Monthly Archives: September 2007

green prisons


Bastoey minimum security prison in Oslo, Norway, has declared itself the world’s first ‘green’ prison. What makes it so green? Solar panels, wood-fire heating [rather than oil], recycling, and food produced by inmates for starters. Sounds great – and hey, all you’ve got to do is break the law…Head on over to CNN to read more [click the title of this post].

Houses in the trees

Obra: Casa del Bosque
Arquitectos: F3 Arquitectos / Alejandro Dumay Claro, Nicolás Fones Claro, Francisco Vergara Arthur
Localización: Cachagua, Chile
Superficie Terreno: 5000m2
Superficie Construida: 110m2 útil, 50m2 terraza
Año Proyecto: 2006
Año Construcción: 2006-2007
Materiales Predominantes: Pino impregnado, Acero, Ventanas de Madera, Piedra
Fotografías: Ignacio Infante [via mariajose]

Ubicación: Mar Azul, provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina
Arquitectos: María Victoria Besonías, Guillermo de Almeida, Luciano Kruk
Colaborador: Sebastián Indri
Superficie del terreno: 595,50 m2
Superficie construida: 90 m2
Año de construcción: 2006/2007 [via arkinetia]

photos copyright plataformaarquitectura and noticiasarquitectura respectfully

“New Eco-Friendly Packaging Triggers Boom In Guilt-Free Littering.”

ROCKFORD, IL—Nick Sundin used to be neurotic about littering. The 37-year-old pediatrician admits he kept trash bags in his car, and would even pick up and throw away garbage he found on the street. Since boyhood, Sundin said, he was keenly attuned to the environmental degradation littering caused, an attitude triggered by the famous Keep America Beautiful “Crying Indian” public service announcement he saw on television as a young man.

Not anymore.

“These ‘eco’ products are amazing—they’ve totally changed my life,” Sundin said. “Now, I just toss my used Seventh Generation–brand paper plates out the car window, knowing they’ll soon be absorbed into the earth.”

The growing “green” trend in product packaging, which emphasizes the use of recycled, biodegradable post-consumer paper-based materials and relies less on petroleum-derived polymers like styrofoam, has unleashed a spontaneous trashing of sidewalks, roadsides, and pristine wilderness by gratified consumers. Though some environmentalists and scientists were caught off guard by the movement, experts say it is here to stay.

“The stigma attached to littering is at long last being put to rest,” industry analyst Tom Schneider said. “As long as manufacturers are packaging their goods in unbleached paper and biodegradable, cornstarch-based plastics, more and more consumers will discard their refuse wherever they please, knowing it will safely decompose within 10 to 20 years. Call it the ‘New Compost.’”


RETHINKING CENTRE STREET: A Film and Panel Discussion

Date: September, 27, 2007
Time: 7:30-9:30
Place: Connolly Branch Library – Auditorium
433 Centre Street, Boston (Jamaica Plain), MA 02130

Jamaica Plain’s Arborway Committe will be showing the film “Contested Streets” followed by a panel discussion with three nationally respected professionals in the fields of transportation, environment, and public policy.

“Contested Streets” examines the evolution of our streets as public spaces to their current-day use, which prioritizes the rapid movement of automobiles over all other functions.

Panelists include:

Jane Holtz Kay (journalist and author of Asphalt Nation)

Jeffrey L. Rosenblum (environmental consultant and Executive Director of LivableStreets Alliance)

Tony Dutzik (author and Senior Policy Analyst with the Frontier Group)

The event will moderated by Neighborhood Network News Anchor and News Director Chris Lovett.


There are two different schools as regards building materials: one advocates using exclusively (or mainly) locally available “natural” materials, such as wood, stone, bamboo, thatch, unburnt clay (‘adobe’), etc.; the other supports industrialized building materials, which will favour not continuing to deplete the use of rare, local materials, and which are easier to transport and assemble on-site. I believe a combination of both approaches is the most appropriate. Each specific case must be carefully studied. Recipes are not possible.

interview with Héctor Ceballos-Lascuráin

Why Does Japan Get All the NewNew?


Boblbee, the iPod solar charger from Dododi in Japan is not only green and cool. It is also shock proof and water proof which is great when you are “out in the field” doing some dirty work or just hiking in the mountains. Heck, you can even just use it in your window at home.

Another good design aspect is that this solar charger has rounded panels. That means you can charge your iPod out in the sun the whole day long without moving it around.

Sounds great? Yes it really does. There is just one problem. The solar charger is only sold in Japan and I have no idea what kind of shipping and price it has. The translated version is kind of funny to read. Anyone from Japan that can help!?



Savage Worms: Week 1

OK ninjas – Monday is going to be the official the Savage Worms Journal Day on green.mnp. Every Monday I will fill you in on the progress of our vermicomposting adventure. Here is the first installation:

Wednesday, 7/19/07
We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Andrea’s worms! This evening Andrea picked up a stack of (free) newspapers at the T stop to cut up as bedding for the bin. She filled the bin about half way with strips of the papers. Now all our vermicompost needs is worms…


Thursday, 7/20/07
The worms have arrived! Courtney was the first home today and noticed the small package addressed to Andrea waiting out on our porch in the sun. She was concerned that the worms were baking in their little box. I thought for sure the package was too small to hold 1,000 worms. Both of us were wrong. When Andrea (finally!) got home she opened the box and there they were – 1,000 squirmy worms. Andrea then sprayed the newspaper in the worm bin with water until it was the dampness of ‘a wrung out sponge,’ and carefully transferred the worms (which she said felt like ground-meat…) from the paper bag they came in to the bin. We have to give them a few days to settle in before we start feeding them. Goodnight wormies!


Friday, 7/21/07
We peeked at the worms today to see how they were doing. Though most of them were burrowed beneath the strips of paper, there were a few crawling up to the lid of the bin. Andrea explained that this is a sign the worms might not be happy. They could be unhappy if there is too much moisture in their bedding, if they are hungry, or it may just be that they need more time to settle into their new home. One good sign though – they are actively pooping!

Saturday, 7/22/07
Today we decided to feed the worms a bit to see if that would make them happier. Andrea dug two little holes in the newspaper on opposite corners from each other and filled them with about 1/2 a cup of of the food scraps we have been saving up. They got a good mix of fruits, veggies, tea leaves, fallen leaves from our plants and some crunchy egg shells.

Sunday, 7/23/07
We don’t want to disturb the worms too much, but it seems like they have calmed down a bit – at least they are not trying to escape anymore.


That is all for this week. Check here to see the first Savage Worms vermicomposting post with links to a bunch of good vermicomposting resources.