Keeping Green on the Right Track

Posted on April 19,2015 by Ecovrn in bicycle

Green building programs have a tendency to focus on the means rather than the end, to the point of not even identifying a comprehensive end goal. Two examples illustrate my point. The first example is a bit like the game of “gossip” or “telephone” that we used to play around the campfire. You know, one person whispers something into the ear of the next person, who whispers what they thought they heard to the next person, until it has gone around the circle. Invariably, the final wording is absurdly different from the original.

What I’m Hoping for in the New Year

Posted on April 19,2015 by AlexWilson in bicycle

With snow gently falling as the holiday season winds down, I find myself reflecting on the New Year and what we might hope for. World peace of course, and solving the poverty conundrum would be great. But what about energy and the environment? Here are some thoughts:

Getting Around Without Fossil Fuels

Posted on April 19,2015 by AlexWilson in automobile

Last week I laid out some arguments on why we should wean ourselves from fossil fuels, and offered some suggestions of how we could go about doing that in our homes — by superinsulating, switching to oil- and gas-free heating, and converting to renewable electricity. Those steps certainly aren’t easy or inexpensive, but there’s a pretty clear path for doing so.

Resilient Communities

Posted on April 19,2015 by AlexWilson in bicycle

In this ninth installment of my ten-part series on resilient design, I'm focusing beyond individual buildings to the community scale. Following a natural disaster or other problem that results in widespread power outages or interruptions in vehicle access or fuel supplies, people need to work together. We saw that throughout Vermont with tropical storm Irene last year, when some communities were cut off for a week or more.

Back from Sabbatical

Posted on April 19,2015 by AlexWilson in bicycle

Back in March I reported that I would be taking leave from this blog as I embarked on an eight-month sabbatical. With support from the Hanley Award I received last year, I was able to take an unpaid leave from BuildingGreen for some rejuvenation, reflection, research, and writing.

Houses Versus Cars

Posted on April 19,2015 by user-756436 in automobile

You’re striving to minimize your carbon footprint, and your house is energy efficient. Through diligent conservation efforts, you’ve greatly reduced the amount of natural gas and electricity required to run your home. Bravo! But how does your residential energy budget compare to your transportation energy budget? You may be happy to brag about your low utility bills — but if you’re anything like me, you’re probably a little ashamed of your gasoline budget.

Where You Build May Matter More Than What You Build

Posted on April 19,2015 by AlexWilson in bicycle

One of the things I like most about my seven-mile bicycle commute into work is the chance it affords me to just think about stuff in an unfocused way. When I drive to work (more often than I’d like) I usually have the radio on, letting the “Morning Edition” reporters direct my thoughts.

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