2008 - [Sustainable Concepts] The Olympics and the Straw Bale
2008, vol. 65
Welcome to the August 2008 newsletter from Design Forward.
Please take some time to enjoy this month's features.
Quote of the Month: "In the end we will conserve only what
we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will
understand only what we have been taught."
Lisa A. Swan
Olympics: Green or Brown?
Beijing's pollution isn't a secret. But as part of its
bid to secure the Olympic contract, the world's 13th
filthiest city (according to a World Bank study) embarked
on a massive cleanup. But can China really claim the
summer games are green?
Green: Beijing authorities have claimed five
straight years of air-quality improvement since 2002.
Last year, Beijing's average daily Air Pollution Index
was 100.69. Hoping to keep the reading below that Index
for the duration of the games, Beijing has spent billions
to close factories, stop construction and pull millions
of cars off the roads each day in the last couple of
Brown: A National Resources Defense Council analyst
recently questioned Beijing's five-year record, noting
that two of seven air-quality monitoring devices were
moved to less polluted locales in the city, and less
stringent standards were set for the most hazardous
particulate matters. What's more, an air pollution score
under 100--a "blue sky" day in Beijing parlance--isn't
the World Health Organization's definition of healthy
air, nor likely the average tourist's. The Friday before
last, for instance, was a relatively good day in Beijing,
with a pollution score of 69. But compare that against
a random selection of other cities--New York (16), London
(22), Tokyo (20) and even America's smog capital, Los
Angeles (30), and it's no wonder why a white mask is
a regular accessory in Beijing.
Green: In preparation for the Olympics, Chinese
authorities announced that Beijing was the first city
in the country with potable water, after passing 106
cleanliness tests devised by the Chinese government.
Brown: Secondary pollution from the city's old
pipes means the water often has a strong metallic taste,
residents complain. While officials have assured visitors
that drinking water in the Olympic Village will be safe,
the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
urges Americans not to drink any water in China--unless
it's been bottled, canned or boiled. And watch those
water coolers--last year, half of them were found filled
with tap water or from unregulated mom-and-pop suppliers--and
then labeled with bogus safety seals.
Article © Rachel King, fastcompany.com
on this Article on Lisa's Blog
Straw Bale Building Registry
Greenbuilder.com, The Last Straw Journal, The Straw
Bale Association of Texas, and the Development Center
for Appropriate Technology, along with a number of regional
strawbale organizations, have put together an international
straw bale registry to document the building throughout
the world that have built from straw. The registry was
started in 2001 and has almost 1,400 listings to date.
The database is organized first by country and then
by province or state. Homes and buildings open for visitors
are listed for the public to view. Not all information
is public. Visitors to the site can either register
a building or search the public listings.
Article © Lisa A Swan
on this Article on Lisa's Blog
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