Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

From living roof to living room, the word is getting out on sustainability

Cool article in the NYTimes.

Making a Profit and a Difference

Published: October 5, 2006
When the architect and urban redeveloper Guy L. Bazzani moved from Northern California to Grand Rapids, Mich., more than a decade ago, he didn’t expect his ideas about socially responsible, environmentally healthy business to be embraced right away. Local companies had suffered enough economic hardship without the added burden of such ideologies. Still, after Mr. Bazzani set up shop as Bazzani Associates in 1994, he gradually persuaded the community of the economic soundness of his green business practices. The firm, which specializes in restoring old buildings, uses techniques and tools including green roofs that are covered with plants, storm water management systems and environmentally friendly building materials. “We found that we can build green buildings that utilize 40 percent to 50 percent less energy at the same price as traditional buildings,” Mr. Bazzani, a Michigan native, said. “When I came back here I thought I’d stay a couple of years and return to California. But my green business took off. When people come to me, I’m their first choice, a locally owned business that can produce at value.” If this Rust Belt city of 280,000 is any barometer, small, local businesses are inclined to embrace social responsibility and will promote environmental health. In three years since Mr. Bazzani, 51, founded an organization called Local First, more than 250 independent businesses in Grand Rapids have come on board. [cont’d]

Save Energy & Money This Winter: Seal Up Your Drafty House

Unless you’ve taken special preventative precautions, it’s likely that on cold days much of your house’s heat pours out through your (closed) windows. Most houses—especially old houses—have drafty, uninsulated windows that do little to prevent heat from dumping out into the cold night. Even if your windows aren’t drafty, the expensive heat your furnace has […] Read More..

The Limits to Growth and Greece: Systemic or Financial Collapse?

Could it be that the ongoing Greek collapse is a symptom of the more general collapse that the Limits to Growth model generates for the first two decades of the 21st century? Author Ugo Bardi (Extracted: How the Quest for Mineral Wealth is Plundering the Planet) examines the correlation between what is unfolding between Greece […] Read More..

Permaculture Q&A: Mulching Options for Your Garden

As Permaculture Month continues, we are making our expert authors available to answer your burning permaculture questions. If you have a question to submit, fill out this form. This week, Lottie from Florida asked if there are other garden mulch options that are as effective as hay. Josh Trought, one of our soil building and garden management […] Read More..

Designing Your Own Solar Cooker & Dehydrator

In today’s world, nearly everything we use, from phones and computers to cars and kitchen appliances, requires energy derived from fossil fuels. Wouldn’t it be nice to offset some of that energy use by harnessing the renewable power of the sun? Josh Trought, founder of D Acres—an educational center in New Hampshire that researches, applies, […] Read More..

Building a Sustainable Community: The D Acres Model

If you were going to create a community-based homestead or farm from scratch, where would you start? What building materials would you use? What crops would you grow and what animals would you raise? How would you develop an organizational structure and connect with your community? And, how would you make sure all of this […] Read More..
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