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Don’t Commit Tree-Sin, Give Trees a Chance


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This is Part 2 of our 2-part series on making and recycling paper — here we focus on how to become a more efficient recycler of paper products.

Nobody wants to commit tree-sin, but by receiving junk mail, reading magazines and newspapers, rendezvousing with the john, taking notes or sending packages, you’re practically doing just that: disobeying the Earth’s trust. With less than 10% of Earth’s old growth forests intact, countless waterways polluted with toxins from paper mills and looming landfills consisting of 40% paper, paper itself presents a recycling mission. This mission will help to reduce land, air and water pollution while also saving gargantuan amounts of energy and water.

tr1.jpgTo embark on this mission it is necessary to learn which paper products are/aren’t recyclable and to become your own recycling center. Begin by refusing to print unless absolutely necessary, proofreading before you print, printing on both sides of the paper, and using multiple pages per sheet (if your vision allows). Continue by making a “scrap” pile for future printing needs, cutting up white areas into squares (or circles or hearts) for quick notes, paying your bills online (and requesting no paper copies), putting your name on no junk mail lists (donotmail.org), and contacting your magazines and employers urging them to use recycled or tree-free paper with vegetable-based inks. (more) (more…)

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Building Green with Bamboo


An in-depth focus on bamboo building, presented by Guest Blogger, Sam Small, of Bamboo Technologies and Bamboo Living. The article (below) appears with the kind permission of Hotel Executive.

Structural Bamboo is growing in it’s applications worldwide.  Bamboo is one of, if not the fastest growing plant on Earth. And wherever it grows it is used as building material, for as long as humans have been building. But now that it has been certified that properly treated Structural Bamboo meets international building codes, bamboo has become one of the fastest growing structural building materials in the worldwide sustainable construction industry. Take a look (below) at the largest modern bamboo building built to date: 55,200 sq ft.

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The International Code Council (ICC) certified in 2004 that Structural Bamboo Poles produced by Hawaii-based Bamboo Technologies comply with International Building Code (IBC), International residential Code (IRC) and Uniform Building Code (UBC) standards and since then over 100 building-code compliant bamboo structures used as homes and vacation resorts have been pre-fabricated and shipped from the BT factory in Viet Nam to be re-assembled on sites all around the world.

The international certification was the result of years of research and testing to find ways to protect bamboo from insects and rot and it paved the way for the legitimate use of structural bamboo by architects, designers and builders worldwide in all sorts of applications. Whatever architectural expression, residential, commercial, even bridges, that have historically been built using wood, can potentially be built “to code” using structural bamboo instead.

bamt2.jpgBut Bamboo has particular characteristics and strengths that are different from other building materials, which deserve to be fully explored by architects and engineers. Bamboo is an extremely strong fiber; with twice the compressive strength of concrete and roughly the same strength-to-weight ratio of steel in tension. It’s extremely lightweight by comparison: just four workers can lift a 26 ft long triangular bamboo roof truss into position by hand. The known limits of Structural Bamboo continue to be pushed: some of what has been achieved to date include a 90 foot Free-Spanning Truss, 30 foot roof eaves and Multi-story construction.

How do you entice the best minds in architecture, design and engineering from around the world to focus on what can be built out of Structural Bamboo and what service these structures can provide? You sponsor an International Bamboo Design Competition. And so BT did!

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(more…)

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a mixed bag of green news


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  • This is a test of federal alternative energy financing. Too bad it’s a sports car…Electric Carmaker Tesla Hits Financing Wall – msnbc
  • Energy-Efficient Bulbs Save Military $11 Million – federaltimes.com (Update: links removed)
  • It’s the economy…(video) Poaching in Kenya Worsens – natgeo (Update: links removed)
  • Italy Aims for Carbon-Neutral Farm – bbc
  • I have to plug-in my carbon footprint analyzer for this one…Adrian Grenier Shops ‘Alter Ego’ Overseas in Cannes – ecorazzi (Update: links removed)
  • Free at last! Rare White Lions Get Wild – livescience
  • Rome Workers Uncover City of the Dead – cnn (Update: links removed)
  • Trick or treating tips…6 Signs You’re About to be Attacked by Zombies – cracked.com (Update: links removed)
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