Sensiblekitty

the green cat’s meow

Posts Tagged ‘green

Gil Friend Interview from Green Cities Florida

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Blog Post written by Derek Gordon, Interview by Kimberly Miller (That’s me!)

On Gil Friend’s blog, you’ll notice a kind face smiling and a hand pointing as if to say “You and me…we’re going to make it happen.” You wouldn’t figure this man is trained in Aikido, but that may be
why he always seems so peaceful. One of my favorite running themes on his blog are the Green Business Lies that gives you a glimpse inside his newest book “The Truth About Green Business,” which hits stores May 29th. “It’s like green business for dummies, except not for dummies” states Friend during an interview with Kimberly Miller of Green Cities Media. The founder, CEO and president of Natural Logic (a strategic sustainability consulting firm) was one of the more active elements of Green Cities Florida, contributing to two different sessions. One session based around his book, dedicated to explaining the opportunities of green business and debunking some of the myths. The other session was a speaking engagement along with Terry Gips (Sustainability Associates Minneapolis) for a discussion on greening your business while turning a profit in a recession. This session focused on getting everyone in an organization on the same page when it comes to making a business more eco-friendly. As Gil puts it, “The engineering is easy…Getting it so that Joe and Mary do different things when they show up at work on Monday morning, that’s where the real art and challenge of this work is.”  READ MORE AND HEAR THE INTERVIEW

Written by sensiblekitty

May 29, 2009 at 2:44 pm

Green Per Diem: mkHearth

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Introducing the mkHearth, the latest from green architect guru Michelle Kaufmann

This house would be much too big for Me+Mr. SensibleKitty +2cats. BUT – the open loft design of the third floor would make a most excellent library. Also, the fireplace would be nice. Still, I think we’ll be living in an apartment for a good long while. Which may turn out to be more sustainable than building something new. However, if I had this on a nice piece of land with a little organic garden… you wouldn’t hear me complain.

After all it does have:

Smart Design: Designed for urban or rural settings in all climates, the home includes strategically placed windows, glass doors, and sliding wooden sunshades to maximize daylight and breezes and minimize heat gain. The central hearth and ample outdoor living areas give the home an expansive feeling despite its responsibly-sized footprint.

Eco Materials: Renewable and recyclable materials are used through out the home, including FSC-certified woods for cabinetry and flooring.

Energy Efficiency: All heating, cooling, and lighting systems are highly efficient and reduce resource consumption. Solar roof options are also available.

Water Conservation: The home includes water-conserving fixtures as well as a rainwater catchment system that minimizes the need to use fresh, potable water for landscape irrigation.

Healthy Environment: Holistically designed for healthy living, the mkHearth uses non-off-gassing materials and paints, air filtration systems, and high-performance insulation.

This is currently competing with the Solaleya for my home heart.

Written by sensiblekitty

October 20, 2008 at 7:45 pm

Green Per Diem: Cost to Drive

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I’ve been in trip-planning daydreams for a few weeks now. Recently, Mr. SensibleKitty and I were talking about a trip to Atlanta but couldn’t go because of the aforementioned fuel crises.

This will be helpful when we can afford to get out of town, though. Cost2Drive takes your mileage, gas tank, car make and model into consideration to calculate your total fuel expenses for a trip. I especially like this fun fact plastered right on the front page:

A trip from New York to Los Angeles costs $678 in a Hummer H3 and $219 in a Toyota Prius

Cost2Drive

Do you ever wonder what it costs to drive somewhere? We do and so we created CostToDrive.com to help people quickly and easily discover how much it costs to drive anywhere in the US.

Here’s the specs on our -someday-in-the-future trip to Atlanta:

$30.51

  • Total Distance 208
  • Driving Time 3 hrs 35 mins
  • Fuel 18 Gallons
  • Average Gas Price $3.38
Miles Driven Gallons Gas Price Cost
Buncombe Co., NC 0 9.03 $3.38 $30.51
Atlanta, Ga 207
Now, if only we can figure out a way to calculate the BENEFITS OF WALKING. Or translate that Cost2Drive into stats about environmental impact… which of course is ultimately the real ‘cost’.

DIY : Make-your-own Rug

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Back in college (read: 1 year ago), my roommates and I were lucky enough to be able to live in the sweet newly built housing on campus. 

 You can read another post I did about this here

Being poor college students we naturally didn’t have the kind of cash we wanted to be able to outfit the place. But, the college is conveniently located near a carpet store so one day we trekked over there to see if we could find some cheap carpet or a cheap rug. 

We were really delighted to find t a whole stack of carpet samples, little 12 inch by 12 inch squares. We shuffled through the samples, picked ones with complimentary colors (greens, blues, and white). The samples were just $1 each! So – for 12 dollars we bought 12 squares. 

Once we were home, we took the always useful Duct Tape and taped the underside of the squares together. It made a beautiful and interesting rug! We received a lot of compliments and have since seen similar items in magazines or stores for hundreds of dollars. The carpet lasted two whole years and 3 moves! We only recently got rid of it because my white cat had shed mercilessly on it. And it looked like some creature had died on the rug. 

So today’s DIY tip is to make your own rug from carpet samples. You can get them either at your local carpet store or you can order them, sometimes for free. You can get Flor tiles for about $5.00 each – which isnt bad, especially if you’re only making a small rug.  

You can also get a sample pack from Flor for just $6!!!

So don’t buy a pricey rug – either get a nice used one or make your own. It’s easy!


Written by sensiblekitty

September 19, 2008 at 2:29 pm

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Tale of $530 – money for change

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Upon moving out of our old apartment we received the balance of our deposit, $530. For a few days, we didn’t even cash the check, we just pondered what we should do with the money. We’re both relatively frugal and simple in our tastes so we didn’t, even for a moment, consider buying a new tv or anything so fancy. We want to use this money in a way that is responsible and helpful. But, we’re pretty new at this so we’re taking baby steps. 

 

So far, we’ve come up with a general idea of what we’ll do with our $530, let us know if you have any suggestions. 

Donate: to the Asheville Humane Society. They are currently building a new animal shelter and need a lot of funding. Mr. Sensiblekitty is currently studying veterinary medicine, so this is a cause near and dear to his heart. Also – we’re going to adopt another kitty soon! We may allocate some of these funds for that, too.

Donate: Barack Obama. I’ve already donated a wee amount to the Obama campaign but we’ve decided to take some of the money and donate a wee bit more. We know every little bit helps and we want to help Obama win in November. Of course, we would also like to encourage you to register to vote if you are not already registered. 

Save: Over $100 is now in a high interest savings account that we have started contributing to. 

Save: We also have a small ‘trip’ account. A bit of money will go in there to help us save for a trip somewhere… possibly Memphis, possibly DC, possibly San Francisco…. 

Purchase: We have one small room in our apartment which we are making into a meditation room. Last night we purchased a small lamp and a handmade basket from Ten Thousand Villages. Ten Thousand Villages is an amazing place to shop – not only for their unique and high quality goods, but also because they pay workers fairly. I’m luck to have one just across the street from where I work!

Purchase: I know I’ve been raving about shopgoodwill.com lately and this won’t be the last you hear about it. But, for all other in-home-items that we need, we’re checking our local Goodwill first, then shopgoodwill.com I’ve found dozens of great things I’d love to have and am trying to keep myself focused on things we NEED rather than things I WANT

Of course, we will also do things like pay bills and buy groceries. We are inspired to do something more with our tiny windfall, though. Any other suggestions ?

Written by sensiblekitty

September 18, 2008 at 11:55 am

Stellar Steals

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I really adore looking at items from Anthropologie. Unfortunately, I can’t afford anything from that store except perhaps socks. Socks that have holes in them. And are on sale. And have been dipped in rain puddles. And are two years old. 

Thats about all I can afford from Anthropologie. 

But today I was really excited when I found an Owl cookie jar at http://www.shopgoodwill.com that looks a lot like a cookie jar I’ve seen at Anthropologie. You decide which one is cooler – also please note the price difference!

Shopgoodwill.com currently at $7.50 

Anthropologie Owl Cookie Jar $128 

Written by sensiblekitty

September 17, 2008 at 3:34 pm

Green Per Diem: Worldchanging Book

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I found this in my office – and have been enamored with it ever since. 

World Changing : A User’s Guide for the 21st Century. (also visit Worldchanging.com)

Al Gore wrote the foreward, and it it he mentions:

“…this book is so vitally important. This book not only shows what is already possible, but also helps all of us imagine what might be- in our own homes, in our communities and for the planet as a whole. Taken together, these solutions present a picture of a future that is not dark or catastrophic, but one that is full of hope and within our grasp.”

And the Review from Publisher’s Weekly, via Amazon : 

From Publishers Weekly
 This 600-page companion to the eco-friendly website of the same name (www.worldchanging.com) is chock-a-block with information about what is going on right now to create an environmentally and economically sustainable future-and what stands in opposition. Along the way, editor Steffen and his team make the stakes perfectly clear: “Oil company experts debate whether we will effectively run out of oil in twenty years or fifty, but the essential point remains: if you’re under thirty, you can expect to see a post-oil civilization in your lifetime.” The organization of the hefty volume mimics that of the website, divided into sections on Stuff, Shelter, Cities, Community, Business, Politics and Planet. Typical readers will be introduced to new concepts such as harvesting rainwater, zero-energy houses, South-South science and the use of flowers to detect land mines in entries on everything from “Knowing What’s Green” to “Demanding Human Rights.” Each entry is brief but comprehensive; for example, the passage on “Better Food Everywhere” focuses on “Where it Matters Most,” “Better Restaurants,” “Community Gardens,” and “Urban Farming.” All entries wrap up with reviews of pertinent resources-including books, websites and moves-where readers can get more detailed information. With color photos on nearly every page, and written by a small army of contributors living and working around the world (with biographies almost as fascinating as their contributions), it’s hard to imagine a more complete resource for those hoping to live in a future that is, as editor Steffen puts it, “bright, green, free and tough.”

Written by sensiblekitty

September 15, 2008 at 7:19 pm