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Around the Green World : River Valley edition : Monday, 27 January 2020 17:37 EST : a service of The Public Press
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Around the Green World

     by Stephen Morris

Second Edition of Green Building Products Directory Released

BuildingGreen, Inc., the publisher of Environmental Building News, and copublisher New Society Publishers, have just released a second edition of Green Building Products, a product directory for home builders and homeowners. The new edition includes nearly 1,600 product listings from the GreenSpec® database of green building products, which the company has maintained since 1998.

"We hadn't actually expected to produce a second edition so soon," said coeditor Alex Wilson. Demand for the first edition resulted in the book selling out sooner than expected. "This is good news," said Wilson. "It indicates that green home building is advancing."

Green Building Products, which includes a foreword by architect and author Sarah Susanka, covers everything from porous paving systems to photovoltaic roofing shingles and top-efficiency appliances. Products are organized according to building component, but can also be found in the index under manufacturer or product name. The book includes more than the building industry with quality information on sustainable design and construction since its founding in 1985. The company's flagship publication, Environmental Building News, is the nation's oldest and most trusted source of information on green building practices, and their online BuildingGreen Suite is one of the most relied on Web resources in the building industry.quiet zone

High Tech Recycling

The Connecticut River Watershed Council had a problem. They needed to replace a failing machine that stored data critical to the conservation group's work and didn't have much money for the job. They spoke with Matt Lampiasi, president of Florence I.T., a shop specializing in small to medium business and nonprofits. Matt happened to be aware of a recently replaced server system at Riverbend Animal Hospital of Hadley, MA. While the Animal Hospital had outgrown their older system, he knew that a few upgrades would make it a reliable and secure server platform for the Watershed Council.
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The hospital was happy to donate the hardware. Antiquated components were replaced with new, and the free, Open Source operating system Linux was installed. With duplicated drives and automated, removable backups, the Watershed Council's 50+ years of accumulated data was safe, and staff in satellite offices were also finally able to remotely access information stored on headquarter computers, improving the organization's efficiency. Chelsea Gwyther, executive director of the Connecticut River Watershed Council said, "Thanks to this innovative solution and the generosity of Riverbend Animal Hospital, not only were our computer needs met but we were able to recycle a good server and reduce waste."

You, Too, Can Smell Like a Hummer

This may sound like a joke, but apparently some men really want to smell like a heavily polluting, obnoxiously large SUV. "In keeping with its famous heritage, HUMMER Fragrance For Men is masculine with rugged and adventurous attributes. . . . The smooth richness of tonka bean acts as the ‘axle' that links and balances the fresh and warm notes, creating an olfactory sensation that can only be HUMMER." How'd you like to be stuck in an elevator with a guy wearing that? (Sierra Magazine)

Natural Death . . . a Booming Business

It's really no surprise that the writers of Six Feet Under, the acclaimed HBO series about a family-run funeral home, were attuned to the latest trend in death: green burials. After killing off one of the main characters in the show's final season, they had mourners wrap his body in a simple (and biodegradable) burlap sack and bury it. The practice, which avoids the toxic chemicals used in embalming, has long been popular in the United Kingdom (see www.naturaldeath.org.uk) and is on the rise in the United States, where at least four cemeteries are devoted to low-impact interment. Learn more at www.ethicalburial.org. (from Sierra Magazine)

Eco Factoids

Each year, U.S. factories melt down approximately 666,000 tons of aluminum from 45 billion recycled cans. Recyclers even import 5 billion cans -- not to chalk up environmental points but to save big bucks: Recycled aluminum requires only one-seventh as much energy to process as virgin material. In addition, about 420,000 tons of plastic bottles, 2.4 million tons of glass containers, and more than 50 million tons of wastepaper are collected and made into new products.

Internet Use, by the Numbers

  • 68% of American adults use the Internet occasionally, 22% have never used it.
  • 62% of Internet users with a high-speed connection have a college or graduate degree.
  • 70% of white Americans use the Internet versus 57% of African-Americans.

Get Hitched the Green Way

When helping to plan her daughter's wedding, Green Elegance Weddings founder Valerie Edmunds soon learned that there was no up-todate centralized resource for planning environmentally and socially responsible green weddings. She believed that a fresh website with regularly updated content could make an important environmental impact upon the multi-billion dollar wedding industry. The average cost of a wedding in the U.S. today is reported to be over $25,000. Valerie set to work to make it easier for couples to find the resources they need to direct more of those dollars towards green products and services.

The website (www.greeneleganceweddings.com) provides information about eco-friendly wedding apparel, invitations, gifts, flowers, food and beverages, honeymoons, and do-it-yourself projects. It also includes a wedding planning timeline and other practical advice for keeping track of the planning process.

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