Thursday, February 8, 2007

The Army Corps of Engineers: Destroying Once & Future Cities

Some good and bad stories when it comes to design & the environment. As the title indicates, we'll start with the bad.

The same Army Corps of Engineers that oversaw billions of dollars worth of projects that ended up worsening the impact of Katrina on New Orleans now wants to spend billions of dollars on projects that scientists say will worsen the impact of future hurricanes. A dozen coastal scientists have written the National Park Service to object to one element of the plan, saying, “This is not science-based management."

Now to the good! Newsweek takes a look at "7 Simple Steps" that result in major energy savings. It concludes, "If saving energy is so easy and profitable, why isn't everyone doing it? It has to do with psychology and a lack of information."

XCurmudgeon details his recent efforts to conserve energy, and their immediate impact on his energy bills. He inspired me to rearrange the power configuration of my home computer, which freed up a power strip to go to my TV/DVD player/Xbox, which will now not be sucking power when I'm not using them.

To learn more about what you can do in your daily life to reduce your impact on the environment, check out Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment's Green Living Challenge! And don't forget, you can become a Friend of ACE by contributing at least $20 using the SixDegrees link on the right side of this page.

My friend Myra tipped me off to the National Building Museum's frequent events focused on green building design, with two coming up in the next month or so. On February 22nd at 6:30pm, the museum will host Educating the Green Way: The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. Then on March 7th at 6:30pm, there's Green Design: The Myth and Reality. Check out the museum's website to learn more!

One other tidbit ... an interesting story from ABC News about how more Americans are taking volunteer vacations.

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