Category Archives: environment

Ray Anderson Remembered

It’s been three weeks.  I remember pausing on August 8 for several moments to note that I felt a real sense of loss and sadness when I read that he had passed.  I even talked with my family about it at dinner – a time when we share important happenings of the day. The huge [...]

LEED is not the problem

During a lively discussion at the last SUN Group meeting (Sustainable Upstate Network), the topic turned to understanding the “why” behind clients’ resistance to making green and sustainable choices.  One member said (to paraphrase) that LEED® is the problem.  Clients are just chasing points without making informed and sensible decisions. If you’re chasing points, you’re missing [...]

LEED Compliant

A new green product certification? I was duped.  When I received an email from a product manufacturer with this logo at the bottom, I thought, “Wow – am I missing something?  Is LEED approving products now?”  So, I spent the next half hour scouring the LEED web site, only to find that the term “LEED [...]

Listening to the Earth

Musing in Alaska I thought I was getting a break from sustainable musing when we went to Alaska on vacation recently.  But, it wasn’t long before it kicked in.  (Silly me – like I’m not going to think about climate change in the company of rapidly melting glaciers.)  We were sitting in the theater at [...]

Toxic Products, The Really Bad Guys and the Good Guys

Reality Check I’m still haunted by the CNN report about Mossville, Louisiana.  Here’s the bullet:  A small economically-challenged town is surrounded by 14 chemical manufacturers – mostly chemicals used to manufacture plastics.  To say that this is a cancer cluster is to put it mildly.  In this report, a chemist reports her findings, verified by [...]

Is your community “sustainable”?

“Sustainable” – a word that’s been overused in the last decade.  And, what about “sustainable community”?  What does it mean?  How do you measure that? Many are trying to figure this out. Have you seen “America’s 50 Greenest Cities” according to Popular Science Magazine? The criteria?  Energy from renewable resources, public transportation, air quality, number [...]

Certified Sustainable Buildings

Building to be LEED-CertifiaBULL Let’s be clear – it’s not LEED if it’s not certified.  That’s what I’ve been saying for quite some time now, in light of all the projects out there being “designed to LEED standards” or being designed to be “LEED certifiable”.  At best, these terms are misleading – and at worst [...]

Oil Addiction and Building Products

time to revisit this conversation The only good thing to come from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a re-energized conversation about ending our addiction to oil.  And, while Paul Roberts, author of The End of Oil warns environmental advocates about exploiting the Gulf oil spill, I disagree.   It’s not exploitation.  It’s [...]