Green stuff – where to start or end?

When I was living in Canada, I took the small steps that companies were doing to be environmentally friendly for granted. Recycling paper and cans was a no brainer. For bonous points there were those that used energy saving lights and composts for the office meal scraps. So far I haven’t seen much of that here in New York. One of the things that is happening with the new office space is the desire to be indeed more environmentally friendly. Not too sure where to look I asked my friend Shafraaz Kaba who’s a partner at Manasc Isaac Architects Green Architecture and Sustainable Buildings about online resources and below is what he suggested.

Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) www.cagbc.ca

U.S. Green Building Council www.usgbc.org

Evergreen www.evergreen.ca/en/resources/resources.html

Climate Change, Global Warming, and the Built Environment – Architecture 2030 www.architecture2030.org

Sustainable Building Sourcebook Contents www.greenbuilder.com/sourcebook

Athena Sustainable Materials Institute www.athenasmi.ca

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  • oo

    There is a groundswell of ideas and businesses cropping up around the idea of living a carbon-neutral life. Companies like Terra Pass (http://www.terrapass.com) offer people the chance to buy “passes” – based on their car or house or flight emissions – that offer net-zero carbon emission. They accomplish this by investing in projects that reduce carbon emissions. The Terra Pass site takes you through mini questionnaires to determine your current output, and how much the resulting pass would cost (ie: my 2006 Honda CR-V required a $40 USD pass to offset the 8000lbs of emissions it produces per year. My recent return flight from Winnipeg to Vancouver cost $5).

    I think it makes the idea of fighting global warming and carbon emissions much more workable, in that it brings big, abstract ideas down to a manageable level. I don’t think it will be long before companies like Terra Pass begin to partner with car companies, airports, etc to provide passes at the point of purchase, much like the levies we pay for airport improvements. It makes it a no-brainer as far as I’m concerned.

  • http://designnotes.info/ michael

    thanks for the fyi oliver, Terra Pass is a fascinating concept

  • http://flickr.com/photos/litherland litherland
  • http://designnotes.info/ michael

    thanks for the additional links Caren

  • http://www.miarch.com shafraaz

    if i might add- a book called “Heat” by George Monbiot is a MUST READ. It clearly outlines how we need to reduce carbon emissions and how to get there by 2031.

    he even “critiques” the idea of carbon offsets, too. briefly, he questions whether it is wise to purchase carbon offsets when the companies that sell them cannot guarantee that the trees that they plant or the research they will do will actually work/help reduce carbon emissions.

    check it out- it’s the best/most well-researched/balanced book I’ve read in ages.