Archive for June, 2009

Blue in the Face Campaign

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Oxfam wants us to demand action on climate change until we’re blue in the face—literally. The goal of the global anti-poverty group’s new campaign is to send a strong message to world leaders who will meet this December in Copenhagen to negotiate a new climate deal. To make the point, Oxfam is sponsoring face-painting and picture-taking sessions at festivals across the UK this summer. The photos will be used to create a giant multi-media petition.

Vertical Vegetecture

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

It remains to be seen whether vertical farming in cities is feasible economically, but it’s sure inspiring a growing number of architects. You’ll find a thumbnail history of the sky farm, as well as 16 different designs, at Dornob. Two of my favorites—complete with stunning renderings—are Eric Ellingsen’s and Dickson Despommier’s Pyramid Farm, and Vincent Callebaut’s Dragonfly Farm.

Meatless Monday

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

When I was a kid, we didn’t eat meat on Fridays. I came from a Catholic family, and like most Catholic families, meatless Fridays were a commemoration of the crucifixion and death of Christ, which according to scriptures occurred on a Friday. Not being all that impressed with the rituals of Catholicism, my brother and I held our noses and ate the standard end-of-the-week fare—fish cakes or fried flounder. But like millions of other kids we survived. In fact, we were probably healthier for having avoided still another evening meal of beef stew, hamburgers, or pot roast.

Now a new movement called Meatless Monday is gaining traction. The goal of the campaign, which is being promoted in association with Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health, is to reduce meat consumption by 15 percent to improve personal health, reduce our carbon footprint, and conserve resources like fresh water and fossil fuel. Last month Ghent, Belgium became the first city in the western world to go meatless once a week, although they’re doing it on Thursdays instead of Mondays.

On the Meatless Monday website, you can find information on seasonal fruits and vegetables, including recipes, check on who’s going meatless, and take the Meatless Monday pledge yourself.

Missing in Action

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

As some of you have noticed, I’ve been consumed with consulting work for the past several weeks and unable to blog. But there have been interesting developments on vertical farming, green walls, and “Meatless Mondays” as a carbon-reduction strategy, to name just a few. I’ll try to catch up on some of these things in the next few days.