Thursday, November 6, 2008

Mokugift - Plant a Tree

I stumbled across this site called Mokugift and thought I should write a blog about this really cool idea. It's a basic idea, you log in to the site, pay $1 to send an e-card to someone for any kind of occasion. When the person receives the e-card, they are played an animation of a little bunny who plants a tree. But that's not where the magic is in this wonderful idea. Mokugift has teamed up with Trees for the Future as well as Sustainable Harvest to plant a tree for every donation you make.

The numbers are enormous and the cause is great. They don't just go and plant a tree just anywhere, they focus on tropical areas; "Mokugift plants Cocoa, Coffee, Banana, Orange, Cedar, Teak, Mahogany, Oak, Acacia, Eucalyptus, Laurel, and Leucaena. Overall, hardwood sequester more carbon, whereas softwoods sequester less, but benefit local communities with cash crops and sustainable lifestyles." Looking up the numbers on the Sustainable Harvest site as well as the Trees for the Future site and you can see that with the help of Mokugift these fine organizations are helping in phenomenal ways and have already planted more then 2 million trees.

So this holiday season why not give a gift that also helps the environment and head on over to Mokugift and see what they are all about!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Freaky Friday (Happy Halloween)

Im keeping today's blog short, mainly because im exhausted and have to work through the night. But that's a whole nother story for a whole nother blog. Today's short tidbit brings you a scratchy-head-moment straight outta digg.

While your at it, drop by the Google Robots txt page today for a special Halloween treat!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Illinois First Waste Transfer Station gets Gold LEED Ranking

Tuesday, October 28th marked the day for the Waste Management of Illinois to be one of the first Waste Transfer Stations in the United States to be recognized by the USGBC. The LEED program awarded the facility gold certification, its second highest LEED rating.

The 15-acre transfer facility serves as a key component of integrated waste processing for communities in Kane, Cook and Du Page counties. The facility handles non-hazardous solid wastes, recyclables and yard wastes. Materials recovered by local collection trucks are taken to the facility, where they are consolidated and transferred to larger semi-trailers for shipment to processing facilities or remote disposal sites. It's purpose is to achieve efficiency in waste processing and reduce transportation costs for the community.

The Bluff City Transfer Facility earned 42 LEED rating points, including 29 for design and 13 for construction. Some of the environmental elements that were implemented were: water use reduction; the diversion of construction waste from landfills; use of wood meeting the requirements of the Forest Stewardship Council certification program; the use of locally manufactured construction materials with high recycled content; and the reduction of energy usage by approximately 65%.

"Our Bluff City Transfer Facility represents a continuing commitment by Waste Management to pursue sustainability goals and responsible environmental stewardship," said Steve Batchelor, Market Area Vice President for Waste Management of Illinois. "Because we are in the environmental services business, this is important recognition for this facility and it is doubly gratifying to our Company and people. We are truly delighted the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has chosen to bestow this honor on Waste Management for our efforts to develop a facility that meets the highest environmental standards."

Batchelor added, "Waste management has made a commitment to sustainability. Last year we outlined four company wide goals to help us continue to meet the growing need for smart, innovative waste management solutions. By the year 2020, we expect to triple the volume of recyclables we manage to 24 million tons a year; double the waste-based energy we produce to meet the needs of two million homes; to increase our collection fleet's fuel efficiency by 15 percent; and to expand the number of wildlife habitats at our landfills to 25,000 acres."

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Living Planet Report 2008 - "Avoiding a Natural Resource Meltdown"


In times like this, in what some would call a "recession" we see billion dollar bailouts, we see our stock and retirement money just disappearing. But what are we not seeing? Well with the new WWF Living Planet Report 2008 release it seems we are missing a lot. The report which is produced by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the Global Footprint Network (GFN), highlights a grim future, especially for the United Arab Emirates, the United States, and Kuwait. Which says that these nations have the highest ecological footprint per person. On the other end of the spectrum, the report highlights places like Haiti and the Congo who have some of the lowest ecological footprints but are burdened with high exports to other nations causing a future of degrading biocapacity from deforestation and increased demands.

This years report has some new features in it, such as new measures of global, national and individual water footprints to existing measures of the Ecological Footprint of human demand on natural resources and the Living Planet Index, a measure of the state of nature. Which is pretty cool, but also pretty frightening when you look at the statistics. Another new feature this year is a new water footprint measurement which illustrates the significance of water traded in the form of commodities; for example, the production of a cotton T-shirt requires 765 gallons of water. On average, each person consumes 327,177 gallons (about half an Olympic swimming pool) of water a year, but this varies from 654,354 gallons per person a year (USA) to 163,325 gallons per capita annually (Yemen). Approximately 50 countries are currently facing moderate or severe water stress and the number of people suffering from year-round or seasonal water shortages is expected to increase as a result of climate change, the report finds. I highly suggest you click the link above and read through the report if you are interested in learning more.

Some useful links:


The WWF-US ‘Greenprint’ for the next U.S. administration can be downloaded at

The report and additional multimedia materials including broadcast quality video can be found at

WWF is the world’s largest conservation organization, working in 100 countries for nearly half a century. With the support of almost 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, stop the degradation of the environment and combat climate change. Visit to learn more.


Founded in 1826, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is an international scientific, conservation and educational charity: our key role is the conservation of animals and their habitats. ZSL runs ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, carries out scientific research in the Institute of Zoology and is actively involved in field conservation in over forty countries worldwide.

The Global Footprint Network promotes a sustainable economy by advancing the Ecological Footprint, a tool that makes sustainability measurable. Together with its partners, the network coordinates research, develops methodological standards, and provides decision makers with robust resource accounts to help the human economy operate within the Earth’s ecological limits.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Top 10 LEED Homes

In this post I will highlight the top 10 USGBC LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) homes based on design and efficiency. The LEED hype is in full swing and more and more houses and even large scale condominiums and apartments are popping up all over the nation, this Friday post will showcase some of the top 10 designs. Im a sucker for clean lines and minimal interior design. Now a good interior designer will use native plants and colors that are in tune to the area of the building, but an even better designer will focus on the environmental impact in both building materials and energy costs. I have scoured the internet for some of the nicest LEED qualified homes, I hope you enjoy the images and if you have any suggestions on other LEED qualified homes please drop me a comment or an email and let me know where to find info on them. Have a good weekend everyone!

10. Lexus Hybrid Living, Santa Monica, California

9. Architecture of Kieren Timberlake

8. Hi'ilani House, Big Island, Hawaii

7. Pasadena Eco House, Pasadena, California

6. Spa Hotel in the Desert, Palm Springs, California

5. Project7ten, Venice, California

4. 32nd Street

3. Margarido House
Mcdonald Construction & Development

2. IT House

1. The Lucida