June 2008

Monthly Archive

Green Homes Concierge

Posted by on 30 Jun 2008 | Tagged as: energy efficiency

Green Homes Concierge

Great idea if done right:

For GBP 199, Green Homes Concierge inspectors will come to a customer’s home, toting heat-detecting cameras and other devices to help them evaluate its leaks, wall insulation and appliances. Afterwards, the inspectors will recommend ways the home’s owner can reduce CO2 emissions, and hopefully save some money in the process. Significantly, GHC’s services don’t end there. For a full year the firm will act as a helpful concierge. Should customers wish to make the inspection’s recommended improvements, GHC will help them locate contractors and suppliers able to do the work or tell them where to buy low-energy light bulbs and other environmentally friendly items…Continued at Springwise.

Post #100

Posted by on 26 Jun 2008 | Tagged as: personal comments

Twitcher awarded: Russ Watts was honoured for his work in  ecotourism and community awareness of native bird species

And now for something different: to celebrate reaching 100 posts over these past few months I’ll share the following letter from a friend downunder

Hello David in the USA

Thankyou for your congratulations. Eighty years old – bypass surgery twelve years ago and exercises at the Synergy gymnasium. that’s my answer to ageing and I hope my mind stays clear.
These days I describe myself as an environmentalist. This began after a revisit to southern New South Wales after an absence of 35 years.In the 1950’s and sixties I was a stock and station agent auctioneer based in that region.
The landscape appeared to be swept with a giant broom. Most notable was the absence of ground cover, shrubs, young trees. When you live in a rural area away from a city the day to day loss of habitat is not apparent.
This state has a network of Travelling Stock Routes. They are wide laneways alongside our roads. A generation ago they were used by drovers to move sheep and cattle to saleyards or to other properties. Road transport ended the day of the drovers’ easy going lifestyle.
Our government has decided many parts of these iconic routes will be leased to nearby neighbours. Grazing soon depletes the understory essential for native birds.
Parts of these routes contain valuable remnants of flora and fauna. We hope to retain some areas.
There are 2400 weeds in Australia. Our ranges in NSW and including our land of 20 hectares are becoming overtaken with with a non palatable grass from South Africa and tiger pear which is similar to the prickly pear which has been controlled biologically with the introduction of the cochineal beetle. Unfortunately the former does not respond to any treatment except spraying and removal by hand.
Then there is the Murray Darling River system in decline because of droughts and, can we be certain, global warming.
We are living in times of sudden change. Most people have little interest in the environment. “You see it on the TV mate – she’ll be right”.
For me it’s onwards ever onwards. Is there any other way.

best regards


Russell Watts was recently awarded an “Order of AustraliaFor service to conservation and the environment through advocacy roles for the preservation of endangered flora and fauna, particularly native bird species, and to the development of ecotourism initiatives.

Photo Credit: The Northern Daily Leader

Conference: Biomimicry’s Climate-Change Solutions

Posted by on 21 Jun 2008 | Tagged as: biomimicry, climate change, energy, energy efficiency, events, water

On October 20th, The Biomimicry Institute in conjunction with the annual Bioneers conference will be holding a one-day conference “Biomimicry’s Climate-Change Solutions: How Would Nature Do It?”

This landmark one-day intensive reveals the leading edge of biomimetic solutions to climate change, modeled on nature’s operating instructions. It’s designed for action-oriented professionals from the fields of business, finance and investment, science, technology, public policy, education, media and civil society.

Find out more and sign up now!

Biomimicry Resources

Posted by on 17 Jun 2008 | Tagged as: biomimicry

A few weeks ago I acquired the www.biomimicry.com domain. Presently it redirects to a list of greenr.com articles tagged with ‘biomimicry’…like this one. My plan for biomimicry.com is yet to be formed – maybe you have some ideas? Meanwhile here are fine starting points if you want to dig deeper:

The Biomimicry Guild: “The only innovation company in the world to use a deep knowledge of biological adaptations to help designers, engineers, architects, and business leaders solve design and engineering challenges sustainably.”

The Biomimicry Institute: “The not-for-profit organization whose mission is to nurture and grow a global community of people who are learning from, emulating, and conserving life’s genius to create a healthier, more sustainable planet.”

Natures 100 Best: “A shortlist of one hundred technologies that are all inspired by proven design systems from Nature. This summary is only a small component of this long-term research project that aims to identify key technologies that will help society and industry to leapfrog towards sustainability.”

Send me your favorites…

NYT PAX/Biomimicry

Posted by on 08 Jun 2008 | Tagged as: biomimicry

Mainstream interest in biomimicry is accelerating. Jay Harman’s gives some (cautionary) insights into changing established large industries:

“When I started I thought that this would take 6 to 12 months,” Mr. Harman said. What he found instead were companies that had little interest in redesigning their products, even in the face of the promise of double-digit increases in efficiency.

His radical ideas have so far found a cautious reception in the aircraft, air- conditioning, boating, pump and wind turbine industries.
Mr. Harman’s experience is not unusual. Rather than beating a path to the door of mousetrap designers, the world seems to actively avoid them.

Continued at NYT.


Posted by on 04 Jun 2008 | Tagged as: events

Here at Greenr I don’t usually installation art, but then my friend Sean sent me this:

Twelve aluminum shafts rise from the grassy hill in front of the Waterloo Regional Operations Centre. Their graceful shape reflects the angles of the sun through the year. The tallest shaft is perpendicular to the sun at winter solstice, when the sun is low in the sky. The flattest shaft faces the high sun at summer solstice.

Check it out: http://www.solarcollector.ca/

Launch party and performance June 21st. (if you happen to be in Ontario)