Fairchild Garden’s Butterfly Conservatory And Science Village Seeks USGBC LEED Certification

Fairchild Garden's World Class Butterfly Conservatory And Science Village To Open On Saturday, December 1, 2012 (via PR Newswire)

Download image CORAL GABLES, Fla., Nov. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden’s state-of-the-art DiMare Science Village, covering more than 25,000 square feet and featuring The Clinton Family Conservatory featuring a splendid butterfly exhibit, the Glasshouse Cafe, Windows…

Four Environmental Innovations That Have Revolutionized Architecture – Guest Post



Guest Post: Four Environmental Innovations That Have Revolutionized Architecture (via Green Building Elements)

The green revolution has impacted almost every sector of the economy. Now, eco-friendly technology is revolutionizing the way we think about architecture. Every part of the architectural process is undergoing huge changes. When people think of green architecture, they often picture simple modifications…

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Europe Installed Two-Thirds of the World’s New Solar Power in 2011

In 2011, the United States ranked 31st for “Total New Solar Power per Million People”, while Florida ranked 17th in the country. However, according to SEIA’s “U.S. Solar Market Insight Report 2011 Year-in-Review”:

“2011 was a historic year. On the positive side, the market for solar installations continued to boom, as the U.S. installed 1,855 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaic (PV) solar systems, representing 109% growth over 2010.”

Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, Belgium, and Spain topping the list of “Total Installed Solar Power per Capita.” Add France and the United Kingdom to the same list for countries with the most new installations in 2011.

Here is a great article by Nathan over at Clean Technica discussing Europe’s solar power edge:



Europe Installed Two-Thirds of the World’s New Solar Power in 2011 (via Clean Technica)

  Two-thirds of newly installed solar power capacity in 2011 was in Europe, or 18.5 GW. Europe’s total solar power capacity now totals 52 GW. That’s enough electricity to power a country with the energy demands of Austria, which is 2% of the European Union’s total electricity needs. The European…

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Would You Live Here? 5 Remarkable Recycled Homes

Years ago, a friend and I were talking about our “dream homes”. Mine was a decommissioned small church or chapel because I’ve always loved the architectual elements found in them. It looks like someone else had the same idea as seen in #4 on Glenn Myers’ list of “5 Remarkable Recycled Homes”.

Which one is your favorite?



5 Remarkable Recycled Homes (via Green Building Elements)

A number of innovative structures have been created using materials that might otherwise have been destined for the landfill. Here are five examples of what we’ve found, thanks to the The Daily Green, Flavorwire, and Design Buzz. 1. New Life for a Grain Silo House  2. House of Bottled Dreams 3.…

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There’s an App for That: The Kill A Watt Energy Meter

OK, so it isn’t actually an application for our smart phones. But who doesn’t love a good gadget, too?


The Kill A Watt Energy Meter: A green gadget lover’s dream (via Green Building Elements)

The Kill A Watt Energy Meter is a simple and remarkably useful device for revealing how much appliances are costing you to operate. A few experiments with one of these meters have saved me hundreds of dollars in energy waste and hundreds more in unnecessary appliance upgrades that I probably otherwise…

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How to Get a Clean, Sparkling Bathroom Avoiding Unnecessary Chemicals by Serena Grant



Guest Post: How to Get a Clean, Sparkling Bathroom Avoiding Unnecessary Chemicals (via Green Building Elements)

Standard bathroom cleaning products can be very damaging to your health. Many toilet cleaners, antibacterial sprays, and drain cleaners contain harmful chemicals that if inhaled, can lead to breathing problems, irritation, and more serious health problems. At the same time, air fresheners and other…

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Miami MetroRail Orange Line to Miami International Airport

On July 28, 2012, City of Miami celebrated its “Sweet 116” and the official launching of its MetroRail Orange Line to Miami International Airport.  The new Orange Line runs on existing track from the Dadeland South Metrorail station north to the Earlington Heights station where is separates and continues to the airport. The MIA station is located at the developing Miami Central Station which also houses the gorgeous Rental Car Center. From there, passengers board  the MIA Mover, a USGBC LEED Gold-certified automated people mover to the airport terminal.

I attended opening day, riding the train between MIA and Downtown’s Government Center station, taking photos and video along the way:

 

Solar-Powered Air Conditioning Makes Sense in the Sunshine State

Just as our friends in northern states are enjoying the crisp cooler days of autumn, we in South Florida are sweltering in the hottest part of our year. With our air conditioning units working over-time, wouldn’t it be great to have a way to use the very solar rays we are seeking relief from to power the cooling system?

Kingtec Solar now offers exactly that, as this guest post by Nicholas Brown at TreeHugger explains:



Affordable Solar-Powered Air Conditioner in a Neat Little Package is Finally Here (via Clean Technica)

  Kingtec has developed affordable solar-powered air conditioning in a relatively neat package. Here are some of the key details: Price: $2,895 USD. Cooling capacity: 16,000 BTU (4.7 kW of cooling capacity). Power consumption: 850 watts. SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio): 22.5. EER (Energy Efficiency…

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Top Five Autumn “Green” Tips For South Florida

Happy Mabon! While it may not feel like it to those of us in South Florida, today is the Autumnal Equinox – the first day of fall. Media sources are full of energy-saving tips for those in the north to “winterize” their homes; but what about the Sunshine State? Are there any seasonal “green” recommendations for us? YES! Here are my top five favorites:

1. Change your light bulbs. The difference may not be as noticeable to us so close to the Tropic of Cancer, but our days are getting shorter too, and we will be using our lights more through the winter. Lighting accounts for approximately one-fourth of our home energy costs. More interestingly for a state that battles the heat 9 months of the year, incandescent light bulbs give off 90% of their energy as heat, not light. If you have not done it already, replace your incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs. Each CFL bulb can reduce energy use by up to two-thirds, last many times longer that incandescent, and can save you up to $50 over the life of the bulb.

2. Start a compost pile. Even in South Florida, deciduous trees lose their leaves, so why not turn this “lawn waste” into nutrient-rich soil and fertilizer for your winter vegetable garden?  Reduce waste, great for your garden and saves you money.

3. Check the air pressure in your tires. Cooler temperatures lower tire pressure and that, in turn, lowers fuel efficiency. So check your tires and make sure that they are properly inflated.

4. Conserve water. South Florida autumns also mark the start of our dry season (mid-October through mid-June). While it is important to conserve water all year long, autumn is when we need to reduce your lawn-watering schedule to no more than once per week. The most popular grasses used in South Florida are both heat and drought resistant. Over-watering is actually bad for them.

5. Adjust the thermostat. The recommended air conditioning setting is 78 degrees while the heater should be set at no warmer than 68 degrees.  By installing a programmable thermostat, you can save additional energy and money by automatically adjusting the temperatures while you are away or sleeping. According to the EPA the typical homeowner can save around $180 annually, or more than twice the average cost of the new thermostat.