What's Green About My City?

Slc_wasatch_skyline

Actually, my new city, Salt Lake City, feels a lot greener than my old city, Dallas (but it’s always my first home).  The population in SLC is edgy, kind of like Portland and Austin, but there’s also a substantial conservative undercurrent.  I’ve found that the conservatives (myself included) really care about the environment as much as the liberals, and that issues relating to the environment are fairly bipartisan.  Here are a few tidbits about Utah and SLC that I know about right now:

Really, this is just the tip of the iceberg in Salt Lake City.  There’s a lot of good green things going on and I’m excited to be here. 

Filler Post: Moving to Salt Lake City

Well, I’m a little behind on posting because I’ve just moved from Dallas to Salt Lake City.  It was a good two-day road trip.  We saw lots of two things: sunny land and road kill.  We saw a few wind farms as well.  We started thinking about the drama over birds being killed from turbine blades.  Why doesn’t the same standard apply to cars?  Think of how many dead squirrels, deer, cow, dogs, birds, snakes, etc., one sees on the road.  It’s okay for cars to run over animals, but it’s not okay for turbine blades to catch the occasional bird?  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a problem either way and life is valuable, but I wonder about the sincerity of the anti-wind debate.  Any thoughts? 

I’ll be up and running soon, just looking for a place to live.  Right now, the blogger at Equity Green is putting me up. 

$5B Clinton, Eco-Yahoo!, Health-Care Constuction, Nevada Ungreens, Porous Paving, Ed Begley Jr.'s Green Website, & Green Building Studio (WIR)

Week in Review
  1. Clinton Climate Initiative Offers $5B to Green Municipal Buildings at Cities Nationwide.
  2. Yahoo! Issues ‘Greenest City in America‘ Challenge with Reward of Hybrid Taxi Fleet.
  3. $41B Health-care Construction Industry Going Green to Save Energy, Cut Infection Rates.
  4. Nevada State Board Hopes to Change (Remove) Green Building Standard, Mislead About LEED.
  5. Porous Paving Grows in Popularity as a Stormwater Management Solution. 
  6. Ed Begley, Jr. Launches a Truly Unique Sustainable Living Website at FixingThePlanet.com
  7. Green Building Studio being dubbed A Google for Green Building Products.
  8. Commentary on Why Green Buildings Cannot Save the Planet.

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. 

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