Sustainability is about ecology, economy and equity.- Ralph Bicknese

Seattle Owns a lot of Electric Cars!

Brutsch MopettaFantastic (if not surprising) news! Seattle has been reported to be one of five cities that dominate the electric vehicle market, along with San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and Atlanta. Though Seattle has the smallest population of the five, the city still makes up eight percent of electric vehicle registration in the country, based on data collected from January to May of this year. It feels good to live in a city so environmentally conscious, one where reports like this are akin to reading something about the temperature being higher during summer. As for the dude driving the awesomemobile in the picture above, I think we just need to face that he has us all beat.

Homebound Passivity

passveImagine watching a silent movie in color and you might get a sense for what it would be like to watch the world go by from inside a passive house, a super-insulated and energy efficient home that renders any outside noise completely inaudible, also keeping the air incredibly fresh and the temperature a comfortable 70-74 degrees year-round, all while using a fraction of the energy consumed by the average house. Continue reading

Eating as Ourselves

leslieDo you perform any rituals before you eat certain foods? This could be something as elaborate as a dance across the living room with socks on your hands pre-oatmeal, or something as simple as tapping your fork against the plate before digging into spaghetti. If you do practice such routine, you probably think of it as inconsequential, not something that directly affects the meal you’re about to eat, simply a personal quirk that feels right to you, for whatever reason. As it turns out, individual rituals performed before the act of eating have been shown to actually improve the taste of the food you’re about to consume.  Continue reading

There’s a Call From the Past, and You’ll Want to Accept

nostalgiaNostalgia is something we all encounter. Often, other times in our lives seem much more appealing than the present, even though if we think about it there were probably troubles back then, too, along with the good stuff. The recent post-graduate section of life can be particularly dominated by nostalgia. People leaving college, the academic goal since childhood, a definitive finish line of sorts, the joy of accomplishment long on the horizon, and entering a new stage of life, one without cram sessions and reading under trees and meeting people their own age around every corner. Continue reading

The Eco-Friendly Road Trip

road tripThere’s nothing like the feeling of adventure that comes with leaving home and setting off to explore different parts of the world. Similar to what nature can do, road trips have a way of reopening our minds and putting things in perspective, ridding us of the entrapped sensation that can come with doing the same things and being in the same places every day. Summer, of course, is a prime season for (drug-free) tripping, especially for us students. And given the theme of this blog, you can probably guess where I’m going with this. If you want to hit the road in the most ecologically friendly way possible, there are a few things to take into consideration. Continue reading

Tiny Houses and Sustainable Living

jeffs-tiny-house-450x337The tiny house movement is certainly something to take note of for those interested in sustainable lifestyles. Launched into motion by Sarah Susanka’s 1997 book The Not So Big House, which emphasizes quality over size, the transition of people into smaller, more ecologically friendly homes often removed from civilization looks to be happening all over the place, if not all the time. Continue reading

Green Attack! Improving Indoor Air Quality

peaceThough last week I went over the possibilities in the arena of indoor food growing, the simpler act of keeping plants around can also be beneficial to your health. Plants have the ability to improve indoor air quality, filtering out common volatile organic compounds. So in addition to brightening up your spacious home or shoebox apartment and making you feel closer to nature while inside, plants lend silent support to the cleanliness of each breath you take. Here are some details about certain plants to seek out if all this cleaner air business is sounding good to you. Continue reading