from wind.  It’s not cheap, but this is the direction we need to go.  Nice work. 

Good Links:
+$300,000,000 Facility Will Provide Power to TXU [doc][Airtricity]
+TXU Adds to Wind Energy Portfolio with 209-MW Deal [TXU]

M-CH: Less is More Edition

m-ch

Let’s face it, less is more.  What you see is the micro compact home, aka m-ch, which is a 76 sf home designed by Richard Horden, a professor at Technical University of Munich (TUM).  m-ch was designed to meet the growing demand for short-stay living.  I think Horden’s on to something.  Right now, there’s a horde of 7 m-chs that TUM students and staff occasionally stay in.  But there’s also a 16-unit village of m-chs being developed for a site near Vienna, Austria. 

What’s great about the m-ch is its high-tech design.  It’s all geeked out with the latest in electronics and technology.  Future models plan to use solar panels and horizontal-axis wind turbines to make the home self-sustaining.  For $96,000 (delivery + installation anywhere in Europe), you get a sliding table for 5, two 7.5 foot beds, shelves and drawers, an electrical systems control panel, bathroom and shower, and a kitchen with a microwave, fridge/freezer, sink, waste unit, and work surface.  For a quick jaunt and a little fun, what more could you ask for?  Via WiredCool images below the fold. 

Read more »

Filler Post: The Light at the End of the Tunnel

I’m in the middle of a hellish end to law school finals.  I have some good content in the works, but need to sort through it + make it shine, so keep your eyes open for stuff later in the day.  For those of you aren’t familiar with the face behind Jetson Green, I’m at the end of my 4th year of grad school getting both JD + MBA degrees.  The MBA part finished last week.  I need to polish up my paper on lead paint public nuisance litigation for Friday and make it through the night studying for constitutional law.  Next week is graduation and we’re moving the very next day for Salt Lake City.  Posting will be erratic, but will come even if it’s at 4:00 am sometimes.  How ’bout them Jazz?  Who would’ve thought I’d leave the playoff-less Dallas for the playoff-full Salt Lake City? 

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