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green roof system for doghouses – seamus


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Sniffing around the net for some content for this week’s post; I came upon these sustainable doghouse designs from Sustainable Pet Design.

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Designer Stephanie Rubin’s Greenrrroof animal homes filter water, grow plants, insulate temperature and sound, attract bees and butterflies, and with the right plants, can even repel fleas. Colors are custom and, as you can see, there are a variety of designs (they make birdhouses and such, too).  Plant and wood choices can create a nice aroma and canine aesthetic.  Only non-toxic materials are used in construction, including zero-VOC paints, natural , fragrant cedar planks and beeswax waterproofing.

Don’t choke on your kibble when you see the prices  – think art and design and if you really get inspired you can always go all DIY if you can’t muster the cash.

couple more pix after the jump: (more…)

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Friday, October 10, 2008

helping McCain – Palin ‘green’ America


Humor…

Let’s help our friends on the Republican Presidential ticket get more support for some of their less appealing environmental positions.

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Some ideas for new programs:

  • Senator McCain loves his nuclear power.  He is hellbent on building “a bunch” of nuke plants all across our nation.  Once Johnny Mac gets those nuke plants humming, we’ll need a program to dispose of all the pesky spent nuclear material that the naysayers harp about.  Solution: a federal mandate that every homeowner bury, let’s say something like… 5 pounds of nuclear waste, in their back yard in exchange for a half-point reduction in their  mortgage rate…call it “Project Glowing Home.”
  • Photos of her moose hunting prowess indicate Governor Palin is a much better shot than the now hard-to-find Dick Cheney. We suggest she create a national  ‘hunt til you drop’ program that would offset skyrocketing food prices by encouraging hockey moms and grandmothers to put food on the table the the old fashioned way, by killing it themselves. We could call it ‘Local Harvest‘ or the ‘Gotcha Project.’ (more…)
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Energy Star – A Fallen Star?


At some point in time we’ve all embellished to enhance our feeling of pride or to bring excitement to someone else. Likewise, we probably all know someone who’s boasted to win a hot date, or told their spouse of a greater sale price than they actually received. Intentions provoking these exaggerations, however, are not always good and organizations exist who seek to take advantage of our big green hearts.

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A recent suspect to this predatory practice is the Energy Star program whose logo in our homes represents our diminishing carbon footprint. But does it?

Watchdogs at Consumer Reports have recently examined various Energy Star products and found them failing to deliver their promised energy savings. This was partly due to Energy Star compliance checks being conducted when appliances weren’t operating in ways representative of everyday home use. For instance, a refrigerator being tested for energy consumption while the ice-maker and its cooling center is off.  Consumer Reports also cast light on the fact that the products Energy Star supports have had their only evaluations completed by the manufacturers themselves. Perhaps a bit reminiscent of the countless “Best Burger in Town” signs coating city streets?

These aren’t the only flaws. David B. Goldstein of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) remarks that test procedures are “out of date and problematic,” while Energy Star itself admits that “federal test procedures haven’t kept pace with technology.” Amidst the rumble, Consumer Reports still holds that Energy Star is a useful reference that needs only a dose of rigorous third-party review.

To see the article in full, visit: consumerreports.org

To view the EPA’s rebuttal: energystar.gov/

To inspect Consumer Reports’ rebuttal to the rebuttal: blogs.consumerreports.org (download the pdf)

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a mixed bag of green news


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