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Biophilia on the Rise

Biophilia is a love of nature, and we’re seeing more of this aesthetic incorporated in architecture today. In theory, biophilic design elements impact our health and ability to heal more than we may realize. A biologist (of course), E.O. Wilson coined the term biophilia in 1984. Roots took hold, thankfully, and the concept has morphed naturally into a modern-day trend in sustainable design. For more on this point of view, check out this discussion/interview with Wilson, back in 1989.

Related: (altCon, April 2008)  earth week highlights

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Saturday, January 13, 2007

MoMA Family Festival – Free to Members

Save the Date: Saturday, January 27, 2007 – Evening
The Eighth Annual MoMA Family Festival

I’ve been a member of MoMA for years, and have enjoyed many special programs and benefits, year-round. If you’re not currently a member, now may be a good time join. Family or Contributing Members may be admitted free to a fun-filled evening of art and adventures…new ways to explore MoMA, with special activities for children ages four and up. Contemporary artists will lead communal projects that let kids enjoy both art-making and interacting with one other. Independent gallery programs will allow your family to look, learn, and draw, amid MoMA’s extraordinary collection. To top it off, there’ll be kid-friendly food and live entertainment to add to the celebration. (Activities are for children ages four and up.) Advance tickets are required. Click for more info.
Throughout the year, MoMA has intriguing programs for all — adults and children of all ages. Contributing to a museum falls under the category of good karma.

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Vegan Shoes – Got You Covered

VeganShoes.jpgI couldn’t make this up…a new food group for the Vegan Diet: Footwear…lots of choices; sandals, clogs, boots…! They look a little crazy, but comfy. Thought you might like to check out some new footwear at Straight from the website…

“What are Vegan shoes?
Vegan shoes are a special assortment of shoes that are made out of synthetic materials, which means that no animals were used or injured in making these shoes. Vegan shoes are made from man made, synthetic or natural non-animal products. Shoes and clothing need not have animal products to be well made, comfortable, stylish and affordable.

I don’t eat meat, does that make me a vegan?
To our knowledge, that isn’t quite correct. Vegetarians don’t eat meat, fish, and poultry, but they still might use animal products or by-products from animals. Vegans do not eat any animal products at all including: eggs, honey, and dairy products. They also don’t wear leather, fur, silk, or wool. Vegans also don’t purchase cosmetics and soaps made from animal products.”

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The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

pesticides.jpegThe Environmental Working Group offers a wallet size Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce that you can download from the site. You’ll also find the latest on pesticides. It may be time for a refresher on the good & the bad produce, so it doesn’t get ugly. Here’s their re-cap of Clean Green vs Dirty Dozen…

LOWEST LEVELS of pesticides:
These 12 popular fresh fruits and vegetables consistently have the lowest levels of pesticides.

• Asparagus
• Avocados
• Bananas
• Broccoli
• Cabbage
• Corn (sweet, frozen)
• Kiwi
• Mango
• Onions
• Papaya
• Pineapples
• Peas (sweet)

HIGHEST LEVELS of pesticides:
12 popular fresh fruits and vegetables that are consistently the most contaminated with pesticides — BUY THESE ORGANIC whenever possible.
• Apples
• Bell Peppers (sweet)
• Celery
• Cherries
• Grapes (imported)
• Lettuce
• Nectarines
• Peaches
• Pears
• Potatoes
• Spinach
• Strawberries

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Wind Power vs. Bird Power

rthawkflight00_1_1.jpgThe last time someone checked (2004), California was producing about 1.5% of its gross electrical power via wind power. One of the major negative impacts of wind farms is the deadly toll they can take on avian and raptor populations. Predatory birds often fly to their deaths in the large rotating blades of the windmills. Older wind farms are more deadly than newer constructions, due to the higher speed at which their blades rotate. New construction uses tubular towers to discourage nesting; and slow spinning blades which are much more visible. Painting the blades may also reduce bird death tolls. The issue often places environmental groups at odds with each other, green power advocates vs. wildlife protectionists.

A recent court case in California involved the Alameda Pass Wind Farm and birding orgs like the Golden Gate Audubon Society. The combatants have come to a compromise. For more,

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