“Thought and beauty, like a hurricane or waves, should not know conventional, delimited forms.” Anton Pavlovich Chekhov
Eco-chic green fun fact: Blue jean insulation–a new building material made of industrial scraps from denim production–is gaining popularity. It’s more environmentally friendly than traditional fiberglass insulation, which contains formaldehyde, a chemical believed to cause asthma and allergies. (eco-chick.com)
Beauty fun fact: Scientists tell us hair is as strong as aluminum, can hold one third its weight in absorbed moisture and can be stretched to one and a half times its length, when wet.
Fun Fashion facts: (2 of these)
The Invention of the Bra. Would you believe the bra wasn’t patented until 1914? The bra was created by a young New York socialite named Mary Phelps who grew weary of having her camisole show when she wore a lace blouse. Using handkerchiefs, she designed the first rudimentary bra which she eventually had patented in 1914. Women everywhere loved Mary’s new design and the first bra took off in a big way. It was later that a woman named Ida Rosenthal started designing bras with different cup sizes.
The Function of Buttons On Jacket Sleeves. Have you ever asked yourself why there are buttons on the ends of jacket sleeves. According to information passed down through the ages, none other than Napoleon Bonaparte dictated that buttons be attached to jacket sleeves to stop the annoying habit soldiers had of wiping their runny noses on their jacket sleeves.
The Origin of Beauty: 1225–75; Middle English be ( a ) ute < Old French beaute; replacing Middle English bealte < Old French beltet < Vulgar Latin *bellitāt- (stem of *bellitās ), equivalent to Latin bell ( us ) fine + -itāt- -ity (….and so Southern Bell easy to figure!)
Definition of Beauty: The combination of all the qualities of a person or thing that delight the senses and please the mind. Agree?
This turned into a little bigger of a subject matter than Yum bargained for: Here are some interesting excerpts for an array of sites…. She went from the small site to the broad stroke of HGTV. First she asked herself and of others – “What does living green mean to you?”
One of her favorite inserts came from Pure Green, and it’s photographer and friend, Erin Monett. puregreendesign.blogspot. “Living green boils down to respect. Respect for one’s health and quality of life, and respect for all the earth and creation. I believe we’ve only been given one planet. As far as I’m concerned we have (and continue to) mess it up. It’s our moral obligation to take ownership and make that wrong, right again. Everyone can learn to live a little greener! Make educated decisions about what you are feeding your children, pouring down your drain, and financially supporting in your purchases BTW- thanks to Céline MacKay, Editor in Chief and founder of Pure Green Magazine!
Then Yum asks herself a bigger questions of what is ” Sustainable architecture” – since your home is indeed architecture of some kind or another. In it’s most simple form Yum says- it simply means that your architecture (home) strives to be as small a negative impact of the environment as possible. That is done first with design and the materials of your home to enhance it’s efficiency, then what energy that you will consume as the resident of that home, and again, how can you maximize the efficiency. How can your home and your own footprint be as small as possible on the world?
Further poking around Yum found and liked this: (HGTV) The 8 categories and the total possible points for each are as follows:
Innovation and Design Process. 9 possible points are given for using special design methods, unique regional credits, measures not currently addressed in the Rating System, and exemplary performance levels. 2. Location and Linkages. 10 possible points are given for placing homes in socially and environmentally responsible ways in relation to the larger community. 3. Sustainable Sites. 21 possible points are given for using the entire property so as to minimize the project’s impact on the site. 4. Water Efficiency. 15 possible points are given for indoor and outdoor water conservation practices built in to the home. 5. Energy and Atmosphere. 38 possible points are given for improving energy efficiency, particularly in the building envelope and heating and cooling design. 6. Materials and Resources. 14 possible points are given for selecting environmentally preferable materials, efficiently using materials, and minimizing waste during construction. 7. Indoor Environmental Quality. 20 possible points are given for improving indoor air quality by reducing possible air pollution. 8. Awareness and Education. 3 possible points are given for educating the homeowner, tenant, and building manager (for larger multifamily buildings) about the operations and maintenance of their home’s green features.
Next: A home in Michigan that the front glass is put in to reflect the water it is on so it “blends” instead of sticking out from its surroundings. “Because modeling sustainable building practices was a key goal of the project, Baker was averse to demolishing the existing cottage on the property. Instead, builder Luke Gingerich and his crew at Golden Rule Construction removed the pitched roof from the cottage, stripped it to the studs, and used the framing and foundation in the new house.
The old cottage now makes up most of the private quarters, including a small o ffice, laundry room and master suite downstairs, plus a den, a bathroom and two small bedrooms upstairs. It connects to the new pavilion in a modular, very modern floor plan that doubles the size to 3,000 square feet.” Read the whole story and see a photo of the home.
“This is a simple answer in terms of coming from a knowledge of these things. However, when trying to come up with a concrete and succinct answer, it is sometimes a bit more difficult. The simplest answer is to say that what makes a house a sustainable home is that it is not only built from materials that are harvested or manufactured in a way that is supportive of the larger global environment, but that is in constant balance and harmony with the environment that it is a part of as well. In other words, it is constructed of materials that support a more ‘green friendly’ – we’ll get to that as well – approach and is also surrounded, supported and maintained in this fashion as well.”
Sounds good to Yum – she is ready to go and start designing her Sustainable Home!
Yum has had a great time this week – she learned a ton and hope you did too. Happy Beauty to one and all!
In honor of Japan. Meet The Blossoms (Sakura and Tanka) – the newest creatures to join the Botanical Beauty and Beasties. Their core is from Cherry Blossoms, but they are created from blossoms of all kinds.
Given the state of disrepair and tragedy in Japan The Botanicals believed it would be nice to have a breath of beauty. Hence, this weeks theme of Beauty and why The Blossoms came to stay. Sakura and Tanka are all about beauty, strength, and unity with, and for, one another. They hope that the possibility of closing your eyes and resting is possible, even when mass chaos surrounds you, and that hopefully there is a bit of beauty in your minds eye at that time of respite.
A cherry blossom is the flower of the cherry trees known as sakura (桜 or 櫻; さくら). Cherry blossoms are indigenous to many East Asian states including Japan, Korea, and China. Japan has a wide variety of cherry blossoms (sakura.) Cherry blossoms are celebrated for their beauty.
Why the name Tanka and what does it mean? Tanka (短歌) is a short poem and part of a larger Group called Waka, which literally means Japanese poem. The term waka originally encompassed a number of differing forms – Tanka being one of the five. Of the five only Tanka survived and so the term aka eventually came to refer only to tanka.
Save the Earth with Good style! You walk around – why not look good and so promote Sustainable Beauty!
Fashion and Green – it can be tricky but doesn’t need to be…With a little effort there are LOTS of choices in Green fashion today – Green (as in Eco) is the new black for fashion! Join in the trend – it’s actually pretty easy!
Yum has done some research – she found a very nice link from Eco Chick. Here’s the link Online Resources for Ecofashion, Beauty and Green Goodness… and then there are some easy finds- Levis Jeans has an organic line and waterless (!), Whole Foods has some great clothing and Premium Body Care… Many brands are adding “green fashion and beauty” to their collections. As M.S. would say – “It’s a good thing.” Wondering about waterless – check out http://airdye.com/ “Synthetic textile-dyeing consumes 2.4 trillion gallons of water a year, enough to fill 3,700,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools. AirDye reduces water use up to 95 percent.** “
Sticking to our Boston base from yesterday – check this out! A “Boston-based IVEE is a fashion forward sportswear company dedicated to creating luxuriously comfortable sportswear embodying simple glamour and natural elegance.” Items look very nice on line…I am anxious to try some out! http://www.iveestyle.com/ Here is a way to carry all your cool green stuff around – check out Green Style On The Go® at www.sakysacks.com. Very Cute! Very Pretty!
Are You Up on Eco-Chic Green Fashion Lingo? Learn the green fashion terms.
100% Organic Cotton: To be considered 100 percent organic, cotton must be “certified by a third party (such as the USDA), following strict guidelines for growing the fiber, using no disallowed synthetic chemicals.
Bamboo: A textile made from the pulp of the fast growing bamboo plant that’s soft, highly water absorbent, and anti-bacterial.
Fair Trade: Fair trade companies look at more than just the bottom line. They look at development as a whole and create more of a partnership with suppliers, which makes for a fairer exchange system where workers get paid fair wages and work under good conditions.
Hemp: A strong fabric sewn from the fibers of the fast growing cannabis plant (a variety that contains virtually no THC, the active ingredient in marijuana).
Recycled/Upcycled: Material that’s been reprocessed at the end of its life into something new and useful.
Sustainable: Describes a product created by a process that can continue indefinitely without causing environmental destruction or usurping resources.
Yum will be the spokeswoman of the week. She feels with all that has gone in the world in the past few weeks we all need a break and breath of fresh air- hence the theme of Beauty this week!
Yums Story/Job: Yum is a magic fairy. She flies over the land and sea and keeps all in love and peace. She has extraordinary sight, so she sees all, knows all, and helps all. (Mixed floral)
The focus of today will be natural beauty – enhanced by humans for our joy of beauty – served up by Public Gardens! Since Yums home turf before she moved to Botaniumus was New England – and the Boston area in particular she want to chat about Boston famous Commons and gardens.
Boston Common was America’s first park, the Boston Public Garden its first public botanical garden. The commons have seen the likes of George Washington & John Adams in 1768. In WWI victory gardens sprouted up in an WWII The Commons gave it’s all in giving up most of its iron fencing for scrape metal. It was in the Commons that Charles Lindbergh promoted commercial aviation!
In the 19th Century Bostonians added trees, fountains and statuary. The Common became the park-like greenspace we know today. The park includes ballfields, a totlot and the Frog Pond, which provides skating in winter and a spray pool for children in the summer…. The Public Garden was created in 1837, Boston Common in 1634. What a difference two centuries made. From its inception, the Public Garden was decorative and flowery, the Common pastoral and practical. The Common’s walkways were for crosstown travel, the Public Garden’s paths for meandering. The Common was America’s first park, the Public Garden its first public botanical garden.
This style of park, featuring the gardener’s art, was ushered in by Victorians who had new techniques readily available to collect, hybridize and propagate plants. They had access to showy annuals. Greenhouse-grown plants could assure that displays would be seen at their peak. With such abilities, they bedded-out the Garden in intricate floral patterns of blazing color and planted exotic imported trees. These features are clear in the design by George Meacham, who won the public design competition for the Garden. The prize was $100. … We (Boston Gov) maintain the Victorian traditions for the most part, and we feature the Garden as one of Boston’s great attractions…The plants used in bedding-out the Public Garden are grown in the Boston Parks and Recreation Department’s greenhouses. Over 80 species of plants are cultivated there for future plantings in the Garden –
* Did you know that just one wind turbine can produce enough electricity to power up to 300 homes? Or that biomass is actually stored solar energy?
* It almost always takes less energy to make a product from recycled materials than it does to make it from new materials. Using recycled aluminum scrap to make new aluminum cans, for example, uses 95% less energy than making aluminum cans from bauxite ore, the raw material used to make aluminum.
* Gains in Home Energy Efficiency Offset by More Electronics and Appliances
Total residential energy consumption rose approximately 13% over the past quarter century. This was lower than both the rate of population growth (+24%) and new housing starts (+36%) due to energy efficiency improvements in heating and cooling equipment, water heaters, and major appliances. Efficiency gains were offset by increases in the number of homes with clothes washers, dryers, and dishwashers. Additionally, a growing number of U.S. households now have multiple televisions, computers, and refrigerators.
The percentage of homes with central air-conditioning has more than doubled since 1980, with nearly 60% of homes having a central system. All areas of the United States show a significant increase in air-conditioning equipment and use in recent years. Cooling now accounts for 8% of total residential energy consumption in the United States, double its 1980 share.
500–900 AD: The first windmills were developed in Persia for pumping water and grinding grain.
in 2007 : Wind power provided 5 percent of the renewable energy used in the United States.
1860 :Auguste Mouchout (FR), a mathematics instructor, was able to convert solar radiation directly into mechanical power.
2001: Home Depot began selling residential solar power systems in three stores in San Diego, California.
1898:Marie Curie (FR), 2x Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry & Physics, discovered the radioactive elements radium and polonium.
2007: Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant Unit 1 was the first U.S. nuclear reactor to come online in the 21st century. Shut down in 1985, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) decided in 2002 to restart the unit. It had the capacity to supply electricity to about 650,000 homes.
B.C.:Hydropower was used by the Greeks to turn water wheels for grinding grains more than 2,000 years ago.
Today: Between 6% and 10% of U.S. electricity comes from hydropower, depending on water supply and annual rainfall. In total, the United States has about 80,000 megawatts of conventional capacity and 18,000 megawatts of pumped storage capacity.
all from Energy KIDS (http://www.eia.doe.gov/kids/index.cfm)
Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine. ~Anthony J. D’Angelo
“Using the power of the sun to heat your water is one of the simplest ways that you can make your home more energy efficient. Heating water usually accounts for 40 percent of an average family’s monthly energy costs. Converting to inexpensive solar thermal water heating is a great first step that will not only allow us to utilize a much more clean, affordable and sustainable source of energy, it will also create jobs and help our nation to become more energy independent.” by Rhonda Winter Whole article
Fun info about Solar Power, Electricity and Energy.
Da Vinci predicted a solar industrialization as far back as 1447.
A world record was set in 1990 when a solar powered aircraft flew 4060km across the USA, using no fuel.
Accounting for only 5 percent of the world’s population, Americans consume 26 percent of the world’s energy.
About 2 billion people in the world are currently without electricity.
About 30% of our total energy consumption is used to heat water.
Electric ovens consume the most amount of electricity, followed by microwaves and central air conditioning. (info from Facts-about-Solar-energy.com)
“Large-scale wind farms are connected to the electric power transmission network; smaller facilities are used to provide electricity to isolated locations. Utility companies increasingly buy back surplus electricity produced by small domestic turbines. Wind energy, as an alternative to fossil fuels, is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed, clean, and produces no greenhouse gas emissions during operation. However, the construction of wind farms is not universally welcomed because of their visual impact but any effects on the environment are generally among the least problematic of any power source.” Definition from wikipedia
By FRANK CARINI/ecoRI staff — “PORTSMOUTH — With an electric bill fast approaching $100,000 a year, the U.S. Department of Energy predicting that fossil-fuel energy costs will increase 5.3 percent annually for the rest of time and federal stimulus money available for renewable-energy projects, Rick Hodges did the math. It added up to a 225-kilowatt Vestas wind turbine.
With the installation of the nearly 100-foot-high turbine expected before the end of the year, the president of the Hodges Badge Co. anticipates Rhode Island wind soon will produce nearly all of the 45,000-square-foot facility’s electricity.
Last year, the family-owned and operated business used 451,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity. Hodges said he expects the soon-to-be-installed wind turbine to produce 450,000 kilowatt-hours of power a year.” … whole article http://eco-ri.squarespace.com/green-business/
More in New England –
“Mass Megawatts Wind Power, Inc. (OTCBB: MMMW) is a leader in the development of a revolutionary wind power technology, bringing a product to the renewable energy marketplace capable of producing electricity at a cost 30% lower than other wind power equipment. Designed on a paradigm that ‘lower height, lower wind speeds and lower costs equal higher profits’, this technology puts MAT electricity generation on a competitive footing with fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas.” http://www.massmegawatts.com/
and… from points further away …
As Japan’s nuclear crisis unfolds, Europe takes a fresh look at wind
“In the search for ways of changing how the French obtain their electricity, Mr Sarkozy has turned to a source of energy that is free and in plentiful supply: wind.
Soon after being elected president in 2007, he set himself the target of changing the balance of supply so that renewable energy would provide for 23 per cent of France’s needs by 2020, with 8 per cent coming from wind turbines on land and at sea.” The whole article
The views expressed do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of BB&B.
It is a food for thought week!
Help for Japan:
Donate to the Red Cross – http://american.redcross.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ntld_main Donate to Doctors without Boarders: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/donate/overview.cfm
What we are going to “chat” about today is LOW IMPACT HYDRO POWER.
It’s World Water Day!
The international observance of World Water Day is an initiative that grew out of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro. This site started in 2001 as a community space and repository where people can upload their WWD event activities and reports. The theme changes every year. http://www.worldwaterday.org/ & http://www.unwater.org/worldwaterday/about.html
“Hydropower is energy obtained from flowing water. Hydroelectric power supplies about 19 percent of the world’s electricity and an estimated 10 percent of electric generating capacity in the United States via dams and turbines. Hydropower is normally applied to peak-load demand because it is so readily stopped and started.
Thousands of hydropower dams throughout the U.S. are located on many rivers and streams. These dams can create pollution-free energy, but they can also produce adverse impacts on fish, wildlife and other resources.” To read whole article http://www.greenpoweremc.com/lowimpacthydro.aspx
However, according to a Vermont Trout Unlimited Chapter President Clark Amadon ” New Hydro Power in the US is dead… because all the viable eco sites have been developed already.” Through Mr Amadon The Botanicals have learned about The Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI), based in Portland Maine. On their website they state “LIHI’s mission is to reduce the impacts of hydropower dams through market incentives. LIHI does this through its Hydropower Certification Program, a voluntary certification program designed to help identify and reward hydropower dams that are minimizing their environmental impacts. Just as an organic label can help consumers choose the foods and farming practices they want to support, the LIHI certification program can help energy consumers choose the energy and hydropower practices they want to support.
In order to be certified by the Institute, a hydropower facility must meet criteria in the following eight areas:
fish passage and protection,
threatened and endangered species protection,
cultural resource protection,
facilities recommended for removal.”
Pretty cool stuff!
Now we all know that like all power sources, Hydro Power has some good things about it like these dams can create pollution-free energy …but that it also but… the dams can also produce significant adverse impacts on fish and wildlife and other resources.
and here is a news bite form Australia on the topic …from Geoff Strong is a Senior writer at The Age Article is from The Sydney Morning Herald. (smh.com.au)
“Last week, Australian scientist Lee Furlong, who has worked for the International Atomic Energy Agency, said of the Japanese crisis that part of the problem was that the industry there was entirely private. By contrast, in France, which gets 80 per cent of its power from nuclear, there is a high level of government control.
”The French are not frightened of government regulation – I think they still have the guillotine,” Furlong quipped.
To the free-market high priests of today, any suggestion of government regulation is a step backwards. As for the rest of us, keen to maintain an economy in which we have jobs and can afford to keep the lights on, we might need to step backwards in order to step forwards.” Read the whole article.
By the way – Happy Spring! (March 20 at exactly 7:44 AM. ET) Yahoo!!!!!!
Boggie and Beubo discuss possibilities for power options.
(Illustration at Posts end) Given the state of the world – the Beauties and the Beasties thought they ought to look into various power/energy sources and learn a bit more. Since Boggie is Chief Energy Office for the local power company Natural Renewable Resources Power Inc. and Boubolicious (Boubo) is Ambassador of Wisdom they will be leading the discussions for the week.
Today they will be thinking about Nuclear since that is on everyone mind. There are pros and cons. The cons are obvious these days. However, there are Pros as well – here are some interesting stats and a noteworthy article about France and Nuclear power – a country that basically runs on nuclear and its residents by in large are fine with that.
France derives over 75% of its electricity from nuclear energy. This is due to a long-standing policy based on energy security.
France is the world’s largest net exporter of electricity due to its very low cost of generation, and gains over EUR 3 billion per year from this.
France has been very active in developing nuclear technology. Reactors and fuel products and services are a major export.
It is building its first Generation III reactor and planning a second.
“France’s decision to launch a large nuclear program dates back to 1973 and the events in the Middle East that they refer to as the “oil shock.” The quadrupling of the price of oil by OPEC nations was indeed a shock for France because at that time most of its electricity came from oil burning plants. France had and still has very few natural energy resources. It has no oil, no gas and her coal resources are very poor and virtually exhausted.” http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/reaction/readings/french.html
FYI here in the USA – “Vermont gets more of its power from nuclear energy than any other state: 72 percent. Other top nuclear-generating states include New Jersey (four plants), Connecticut and South Carolina (seven plants), which all get more than half of their power from nuclear facilities. Illinois is right behind them at 48 percent (11 plants). California has four major nuclear facilities that generate about 15 percent of the state’s electricity. Officials say those plants are protected from any potential tsunami threat in the Pacific Ocean.”