When the Dekalb Market opened in Brooklyn last Summer, the use of recycled shipping containers gave potential tenants a sense of stability: developers didn’t have long-term access to the land, so businesses could open shop in a structure that could be easily moved if that access dried up. Apparently, such flexibility has universal appeal (especially in a down economy): London’s new Boxpark development is also constructed from shipping containers, and designed to make relatively short-term use of land that might find buyers or other developers once the economy picks back up.
Yep, today is America Recycles Day, so if you spend any time at all in the green blogosphere, you’ll be seeing lots of recycling stories and tips. Much of that will focus on the typical household materials — paper, plastic, and aluminum — along with electronics (since e-waste has become such a huge issue).
My own browsing around this weekend brought me to another item that probably won’t get as much attention: the wooden shipping pallet. If you’ve spent any time at all around any kind of warehouse operation or shipping/receiving docks, you’ve seen these… and know they generally go straight in the dumpster. You may not know, though, that these humble items represent a massive waste of wood.
In May, Toronto became the first city in North America to enact a green roof mandate: “…any new development with floorspace of more than 2,000 square meters devote between 20 and 60 percent of its roof to vegetation.” A centuries-old technology, green roofs provide a wide range of benefits!
Most tips and suggestions for living more sustainably focus on your home. That makes sense, as you have the most control over the energy and other resources you use there. But what about the office? Have you noticed practices there that make your inner greenie cringe, or even scream?
The US Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program has just released a video featuring eco-lifestyle guru Danny Seo discussing ideas for bringing green to work.
If you’ve spent any amount of time in buildings with historical significance (and you probably have), you recognize that such structures are more than the sum of their physical parts. The confluence of design, material, and human action that occurred in those buildings allow you to step out of time momentarily, and experience how past generations imagined the combination of form and function as they created a built environment.
Now, imagine those same buildings with solar panels on the roof. Does that take away from the experience?