Just watched a fascinating TED talk by Julian Treasure on the effect of acoustics on human physiology.

A key point that resonated with me was that open plan offices can lead to a 66% reduction in productivity due to noise pollution.

With many green building certification schemes pushing open plan spaces as a means of increasing availability of natural light to office workers. Are we providing solutions which are counter productive to our clients?

Greenstar even encourages the introduction of whitenoise to drown out pervasive noise pollution.

Makes me wonder about the many claims that green buildings increase the productivity of workers. This is clearly a generalisation and one that could be harmful to clients if green principles are applied haphazardly.

It could be that a little green knowledge can be a very dangerous thing.

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MAD: Al Rostamini HQ

from AMNP

mad-al_rostamini_hq-1.jpg

For starters – I think we can all agree that this project warrants a resounding “My ninja, please“. I mean, look at it…

Located in Dubai [I’m sure you’re shocked, as am I], the Al Rostamini Headquarters by MAD appears at first glance [from the water] to appear to be a fairly standard, boxy tower – with some elliptical holes in the facade. That is, until you notice that this ‘box’ appears to be floating at the waters edge, suspended above open public space along the coast. 9 large diagonal tubes are used to achieve this affect – pushing up and out of a tree-filled park space to hang the tower out towards the waterfront. Pretty siiick.

Report: Climate Change Already Killing 300,000 People Annually

from Green Options by Timothy B. Hurst

dry, cracked earth in draught-stricked Africa

The first-ever report exclusively focused on the global human impact of climate change indicates that more than 300 million people are seriously affected by climate change at a total economic cost of $125 billion per year.

Earlier today, former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, President of the Global Humanitarian Forum, announced the results of a report on the human impact of climate change. The study, Human Impact Report: Climate Change – The Anatomy of a Silent Crisis, emphasizes the present impacts of a changing climate, pulling the debate away from a focus on “future generations.”

Speaking at a press conference in London, Mr. Annan said, “Climate change is the greatest emerging humanitarian challenge of our time, causing suffering to hundreds of millions of people worldwide. As this report shows, the first hit and worst affected are the world’s poorest groups, and yet they have done least to cause the problem.”

Read more of this story »

RMJM architects: ‘capital gate’ tower, abu dhabi


‘capital gate’ by RMJM architects
image courtesy RMJM architects

construction has reached the half way point for ‘capital gate’ tower designed by new york
firm RMJM architects. located in abu dhabi the slanted tower will consist of a large internal
atrium including a tea lounge and swimming pool suspended 263 feet above the ground. due
to its posture, the 35-story capital gate is being constructed on top of a 7-foot-deep concrete
base with a dense mesh of reinforced steel. the steel exoskeleton known as the diagrid sits
above an extensive distribution of 490 piles that have been drilled 100 feet underground to
accommodate the gravitational, wind and seismic pressures caused by the lean of the building.

the iconic tower will be the centerpiece of the capital centre development, an 2.2 billion USD
business and residential micro city being constructed around the thriving abu dhabi national
exhibition centre.

lara calder architecture: ‘eco house’


‘eco house’ by lara calder architecture
image courtesy lara calder architecture

australian firm lara calder architecture designed ‘eco house’ which was awarded first
prize last year in the future competition 2008 held by australian green.

Air New Zealand’s Biofuel Flight Cuts Emissions By 65%

from Green Options by Jerry James Stone

At the Eco-Aviation Conference in Washington, Air New Zealand’s Chief Pilot Captain David Morgan announcedthe company’s findings on a test flight from last December. Powered by a combination of biofuel and jet fuel, the test resulted in a fuel savings of 1.2%. It also cut CO2 emissions by over 60%!

While a 1.2% fuel savings doesn’t seem like much, that is over 1 ton of fuel!

The test was conducted using a commercial 747-400 fitted with Rolls Royce engines. Rolls Royce had certified the fuel — a 50:50 blend of standard Jet A1 fuel and synthetic paraffinic kerosene derived from jatropha oil.

Read more of this story »

The Creo House: Zero-carbon and affordable – 24dash


24dash

The Creo House: Zerocarbon and affordable
24dash, UK
The aim of the building is to highlight ways in which zero carbon buildings can be affordable, not just in terms of the materials used, but equally in terms of reduced energy consumption. The Creo House will have a space-saving, air source heat pump 


One Container Ship Pollutes As Much As 50 Million Cars

from Green Options by Christopher DeMorro

Much ado and attention has been paid to the pollutants emmitted from the tail pipes of cars and trucks in recent years, both here in the U.S. and across the pond in Europe. With an estimated 250 million passenger vehicles in the U.S. alone, it would seem that cars would be a major contributor to pollution and air quality issues here and abroad. But newly released data from Europe suggests that a single container ship may cause as much pollution as 50 million cars and release as much as 5,000 tons of sulfur oxide into the air annually. And there are 90,000 such ships of varying sizes across the world at any one time.

Read more of this story »

160 Syrian villages deserted due to climate change: study

Damascus (AFP) June 3, 2009 – Some 160 villages in northern Syria were deserted by their residents in 2007 and 2008 because of climate change, according to a study released on Tuesday.

flynn talbot: ‘horizon’


‘horizon’ interactive light wall installation by flynn talbot
image courtesy flynn talbot

australian designer flynn talbot designed ‘horizon’, an interactive light wall installation,
as part of the smart light sydney festival 09.

‘horizon’ is a mix of sky inspired patterns and contemporary lighting effects. instead
of purely programmed effects, visitors are invited to interact and modify the patterns
of light. the installation is double sided so it affects both the street scene and the whole
interior of the gallery. it explores light vs. space and the effect that colour has on people
and their surroundings.

Energy cost of various construction materials

from Random graphic of the day: UNEP/GRID-Arendal Maps and Graphics Library by UNEP/GRID-Arendal <mapmaster@grida.no>
Energy cost of various construction materials
CO2 emissions are not directly deducible from energy costs. Concrete for instance is a very CO2-intensive material due to the emissions from chemical processes involved in its production, despite the relatively low energy costs per cubic metre.

Hurry Up and LEED

from AMNP

http://archpaper.com/e-board_rev.asp?News_ID=3524

The number of scheduled LEED exams has gone through the roof, as people are trying to pass the test before the new system goes into effect. Ninjas still think LEED is a money game, making it about the wrong kind of green [click the title of this post for more, via the Architects’ Newspaper].

yasuhiro yamashita / atelier tekuto: ‘village of beauty and health’


‘village of beauty and health’ by tekuto yasuhiro yamashita
image courtesy atelier tekuto

many precious, old japanese traditional wooden houses sit abandoned and neglected
all over japan. atelier tekuto, working together with keio university took notice of these
old traditional wooden houses in shimane, a prefecture famous for izumo taisha, japan’s
oldest shrine and the iwami ginzan silver mine, which has been designated a world
heritage site. these houses were transported and relocated to fujisawa city, a commuter
located in a suburb of tokyo, where they are in high demand. in doing so, this project
hopes to boost the value of these old houses, cut back on carbon dioxide emissions
and revitalize these two areas through this mutually beneficial arrangement. those who
move into and live in these transplanted villages will be blessed with ‘beauty’ and health.
the focus is on agriculture and how to incorporate it into one’s lifestyle, allowing one to
achieve beauty in a healthy  way. in a sense, this project is a kind of environmental village
that is not zoned according to function. instead, the location of each building is determined
by an algorithm based method that ensures the use of natural energy and the optimization
of vegetation for agricultural purposes. they believe that this represents one possible method
of urban planning for the 21st century.


concept of ‘village of beauty and health’
image courtesy atelier tekuto

a settlement based around medical facilities, food and shelter
each village is equipped with medical facilities, food and shelter, which is comprised
of 30 to 40 units. the total number of family units would be about 100. the diameter of
the entire village should be less than 200m, encouraging residents to walk around
the three villages, enabling villagers to interact and complement each other.

stefano merlo: ‘blade of grass’


‘blade of grass’ by stefano merlo
image courtesy stefano merlo

italian designer stefano merlo has created ‘blade of grass’ an outdoor lighting solution,
that imitates the form of blades of grass. the aim was to design a lighting source that
could be easily integrated in any natural environment  and become part of it.

how green is ‘green’? – 24dash


24dash

how green is ‘green’?
24dash, UK
The company, which has in the past few months attained the ISO14001 environmental standard, maintains that domestic ventilation solutions which seem ‘green’ on paper often are not when embodied energy is factored into the equation, particularly for 

Green contractors more likely to win work

Construction firms who can prove their green credentials are more likely to win work

$100 Trillion Dollar Wallpaper

from AMNP

the_zimbabwean_newspaper_faaa5_22619.gif

I hate to say that this is ‘cool’, as it reflects some very serious issues caused by Robert Mugabe and his [essentially] terrible leadership of Zimbabwe – but, this is a great idea for protesting/speaking out. We’ve all heard some thing or another about currency so worthless it’s only good for wallpaper – but where have you seen itactually used for wallpaper? And as a political statement?

trillion_dollar_campaign_zimbabwean_newspaper_yatzer_1.jpg

Zero Energy Houses Creating a New Design Vernacular:

from Green Options by Susan Kraemer

The deep Butterfly Roof

The traditional gabled roof that we are all familiar with was engineered to slough off snowfall. But in an uncertain post peak oil future of possible energy shortages and water shortages, more and more houses are showing up with roof-shapes engineered to harvest their own rainwater, and support solar power generation.

Google Opens New Aussie Headquarters

google hq.jpgYesterday, while I was soaring on my way to Computex, Google decided to throw a little party to celebrate the opening of their new Australian Headquarters in Pyrmont. I hope they had a drink for Gizmodo..

Strategic options for climate change mitigation Global cost curve for greenhouse gas abatement measures

from Random graphic of the day: UNEP/GRID-Arendal Maps and Graphics Library by UNEP/GRID-Arendal <mapmaster@grida.no>
Strategic options for climate change mitigation Global cost curve for greenhouse gas abatement measures
This graphic attempts to show ‘all in one’: the various measures for greenhouse gas reduction with both reduction (in CO2 equivalent) and cost (in Euros) quantified. Read from left to right it gives the whole range of strategic options ranging from low hanging fruit, such as building insulation, in green (coming with economic savings) to the increasingly higher hanging ones, such as afforestation, wind energy, in red. * Carbone Capture and Storage

DARPA HEDLight Program Saves Up to 87% with New Lights for U.S. Navy

from Green Options by Tina Casey

U.S. Navey to junk old light bulbs for high-efficiency HEDLight systems.After a year-long demonstration project, the U.S. Navy is poised add its own contribution to reducing the military’s carbon bootprint – or carbon wake, as the case may be.  The Navy stands to gain up to 87% in savings for shipboard lighting, by switching from conventional light bulbs to high efficiency LED and HID systems developed throughDARPA under the HEDLight (High Efficiency Distributed Lighting) program.  One recent retrofit has been accomplished by Ohio-based Energy Focus, Inc. Saving energy is just part of the picture: the quantum leap to HEDLight is also expected to yield significant gains in the Navy’s strategic efficiency.

Faucet Fail

fail owned pwned pictures

Submitted by Jessy R

Hilarious Infrastructure

from AMNP

inescapable-interchange.png

[original comic via xkcd]

I mean, who doesn’t like infrastructure jokes?

A few more of these over at The Infrastructurist: America Under Construction – a site that I just visited for the first time today that’s definitely worth checking out.

I also enjoyed this comic by xkcd.

Risk Management Fail

fail owned pwned pictures

Submitted by Anthony G

I’m working through Greenstar Interiors Version 1.1 today and I have found one interesting item.

When undertaking a tenancy fiout you are not allowed to take soil off the site and bring it back.

Stockpiling of soil for re-use. as fill on-site or off-site cannot be used in the
calculation of waste re~used or recycled.

“Stockpiling of soil for re-use. as fill on-site or off-site cannot be used in the calculation of waste re~used or recycled.” Greenstar Interiros V1.1

That’s one impressive tenancy fitout that requires soil removal.

Philips Demonstrate Transparent OLEDs

via MetaEfficient Reviews by Justin on 4/23/09

Philips demonstrates transparent OLEDs (think windows that double as lamps at night).

NovaLED unveils an OLED lamp.

The Podcar: A Cross Between a Taxi and a Personal Bus

via Green Options by Amiel Blajchman on 4/17/09

https://i0.wp.com/cleantechnica.com/files/2009/02/82129088_b889581914.jpg

Masdar City, located within Abu Dhabi, is introducing personal rapid transit “podcars“.

Basically, a cross between the convenience of grabbing a cab and a public bus; the podcars will be a component of Masdar City’s public transportation system.

As part of Masdar City’s car-free design; these podcars will be part of a network of electric taxis without drivers (!). The first of these podcars (also known as personal rapid transit – PRT) are set to debut this year.

EPA Finds Greenhouse Gases Pose a Threat to Public Health

via Green Options by Timothy B. Hurst on 4/17/09

drax coal-fired power plant

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published findings of a study on Friday, suggesting that climate change endangers public health and welfare. The landmark findings could be the basis for federal regulation of CO2.

The proposed endangerment findings, which will now move to a public comment period, also state, “In both magnitude and probability, climate change is an enormous problem. The greenhouse gases that are responsible for it endanger public health and welfare within the meaning of the Clean Air Act.”

Chief among the findings is that global climate change has the potential to make U.S. air quality management more difficult, and therefore future air quality management decisions should begin to account for the impacts of climate change.

Tasmania wombat poo paper a hit

via BBC News | Science & Environment | UK Edition on 4/18/09


Paper made out of wombat droppings is helping a local industry in Tasmania to buck the economic trend, the BBC’s Phil Mercer reports.

Climate Change May Wake Up Sleeper Weeds

via Earth News, Earth Science, Energy Technology, Environment News on 4/19/09


https://i1.wp.com/spacedaily.com/images/karoo-thorn-tree-weed-sm.jpgCanberra (SPX) Apr 20, 2009 – Weeds cost Australia more than A$4 billion a year either in control or lost production and cause serious damage to the environment. In an address to the GREENHOUSE 09 conference on climate change, CSIRO researcher, Dr John Scott, said, however, that those cost estimates were only based on the damage caused by weeds known to be active in Australia.

Bionic Penguins to Destroy Humans from Water and Air

via Gizmodo Australia on 4/20/09

Bionic penguins that travel underwater independently. Bionic flying penguins. Robotic arms made of fiberglass rods with free will. Molecubes that assemble into infinite-growing robots. All for real, as this video shows. I’m leaving the planet.

Valley twin towers have green hue – Brisbane Times

via greenstar location:australia – Google News on 4/21/09

http://nt3.ggpht.com/news?imgefp=4_O0oHaeW-cJ&imgurl=images.brisbanetimes.com.au/2009/04/22/484970/420valleynew-420x0.jpg
Brisbane Times

Valley twin towers have green hue
Brisbane Times, Australia
National architecture firm BVN says it has received a six-star green star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia. BVN designer Rob Vider said the buildings were designed to allow in more natural light, but highly efficient window glazing

RAILWAYCOVER

via Design Under Sky by Adam E. Anderson on 4/21/09

https://i1.wp.com/www.designundersky.com/storage/blog-images/2009/april/overpass/_DSC0128.gif

In Collaboration with Rosemarie Trockel and Catherine Venart German landscape architecture firm Topotek 1 was commissioned to create an open space that cover a set of train tracks.

A concrete cover over subterranean train tracks provides a connection between the newly constructed housing complexes south of Theresienhö-he in Munich. A new type of open space is conceived on this extraordinary site between Bavaria Park, Theresienwiese and West Park. The train tracks beneath the large concrete cover constituted the starting point for the project design developed in collaboration with Rosemarie Trockel and Catherine Venart. A series of play boxes was installed / Several play boxes were installed on the cover, in a row as an allusion to the trains traveling beneath; this procession of containers transports material and, in a figurative sense, the powers of the imagination, just like a toy box.

This newly developed site incorporates three materials that can also be identified as elements of landscape: a sports and playing area are made of rubberized tartan, a moraine is formed by a lawn and, between them, there is a large expanse of sand and gravel (der Bezug war falsch – “ma-terials” und dann wurden die Bereiche als Subjekte genannt). A pine grove accentuates the slightly curved north perimeter of the track. Along both sides of the open space green front-gardens connect the project with the adjacent housing. The landscape cover is a generous open area accessible from all sides which, on the one hand links the residential areas on both sides by means of imagined movement but on the other hand, provides a soothing contrast to the density of the adjoining housing developments, and a sense of the being faraway within an absurd locality.

https://i1.wp.com/www.designundersky.com/storage/blog-images/2009/april/overpass/_DSC0041.gifhttps://i0.wp.com/www.designundersky.com/storage/blog-images/2009/april/overpass/_DSC0050.gifhttps://i0.wp.com/www.designundersky.com/storage/blog-images/2009/april/overpass/_DSC0068.gifhttps://i1.wp.com/www.designundersky.com/storage/blog-images/2009/april/overpass/_DSC0099.gifhttps://i0.wp.com/www.designundersky.com/storage/blog-images/2009/april/overpass/plan.gif{All Imagery by Topotek 1}

Developers often see green as requirement

via CTBUH Global News on 4/21/09

Developers often see green as requirement

April 19, Atlanta

At the Brookwood, one of Buckhead’s newest high-rise condominiums, it’s easy to spot the floor-to-ceiling windows, stone countertops and private balconies that add zeroes to the price. Harder to find are the energy- and water-efficient technologies hidden in the closets, plumbing and walls that have the Brookwood on track to earn Leadership in Energy Efficient Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council…more

Green and mean: The downside of clean energy

via New Scientist – Online News on 4/21/09


How do you choose between a wilderness and a power station? The tough choices associated with large-scale renewable energy projects are dividing the green movementhttp://feeds.newscientist.com/c/749/f/10897/s/3f022cd/mf.gif

New tenant sues over GPO ‘delays and defects’ – The West Australian

via greenstar location:australia – Google News on 4/21/09

New tenant sues over GPO ‘delays and defects’
The West Australian, Australia
“The refurbishment of the GPO is an elegant and practical enhancement to the city’s heart and is the first heritage building in WA to achieve Green Star certification,” she said. “As is common with any major refurbishment there were a few minor areas

Army Stops Making ‘Eco-Friendly’ Tungsten Bullets Because They Cause Cancer

via Gizmodo Australia on 4/21/09

https://i1.wp.com/cache.gawker.com/assets/images/gizmodo/2009/04/bullets.jpgThe Army’s tungsten-based bullets were designed to be more eco-friendly, but research showing tungsten increases cancer risk pushed them to pull the plug. The problem, Danger Room points out, is that tungsten munitions are everywhere.

Entire State of Texas Could be Powered by Solar

via Green Options by Jake Richardson on 4/22/09

parabolic trough

A recent study released by Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy organization, and several environmental organizations has concluded that solar technology alone could supply electricity for the whole state.

They cite a number of mind-blowing prospects from a variety of sources, all pointing to Texas as having the number one solar generating potential of the US states.

Oxfam predicts millions more victims of climate change

via Earth News, Earth Science, Energy Technology, Environment News on 4/22/09


https://i1.wp.com/spacedaily.com/images/climate-spix-sm.jpgLondon (AFP) April 21, 2009 – Hundreds of millions of people will become victims of climate change-related disasters over the next six years, Oxfam said Tuesday, urging governments to change the way they respond to such events.

Toronto Trying to Force Green Roofs – Could Your City be Next?

via Green Options by Stephen Boles on 4/21/09

Green roof on top of Chicago City Hall

North of the border a controversy is starting to gain steam in the nation’s largest city, Toronto. The city has proposed a by-law that would make ‘green roofs’ mandatory in new construction of condos higher than 7 storeys and office or retail complexes greater than 54,000 square feet (about 1/4 of a Wal-Mart Supercenter). The proposed law would require 30-60% of the surface area of buildings’ roofs to be green (depending on the size of the building) and violators would be subject to fines up to $100,000.

Light Bulb Condom Does Not Protect Against STDs, Only the Dreaded EU

via Gizmodo Australia on 4/23/09

https://i1.wp.com/cache.gawker.com/assets/images/gizmodo/2009/04/bulb-condom_01.jpgDepending on your location, you may have heard that the European Union is banning all frosted incandescent bulbs in order to stimulate the adoption of efficient lighting. This bulb condom helps get around the rule.

Sky-Terra Towers Poised to Steal the Last Remnants of Sunshine from Humanity

via Gizmodo Australia on 4/23/09

https://i0.wp.com/cache.gawker.com/assets/images/gizmodo/2009/04/borek-ed01.jpg

Sky-Terra were designed with the intent of creating a green space in the sky. But am I the only one who sees a flaw with this logic?

Emission Free: 5 Huge Renewable Energy Projects to Watch For

via Green Options by Dave Levitan on 4/23/09

A wind farm in Germany

In February, President Obama called for a doubling of the US renewable energy capacity within three years. Yesterday, Obama visited a wind energy company in Newton, Iowa and again emphasized the importance of new forms of power generation:

“Now, the choice we face is not between saving our environment and saving our economy. The choice we face is between prosperity and decline. We can remain the world’s leading importer of oil, or we can become the world’s leading exporter of clean energy.”

With billions in stimulus dollars heading toward improving the electricity grid and building sustainable energy infrastructure, emission-free power may be coming to your neighborhood sooner than you think. Here are five of the biggest, most ambitious projects that are in the pipeline, both in the US and elsewhere.

Citi Achieves First Ever LEED Platinum Accreditation for a Data Centre – StreetInsider.com (subscription)

via “embodied energy” – Google News on 4/22/09

Citi Achieves First Ever LEED Platinum Accreditation for a Data Centre
StreetInsider.com (subscription), MI
priority item for Citi allowing both the LEED requirements and embodied energy calculations to influence the selection — The recycled content of the materials specified on the project reached 27% with local sourcing of materials exceeding 40%.

Garrett awards 100th Green Star – Architecture and Design

via greenstar location:australia – Google News on 4/16/09

Garrett awards 100th Green Star
Architecture and Design, Australia
Sustainable design remains “critically important” in the current tough economic times, environment minister Peter Garrett said while awarding the 100 th Green Star rating to Stockland’s Sydney headquarters yesterday. The building is also the first

Spam ‘produces 17m tons of CO2’

via BBC News and Sport Search: energy on 4/16/09


Spam wastes enough energy to power more than 2.4m homes every year, a study finds.

Causes of sea level rise from climate change

via Random graphic of the day: UNEP/GRID-Arendal Maps and Graphics Library by UNEP/GRID-Arendal <mapmaster@grida.no> on 4/17/09


Causes of sea level rise from climate changeA significant sea level rise is one of the major anticipated consequences of climate change. This graphic explains the causes of sea level change according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It explains the IPCC’s A1 scenario family, which consists of three scenarios on future use of fossil energy sources, including scenario A1F1, which involves the use of fossil-intensive energy sources. This resource also includes the graphic ‘Components of Mean Sea Level Rise for the Scenario A1F1’ which shows the projected sea level rise in metres by 2050 and by 2100 for Greenland, glaciers, expansion, the Antarctic, and the total sea level rise.

London Bar Pumps Gin and Tonic Into The Air: Please Breathe Responsibly

via Gizmodo Australia on 4/16/09

https://i2.wp.com/cache.gawker.com/assets/images/gizmodo/2009/04/alcoholic-architecture.jpg

Starting today and running through the 25th, A temporary bar dubbed “Alcoholic Architecture” is popping up in London offering a cloud of breathable gin and tonic to it’s patrons.

World’s first solar-powered city planned in Florida

via DVICE by Kevin Hall on 4/15/09


World's first solar-powered city planned in Florida

What better place than the Sunshine State for the world’s first solar-powered city? Called Babcock Ranch, the 17,000-acres-large community will have its energy needs supplied by a $300 million, 75 megawatt solar-powered generator. The city will also integrate a Smart Grid for powering electric vehicles.

While construction won’t begin until later this year, Floridian city planners have some ambitious numbers for the solar community: 19,500 homes, 20,000 permanent jobs, 6 million square feet of retail/industrial space and 8,000 acres reserved for open space and greenways.

The biggest hurdle, though, may come after construction when it comes time to populate Babcock. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of incentives city planners offer — electric vehicles aren’t cheap, after all.

Council in street lamp blackout

via BBC News and Sport Search: energy on 4/15/09


A council agrees to switch off 4,500 street lights during the night in an attempt to save money.

Future-proof homes for a warmer world

via New Scientist – Online News on 4/15/09


See how architects are trying to future-proof homes against the higher sea levels and more frequent hurricanes our changing climate is bringing our wayhttp://feeds.newscientist.com/c/749/f/10897/s/3e31502/mf.gif

Biofuel versus fossil fuel

via Random graphic of the day: UNEP/GRID-Arendal Maps and Graphics Library by UNEP/GRID-Arendal <mapmaster@grida.no> on 4/15/09Biofuel versus fossil fuel


About Biofuel versus fossil fuel

The Seven Sins of Greenwashing

via Green Options by Sonya on 4/15/09

http://go635254.s3.amazonaws.com/ecochildsplay/files/2009/04/freephototeddybear-300x225.jpg

A new report claims that the increasing number of ‘all-natural’ and ‘organic’ products on the market may be guilty of “the seven sins of greenwashing”.

TerraChoice Environmental Marketing released its report The Seven Sins of Greenwashing today. The report defines greenwashing as “the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service.”

Read more of this story »

Cracking The Green Code

via Green Options by Jennifer Kaplan on 4/15/09

http://go635254.s3.amazonaws.com/ecopreneurist/files/2009/04/eco-align-logo-tm-250.jpg

EcoAlign, the group that brought you the research that found that consumers pay attention to the ENERGY STAR label, just released their third report of the Project Energy Code series, Cracking the Green Code. This report, like other EcoAlign research is a provocative and thought-provoking exploration of the “causes and consequences of effective communications in the energy and environmental space.”

The report starts by saying that marketers “are cracking their proverbial heads open trying to figure out new ways to make green behaviors more enticing to the masses.”  While I’m not so sure marketers are trying to make behaviors more enticing (aren’t we trying to make our products and services more enticing to consumers who behave in a relatively predictable way….), I do find consumer reports of “greenness” and the paradoxically non-green behaviors they exhibit perplexing; hence, the “green gap.”  But, in this report EcoAlign suggests that green messaging can be effective for about 75% of the US Population.

In this study, EcoAlign (many of whose clients are utilities) classified utility consumers in four groups and then analyzed three (the forth group was not sufficiently represented in the research group.) Although the report focuses on utility consumers, it seems reasonable to assume the analysis can be extended to all consumers:

  1. The Individualistic Consumer (estimated 30% of U.S. population). These are consumers who are self-centered and primarily concerned with the financial bottom-line.  It is suggested that no-nonsense fiscally responsible products and services that provide a sense of control over energy and energy-related financial expenditures (and all green consumer behavior?) is likely to get their attention if properly messaged.

Read more of this story »