Walmart Christmas or a Best Buy Christmas?

Best Buy has an electronics recycle program that includes the ability to drop off old electronics at all of their 1100 stores.  Wal-Mart does not.  Wal-Mart sells many more electronics than Best Buy – – – but maybe they shouldn’t!  Think about buying your electronic from Best Buy this holiday season to support their electronics recycling program.

Oh, and click on this link.  It explains more, and has a series of flashmob videos.  It’s kind of fun.

Side Note: Oil Company Subsidies

I haven’t blogged in a long, long time!  And I’m not typically political.  But it is worth a read here to start understanding the full cost of fossil fuels – it’s not just what you pay at the gas pump.  Funny how no one is specifically picketing Oil Companies…they get “bail outs” through their federal government earmarks to the tune of $122 Billion annually – yes, that’s Billion with a “B”.  If you count the money the US Government spends safeguarding our oil interests abroad, that number can eek up to almost $160 Billion – yes, again with a “B”.

A group of 35 Congresspersons sent a letter proposing to end these subsidies to the Congressional budget “super committee”.  You can view the letter here.  You might want to write your own letter to the Committee to urge them to pay attention to the Congresspersons letter as they brainstorm spending cuts.

Use Less Plastic (is that direct enough?)

Came across this article on that linked me to the Mother Nature Network.  The article gives you helpful tips on how to reduce our plastic usage.  According to the article, only 7% of plastic makes it to the recycling bin, and even that plastic can only be down-cycled, not up-cycled or even even-cycled.  I didn’t realize that!

I think all of the suggestions are doable for me except that I don’t like powered laundry detergent…I wonder if there’s a non-plastic and non-powder alternative I could try!  How about reading the list and trying to adopt two new practices…how about it?


Another Green Tactic: Legalize Marijuana?

This article caught my eye on  Illegal marijuana production accounts for about 1% of the electricity usage in the United States.  If we legalized marijuana, we could grow it outdoors instead of in safe houses.  I’m not taking a side, pro or con, I’m just reporting the facts….

Dialing all Honey Bees….

Looks like there is evidence that cell phone signals are contributing to the bees’ demise.  This could have huge implications.  Read about it here from Inhabitat.

North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) is Green???!!! Really??!!

According to this link, they have multiple green initiatives already deployed, in the works, and planned.  Check it out and see if you agree that these are Green Features for the roadway.

My first reaction was that the old tollbooths didn’t HAVE to be replaced…the new gantries could have been retrofitted maybe.  The old tollbooths and the new gantries have a lot of embedded carbon.  I do like the fact that you don’t have to slow down or stop for change or to squeeze through one of the more narrow booths anymore (or slowing down as a courtesy to the tollbooth worker who I’m sure spent life terrified of a cell phone-using driver!).

Maybe I’ll move to Italy!

Italy has made a move to ban plastic bags, read about it here.  That’s a great step forward, but we can each individually stop using plastic bags ourselves without the government banning them.

Make a New Years resolution to stop using plastic bags!

Our Attitudes Toward Construction

Here is a very interesting talk given by Dan Phillips.  He specializes in creating unconventional houses that are extremely ecofriendly.  He explains that our socially-accepted asthetic these days is a barrier to greener building.  His talk is very thought provoking – give it a listen.

Website Updated – finally!

Hey folks, we finally updated the Gallery on our website to include the professional photographs of the house taken by famed Dallas architectural photographer, Charles Smith.  His work is fantastic!  We’ve used his images of the house in multiple publications, so these may not be new to you.  But with these new photos added (thanks, Budi!) we feel like the website if finally done, done, done (as I’m fond of saying).  We even added the USGBC LEED for Homes Platinum Certification logo on the landing page!  Check it out here.

Paper or Plastic? No thanks, I brought my own!

That could be the newest common phrase in large parts of LA County after the biggest ban on plastic bags was passed this week (read about it here).  Also, the use of paper bags now requires a charge of 10 cents per bag.

How to say it one more time?  Bring your own reusable bags!

Oh, and sorry for the rude image, but I thought it was funny.