Archive for the 'Side Notes' Category
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.

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!).

Take Back The Tap!

This is a funny and informative video.  Dump those plastic bottles and start using reusable bottles for your tap water!

And keeping with the rainwater harvesting theme…

LA is considering setting mandatory regulations requiring all new houses (and other projects) to harvest rainwater.  Check out the treehugger.com article here.

Side Note: Kelly Mitchell Interview

Robert interviewed our architect, Kelly Mitchell, for Modern Dallas.  The interview provides some insight into how Kelly approaches architecture, clients, and sandwiches.

To see Kelly’s really great work, click here for her website.

Side Note: North Texas USGBC Chapter

Our house has become the first LEED for Homes project featured on the website of the North Texas USGBC!  Check it out here.  The story’s a nice summary, and the photos look great.  It’s nicely done.

Side Note – Catalog Choice

Catalogues ImageSo I was going through my side links on the blog just to make sure that all of them still worked.  I found that a link that I have had on the site for probably well over a year was not the correct link! 

But that mistake gives me the opportunity to highlight Catalog Choice.  Since we’re all getting tons (literally) of catalogs during this time of the year, it might be worthwhile for folks to check out Catalog Choice.  It allows you to opt out or opt in to specific catalog lists.  Alternatively, you can also go to the website of any catalog and find the Contact Us or Customer Service section (if you can’t easily find it, check the very bottom of the company’s home page).  I’ve had a lot of success reducing the number of unwanted catalogs by going directly to the catalogs own website and sending an email (or using the catalog’s “unsubscribe” list).  For example, click here to see a specific catalog’s really good and flexible unsubscribe mechanism.

Note that I said “UNWANTED” catalogs.  I do like getting about 4 or 5, but there are dozens that I have no interest in.  Every little bit helps!

PS:  once you’re done with the ones you get, put them in your recycling!

Side Note: Award Winning Video

TX Coop Power VideoThis video is from Ray Brown, a high school student of a high school friend of mine (and my Senior Prom date from 1981!).  It’s informative and well-done.  Check it out!

Side Note: The Dining Room Table

LivingRoomTables(This is for you, Stephanie!)

We got many compliments on our dining table, and I couldn’t remember the artisan’s name at the time.  So here you go:  Cameron Van Dyke.  His work is absolutely amazing, and chances are we’ll collect more of his work soon.  Also, the coffee table (with all the holes in it) is also his work…the table is called “Fizz“.

Side Note: The Green Guide

Crisco PhotoFor those of you who live in Dallas (and for those of you who don’t!), the City has published “The Green Guide”.  It’s an 8 page pamphlet that discusses how to Green your life.  Topics range from Renewable Energy to Water Conservation to Trees.  It’s a good overview.

I was, however, surprised to see that almost half a page is dedicated to the disposal of fats, oils and grease.  It’s obviously a problem that I haven’t been that aware of.  Check out the publication here.