My Favourite Stories of 2011: January
Lloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0
Every year they have a big builders' show in January, and every year I complain about the concept homes that they build. Last year was no exception as The Martha Stewart Builder Concept Home purported to be green and net zero energy. Dozens of commenters took me to task, calling it a "horrendously poor piece", and noting "I personally think the author wouldn't be happy unless we all either lived in a cave, igloo or reused some unused section of the nyc sewer system." I felt it necessary to respond to the complaints in greater detail with More on Why I Hate Martha Stewart's Builder Concept Home.
LG Eden countertop greenwash/Screen capture
After the release of BuildingGreen's Green Building Product Certifications, I put together a series of posts based on my lectures at the Ryerson University School of Interior Design, where I teach sustainable design. The first, Understanding Labels Part 1: Are They Green or Greenwash? Yes. covers the basics of the different kinds of certifications; Understanding Labels Part 2: Separating Green Building from Greenwash tries to explain the lumber wars, which have just gotten much worse during the course of the year, and Understanding Labels Part 3: Cradle To Cradle, or A Cautionary Tale looks at problems in one particular certification system, most of which are well on the path to being resolved.
On the 76th anniversary of the introduction of canned beer, I rant about the benefits of returnable bottles. I conclude:
America has a beer production and distribution system based around shipping thin beer huge distances from monster breweries and leaving it on the shelves forever and then throwing the containers away. This is nothing to celebrate.
More in Celebrating 76 Years of a Disposable Culture and Lousy Beer