Carnival of the Green #135

Hi and welcome to Greentime’s participation in Carnival of the Green! This round-the-green-blogosphere aggregation of news is brought to you via the fine people at Treehugger.com. Thanks to Two Hands World Shop for doing last week’s post and, for those who are interested in following along, please check out The AIDG Blog next week!

Generally speaking, the bulk of our posts are in video form. Due to a large number of pressures on our schedule, and due to the number of stories we have to post, a video is simply prohibitive. Don’t worry…we’ll be putting videos out again soon.

And now…the stories!

  • Looking for a more environmental approach to the summer grilling season? Innstyle Montana shows you how to Gear Up for Green Grilling.
  • There’s been a lot of talk about how high gas prices are good for general green living, while others have argued expensive gas is a red herring in general greening. Money Changes Things takes on the broad economic issues in their post Extreme Oil Prices: Good News Bad News.
  • The Garden Goddess gives her opinions on balancing the embodied energy costs in packaging, transport, and growing by posing the question “Raw Food in Cold Climates – Bad for the Environment?
  • Global warming brings with it heavier floods in traditionally flood-prone areas. Are our local flood defenses up to the challenge? Follow one example of posing and answering this question at Broadgate Is Great: Broadgate Flood Wall Repairs.
  • If you’re passing through Chicago this summer, take some time to stop by the Chicago Architectural Foundation’s new exhibit, Green With Desire. This fascinating presentation takes on the question of the sustainable home and seeks to dispel several myths about sustainable living.
  • If you are doing your own organic gardening (as we are, with our windowboxes and dwarf trees), you’ve probably wrestled with pests. Victoria Everman gives out some amazing advice for handling them organically in her post Aphids and Beetles and Cabbageworms – Oh My!
  • Greenopia, a ratings system for Los Angeles businesses, is expanding into San Francisco and New York.
  • Emily Katz, the fashion designer taking the industry by storm with her use of sustainable fabrics and local production techniques, gives us a look behind the scenes in her interview in Green Living Online.
  • A hypermiler is someone who uses best practices in vehicle maintenance and driving behavior to exceed the EPA listed fuel efficiency figures for their cars and trucks. Want to become a hypermiler? Try the Extreme Hypermiling Guide, which is rich in tips and their relative “worth it” factor.
  • …or, if you’re like Rhett, you could just stop using a car unless you really need it. The Tao of Change is advocating, with much agreement from us, to ditch your car on short commutes.
  • Eco Joe’s, offering “green thinking for the average Joe”, has instructions on how you can participate in a program sponsored by Odwalla to plant a tree in a state park.
  • LILL’s LIST taught us something we didn’t know — there’s more to pollinator dwindles than just Colony Collapse disorder. We’re sad to admit that we, too, missed National Pollinator Week.
  • Always good for a tip, Tip Diva offers ten tips for recycling old newspapers and magazines. We’re sad to admit we still get a lot of magazines here, so it’s important to find good ways to reuse before we recycle. They’re also giving out great tips on reusing Chinese take-away containers. Brilliant!
  • The Sundance Channel has been covering the rebuilding of Greensburg, Kansas. One of the new rules in the town’s rebuilding is that city buildings must be LEED Platinum certified. Jetson Green gives us a peek at the first LEED Platinum building in Kansas.
  • While we here at Greentime generally think plastic isn’t fantastic, the folks at VintagePretty.org offer a really clear and detailed analysis of how many different plastics are made and which ones might be hurting you.
  • Earthfirst brings a little levity to our parade of news and analysis. Taken straight from the great comedy tradition of “Good Idea Bad Idea”, they bring us Green Up Your Life in Five Easy Steps.
  • AdmirableIndia.com shares a story of riding from Bangalore to Mysore by bike. Rhett’s a fan of longer bike trips, so this was a fun read for him.
  • Veggie Revolution asks what the greenest transportation choice is after the obvious choices of walking, running, bicycling, skating, etc. Everyone loves to discuss hybrids, electric vehicles, motorcycles, trains, and more. What’s the real winner, though? The answer will surprise you.
  • A small craftsperson on Etsy (the handmade site) is reducing her
    waste by “upcycling” boxes and packaging into cute recycled gift tags, which
    she also sells on the site. It’s a creative and whimsical way to remember
    that middle “R” in Reduce, Re-Use, Recycle.
  • Rhett just loves to surf, and we spend a lot of time on the beach, but never thought of using soap in an outdoor beach shower. We guess others do, though, and the folks at Organicmania.com dispense some great advice regarding so-called biodegradable soaps.
  • Between reducing your environmental impact and the economy, we could all stand to be a lot more frugal. Who doesn’t like seeing more money left at the end of the month? Check out The Digerati Life’s Frugal Tips: How To Make 10 Ordinary Things Last Longer.
  • Green | rising brings us a fascinating story of the Bureau of Land Management putting a hold on new large-scale solar projects for two years. If we can’t get our energy somewhere, we’re all going to be asking “Who Turned Out The Lights?

Whew! That’s a lot of material to read this week. We’d like to thank everyone who submitted a post for consideration and we look forward to reading more as we follow the carnival in the future!

  • del.icio.us
  • blogmarks
  • Reddit
  • Technorati
Comments (13)

Episode #23 – Critical Mass

As we mentioned in our previous episode, we’re starting to reach out and try to engage groups in the community involved in green issues and activism. Rhett’s become very passionate about his bike riding and using his bike as a commuter (he now frequently day-trips to Boca Raton and Miami in addition to riding in town), and so he decided to become more involved with Critical Mass, an “unorganized coincidence” of bicycle advocates. In this episode, Rhett also tries out Tri-Rail and MetroRail, two critical links in the South Florida mass transit system. As you’ll see, their efficiency on the weekends isn’t great…part of the reason Rhett’s finally just started cycling long distances. Interested in joining a Critical Mass ride? If you live in South Florida, you can join Rhett on rides with Miami Critical Mass and meet members of Emerge Miami. Check the link above for rides in other areas. Don’t have one in your area? Why not start one?

  • del.icio.us
  • blogmarks
  • Reddit
  • Technorati
Comments (6)

Episode #22 – Where We’ve Been, Building Community, and Uncluttering

Whew! Life has thrown us a number of curve balls these last two months and it's been more difficult producing new posts. But, we're back and on some semblance of a schedule. Next time, we won't leave without at least warning everyone…we promise!

There have been a number of updates and additions during our hiatus, however, that we want to tell you about…

  • Our status bar is now a Twitter. If you'd like to receive updates on show status, you can follow us. These updates can be followed with an RSS reader, posted to a LiveJournal, or sent via text message to your mobile phone.
  • We've started a Flickr group, and we'd love it if you'd join it and share some pictures of yourself with all the other Greentime lovers out there.
  • We've started a group in Second Life called "Greentime SL". If you use the Second Life search system, click on the "groups" tab, and search for our name, you can find the group and join it. We're in the process of building the meeting place, but once we do, we'll update everyone with its location.

So, aside from these things, we're working on trying to reduce the amount of stuff in our home. When we moved in together, we never really got rid of redundant possessions, and we also are carrying around a lot of the detritus from past hobbies, games we bought and never played, etc…these things all add up and make clutter, making our home and life less efficient. So, we're finding ways to move these things on to new homes so our home can be better designed for our new, greener life. If you want hints on uncluttering your life, we suggest Unclutterer, a blog Rhett reads daily.

  • del.icio.us
  • blogmarks
  • Reddit
  • Technorati
Comments (3)

Episode #21 – Community Supported Agriculture


Video thumbnail. Click to play
Click to Play

Since the container gardening doesn’t seem to have a high yield, and since our local organic market has expensive produce and the nearest real farmer’s market is in the next town over, we’ve opted to become subscribers in community supported agriculture (CSA), a relatively new business model for farms that should keep us in locally produced, seasonal, organic produce for months.

CSA can be very cost-effective and convenient, but many people don’t feel comfortable with the idea of cooking whatever it is the farm is growing. So, we’ve brought along Ilona, our friend, local foodie, and fellow CSA subscriber. Rhett and Ilona go to town dissecting the first shipment from Redland Organics and discussing ways to make quick, simple, satisfying meals without bending over backwards.

Interested in trying out CSA for yourself? Just check out Local Harvest to see if there’s a farm near you!

Show credits:

Formats available: MPEG-4 Video (.m4v), Quicktime (.mov)

Tags: , , , , , , ,

  • del.icio.us
  • blogmarks
  • Reddit
  • Technorati
Comments (6)

Episode #20 – Experiment Scores and Retrospective #1


Video thumbnail. Click to play
Click to Play

Every 20th episode of this project is dedicated to looking back and putting a hard measure on how well previous experiments have worked out. Often, when we put out a show, we have just tried something out for the first time. Many green ideas seem green at first, or seem like they’re easy at first…but later on you just find they don’t work out for you. Sometimes, the hard things turn out to be easy, too. We each sit down separately and share our perceptions of these last eight months with the camera and pick our big winners and big losers. Our points where we agree and disagree might surprise you!

If you’d like to see how each of us scored every experiment, please check out the full scorecard on our site!

Formats available: MPEG-4 Video (.m4v), Quicktime (.mov)

Tags: , , , ,

  • del.icio.us
  • blogmarks
  • Reddit
  • Technorati
Comments (7)

Episode #19 – In the Navy…Shower


Video thumbnail. Click to play
Click to Play

We’re back from the impromptu hiatus causeed by all our friends deciding to get married at the same time. We’d like to extend our fondest congratulations to Cat and James as well as to ChrisAnn and Mark. We’ve got a lovely montage of wedding pictures for Cat and James (set to the music of their band, the musical voice of Greentime, Zen Debris), and we hope we can show you some of ChrisAnn and Mark when they get back from their honeymoon!

Amy’s in front of the camera this week, opening the viewer mailbag. Then she dives into our most recent project, reducing the water use in our shower. We’ve replaced the hilariously surreal showerhead with a more practical one that offers two kinds of low-flow options as well as a “pause” setting. Ever heard of a “navy shower”? Check out this episode and find out how to get in your daily bathing without wasting 20-50 gallons of water.

Formats available: MPEG-4 Video (.m4v), Quicktime (.mov)

Tags: , , , ,

  • del.icio.us
  • blogmarks
  • Reddit
  • Technorati
Comments (4)

Greentime Episode #18 – Bi…cycle! Bi…cycle!


Video thumbnail. Click to play
Click to Play

So, we’re starting to make that plunge towards conserving our automobile use. As you may be aware from previous episodes, Amy is already a telecommuter, so this one falls mostly to Rhett. Just by taking a bike for his daily commute and changing his lifestyle around slightly (read: no going home for lunch), he’s able to carve off a good 90 miles a week. That might not sound like much, but he really doesn’t drive very much as it is. If we’re not going on a road trip (which is rare), then that’s probably at least a 50% reduction.

Commuting and running errands with a bicycle is pretty easy. Just hop over to t or your local bike shop and get a nice, sturdy, used bike…then replace the mountain bike tires with slicks designed for use on the roads. A couple of small and simple tools to go with it, and you’ve got a vehicle that’s mighty fun, healthy, and green to ride.

Oh, and did we mention it’s the most energy efficient mode of transport? Yes, even if you take a very pessimistic analysis, it is not only more efficient than virtually any other choice in ground transport, but shaping your lifestyle around a bike encourages conservation.

Formats available: Quicktime (.mov), MPEG-4 Video (.m4v)

Tags: , , , , , , ,

  • del.icio.us
  • blogmarks
  • Reddit
  • Technorati
Comments (7)

Episode #17 – Reusing Greywater


Video thumbnail. Click to play
Click to Play

Rhett’s in the kitchen this week showing off some simple ways that we reuse water in the home. Greywater, or the water coming out of (non-kitchen) sink drains, washing machine drains, and shower drains, is ripe for reuse and constitutes 50-80% of household waste water. Just through the simple application of “bucket and spout”, it’s possible to water significant portions of your garden or even flush your toilets.

The simple methods shown here are motivational examples and they’re only the tip of the iceberg. For more ideas, check out our resources and show notes:

  • The Greywater Guerrillas – activists for greywater reuse and recycling. This site is ripe with projects and ideas for homes of all sizes.
  • WVU on Greywater – Great rules for the safe handling and use of greywater.
  • Colorado State on Greywater – A moredetailed coverage of greywater handling. It also mentiones rainwater harvesting.
  • New Mexico State University – The basics of New Mexico’s laws on greywater. Also has an excellent coverage of safe handling guidelines.
  • Greywater irrigation – Stats on greywater production, use, and pollution. It also includes material on greywater treatment options.

Formats available: Quicktime (.mov), MPEG-4 Video (.m4v)

Tags: , , , , , ,

  • del.icio.us
  • blogmarks
  • Reddit
  • Technorati
Comments (3)

Why Episode #17 is Late

Hey there, guys.  We really try to stay dedicated to our weekly format.  We feel it’s really important to publish on a regular, weekly schedule.  This is partially because regularity is important in blogging, and it’s also because the discipline that comes with a weekly format is really good to ensuring that we keep greening our lives.  It’s for these reasons that we really feel it’s important to explain why we’ve been slipping on the schedule lately and specifically why Episode #17 is so late.

A number of factors have been working together.  The first of these is Rhett’s work schedule.  Rhett essentially has two careers.  In his day job, he works at Motorola as a cellphone designer.  On his weekends and some of his evenings, he tries to pursue research on his doctorate in computer science.  He does his best to juggle Greentime along with those two things, and it’s worked pretty well for a while.  Things have been far more hectic on that front, however.  His phone is supposed to ship any day now, and since July, he has ended up working in some capacity on nearly every critical issue the project has faced.  This has meant a lot of nights, some Saturdays at work, and a LOT of headaches.

Normally, we keep this going by having a regular schedule.  We have a night put aside for Greentime.  When an emergency comes up, however…and we’ve had at least one a week for the last month…other things essential to keeping our lives and jobs end up getting pushed around and squeeze on Greentime.  Each episode looks simple, but each one takes several hours from equipment set up to the time we post to Blip.tv.  Our emergencies have varied from health concerns to rescuing a stray kitten.

In addition, any time we’d normally have free has been scheduled for other things.  For example, we were visiting Amy’s mother for her 70th birthday.  She has a rare kidney disease (believed to exist only in her), and so every birthday she gets is a blessing to us.  It was worth it, but that took away that weekend.  Rhett had to visit his research lab a couple of weeks back…that was 10 hours spent on the road, and it burned an entire day.  We’ve also been doing a favor for a friend and producing a very special video for him, which has taken several nights away from us.  Virtually everything in our life has suffered.  We haven’t been getting regular exercise in over a month, for example.

So, this is what has, up until tonight, basically thrown our production schedule into shambles.  We thought that maybe we finally were starting to reach the other side.  We had a night where we could shoot Episode #17.  And…we did.  We shot it.  And the footage was atrocious.  The camera basically hid a number of critical problems in the viewfinder and they only came out when we loaded the footage on the editing console.  No part of it could be saved.  We tried.  It wasn’t good.

We are going to try again.  We want to do it tomorrow.  Amy is undergoing a routine medical diagnostic procedure tomorrow that will require sedation, however, and if she’s too ill to work the camera, then we’ll have to shoot Saturday.  Saturday may become a double-header for us, because we’ve been sitting on enough material for a “bonus episode” of Greentime.

Thank you, so much, for staying with us.  Greentime is in no way suffering from “podfading”.  We have ideas galore and we want to try them all out for you.  We have suffered from a level of obligations that have basically turned out lives into a whirlwind.  Thank you so much for making this blog exceed our wildest dream, and we sincerely hope you will continue to have faith in us.

Look for Episode #17 by the end of the weekend, and if we’re lucky, a bonus episode right after that.

  • del.icio.us
  • blogmarks
  • Reddit
  • Technorati
Comments off

Episode #16 – Junking Junk Mail

Thanks for the patience while we got this episode out! We've been at Dragon*Con doing panels about video podcasting, we've been sick, Rhett's had to go out of town to be at his research lab…life in general has gotten in the way.

The new Greentime logo is out now. As we said, we won't be making merchandise of our own, but we encourage you to get the logo and make your own. (png format) (svg format)

Anyway, we're now back and greening our lives once again! Rhett goes off to the mailbox and throws a little tizzy over the junk mail held therein. Here's how:

And don’t forget that, if you want to have someone take care of this for you, GreenDimes offers a fairly comprehensive service, complete with tree plantings.

  • del.icio.us
  • blogmarks
  • Reddit
  • Technorati
Comments (8)

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »