Category Archives: Environment

What we can do to improve our environment, save non-renewable resources and lighten our carbon footprint.

Exquisite Creatures, exquisite world

Currently showing at OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) is this fantastic exhibit we all owe it to ourselves to see. It is the work of Christopher Marley, showcasing the immense beauty of the other creatures in the world … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Just for fun, Local interest | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

What exactly is Cor-Ten, and is it worth it?

If you pay any attention at all to design and architecture, you may have heard the term Cor-Ten thrown around quite a bit. Cor-Ten is a registered trademark name for a type of weathering steel alloys, owned by the US Steel … Continue reading

Posted in Cool building materials, Environment | Tagged , , , , , , | 17 Comments

If you can’t plant a tree, plant a rain garden!

As our world is warming, more and more water evaporates. And, as we all learned in physics class, what goes up must sooner or later come down. As Portland is bracing for at least a week of more or less … Continue reading

Posted in Cool plants, Environment, Gardening and Landscaping | Tagged , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Ground Control to Fledgling: Prepare for Lift-off! – what to do if your garden is used for an emergency landing.

Earlier this week as I walked outside to go run some errands, I caught sight of Manneman – my furry garden companion – batting a fuzzy, round little thing back and forth. He seemed to thoroughly be enjoying himself, which … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Gardening and Landscaping | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Let them bee…

A couple of years ago, I wrote a blog entry on the demise of our bees after the introduction of neonicotinoids in the past decade. At the time, the EPA had essentially admitted that although they were going to continue … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Gardening and Landscaping, Green Living | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

The beauty of clean, Green E-board – put the leftovers on your roses!

Did you know that we here in the U.S. throw out 221.7 million tons of garbage – every DAY!!! A whopping 20% of that comes from the building and construction industry! So not surprisingly, when I find a product or … Continue reading

Posted in Cool building materials, Environment, On Building | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The grass really is greener, but…

The discussion came up at my kids’ school of replacing some more of the blacktop with greenspace. The idea is to fundraise and write grants to make it happen, as naturally there is no money for anything extra – at … Continue reading

Posted in Cool plants, Environment, Gardening and Landscaping, Green Living, Local interest | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

From shou-sugi-ban to acetylated wood – a clean, green future in wood preservation

Since humans began using wood, the material has always been subject to more or less successful methods of wood preservation. Alexander the Great is said to have soaked wood used for bridge building in olive oil. The Romans brushed their … Continue reading

Posted in Color, Cool building materials, Culture, Environment, Green Living, On Building | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Good Sources for Cool Building Materials that May Help Green Your Project

The exhibition catalog for the PNC SmartHome Cleveland (the Passive House I wrote about in my last post) – included a list of companies that provided the materials for that project. In an effort to spread the Sustainable Building Gospel, … Continue reading

Posted in Cool building materials, Environment, Green Living | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Active Minds Build Passive Houses!

While still living in Sweden, I heard about these incredibly energy efficient “Passive Houses”. On average, their annual energy consumption is about 90% LESS than a normal, drafty, comparatively poorly built abode. This is, of course, a staggering slap in … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Green Living, On Building, On Design | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment