Jul 11

Summer Promo From Mutipure

GET A FREE Water Emergency Treatment System With Purchase of a Multipure Drinking Water System!

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From July 1st through September 30th, Multipure is offering an all-new Water Emergency Treatment (WET) System for just the cost of shipping to Customers who purchase any Multipure Drinking Water System at regular price! Or if you purchase any Drinking Water System Starter Kit at regular price and sign up as a new Distributor, you can receive a WET System absolutely FREE! The WET System includes two Multipure EF8 solid carbon block filters as well as emergency water purification tablets and other essential equipment.

Promo Code: SA912PROMO (will be mailed with order)
Free WET System plus $10.00 S/H fee when purchasing any drinking water system.

OR

Promo Code: SA912PROMO2 (will be mailed with order)
Free WET System if you purchase any Drinking Water System Starter Kit
when you sign up as a new Distributor

(enter promo code at the checkout screen) visit Multipureusa.com to order

Promotion Details

1. Offer valid July 1, 2014 through September 30, 2014.
2. A Multipure Drinking Water System (DWS) is defined as an Aquamini, Aquadome, Aquaversa, Aquaperform, or AquaRO.
3. Multipure’s Aquasource whole-house system is included as a qualifying promotional purchase.
4. Customers may receive one (1) Water Emergency Treatment (WET) System (SKU# SA912) when they purchase any DWS at regular price.
5. The free SA912 must be requested at the time of purchase. No exceptions.
6. Customers who cancel their DWS or DWS Starter Kit order (at regular price) must also pay the full price for the SA912 or return the SA912.
7. Shipping and handling on the free SA912 is not included. The Customer must pay for the $10 shipping and handling at the time of purchase.
8. The SA912 is shipped with the DWS purchase and may not be shipped to a different address.
9. The SA912 promotion is available with Filtermania and Aquamania purchases.
10. This promotion is subject to change or may be discontinued at any time.

May 06

Ways To Get Healthy That Are Also Good For The Environment

Ways To Get Healthy That Are Also Good For The Environment

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Two years ago, comedian Jeff Garlin wrote a book called My Footprint: Carrying the Weight of the World, describing his journey to becoming slimmer and more environmentally-conscious. Anyone who has seen the portly comedian on Curb Your Enthusiasm or any number of his movies and comedy specials knows that Garlin could stand to lose a few pounds. Garlin took it one step further though and tried to figure out how his food and life decisions impacted the environment. What he found out was that there was a connection between the two. With the help of a nutritionist and Ed Begley Jr., world-renowned environmentalist, Garlin is able to reduce his footprint, both figuratively and literally. The book presented an interesting argument, so let’s try to examine ways one can get healthier while helping the environment as well.

  • Eat more plants and fewer animals: Through countless documentaries like Forks over Knives and books like The Omnivore’s Dilemma, everyone knows that eating fewer animals is good for your overall health. Vegetarianism and veganism has been linked with lower incidences of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and countless other illnesses. The meat industry also costs our environment dearly. We use water, fertilizer and land to raise animals for food. These resources could be better used elsewhere. In addition, the animal waste produced in meat-producing farming often pollutes water sources and the air. By eating more plants and fewer animals, you’ll lower your cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure and your total carbon footprint.
  • Walk instead of drive: Garlin has one anecdote in his book where he rides public transportation in Los Angeles for the first time. Anyone who has ridden the bus knows the interesting characters you can meet. However, using public transportation can lower your carbon footprint as you’re emitting less pollution in the air than let’s say driving your SUV. However, if you can walk or ride your bike to your destination, that’s even better. The American Heart Association recommends at least thirty minutes of activity a day for optimal health, so you’re covered there; plus, you emitting no pollution in the air, which makes Mother Nature happy.
  • Try localized honey: Are you sniffling and sneezing a lot? You might want to try local honey. Honey has long been known as a natural remedy for allergies. In addition, buying local honey will help support an industry responsible for pollinating your fruits and vegetables. If you are really ambitious, you might want to try raising your own bees. It is a wonderful hobby that will afford you ample amounts of fresh honey as well as the satisfaction of knowing you’re helping the environment.

No matter who you are, you can start taking small steps towards a healthier you, and a healthier planet, today.

Alex White is a freelancer interested in writing about sustainability and environmental issues.

Apr 03

5 Ways To Make Your Workplace Eco-Friendly

Ways To Make Your Workplace Eco-Friendly

Image by Chris Potter

From melting polar ice caps to smog-filled cities, the threat of global warming isn’t going away. Despite the red flags and the bombardment of warnings, the majority of people continue to turn a blind eye to their carbon footprint. Ignorance really is bliss.

It’s all too easy to turn away and leave it to someone else, but if we all do that then nothing’s going to change.

Instead, you could make a few small changes to your day-to-day life that can have positive effects on the environment. You may not have the money or time to become totally green, but these short easy to do steps will leave you slightly more satisfied in the knowledge that you are doing your part.

Here are five quick and easy ways to make your workplace more eco-friendly:

1. Less Waste, More Recycling

Minimize the amount of waste that goes to landfill by installing recycling bins in your workplace. The majority of packaging can be recycled now, and you’ll find that most of your colleagues will happily ‘go green’ if you provide them with the opportunity to recycle items.

2. Use Less Energy

Your workplace may be a-buzz with energy, but make sure it’s not wasted electronic energy. Turn off equipment such as computers, chargers and lights when they’re not in use, and remind your colleagues to do the same.

3. Minimise Your Mileage

Don’t travel unnecessarily for company business if a conference call could achieve the same result. If you can’t avoid travelling, try to car share where possible.

4. Be Proud To Be Green

Lead the way in your workplace’s green revolution by displaying your green credentials for all to see. Update your email signature to say:

Think before you ink – please consider the environment and do not print unless absolutely necessary.

5. Print Double-Sided

It seems so simple, but by printing and photocopying on both sides of a sheet of paper, you’re cutting your energy and paper use in half. If you have an IT team, speak to them about making double-sided printing the automatic default on all of the company’s computers and photocopiers.

That’s five simple ways to a more eco-friendly office, but it doesn’t end there. You could even speak to your procurement team about buying environmentally friendly products like Xerox business paper, which is manufactured using less water, chemicals and energy.

Have you got a great idea on making workplaces more eco-friendly? If so, leave a comment below!

Featured images:

Matt Reilly is a professional copywriter. He blogs about the environment, the business world and the links between the two. He writes for Continua.

Apr 03

Eco-home: 5 Tips To Make Your Home More Sustainable

ecohomeIt seems to be the new trend at the moment and with good reason too! In the last decade particularly, many governments and communities have zoned in on the idea of sustainability. Sustainability is the concept where current needs are met without depleting the resources of future generations.

Likewise, individuals and families can also operate in more environmentally friendly ways. Indeed, sustainability in the home can also cut down on costs and make your home more comfortable. There are countless ways to go about sustainability in your home. Here we survey five top suggestions.

Choose your plants wisely

Aren’t having plants an eco-friendly choice in the first place? In some respects, yes. However, plants that require lots of water are generally considered a less sustainable choice. The choice of plants will often depend on the climate in which you live in. For example, if you live in a dry climate such as in Australia, look out for Australian native plants. Fruit trees are also a good idea in providing shade for your backyard and fresh fruit for you!

Choose eco-friendly paints

Many people would be surprised to know that the UN International Agency on Research into Cancer (IARC) categorises painting as a “hazardous profession” due to various toxic components in many paints. This is because paints contain harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Instead, choose plant based oils. Plant based oils are low-VOC and more sustainable than paints derived from petrochemicals.

Choose eco-friendly floors

With flooring, it is not so much the material that matters but the maintenance routine required to maintain its durability. This is because most floor finishes are also plastic based, meaning that VOCs and allergens will be emitted from your floor after installation and recoating. Once again, you can avoid this by choosing low VOC floor finishes. Alternatively, choose ceramic, hard tiles, linoleum, and cork as your flooring.

Use less electricity

While the choice of paint and flooring are sustainable design choices, there are also sustainable living choices you can make every day in your home. Saving energy is an easy way to be sustainable. This includes simple things like turning off lights when not in use. Some less common ways: turning off your cable set-top box when not in use, having a correctly sized air conditioner, and organising your fridge!

Use recycled or reclaimed materials

If you’re hunting for that perfect piece of real estate to buy or build up, consider choosing or building a home with recycled or reclaimed materials. If you’re after wood, look for wood from older torn-down buildings or else types such as bamboo that grow quickly and sustainably. If you’re already settled into a property, consider buying more recycled products at the supermarket, whether it be pens or even toilet paper!

Amy Hopkins is a university student and freelance writer who is interested in flicking through the newspaper looking at NSW real estate. You’ll often find her dreaming about properties she can’t quite afford to buy!

Apr 02

Going Green To Save Green

Going Green To Save Green

green1Turning your home into a more energy efficient system, can improve performance, save money, and is good for the environment. With the right strategy, you can make any home more efficient and comfortable. Whether it’s an older home or a newer home, there are many measures homeowners can take to improve the efficiency. First you need to think about each part of your home, inside and out. Then, you can figure out which envelopes need the most work.

Insulation Can Go a Long Way

When installed properly, insulation slows the rate of air that flows out of and in the house. Whether it’s winter or summer, insulation improves your comfort, your efficiency and cuts the energy bills. If your house doesn’t have insulation in all the right places, you can usually tell… but sometimes it takes a little work. Plus, if your attic is unfinished, you should definitely think about getting it insulated. There are many types of insulation to choose from, but the most popular are made from fiberglass and foam. With insulation installation you should probably call an expert. They know where insulation needs to go and they install it correctly the first time. They also have special tools like infrared cameras to find all the hidden cavities where the air is escaping.

Windows

By upgrading or replacing your old windows with new energy efficient ones, you will feel the effects immediately. And even better yet, your energy bills will drop and drop fast. Yes, windows can become a little pricey, especially when you need to replace more than one.  But, it will pay off in the longer run… by a lot. Fortunately there are many types of energy efficient windows that offer a refund.

Let There Be Light

You wouldn’t think replacing your light bulbs would help the efficiency of your home. However, incandescent light bulbs not only use less energy, they are brighter then most regular bulbs. Plus, energy efficient light bulbs use less electricity to run. Do your research and compare the energy used for your old bulbs compared to new energy efficient bulbs. You will see a real difference in how much energy is used and how much it costs to run each one.

Outdoor Structures

Believe it or not, a verandah, car port, patios and awnings can make a big difference in energy efficiency. By installing an energy efficient roof, these home additions become an economic solution that you and your family can enjoy.

Eric Regan is a writer who loves the enviroment and has written many blogs on different going green and energy saving techniques

Aug 22

Atlantic Garbage Patch Getting Smaller Or Just Smaller Pieces?

Eating Garbage: Plastic In Ocean Is A Bad Deal – And Meal – For Fish

(SEA) ATLANTIC OCEAN — The garbage patch may not be growing, but the plastic ends up somewhere. Plastic waste is either disintegrating and floating to the ocean floor or eaten by unsuspecting fish. Researchers explain why either scenario is hard to digest. – Global Animal  – August 22, 2011

National Geographic News, Rachel Kaufman

At first, it seemed like good news: Measurements of the “garbage patch” in the Atlantic Ocean showed that the amount of plastic trash there hasn’t increased over the past two decades.

Similar to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the North Atlantic garbage patch is somewhat like a region of plastic soup, although “soup implies you can see the vegetables,” said study leader Kara Lavender Law, an oceanographer at the Sea Education Association (SEA) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

Instead, most of the Atlantic trash is in the form of tiny plastic bits—from bags and bottles blown off landfills or tossed into the sea—swirling in a still undefined region of open ocean hundreds of miles off the North American coast.

Law and colleagues recently analyzed data from the Atlantic garbage patch collected over the past 22 years and found that the concentration of stuff in the patch hasn’t grown over time.

But even taking increased recycling rates into account, humans’ plastic use over the past two decades has increased. So where has all the plastic gone?

It’s possible some of the trash is just too small for researchers to catalog, study leader Law said: “Our net only captures pieces larger than [a third of a millimeter] in size, and it’s certain that the plastic breaks down into pieces smaller than that.”

Some of the fragments might have been eaten by sea creatures that mistook the plastic for plankton—tiny, free-floating marine plants and animals. The plastic pieces could also be sinking, weighed down by colonies of marine bacteria.

Another expedition to study the patch earlier this year—led by Anna Cummins and Marcus Eriksen of theAlgalita Marine Research Foundation—had intended to stop and deploy a sediment sampler to test for plastic that might have sunk to the ocean floor. But that trip was cut short by bad weather, Cummins said.

Atlantic Plastic Patch Full of Mystery

Researchers can’t tell the ages of individual plastic bits, since there are no chemical techniques for dating petroleum-based products, SEA’s Law said. That makes it nearly impossible to tell if the seemingly stable amount of trash is actually due to turnover.

There’s also currently no way to track the origins of the plastic: “We’re not seeing Coke bottles stamped with ‘Made in the U.S.A.,’” Law said. A computer model of ocean circulation suggests the fastest route to the patch begins at the U.S. East Coast.

Meanwhile, even though the SEA expedition traveled a thousand miles (1,609 kilometers) east of Bermuda, “we still can’t find the eastern edge” of the patch, Law said.

The Algalita mission traveled much farther east, all the way to the Azores islands off Portugal (map), the foundation’s Eriksen said, and “we had plastics in our samples from Bermuda to the Azores.”

Overall, the results tell “a depressing story, to be honest,” SEA’s Law added. “You’re like, Great, [the patch] is not increasing! But I’m sure it is.”

Aug 22

Make Back-To-School A “Green” Event

Photograph courtesy of tncountryfan/Flickr, Creative Commons license

Photograph courtesy of tncountryfan/Flickr, Creative Commons license

What motivates people to save energy? This year, the Great Energy Challenge launched a project, the 360º Energy Diet, designed in part to tackle this very question. (Another round of the diet begins this fall.) For some people who joined, it was the idea of living a simpler, less wasteful lifestyle. Others liked the idea of losing weight, whether it was literally shedding pounds by switching to less energy-intensive eating habits, or lightening their monthly bills by saving on electricity and other expenses.

survey released earlier this year by the consulting firms Deloitte and the Harrison Group confirms that financial incentives can motivate changes in energy use. Sixty-eight percent of respondents agreed with the statement “I/Our family took several extra steps to reduce our electric bill as a result of the recession.” Even more striking, 95 percent of those consumers have no plans to go back to their pre-recession spending habits, even if the economy improves.

Operating on this same “green” (i.e. monetary) concept, the company Recyclebank offers consumers in the United States and the United Kingdom discounts and deals in exchange for everyday planet-friendly actions such as recycling electronics or cutting energy use at home. Looking ahead to the school year, when many families are making lots of new purchases and preparing students to participate in many new activities, Recyclebank offers these tips for a less resource-intensive back-to-school season:

Pack waste-free lunches: It’s estimated that Americans go through 100 billion plastic bags a year- this averages to 360 bags per person. Purchase a reusable lunch bag or box for your child, and fill reusable bottles with water or juice. If you do use plastic bags, reuse and recycle them. Clean and dry Ziploc® bags can be recycled at most grocery stores where you drop off plastic shopping bags.

Encourage school cafeterias to buy local:
 At the next PTA meeting, discuss the topic with other parents and consider connecting with school administrators about bringing local food to the cafeteria for sustainable and healthy lunches. Contact the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service for resources and information on farm-to-school programs.

Conserve paper:
 Remind your family to only print when truly necessary. If you must print, do it on 100-percent recycled paper, which is often cheaper than paper made from trees. Consider investing in eReaders and tablet computers; your children can use them for school assignments and you forgo buying paper books, newspapers and magazines.

Choose sustainable school supplies:
 In the United States alone, approximately 11,600 incense-cedar trees are cut down to create the 2 billion pencils made each year. To minimize your environmental footprint, opt for school supplies wrapped in limited packaging and recycle what you can. Seek out greener supplies like recycled or mechanical pencils, refillable pens and paper clips made from recycled steel.

“Upcycle” last year’s supplies: Three-ring binders that are still in great working order can be refurbished at home. Cover the entire exterior of the binder with a sheet of cork contact paper, then trim to size for a clean, modern looking folder.

Recycle old electronics: If you’re upgrading your family’s electronics this year, be mindful of recycling old models (Recyclebank offers rewards for this). Don’t forget to recycle the batteries too.

Green your wardrobe: Shop in vintage or thrift stores to suspend the life of clothing, or even arrange a clothing swap with friends or relatives. When buying new clothes, look for those made with sustainable fabrics like organic cotton and bamboo.

Streamline transportation:
 Use school or public buses when at all possible to reduce emissions. If you must drive, arrange a carpool. Getting bikes (and helmets) for the whole family is the most efficient way to go – and fun and healthy too.

In order to up the ante on many of these actions, Recyclebank is holding a Green Your School Year Challenge that begins Wednesday and goes through Sept. 30. The highest scorers can win prizes including $2,500 gift cards to Macy’s, electric bicycles and e-readers. No matter what your motivation, the fall season offers a good opportunity to reevaluate some of the choices we make every year, and possibly get some “green” in the process.

Aug 20

Coal Mining Polluting Kentucky’s Water

Flaming drinking-water well in Kentucky illuminates
Big Coal’s abuses

calvin_howard_burning_well.pngThe flaming drinking water well at a home in eastern Kentucky’s Pike County first came to public attention back in May, thanks to a report by a local TV station.

WKYT visited the home of Calvin and Denise Howard on Big Branch Road, where the Howards reported that the water, which runs orange and black, burned their skin when they bathed. They also said that Excel Mining, the operator of a nearby coal mine, had offered to install a water filtration system — but only if the residents signed a liability waiver.

The Howards refused the company’s offer — and when WKYT checked back in July, the flames that had been just about to the top of the well were shooting out at least a foot and a half.

Since then, the Howards have filed a lawsuit [pdf] over the contamination. In addition, environmental advocates have gotten involved, arranging for the delivery this week of clean water to 13 area families amid inaction by the company and state environmental regulators.

“In all my 20 years of working on water quality problems, I have never seen a drinking water well catch on fire and burn continuously for days on end,” says Donna Lisenby of Appalachian Voices, who with Kentuckians for the Commonwealth has arranged for the delivery of bottled water from Nestle and Keeper Springs Natural Spring Water, a company founded by environmental advocate Bobby Kennedy Jr. that gives 100 percent of its profits to clean-water causes.

According to the lawsuit, the trouble for the Howards began back in late January when they started hearing explosions beneath their home. About the same time, their well water turned gray and took on an offensive odor. Around May 1, the well exploded into flames, destroying the well house. It’s burned continuously ever since.

Earlier this month, Ted Withrow, a former regulator with the Kentucky Division of Water who now works with the grassroots citizens group Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, and KFTC activist Sue Tallichet visited the community, where residents confirmed the water contamination. Residents also reported mysterious health problems they feared could be connected to the poisoned water, including a teenage girl’s hair falling out and a boy vomiting blood.

The Kentucky Department of Mining Reclamation has investigated the burning well and confirmed that it “is creating an environmental and public safety hazard.” At that point, the company began providing bottled water to the Howards, but other impacted families did not get any assistance. The Howards have been advised to evacuate their trailer home but can’t afford to do so. The lawsuit seeks compensation for their replacement housing and their water.

“Based on my direct, firsthand experience with contamination of water by coal operations, I am deeply worried about the safety of the drinking water of these families,” says KFTC’s Withrow.

An ‘ineffective, choregraphed sham’

The water contamination along Big Branch Road illustrates a larger problem facing Kentucky: the coal mining industry’s abuse of communities and regulators’ failure to protect them from harm.

The Pike County situation is unfolding against a backdrop of coal company lawlessness and regulatory inaction in Kentucky. Back in June, an alliance of environmental groups including Appalachian Voices and KFTC sent notice-to-sue letters to two mining companies after discovering they had exceeded their pollution permit limits more than 4,000 times in the first quarter of this year alone.

The companies targeted by that action are International Coal Group, which is owned by Arch Coal of St. Louis, one of the world’s largest coal companies, and Frasure Creek Mining, a subsidiary of West Virginia’s Trinity Coal, which is owned by India’s Essar Group. They are the largest producers of mountaintop-removal-mined coal in Kentucky.

The watchdogs notified the same companies last October of their intent to sue over more than 20,000 violations of the Clean Water Act, including falsification of pollution monitoring reports. But Kentucky’s Energy and Environment Cabinet stepped in at the last minute and fined the companies a total of just $660,000 — less than 1 percent of the maximum fine that could be imposed under the law. Environmental advocates denounced the state’s action as an “ineffective, choreographed sham.”

Excel Mining, the mine operator implicated in the burning-well situation, is owned by Oklahoma-based Alliance Resource Partners, among the largest coal producers in the eastern United States. Alliance reported record profits in 2010, with a 67.1 percent jump in net income over the previous year to $321 million.

The company landed in the spotlight last year when a roof collapsed at its Dotiki Mine in Hopkins County, Ky., killing two miners. News reports after the incident revealed that inspectors from the Kentucky Office of Mine Safety and Licensing issued 31 orders to close sections of the mine or shut down equipment because of safety violations between January 2009 and the time of the collapse, according to Sourcewatch. Reporters found that the company received a total of 649 citations in 2009 alone.

In addition, Alliance was involved in a 2009 controversy over the firing of the director of Kentucky’s Division of Mine Permits. Ron Mills’ termination came after he refused to issue about a half-dozen mine permits — most requested by Alliance — because they failed to comply with federal and state laws. Mills’ denials were ultimately overruled by higher state officials.

Joe Craft, the president of Alliance Resource Partners, is a major political powerhouse. He has contributed over $150,000 at the federal level over the past decade, including $10,000 to the Republican Party of Kentucky; $17,500 to the Kentucky State Democratic Central Committee; $4,600 to U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R); and $2,300 each to Barack Obama (D) and Mitt Romney (R), according to the Center for Responsive Politics’ OpenSecrets.org database. The company’s political action committee has also invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in politicians’ campaigns — $193,665 in the 2010 election cycle alone.

Craft and others affiliated with the company as well as Alliance’s PAC are also major donors at the state level, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics’ FollowtheMoney.org database. Alliance Coal employees were among the biggest campaign donors in Kentucky’s primary election this year, together with their spouses contributing a total of $60,000 to three candidates, WBKO reported last month.

And in 2009, Craft organized a group of donors to pay for a new $7 million “Wildcat Coal Lodge” to house the University of Kentucky’s basketball players on campus — a move that sparked considerable controversy and led noted writer and environmental activist Wendell Berry to pull his personal papers from the school’s archive. While the university’s sports teams are known as the Wildcats, “wildcat coal” also refers to coal that’s mined illegally.

Meanwhile, residents along Big Branch Road are hoping to connect to a clean municipal water source — but price is a concern. Pike County officials have said it could cost as much as $150,000 to connect them to their existing water lines. The families have said they would pay to connect to closer lines in nearby Martin County, but that could take at least three months.

(Photo of Calvin Howard standing next to his burning well and destroyed wellhouse by Appalachian Voices.)

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By Sue Sturgis on August 19, 2011 10:26 AM 

Aug 11

Barbie Goes Green

Barbie gets a green roof

Posted: 2011-08-10 21:58:03 UTC

Kaid Benfield, Director, Sustainable Communities & Smart Growth, Washington, DC

I vacationed in Prague not long ago and wandered into a museum full of Barbie dolls.  Pretty impressive, in its way.  Barbie has come a long way over the years, and her newest incarnation over the years, and her newest incarnation is as an architect with a green home.

Architect Barbie (via Inhabitat)Bridgette Meinhold previewed Architect Barbie in Inhabitat:

“Various people and organizations have long been vying to get Barbie to become an architect and, finally in 2010, Mattel agreed.  University of Buffalo professor Despina Stratigakos and Kelly Hayes McAlonie consulted for Mattel and made suggestions about Architect Barbie’s clothing and her accessories.  While many disapprove of Architect Barbie’s choice of footwear, the architecture plan tube, and her choice of pink, the designers had good reason to choose all the items. They had to find a balance between stereotypes and pushing the boundaries.”  

I don’t have a big problem with that, actually, and would sooner hire an Architect Barbie than a hypothetical Architect Ken to design my building.

If I did, chances are the building might have some cool green features.  This summer, the American Institute of Architects held a design competition for Architect Barbie’s “Dream House.”  Among the guidelines, according to Meinhold, were that the home should reflect “the best sustainable design principles” with a smart home office, a top of the line kitchen “and tons of space to entertain.”

Architect Barbie's Dream House (via AIA)

The winning entry, designed by Ting Li and Maja Parklar, provides Barbie with the latest technology.  From the AIA press release announcing the winner:

“The winning house design features entertaining space and chef’s open kitchen on the first floor, along with an office / library / meeting space. There is also a terrace on the second floor.  The third and fourth floors are Barbie® doll’s private enclave, her bedroom and her inspiration room respectively.  The roof has a green house and a landscaped garden for her domestic pets.  The design elements include solar panels, landscaped rooftop and irrigation system, operable shading devices, bamboo flooring, low flow toilet and sink fixtures, and locally sourced and manufactured materials and furnishings.”

Go here for Meinhold’s latest coverage of the dream house, and lots of good images.

Of course, this being an AIA competition, the house has nearly 5,000 square feet of living space and is sited on a three-acre lot in Malibu with a three-car garage.  The Institute isn’t known for giving much weight to green locations with walkability and transportation choices in its competitions, unfortunately.  So I think “the best sustainable design principles” should come with a disclaimer in this case.  Even Barbie can’t have everything, apparently.

The series on NRDC’s sustainable communities agenda will resume tomorrow.

Move your cursor over the images for credit information.

Kaid Benfield writes (almost) daily about community, development, and the environment.  For more posts, see his blog’s home page.


Aug 06

Taking Out The Trash

 A recent report by Clean Water Action and Clean Water Fund in California
spotlights the litter from disposable plastics and other single-use containers, napkins and fast-food packaging. These are the culprits in the flood of trash making its way from city streets and neighborhoods into area waterways and then the ocean. Volunteer “trash patrols” surveyed San Francisco area neighborhoods for the report, which has received national news attention. The report identifies specific companies behind much of the trash and strengthens the case for legislation already pending to ban disposable “Styrofoam” packaging at fast-food and convenience stores in the state.

trash.JPG

 

Publication Date: 
07/14/2011