Lloyd Alter

Lloyd Alter

Writer / Toronto, Canada

Lloyd Alter is design editor of TreeHugger. He has been an architect, developer, inventor and prefab promoter.
He contributes to MNN.com, The Guardian, Azure and Corporate Knights magazines, and is Adjunct Professor teaching sustainable design at Ryerson University School of Interior Design. Lloyd is a Past President of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario.


In the course of his work developing small residential units and prefabs, Lloyd became convinced that we just use too much of everything- too much space, too much land, too much food, too much fuel, too much money, and that the key to sustainability is to simply use less. And, the key to happily using less is to design things better.

You can follow Lloyd on Twitter, Facebook and Google+

Latest Stories from Lloyd Alter - Page 684

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    Blueplanetsmart- One Cool Composter

    September 3, 12:01 PM by Lloyd Alter in Culture

    So often we talk about how green design should also be good design. Here is an example: where most composters are dull plastic things in the corner, this one will look great in your garden. Where most composters are square, "The BluePlanetSMART’s round

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    Organic Week in the UK

    September 3, 9:24 AM by Lloyd Alter in Corporate Responsibility

    The Soil Association "is the UK's leading campaigning and certification organisation for organic food and farming." They are sponsoring "Organic Week", a nationwide celebration of organic food and drink. The week brings together everyone from ‘farm to

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    We'll believe it when we see it Dept: Landfill Island as Eco-Tourist Site

    September 1, 4:00 AM by Lloyd Alter in Travel

    Just off Singapore, the Government has built an artificial island entirely of garbage and has opened it for eco-tourism. 2000 tonnes of construction debris and ash from incineration plants are dumped daily into impermeable plastic cells. Mangrove

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    Sit on your Sunday Paper

    August 31, 4:59 AM by Lloyd Alter in Eco-Friendly Furniture

    English designer David Stovell "creates products that are functional, fun and sometimes thought provoking to use." Sunday Papers is a collection "of seating platforms that explores the process of repackaging a product in a different way to give it new

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    North On Sixty: Sustainable Furniture and Woodworking

    August 30, 4:36 AM by Lloyd Alter in Sustainable Product Design

    There is not much to see but rocks and trees on the road into Ontario's Algonquin Park, so we had to stop at the striking new building just 10 minutes outside the park. Imagine our surprise to find a furniture and woodworking operation where they

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    The Shroud of Marin- the New Yorker on Eco-Burial

    August 30, 2:24 AM by Lloyd Alter in Corporate Responsibility

    We have written before about eco-friendly burials in Marin County, CA. Now the Aug 29 issue of the New Yorker does a very long piece on Fernwood's somewhat crazed developer Tyler Cassity and the green funeral business, its visionaries and its various

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    Kicking Horse Fair Trade Organic Coffee

    August 28, 9:41 AM by Lloyd Alter in Green Food

    We were jolted awake this morning by a cup of Kicking Horse Coffee, variety Cliff Hanger Espresso. No need to read cereal boxes with this around- the package kept us busy through breakfast. It's shade grown. "coffee grown under the rain forest canopy

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    More Than a Pretty Greenhouse- Kew Gardens research into herbal remedies

    August 25, 4:31 AM by Lloyd Alter in Lawn & Garden

    Scientists at Kew Garden's Jodrell Labs are looking for the active compounds in traditional British folk remedies. The first to show real promise is figwort, from Northern Ireland and Norfolk- it appears to have promise in treating leg wounds and

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    Degradable Plastics- the dissolving grocery bag

    August 24, 4:06 AM by Lloyd Alter in Clean Technology

    "A British company, Symphony Plastic Technologies plc, has developed an innovative, practical and safe solution to the huge environmental problems caused by the millions of tonnes of plastic waste clogging up our planet." They have also developed a

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    404 Error Page Not Found - NOT

    August 23, 4:23 AM by Lloyd Alter in Culture

    All of us have seen them- where links on websites don't work and the evil 404 error message appears. At Greenpeace, they turn this into a virtue, taking the standard computerese messages and twisting them to their own ends- "1. The page may be extinct,

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    Her Majesty goes Geothermal at Buck House

    August 22, 4:53 AM by Lloyd Alter in Renewable Energy

    Richard Branson did it. Elton John did it. It seems that going geothermal for heating is the British equivalent of driving a Prius- the thing to do to show you care. Now Queen Elisabeth is installing a geothermal system in Buckingham Palace. One source

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    Prefab Now- the Tropical House Reconstructed

    August 19, 4:28 AM by Lloyd Alter in Sustainable Product Design

    We have covered Jean Prouve and the Tropical House at Treehugger before. The French engineer developed brilliant prefabricated designs, including the tropical house from 1946, which could be transported in a single WW2 vintage airplane. No piece

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    Compact Houses

    August 18, 4:51 AM by Lloyd Alter in Sustainable Product Design

    For those of you who cannot wait to get the new Compact Houses covered here earlier this week, we point out that Carles Broto published his version earlier this year. It includes treehugger favourites like the Wee House and others that prove that one

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    Frank Lloyd Wright's Unity Temple Goes Geothermal

    August 17, 4:58 AM by Lloyd Alter in Sustainable Product Design

    One of Frank Lloyd Wright's early and greatest works was the Unity Temple in Oak Park, near Chicago. Built in 1906 to 1908, it is one of the earliest public buildings constructed of poured-in-place concrete. Wright chose concrete because it was, in

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    This One Wins the Door Prize

    August 16, 4:17 AM by Lloyd Alter in Sustainable Product Design

    Our own Dominic Muren might not have won the Designboom Door Competition had this been around. Apparently it detects your shape and multiple strips slide open to match it, closing up behind you. Infrared sensors at the end of the strips evidently

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    Eco-Friendly Burial lets you be Green Forever

    August 14, 2:10 PM by Lloyd Alter in Corporate Responsibility

    Treehugger has talked about biodegradable caskets and eco-friendly burials before; now it has gone mainstream in Marin. The New York Times covers the trend. "It is not enough to be a corpse anymore," said Thomas Lynch, an author, poet and Michigan

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    New York's Largest Green Roof over Tony Soprano's Head

    August 11, 8:58 AM by Lloyd Alter in Sustainable Product Design

    Silvercup Studios, where parts of the Sopranos is filmed, now boasts New York's largest green roof. "We are looking to demonstrate to the government, the public and most of all private business that green technologies are an economic benefit," said

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    Extreme makeover- Genetically Modified Apples

    August 11, 4:13 AM by Lloyd Alter in Green Food

    As we discuss the merits or problems with genetically modified foods, it is appropriate to point out that traditional methods of genetic modification, as taught by Gregor Mendel, can also make lousy food. The Red Delicious apple is a good example-

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