Allen Hershkowitz, from The N.Y. Times, has written up an interesting piece about The Greening of Professional Sports.
Among the many great points he makes, include how every industry will need to participate and public opinion is the most important factor, as well as:
Fifteen professional stadiums or arenas have achieved LEED certification for green building design and operations, and 17 have installed on-site solar arrays. Millions of pounds of carbon emissions have been avoided, and millions of pounds of paper products have been shifted toward recycled content or not used at professional sports sites. Recycling and composting programs have been developed or are planned at virtually all professional stadiums and arenas.
An interesting concept for a beach home is profiled in the LA Times. The house is built into a cliff using “rammed-earth,” concrete slabs, and recycled materials.
D’Acosta and Turrent began their two-year construction project by digging a foundation into the cliff, then constructing a perimeter of 3-foot-thick rammed-earth retaining walls. They called the inner structure of earthen tunnels an “hormiguero,” or ants’ nest. A concrete slab hearth supports the weight of the wood floor and roof, “like a huge column supporting a bridge,” D’Acosta said. The result is a 2,300-square-foot house with bohemian flair.
Another component of the home is recycled 100-year-old redwood planks from a bridge in Northern California. The couple bought 200 of the timbers, each 27 feet long and 1 ton, from a salvage yard in Rosarito Beach.
See more pictures and details at LA Times
So there I am, in the kitchen, eating a Dupont Farmer’s Market carrot with some “Maryland-style” hummus I made at home. I proceed to throw the carrot top in the compost jar in the freezer, wash my hands with a locally made bar of soap (not an exotically scented bottle of liquid soap) which just happens to be sitting next to my reusable mug I carry with me every trip to Starbucks. I pour myself a glass of DC’s finest tap water, then blow my nose in a hanky. I walk upstairs where our freshly washed laundry is hang-drying from our glass catwalk to deposit the hanky in our eco-water saver laundry machine, then I walk back downstairs, remove my phone from our portable solar panel charger, grab my kindle from my backpack which I take religiously everywhere so I don’t need throwaway bags, put my backpack in the closet next to my bike helmet which I’m wearing a lot more since I no longer have my car in the city and rely on my bike to get me where I need to go, and have a seat on the couch to read The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying while drinking a cup of warm Yogi Lemon Ginger tea.
And I think to myself, “I’m such a crunchie hipster!”
Or am I?
Before @robotchampion (and A Clean Life), I did none of these things. Give up my car? I LOVE heated leather seats in the winter. Shop at a farmer’s market on a Sunday morning? I was a notorious Harris Teeter, late evening Tuesday shopper, buying lots premade, packaged everything. Bring a recyclable mug to Starbucks? That just means I have to carry it around and wash the grody thing out. But I did all of these things, and more, and it hasn’t been an impediment on my lifestyle. It’s just required some simple changes in habits.
I don’t think I’m all that unique. I know tons of people who don’t have cars, who compost at home (even if they live in the city), who shop at farmer’s markets and who think bottled water is a joke (I highly recommend watching TAPPED). I have to wonder if my way of living isn’t such an extraordinary extremity as it is a market correcting itself from an ungodly and unnecessary level of waste and inefficiency.
So tell me: am I part of the new urban norm or just another crunchie hipster?