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]

The 5 Rules of Lean Thinking

Are you ready to co-create the future? These 5 Rules of Lean Thinking are a useful tool as we set out to collectively invent a post-market future.Surviving the Future is a story drawn from the fertile ground of the late David Fleming’s extraordinary Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It. That […] Read More

Imagination, Purpose & Flexibility: Creating an Independent Farmstead – Q&A (part 1)

Twenty years ago, the land that authors Shawn and Beth Dougherty purchased and have come to name the Sow’s Ear was deemed “not suitable for agriculture” by the state of Ohio. Today, their family raises and grows 90% of their own food.Such self-sufficiency is largely the result of basing their farming practices around intensive pasture […] Read More

Using Permaculture Principles to Design Resilient Cities

The Permaculture City begins in the garden but takes what we have learned there and applies it to a much broader range of human experience; we’re not just gardening plants but people, neighborhoods, and even cultures.Author Toby Hemenway (Gaia’s Garden) lays out how permaculture design can help towndwellers solve the challenges of meeting our needs […] Read More

Overshoot, Collapse, and Creating a Better Future

In 2016, Earth Overshoot Day happened on August 8—the day when we’ve exhausted the planet’s resources for the year, and are essentially borrowing from future years to maintain our existence today.Perhaps you celebrated this day with a counter-solution: a vegetarian meal, telecommuted, or turned off the air conditioning. There’s a lot more you could be […] Read More

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
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