Top 10 Green New Year’s Resolutions

Well, it’s that time again…the new year is approaching fast, and many of you are contemplating which resolutions to make.  Why not incorporate some green practices that will be easy to do all year long?  Here’s my list of top 10 picks for going green at home and at the office:

The Surprising Beauty of Rammed Earth Floors

If you’re thinking that a “rammed earth” floor sounds like it’s made of dirt, then you’d be right.  It may seem a bit strange, but a floor comprised of dirt, gravel, straw, sand, and clay, actually has many redeeming qualities.  Once it’s been compressed, and sealed with natural linseed oil, a rammed earth floor is […]

A Shining Example of LED Lighting in Times Square

A lot has changed since 1907 when the first New Year’s Eve Ball descended from the flagpole atop One Times Square in New York City.  The first ball was made of iron and wood and adorned with one hundred 25-watt light bulbs.  It was 5 feet in diameter and weighed 700 pounds.  This year’s ball […]

Windows, Part V: Composite Frames

Only in use since the mid-1990’s, composite frames have proved to be a great competitor to other quality window frame materials.   They combine the best qualities of conventional wood frames (structural and thermal properties) and vinyl frames (moisture resistance and decay resistance).  Plus, the wood typically comes from waste sawdust and some manufacturers use recycled vinyl, or other recycled plastic materials, as well.

How to Increase Your Fireplace’s Efficiency

A roaring fireplace definitely seems warm and inviting on cold winter nights, but many older fireplaces are only 10% efficient!  How does improved comfort, energy conservation, reduced energy costs, reduced noise, and improved indoor air quality sound?  Here are some tips to increase your fireplace’s efficiency:

Got Ice? Environmentally-Friendly and Pet-Safe Alternatives to Salt-based Melters

As I sit here looking out at freezing rain falling from the gloomy, gray sky, I am reminded about how to keep my walkway safe and ice-free.  Salt may be seem like the natural choice to melt snow and ice on your slippery sidewalks, but it can be harmful to your lawn, plants, walkway surfaces, […]

Coffee Drinkers Can Make a Difference

Need that cup of Joe to jump start your day? You may not realize it, but if your coffee is not “shade-grown”, you are contributing to a serious environmental problem. Due to the enormous demand for coffee, countless farmers have been clearing the land of rich forests that have been traditionally used to grow coffee […]

Designs Sought for 3rd Annual Lifecycle Building Challenge

Calling all students, architects, engineers, designers, planners, contractors, builders, reuse experts, educators, and environmental advocates!  Innovative ideas and designs that further advance green building are wanted for the national competition of the Lifecycle Building Challenge.  The key is to promote “the designing of buildings which facilitate disassembly and material reuse to minimize waste, energy consumption, […]

Daylighting Strategies Can be Dangerous to Wildlife

I came across a disturbing article that had been written a few days ago in the Boston Globe.  It explains that a popular “green” building strategy of natural daylighting and views through the increased use of glass facades and windows is killing about a billion birds annually. Using more glass is actually less “green” because […]

Windows, Part IV: Vinyl Frames

Learn about efficient low-E coatings in Part 1 of my series on windows; Part II to compare windows using the NFRC label; and Part III for a look at traditional wood-framed windows.  I’ll now cover windows framed in vinyl.  Vinyl, or PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is a long-lasting, low-maintenance option, however one should be aware of […]

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