Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Chapel Hill Steps Ahead In Eco-Buildings

The triangle will be host to the first “Cradle-to-Cradle” apartment complex, according to Elizabeth Redmond at GreenOptions ( an online community devoted to raising awareness of environmental progress and whatnot across the country). GreenBridge is planned around the premise of renewable resources/material. The concept of cradle-to-cradle contrasts that of cradle-to-grave which encompasses the current ethos of using and disposing of materials and resources in the life-span of a facility. Cradle-to-cradle, asides from sounding a bit like a new Steven Segal movie, is the concept of perpetual re-use of waste products. Or as they put it:

The inspiration behind Greenbridge Developments lies in the approach articulated by William McDonough and Michael Braungart in their 2002 book, Cradle to Cradle. Contrary to cradle-to-grave patterns that make, take, and waste-cradle-to-cradle harnesses the earth's interdependent systems to nourish one process with the "waste" from another, and rely on an eternally renewing flow of resources.

Wonderful…however don’t get too excited.

The units start at $300,000 and work their way up to an easy $1million. I’ve already ordered 3 actually. While still a better idea than having rich folks living in energy consuming villas somewhere else…far, far away from their inner-city brethren… I think that this sort of initiative might be better directed at those who stand to benefit the most from lower utility bills and enhanced aesthetics, mainly those who can’t fathom affording 1 million bux for an apartment that can power a lightbulb from urine. (I'm kidding, I don't know if it can do that)

In either case I believe it is a start, regardless of who it benefits, and Raleigh would do well to embrace such initiatives as examples of how a little design savvy, environmental concern, and a dash of capitalism could help transform the capital city for the better. Those are my thoughts however.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Raleigh as the next Cool City

Below is a letter from Julie Woosley, TTA marketing coordinator, addressing Raleigh's potential to be a Sierra Club Cool City. Can anyone attend the city council meeting August 7th?

Hi all,

I went to a great Sierra Club event last night with ~70 people plus some elected officials. The purpose of the meeting was for fun (free beer!) and to encourage Raleigh to join Cool Cities, which is a way for cities to reduce greenhouse gases despite the feds' refusal to address the issue. This would put us in line with the Kyoto Protocol despite the country never signing it. Here's more info about Cool Cities:

Nine NC cities have signed so far, but not Raleigh or any others in Wake Co. Please go to the Sierra Club website and send an email to the Raleigh City Council and ask
them to sign! Go to and click
on "Help Make Raleigh a Cool City". The City Council is discussing this issue next Tuesday, August 7 at their 1:00 pm meeting, so any message you can send before then (or you could show up at the meeting!) will encourage them to sign.

As supporters of bike and pedestrian issues, I think it's obvious that a signed agreement to reduce carbon dioxide would probably result in increased funding to alternative transportation facilities – i.e., bike paths, bike lanes, public transit, sidewalks and crosswalks. So please check it out! And send this on to others in Raleigh or Wake Co. who may be interested. Perhaps Cary and other cities will follow suit.

Julie Woosley