Saturday, November 29, 2008

Wanna study up on how to stop getting phonebooks?

The Bite

Don't cheat yourself or the forest. Sign up and you'll never receive another paper phonebook. Taking notes?

The Benefits

  • More paper for textbooks. About 540 million unsolicited phonebooks arrive at American doors annually - takes a lotta trees to make those.
  • Majoring in waste reduction. Phonebooks make for about 660,000 tons of trash every year.
  • Extra credit: less annoyance. Just lugging phonebooks into the house when you know you'll never use them is a pain.

Personally Speaking

None of us have used a paper phonebook since the advent of Google SMS (send a text message to 466453 with business name and zip code, and you'll get the number and address sent to you).

Wanna Try?

  • YellowPagesGoesGreen - enter your info here to get your name off the mailing list.
  • Earth 911 - recycle your old phonebooks (if you have curbside recycling, just toss them in there).
Found on

Friday, November 28, 2008

Online Green Education Available for Design Professionals

John Wiley & Sons, the leader in architecture/engineering/construction publishing, is now offering WileyCPE (, an online continuing education system created specifically for A/E/C professionals. courses are approved by the American Institute of Architects and enable design professionals to earn the credits they need to satisfy membership and state licensing board requirements. The online courses are developed and delivered by Wiley’s expert editorial and author teams, and focus on sustainability or health, safety, and welfare (HSW) topics.

Current topics dealing with green design and construction include:

  • “Green Building Assessment”
  • “Life Cycle Assessment for Green Buildings”
  • “Site Analysis for Sustainability”
  • “Resource Efficiency for Sustainable Sites”

Other courses are offered on project management, integrated design, and other basics of good building design. The courses are self-paced, available 24/7, and include audio files, interactive self-learning, and bonus materials. The cost of the courses ranges from $50-100, and all offer immediate certificates showing completion of CEU credits, as well as management of credits achieved through the system.

The site is user-friendly and, as more courses are offered, will become a valuable tool for any design or construction professional looking to expand their knowledge and keep up with current trends in the industry.

For a full list of courses and pricing, see the WileyCPE site.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Web Site Offers Green Home Resources

Help Making Eco-Friendly and Health Choices for Home and Office

Buzz up!

COMMUNITY NEWS is a new website that is dedicated to helping people create and maintain a healthy home and work environment. The site features a large database full of eco-friendly products and services, inspiring articles written by a variety of experts on sustainable and healthy living, as well as product comparisons that allow you to quickly and easily see some of your product options. The companies in the database also indicate whether a product or service has earned the approval from one or more of the following third-party organizations; GreenGuard, Energy Star, Green Seal, US Green Building Council, Co-Op America, and the Forest Stewardship Council. We also have a secure eco-store right on the site!

Relevant information can easily be found on the site through navigating to each room (e.g. Kitchen, Nursery, Laundry Room, Office, etc.). For example, in the laundry room you will find product comparisons on different vacuums, energy saving washers, and the benefits of using natural laundry detergent.

Due to the fact that Eco Home Resource is specifically focused on the home and work environments, you can easily find information that will cut down on some of the confusion of the overwhelming choices and options in the marketplace. Knowing that life is hectic, we aim to be your one-stop resource for creating a supportive and sustainable living environment for you and your family. We are here to be of service to you, so we are always open to story ideas or questions you would like to have answered on the site.

The site covers topics from how to green your baby's nursery to the most energy-efficient appliances and great ways to conserve water. The site also covers topics that are "beyond green," what we call Transformational Design, and explores subjects such as Color Theory, Feng Shui and Aromatherapy. It is the goal that the site will inspire conscious, healthy choices that will benefit people and the planet in which we live. Thank you for visiting, we look forward to hearing from you!


Article found on

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Living Walls on San Francisco's Embarcadero

by Eliza Barclay, Nomad on 11.23.08
Credit: Pelli Clarke Pelli
In a blog post on design applications of water resource management, New York Times design blogger Allison Arrieff included a photograph of a glass office building currently under construction in San Francisco with veritable living walls. Intrigued, we decided to research the project at 110 Embarcadero, and learned it belongs to the design firm Pelli Clarke Pelli and is one of the most creative green buildings in the world in development right now.

We are especially excited about the building's use of walls alive with creeping, curling vines. As Arrieff points out, living walls are not only beautiful and seasonal, but they also absorb and filter storm water, digest nasty particulates, improve outdoor and air quality, and regulate the building's temperature to lower heating and cooling bills.

For the 110 Embarcadero building, planters housed in a trellis-like mesh will be attached between each floor. Each planter will have a variety of vine species to ensure that something will be in bloom all year long. The building aspires to receive a LEED Platinum rating, an award that has never been given to an office building. According to an article earlier this year in the San Francisco Chronicle, the building will open in 2009, and we can't wait.

More on Living Walls:

Guide to Planting Green Roofs and Living Walls
All in all it’s Just Another Plant in the Wall
Living, Green Wall Fends Off Encroaching Desert

Green Walls Growing Everywhere
article found on

Thursday, November 20, 2008

World Carbon Emissions Continue to Increase

Obama Won't Visit U.N. Climate Conference Before Taking Office

Carbon emissions from industrialized nations rose through the first six years of the 21st century, reversing a slackening in the 1990s caused by the collapse of the Soviet Union, according to new figures from the United Nations. There was a slight plateau in 2006 that experts cautioned is unlikely to continue as a trend.

As of 2006, emissions from the industrialized nations stood 5% below the 1990 level, but emissions had increased 2.3% since 2000. Emissions in 2007 and 2008 aren't reflected in the totals, and neither are emissions from developing nations like China and India, which have risen quickly and now stand among the world's top sources of pollution.

Meanwhile, President-elect Barack Obama is not expected to attend the next U.N. meeting on global warming, in Poland, because President Bush will still be in office. The U.N. is working toward a new agreement, to be ratified in 2009, that would act as a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, which was supposed to rein in carbon emissions from industrialized nations. The United States is the only major industrialized polluter not to have joined in the pact.

Obama did, however, meet with his former rival Republican Sen. John McCain, and climate change was reportedly one of the topics on which they discussed collaborating.

Article and photo found on

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Green Piece

Monday, November 17, 2008

Green Piece

According to a recent Yahoo! Green study, 77% of consumers describe themselves as "Green," actively living their lives conscious of their health and environment, and 57% have made a Green purchase in the past 6 months.

But, concludes the study, the fact that not all green consumers are the same creates a great opportunity for advertisers to better understand the purchasing motivations of mainstream green consumers, one of the largest and fastest growing markets nationwide. The study segments green consumers into four main groups:

Deeply Committed:

  • 23% of market... early-adopters of green who are looking to make a long-term impact
  • Mostly adults (35+)
  • Skew female
  • More educated
  • Higher percent live in metropolitan areas
  • Respond most to the "positively impact the environment" message


  • 24% of market... trend-setters who are motivated to be green to look cool
  • Younger (18-34)
  • More ethnically diverse
  • Respond to messages about "everybody else is doing it," newest technology, cool/hip.


  • 13% of market... motivated to be green by immediate benefits such as saving money or improving health
  • Skew a bit older (45+)
  • More with children
  • Over-index in rural areas


  • 17% of market, recognize green as important but place the responsibility more on others than themselves
  • Younger adults (25-34)
  • More women with kids
  • Respond to messages about providing a better life for their family


  • The other 23% of the market says they don't care about the environment, or they say they care, but they don't take any action.

Two of the segments present the biggest opportunity for advertisers, says the report... the "trendy" consumers who go green to be cool, and the "deeply committed". These segments buy more green products, discuss green issues often, and convince others to make the same green purchases.

  • 80% of the "deeply committed" and 69% of the "trendy" consumers have made a green purchase in the past 6 months
  • 79% of "deeply committed" and "trendy" consumers say that if they like a product they will always tell their friends
  • 70% of the "trendy" and 66% of "deeply committed" consumers who have recently purchased a green alternative product have convinced a family/friend to buy the same product

The study reports that Online is an important source for green information:

  • More than two-thirds (68%) of survey respondents cite online as a source of green information, on par with traditional media (72%)
  • In the online space, people look most to portal websites (Yahoo!, MSN, etc.) for more information on green products (51%), likely due to the richness of content offered by such sites.
  • Second is online search (44%)
  • Reading online reviews by users also high (40%). People look to user reviews more than professional reviews (24%)
  • Lowest is a company website (20%) and blogs (21%)
  • A large percent of people still look to TV ads for more info on green products (47%), especially in the household cleaning product category (37%)

This study included 1,500 internet respondents between the ages of 18-54 from a diverse cross-section of the population from around the country, as well as in-person interviews with people who live in Los Angeles, Chicago and Portland. 8% of people were screened out of this survey because they stated that they were "not at all conscious with regard to their health and the environment". Therefore, survey respondents include an Internet representative sample of 92% of consumers.

article found on

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Times Square Begins Building Green Billboard

By: NY1 News

Click HERE to view the video of the billboard.

The lights in Manhattan's Times Square are starting to go green.

Construction begins this month on a 35,000 lbs., environmentally-friendly electronic billboard which will carry advertising for the office equipment company Ricoh.

The billboard will be powered by 16 wind turbines and 64 solar panels, enough to light six homes.

The sign will not be as bright as the other billboards and it does not have a generator, which means it could go dark after long periods without wind or sunshine.

Monday, November 17, 2008

California Air Pollution Kills More People Than Car Crashes, Study Shows

FRESNO, Calif. — Lowering air pollution in Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley would save more lives annually than ending all motor vehicle fatalities in the two regions, according to a new study.

This Tuesday, July 15, 2003 file photo shows the Los Angeles skyline being obscured by a heavy layer of smog and fog . Decreasing air pollution in Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley would save more lives annually than ending all motor vehicle fatalities in the two regions, according to a study. (AP Photo/Jerome T. Nakagawa, file)

The study, which examined the costs of air pollution in two areas with the worst levels in the country, also said meeting federal ozone and fine particulate standards could save $28 billion annually in health care costs, school absences, missed work and lost income potential from premature deaths.

The price tag amounts to $1,600 annually per person in the San Joaquin Valley and $1,250 in the South Coast Air Basin.

Researchers at California State University-Fullerton sought to assess the potential economic benefits that could be achieved by reducing air pollution to levels within federal standards.

"For decades there has been a tug of war over what to do about air pollution," said Jane Hall, lead author of the study at Cal State Fullerton. "We are paying now for not having done enough."

To illustrate its point, the study noted that the California Highway Patrol recorded 2,521 vehicular deaths in the San Joaquin Valley and South Coast Air Basin in 2006, compared to 3,812 deaths attributed to respiratory illness caused by particulate pollution.

Studies have indicated a relationship between ozone and particulate pollution and asthma and other respiratory problems, including chronic bronchitis. They also have connected particulate pollution with an increase in cardiovascular problems.

Hall and colleague Victor Brajer analyzed ozone and fine particulate concentrations across the two basins in 5-by-5 kilometer grids from 2005 through 2007. The researchers applied those numbers to the health affects they are known to cause, then assigned peer-reviewed economic values to each illness or death that could result.

"It may be tempting to think California can't afford to clean up, but in fact dirty air is like a $28 billion lead balloon on our economy," Hall said.

The findings were released Wednesday as the California Air Resources Board considers controversial new regulations to reduce diesel truck emissions, a move that could cost 170,000 business owners $5.5 billion. According to a board staff report, the savings in health care costs would be $68 billion by 2020 if the regulations were adopted next month.

The Cal State Fullerton study says that particulate pollution levels must fall by 50 percent in both regions for health and economic benefits to occur, something they acknowledged would be "very difficult to achieve."

If pollution levels were to improve to federal standards, the study says residents of the two air basins would suffer 3,860 fewer premature deaths, 3,780 fewer nonfatal heart attacks and would miss 470,000 fewer days of work annually. School children would miss more than 1.2 million fewer days of school, a savings of $112 million in caregiver costs. There also would be more than 2 million fewer cases of upper respiratory problems.

"As a society we make decisions to spend money on things such as railroad crossings or air traffic control _ things that improve safety," Brajer said. "There are a lot of ways society spends money to make things safer, and that's what we're trying to get at."

Article found at The Huffington Post

by TRACIE CONE | November 13, 2008 06:02 AM EST

Thursday, November 13, 2008

UPS Going Labeless with Super Cool Paper-Free Printer

by Jaymi Heimbuch, Central Coast, California on 11.13.08 Science & Technology (electronics)
Photo via HP

UPS has long been interested in improving efficiency. For a year and a half, HP and UPS have been working together to develop a scanner/printer that prints sorting labels directly on packages. The time and effort looks to be worth it because this awesome little device means huge paper, money and time savings.

The device underscores that it pays to be green – according to UPS's estimates, it will save about 92,456 hours year through increased productivity, save about 1,338 tons of paper, and reduce carbon emissions by 3,807 tons each year.

Read on for details of how it works, plus a video.

The HP Handheld sp400 All-in-One was tested in Orlando Florida, where it was used on 40,000 packages per day with zero errors. The device scans the label, and prints sorting information directly on the package with fast-drying ink designed by HP. It replaces the previous system that included a large thermal printer, PC, monitor and scanner, which hopefully means a lot less electricity and e-waste in addition to all the other savings.

The device should last quite awhile, as it was made to resist multiple 6-foot drops, and uses a lithium-ion battery. However, the website only states “multiple hours” of printing and scanning per charge. So exactly how long a charge lasts, we aren't yet quite sure. Though, with the ability to do over 1,250 prints per hour, that seems reasonable for today’s Li-Ion battery capabilities. Perhaps future upgrades will include environmentally friendly inks and better battery power.

Check out a video co-produced by HP and UPS that demonstrates the use and innovation behind this cool new device.

More on HP:
HP's Pavilion Has Gone Green - Or Has It?
HP Bags Wal-Mart's Reduced Packaging Award With Laptop In A Bag

More on UPS:
UPS Delivering Small Packages With Small Vehicles
UPS Deploys 167 Compressed Natural Gas Trucks

Sunday, November 9, 2008

flip & tumble- reusable bags

We surveyed shoppers. Almost everyone has reusable bags, so why aren�t they getting used? Too difficult to remember. Too many unplanned shopping trips. Just too hard.

You�ve been there, done that. You know the moment you get to the checkout line, you remember the bags are at home by the front door, or maybe they are just in the trunk of your car. In any case, they are not there when you need them.

We saw a a big problem. After all, reusable bags are really only useful if they actually get reused. We figured if we could make the bags small enough to simply be kept with you all the time, there would be no more forgetting. We designed our bags to be small enough to stash in a messenger bag, purse, or pocket, so they are simply there when you needed them We had them tested by friends, family, and just about anyone who was willing to give them a try, and they worked! We knew we had something we wanted to share when even our most forgetful friends were reusing their bags.

The average person in the US goes through 332 bags a year. Often we use these bags for what amounts to just minutes or hours, but plastic bags stick around for 500+ years.

While biodegradable bags and paper bags are a bit better in terms of decomposing, the real problem is that there is a lot of wasted energy making single-use bags. It takes a commitment to change, but once you get the hang of carrying reusable bags all the time, you�ll find that they�re good for all sorts of things: carrying those extras to work, toting gear to the beach or to the soccer field, having an extra travel bag, or maybe just as a hackeysack for kicking back with some friends.

At heart we are designers. We like taking those pesky, annoying problems and finding clever, simple, joyful solutions. We, Hetal Jariwala and Eva Bauer, met while attending Stanford Universitys Product Design graduate program where worked on everything from redesigning the public transportation experience to making kites that flew in the clear blue sky. After graduating we quickly figured out that the standard 9-5 hohum wasn't working for us so we took the leap and started flip & tumble.

Information found on flip & tumble website.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Eric Hudson’s dentist always told him he needed to hold his toothbrush at a 45-degree angle when cleaning his teeth, but Hudson hadn’t found a brush shaped to encourage that positioning. By using boiling water to soften conventional toothbrushes, he was able to bend them into a shape he found more comfortable—and that dental professionals praised. In 1996, Hudson combined his dental-hygiene interest with his environmental dedication and business expertise when he founded Recycline, which manufactures toothbrushes made from recycled plastic.

“I saw that around 45 percent of the population was interested in recycling, but there wasn’t a lot of action turning recycled materials into new products,” Hudson explains. “I wanted to show that you can make high-quality products from recycled materials.” And he wanted to ensure that the products he made were, in turn, recyclable.

His interest in brushing technique wasn’t the only thing that made toothbrushes a good choice for his company’s first product, either; toothbrushes are something that people need to keep buying and discarding (the American Dental Association recommends replacing them every three months).

In collaboration with his industrial-designer father and a panel of dentists, Hudson designed the Preserve® toothbrush, with nylon bristles and a 100-percent- recycled plastic handle.

“The Preserve® curve of the handle helps you brush at the 45-degree angle most comfortably throughout your mouth,” Hudson explains of its patented design. The brushes come with (or you can request) postage-paid mailers, and the company recycles returned toothbrushes into plastic lumber for park benches and other outdoor furniture.

Over the past decade, Recycline has launched a partnership with Stonyfield Farms, whose yogurt containers are recycled into plastics for Recycline products—a line that has grown to include a razor, tongue cleaner, children’s toothbrush, and, most recently, plates and cutlery. These products are all made of 100-percent recycled plastic, and everything except the toothbrushes can go directly into #5 recycling bins (though Hudson prefers that razor users simply replace their blades). Recycline also introduced a toothbrush subscription program, in which subscribers receive new toothbrushes in the mail four times a year and send their old ones to be recycled once again.

—Liz Borkowski

Story found on