Sunday, October 18, 2009

Audubon's Current Issue

I promised some time ago a post on the new issue of Audubon magazine. So here we go:

This is the debut issue printed on recycled paper.
(L)ess than one percent of the approximately 17,000 magazines published in the United States contain any recycled paper, according to the Better Paper Project, a nonprofit that works with the magazine industry to promote recycled paper. For magazines alone, 39 million trees are logged a year—that’s more than one every second.
There's going to be a new ingredient in some low volatile-organic-compound (VOC) paint. Proctor & Gamble, the company that invented olestra, have figured out how to put it in paint for viscosity.
Remember olestra—that fat substitute a few years ago that made potato chips “healthier,” albeit with a reputation for causing gastric distress and anal leakage? Well, it’s being reinvented as an ingredient in eco-friendly paint.
And the heart of the issue: "The Future is Now" green design inspired by Nature or designed to save it.

Of course we've all heard the story of Velcro, and its origin in the hooks and loops of burrs, but did you know that the sticking ability of geckos will soon be seen in Band-aids and tape, robots and medical devices?

Green living: In 2007, a tornado flattened Greensburg, Kansas. In the wake of the storm, the townspeople decided to rebuild in a sustainable way.

Tour Greensburg today ... and you will find a nearly finished, energy-saving City Hall and a new arts center; cisterns collecting rainwater to irrigate native street plantings; and a reduced-rent building, dubbed the “business incubator,” that is helping local businesses ... get on their feet. The new homes are designed to, among other things, minimize waste from building materials and take advantage of natural light.

Greensburg is the first U.S. town with LED street lamps, 300 of them, which has cut its energy costs by 70 percent. And it may go off the grid entirely with wind power.
In Loudon County, Virginia, there is an EcoVillage set in a natural woodland setting with houses built of recycled materials.
(It) aims to transform the American dream of home ownership into something more idyllic than a treeless grid of identical structures connected by a swirl of asphalt ...
(It's based on) Denmark’s bofoellesskaber, or “living communities.” ... Residents typically have private dwellings with their own kitchens, living rooms, and sleeping areas, but they also have access to a common house with a large dining room and kitchen for potlucks, meeting rooms, recreational facilities, and, frequently, daycare.
There is tons more in the original article, including the bed-and-breakfast in Taos, New Mexico, built from recycled materials, the ballroom in Austin, Texas, the living jungle gym in San Francisco, and the elementary school in Chicago built to LEED standards.

Also check out the section on cars and the ways they will be using new technology to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.

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