Archive | January, 2011

My “No Impact Week” Experience

25 Jan

So, I signed up for No Impact Week, Colin Beavan’s national one-week carbon cleanse with YES! Magazine. How did it go? Did it lead me to a happier, healthier and more responsible life?

The image above should give you an idea of my ‘no impact schedule,’ meaning, all the areas in which I worked on reducing my waste and general environmental impact:

  • Sunday: Do more with less – so that meant not buying new stuff (except food). Check out the short video The Story of Stuff.
  • Monday: Hold on to your trash to see just how much you create, and what disposables you can reduce.
  • Tuesday: Switch from mechanized travel (planes, subways, taxis, cars, not even elevators) to “active transportation” such as biking, walking, scooting, rollerblading, skateboarding, etc.
  • Wednesday: Look at your food purchases and opt to cook and eat using local and seasonal ingredients.
  • Thursday: Live without electricity – watch out for the candles!
  • Friday: Save water. Every flush counts! Turn off running water! Drink tap!
  • Saturday: Volunteer.
  • Sunday: This day is about awareness, reflection, and taking some personal time, whether it’s removing yourself from technology, or hanging out by yourself or with friends and family. Just hum to the song from The Jungle Book, “The Bare Necessities:”

Look for the bare necessities
The simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife
I mean the bare necessities
Old Mother Nature’s recipes
That brings the bare necessities of life…

I regularly do some, if not most, of the above, so the challenge wasn’t a total shock to my lifestyle, but it still proved difficult for me. There’s a reason why this experiment only lasts a week. Still, you and I can definitely find ways to incorporate one or two of these actions in more long-term ways.  Continue reading

All About LEED

12 Jan

This month, I thought it would be interesting to discuss New York State’s growing green building practices with LEED projects popping up all over the State.

So, what exactly is LEED?

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design. Developed in 1998 by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the LEED system is the recognized international benchmark in green building design and construction, measuring important factors like “energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.” Look into LEED’s promising future here

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