On Going Green



A team of design writers covers environmental, humanitarian, and design issues. They publish tools, models, and ideas for improving life and addressing social problems. Their new book, Worldchanging: A User's Guide for the 21st Century, is just out.


There's a growing movement to create new networking solutions for poverty- or disaster-stricken areas. Green Wi-Fi is one example. Their brief is to use available technologies to create a rugged, low-cost, solar-powered Wi-Fi system for the developing world.... [This fits] into the suite of emerging leapfrogging tools aimed at serving people who not only don't have access to the Net but don't have any of the infrastructure upon which connectivity depends. From the One Laptop Per Child project to Freeplay's Weza and Ubuntu, a compelling toolchest is starting to emerge.



The Web site of nonprofit grist.org, a Seattle-based online enviro-rag, has provocative commentary, news, and daily dialogue.


Should traditional wood-framing count as a "green" building technique? Or is something else, such as steel or concrete, a more environmentally friendly choice? Some folks are saying that steel and concrete have the edge: they have more recycled content, can last longer without rot or termite damage, and are easier to reuse or recycle.... CORRIM -- the Consortium for Research on Renewable Industrial Materials -- has completed a series of exhaustive life-cycle analyses comparing wood-framed construction with competing steel and concrete technologies. Their findings: manufacturing steel and concrete uses lots of energy -- lots -- and most of it comes from fossil fuels.



This Web mag chronicles products and services that have a modern aesthetic and are environmentally responsible. An international staff of roughly 25 writes about green goods and services.


Hopefully by now you've made a commitment to read labels, purchase organic, and support local farms. (If so, we applaud your efforts to live a greener lifestyle!) However, have you noticed in what type of materials your favorite products are packaged? Purchasing food and other consumer goods with reusable, recyclable, or reduced packaging could reduce your emissions by 230 pounds a year. Knock off another 17 pounds by using your own reusable grocery bag to transport your healthy fare. Carving off pounds [of emissions] while purchasing food -- who would've thought?



Billing itself as a voice for future-forward design for the world you inhabit, this blog tracks innovations in sustainable home design and architecture.


Spotted at 100% Design this year, Blue Marmalade makes deceptively simple housewares from folded single sheets of recyclable plastic. This translates to sexy objects with low waste in both the production process as well as disposal at the end of the product's life cycle. One of our favorite pieces -- the Cog lamp -- is made entirely from one single sheet of recyclable material, (including the lamp holder), and is designed to accept energy saver bulbs as well -- doubling the eco-friendly quotient. Despite the origami nature of the pieces, the aesthetic is polished and clean -- proving once again that the simplest ideas are often the best ones.

By Jessi Hempel

    Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.