How Green Is Your Car?

Posted on May 06,2015 by ScottG in car

Consumer Reports magazine is well known for its quality and resale rankings of cars and trucks. Now, there's a website where you can look up the green performance of a vehicle you're interested in. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) launched a website called on February 5. The website launch was coordinated with the publication of the ACEEE's newest list of the most environmentally friendly vehicles on the road.

Green Buildings Aren’t Truly Green Without Location Efficiency

Posted on May 06,2015 by ab3 in green building

I was one of the lucky ones. I spent only two hours in my car when the big snowstorm of 2014 hit Atlanta on Tuesday. We got only about 2 inches of snow in my part of the city, but I made the mistake of going out for lunch at a restaurant right next to Emory University and the CDC compound. It took Jeffrey and me an hour and 45 minutes to drive the 2 miles back to the office. In the first photo below, you can see that the roads themselves were still in good shape at 2 o'clock, at least where we were.

On the Benefits of Online Learning

Posted on May 06,2015 by AlexWilson in automobile

Truth be told, I was slow warming up to online instruction. Ten years ago, in early 2004, BuildingGreen was approached by Boston Architectural College (then Boston Architectural Center — but with the same acronym, BAC) about collaborating on sustainable design curriculum. There is so much value in face-to-face instruction and student interaction, I thought, how could online instruction take its place?

Energy Use by Buildings

Posted on May 06,2015 by AlexWilson in building energy use

I’ve long appreciated the adage that you can’t manage what you don’t measure, so I’ve spent a good bit of time looking at numbers — especially relating to energy. (Apologies in advance to readers who don’t think quantitatively.) One of those numbers that I’ve always been intrigued with is how much of our nation’s total energy consumption relates to buildings. That sounds simple enough.

Växjö, Sweden, is a Model of Sustainability

Posted on May 06,2015 by AlexWilson in Agenda 21

My blog last week about Kansas and efforts to outlaw any mention or promotion of sustainability was so depressing (to write as well read) that I needed to find a more uplifting sequel. I needed to remind myself — and readers — that even if some politicians in Kansas don’t want to make the world a better place for their children and grandchildren, that’s not a universal attitude.

To Save Transportation Energy, Change Behavior

Posted on May 06,2015 by AlexWilson in car

Before the holidays I wrote a blog on how to save energy in the home by changing our behavior. This week we’ll take a look at some of the ways that we can save energy by changing our driving behavior. Below are some simple measures — most cost nothing and some even save money — to reduce your energy use for transportation.

What I’m Hoping for in the New Year

Posted on May 06,2015 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:

Location Efficiency Trumps Home Energy Efficiency

Posted on May 06,2015 by ab3 in car

My last article here at Green Building Advisor was about my perception that the USGBC is out of touch. Apparently, quite a few others feel similarly, including many who work in the program.

Getting Around Without Fossil Fuels

Posted on May 06,2015 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.

Nuclear Meltdown in Japan and Our Energy Future

Posted on May 06,2015 by Tristan Roberts in Fukushima

The two parents have their backs to the camera, ten feet away. The father is standing, and the mother crouching, both looking into what looks like a tangled pile of debris, but which (we are told by the photo caption) is a vehicle in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. The body of their daughter, killed by the tsunami, is trapped inside. I can only imagine the grief on their faces and in their hearts.

Houses Versus Cars

Posted on May 06,2015 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 May 06,2015 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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