Lighting Lemonade

An interesting blurb both about a technology but even more so an example of turning lemons to lemonade in which a factory that would have been scrapped was utilized in a different (and good) way.

Distributed Pollinators

There was a blog in the NYTimes about how the honey bee population in the United States is collapsing.  They proposed an interesting solution, take land out of production and let it be used for native bee habitat reestablishment.  Perhaps we could build a native bee habitat into the Green Dorm?  A Bee Laboratory? (the original Blog Post)



Vertical Gardens

Someone mentioned these at the last meeting and I remember when I was in Paris running to escape the rain and suddenly seeing this amazing building covered in green. Turns out, it was a vertical garden, designed by renowned architect Patrick Blanc. Below are a youtube video about the wall with an interview with the architect (I love his accent…) and a few articles I found about it..hope you enjoy!


patrick blanc’s website:

random articles about the wall in central paris:

A few good blogs/sites

I’m sure you all know about these, but just in case, here are a few good sites to check every now and then (in no particular order):

NY Times “Energy and Environment” tab under the Business section:

Within that section, the Green, Inc. “blog” of sorts:

(there are a lot more at the bottom of the greeninc. blogs page too)

plus a little extra from the president:

Please feel free to comment and add more, I’m always interested in finding new sources!

Hey, guys. I just had to add this. Courtesy of Nicole Greenspan.

The Washington Post recently published the winning submissions to its yearly contest in which readers are asked to supply new meanings for existing words.

One of them was…

Frisbeetarianism, n. The belief that, after death, the soul
flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.


This just makes me so happy. If you want the whole list email me :)

Re-conceiving the Green Dorm

Last night after the meeting, a few of us stayed around talking for quite a while about various projects, the letter to Hennessey, Research, and we finally settled on the concept of taking a new look at the concept of the green dorm. Things we were thinking of were:

  • Why can’t we have a café in the computer cluster, and make it feel more welcoming and attractive to all students, not just those trying to grind out a painful all-nighter
  • Is there a way to make the study spaces in the dorm better, such as by having little nooks and crannies, private desks downstairs instead of in your room, tiered workspaces, etc. Do we want to make the dorm’s study space a place that all students are welcome to, a real green idea lab, like the lair is for the computer-savvy or the machine shop for the artsy/ME crowd? Could it be a community center as well, or would that be overkill and invasive? How do we balance the green education/community part with the traditional dorm needs such as party spaces, privacy, etc.?
  • How can we make the house not just a popular house, but a true social center for campus sustainability and life, without imposing on the privacy of the inhabitants? A separate dining space that functions more like a café? Recreation areas? (hee hee… my idea is a climbing wall hidden in the hanging plant wall, you have to admit that would be awesome, and it could be on the north side so we don’t lose any PV/insolation space).
  • How can we make the lab really cool and productive? A biodigester may really facilitate great research, but will it add to the dorm’s community to have that here and not in Y2E2 or elsewhere in the Engineering Quad? What about other things such as laser cutters and 3D printers that facilitate product design, architecture, and mechanical engineering students thinking sustainably? How about a mini Pacific Energy Center (Check it out if you haven’t heard about it) that lets us test things like window or insulation performance, or perhaps have a demo center that informs people about sustainable building technology. Should we have a sustainability tool library that rents out sustainability tools to students on campus such as watt-meters, water quality equipment, etc.?
  • On a similar note, let’s start looking at all popular places, not just the dorms, and seeing what makes them so. We all know the axe and palm food is horrid, so why is it and the old union always packed? Is there something we can take from that? 

Please add to this with other ideas about re-conceiving the dorm… we need to start expanding our horizons if it’s going to remain cutting edge, and it would be so great if this dorm could transform the campus feel.