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How Do Single Stream Recycling Materials Get Separated? [VIDEO]

Image credit: erintongay via photopin ccYou don’t have to be really old to remember the days when “recycling” meant “separating your paper from your aluminum from your plastic.” When we lived in Las Vegas in the ’90s, our curbside service gave us...

Posted September 12, 2014    

Sweden Recycling 99% of its Garbage - Really? [VIDEO]

For years, I’ve told people that “reduce, reuse, recycle” is more than an alliterative phrase; it’s also a hierarchy for how to deal with waste. Repurposing, upcycling, and recycling are all great practices that we want to encourage… but, first, we...

Posted September 10, 2014    

Would a Shorter Work Week Lead to More Sustainable Lives? [VIDEO]

Image credit: ShutterstockI’m thinking about the connection between our working lives and our environmental impact (because that’s the kind of things I do when I relax!). We’ve touched on this concept before, but the TED talk below takes an even...

Posted September 2, 2014    

Renewable Natural Gas: Turning Waste into Energy [INFOGRAPHIC]

When I first saw the phrase “renewable natural gas” over at Sustainable America’s site, I thought “Hmmmm…. someone’s hired a PR firm.” OK, I suppose that fossil fuels are technically renewable… as long as you don’t mind waiting a few million years...

Posted September 1, 2014    

Disappointed with Gardening Ideas You Find Online? OpenFarm Wants to Change That

A sample OpenFarm guide Image credit: OpenFarm KickstarterI love to share gardening ideas I find, or have even tried, but I know that there will always be specifics of a planting situation for which I can’t account. Soil quality, rainfall, sunlight...

Posted August 30, 2014    

Small Living Spaces: Better for You and the Environment [INFOGRAPHIC]

While the “Great Recession” probably contributed greatly to the growth of the “tiny house” movement in recent years, there’s also plenty of evidence that bigger really isn’t better when it comes to living space. Sure, you can spread out and have...

Posted August 10, 2014    

Variations on the Farming Community: How Sustainable are They?

photo credit: pasa47 via photopin ccI suppose I’ve got relatively narrow visions of a sustainable farming community: either an ecovillage, where food production is woven into the life of the of the residents, or the “urban farm,” where food...

Posted August 1, 2014    

The Bus House: the Ultimate Act of Upcycling?

Image Credit: Dancing Rabbit EcovillageAs I’ve heard from numerous builders in recent years, “green building” has largely just become “building”: incorporating efficiency features, renewable energy systems, and natural lighting and air flow elements...

Posted July 19, 2014    

Can a Home 3D Printer Ever Really Be Green?

As Adele Peters noted earlier this year over at Fast Co.Exist, 3d printing has developed a reputation for being green… but doesn’t necessarily deserve it. Sure, it minimizes some waste, and saves some transportation emissions… but, as currently...

Posted July 12, 2014    

Composting at Schools: Does it Really Address the Issue of Food Waste?

I’m a die-hard composter myself – just ask my wife what happens when she throws scraps in the garbage – and, as long-time readers know, I’m a fan of the concept at both small and large scales. While I realize some will argue for some form of biogas...

Posted June 27, 2014    

Forests: An Important Barrier to Greater Global Climate Change [INFOGRAPHIC]

On Monday, the EPA released its proposed rules for lowering CO2 emissions from existing coal-fired power plants. While everybody’s got an opinion on how much impact these rules will have on the US’ contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and global...

Posted June 8, 2014    

Coca-Cola 2nd Lives: Brilliant Upcycling Ideas, or Just More Plastic Crap?

We’re big fans of upcycling ideas: it’s hard to think of a better way to deal with all the waste we create than by turning it into something useful (whether through industrial processes, or the crafty version of upcycling).So, my initial...

Posted June 4, 2014