Thanks to the team at SaveOnEnergy.com for getting in touch after reading The Power of Wind for a Greener New York. Take a look at this great infograph they made which explains how wind turbines work.
For many people, the only thing that will get them going in the morning is a cup of coffee. Knowing that the coffee is ethically sourced and eco-friendly should give drinkers an added boost. Drinking Fair Trade and organic coffee means that farmers are compensated fairly and your coffee is free of harmful chemicals, and bird-friendly certification ensures that farmers are maintaining forest covers which house local bird species, provide shelter for migrating birds, and encourage reproduction. In order to obtain bird-friendly certification, farmers must maintain a variety of shade trees throughout their plantation, which protect […]
In the last few years, the city’s iconic yellow cabs have had to make way for a new breed of car service. Mobile ride hailing and ridesharing services like Uber, Gett, and Lyft, that allow users to hail a cab via smartphone, have faced fierce opposition from yellow cab drivers, advocates and labor groups, and have been criticized as irresponsible and dangerous. Unlike yellow cab drivers, the new breed of cabby doesn’t need a medallion, and uses her/his own car. Drivers are considered independent contractors in most cases, which has shielded […]
As the Bronx becomes increasingly appealing to developers and home buyers, many are understandably concerned about what that means for the mostly low-income community that lives there now. Nos Quedamos, a non-profit formed by a coalition of Bronx residents and business owners, has been advocating for low-income families in the South Bronx since the early 1990s, and has taken steps to make sure the existing community is included in plans for development rather than displaced as a result. In 1992, the Melrose Urban Commons Renewal Area, a 30-block area in the […]
A company based in Santiago, Chile is revolutionizing the way we package, distribute, and buy our staple foods. Algramo, (Spanish for 1 gram), was founded by José Manuel Moller in 2012 after a period of time spent living and working in one of Chile’s poorest communities. Moller realized that much of the cost attached to the food we buy is the result of a convoluted means of distribution and a general lack of access to food in bulk. The increase in cost amounts to a “poverty tax” as people with low incomes and […]
Since I last wrote about the unveiling of the Powerwall Home Battery in May, a lot has happened over at Tesla. Shortly after an April Fool’s Day press release poking fun at recent smartwatch announcements from competitors, Tesla introduced the Model S 70D, an all-wheel drive car with a 250 mile range at 65mph. With a starting price of $75,000, the 70D is a slightly more affordable version of the Model S for those who don’t wish to give up features such as access to Tesla’s Supercharger network (which, by the way, […]
According to The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, there are 795 million people worldwide who don’t have adequate access to food and proper nutrition. One of the major causes of hunger is the increasing drought, flooding, and changes in weather patterns due to global warming. Sub-Saharan Africa, especially the countries of Somalia, Ethopia, Kenya, and Uganda, have been hit particularly hard by food shortages in recent years. As the human population continues to grow, we can only expect to feel more pressure on the food supply. By 2050, we will need […]
It’s been nearly a year since the launch of my blog and my first article about the Passive House/Passivhaus building standard, which makes it a good time to take a look at some notable projects around the world. In review, the concept of the Passivhaus (German) was born in 1988 during a conversation between two researchers, Bo Adamson and Wolfgang Feist. They discussed the ways in which new technology and design which worked in concert with their environment could be used to drastically reduce energy consumption and minimize a structure’s carbon footprint. While […]
San Francisco is now home to The Perennial, a new leader in sustainable dining that was just written up by Fast Company. Every element of the business has been created with sustainable living in mind. The grains used to make the flour for the bread were designed to suck carbon out of the atmosphere, and the food scraps are composted by worms that are later fed to fish that create fertilizer used for the greens that are served in the restaurant. Read about this inspiring restaurant founded by restaurateurs Anthony […]
20 years ago, if I had written about beekeeping in the city, it may have been a light-hearted piece of informative fluff. These days, the situation is a bit too dire for that. Honey bee populations around the world are being threatened with extinction by a constellation of old and new environmental stressors and the mysterious disappearance of adult bee populations in hives, which scientists have dubbed Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Since 2007, when the disorder was first publicly identified, honey bee populations have seen a dramatic decrease in their numbers. While […]
Rendering courtesy of SHoP In recent years, a quiet revolution has been underway: the revolution of mass timber. Several visionary architectural firms and developers are exploring “tall wood” as a viable alternative building material to steel and concrete. While a number of mass timber projects have been completed around the world (none of which have been eaten by termites), America’s new wooden warriors have been greeted with quite a bit of skepticism here in the U.S. Most people’s first thought is probably the risk of fire; after all, wood has […]
What do you think of this idea proposed by Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut? These half-a-mile-tall, 250-floor “oceanscrapers” would house 20,000 residents, would stretch 3,000 feet beneath sea level, and would be made out of the garbage and algae that is currently floating in our oceans. Read the full article here
Great short article by Tafline Laylin about a beautifully designed Passive House that costs $2 a month to sustain. Read the full article on inhabitat.com here.
My recent article about the developments popping up in the Bronx elicited several emails expressing surprise that this recently sleepy neighborhood is becoming a burgeoning hipster scene. I thought it appropriate to call attention to a less flashy but highly admirable development company in the area, Blue Sea Development. Many New Yorkers have grown accustomed to feeling at odds with the spaces they inhabit. This is perhaps most acutely true in the city’s affordable housing sector, where too often, “affordable housing” has meant a drab, cramped, insensitively designed box that is far […]
After Estonian startup Velmenni successfully tested a commercial application of Li-Fi technology in their offices last month, many are wondering whether wi-fi is soon to become a thing of the past. Li-Fi is a method of delivering data which uses the visible light spectrum rather than radio waves. It requires a light source (such as an LED bulb), an internet connection, and a photo detector. The result is internet access that is 100 times faster than wi-fi, with speeds up to 1 gigabit per second. The technology was first introduced to […]