Monday, December 14, 2009

Green links

Ken Edelstein, who runs Atlanta Unsheltered, recently called my attention to a new project of his, MyGreenAtl.  While this blog isn't really an environmental blog, I know a lot of my readers are very environmentally-minded.  So I hope you enjoy the site.  I've certainly enjoyed what Ken does with Jeanne Bonner at Atlanta Unsheltered, so I expect MyGreenAtl will be just as good.  Ken also has a nice article on America's relationship with the automobile at Media Mayhem

And while were are in the world of evironmentalism, I thought I'd share an interesting article about zero-energy housing
It's a house built with less lumber and more insulation; with recycled countertops and bamboo cabinets; with a geothermal system and a 10-kilowatt solar array...

And one of those lessons is that simple is better, Watt said, both for the homeowner who may not have any predisposition toward tinkering, but also for the cost of the project. SpringLeaf's houses, for example, will be all electric. The houses are not designed to have any solar thermal water heating equipment, and natural gas is not used. Instead, the appliances are electric and the heating and cooling system is a based on a geothermal electric heat pump, which leverages the earth's stable below-surface temperatures to keep the house comfortable.
I have to admit I was a bit surprised when Ken dropped me a note about his new project.  I've communicated a bit with Jeanne about various development projects in town and what-not, but I have never seen Terminal Station as an environmentally conscious blog.  Sure, I blog about alternative/public transportation quite a bit, and also about sustainable development and smart growth.  But you won't find and "environmentalism" tag or even a "sustainable development" tag on the side bar. 

My interest in these topics is almost wholly unrelated to environmentalism. It just so happens that the kind of development I'm attracted to, that I think has a positive impact on our lives, is also more environmentally sustainable than sprawl.  It is also much more interesting and rewarding from a practitioners point of view. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the kind mention, Ben. I think development and transportation are central to any serious discussion of the environment nowadays. So we plan to cover a lot of it (and already have been) at MyGreenATL.com, partly by alerting readers to relevant posts on Terminal Station, Decatur Metro and other blogs that address things like neighborhood walkability.

    When I was an environmental reporter down in Columbus in the early '90s, Knight Ridder brought all the chain's enviro reporters to DC for a workshop. And I remember this debate erupting between the old-school enviro reporters at big papers (mainly a guy from the Philly Inquirer) on one side, and a group of us younger reporters from Sunbelt cities. We were arguing that smart growth, transportation and sprawl were among the biggest enviro stories in our communities. The old-school guys just said, "Nope, that's real estate. Environmental stories are more about industry and science." I never understood that argument (and am probably not doing it justice), because walkable, compact cities with transportation option obviously have less impact on all kinds of environmental problems than do sprawling metro areas. Atlanta is a spectacular example of that. So, I'd say that even if you're not intending to write an "environmental" post, it does offer environmental insight because it's about those issues.

    Thanks again for the mention.

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