How healthy is your home? The idea of a healthy home seems so simple but what does it really mean? Let's talk about how to make healthy homes in Chicago, Illinois 60614 · http://healthyhomeschicago.com
“These cities that are doing the best at embracing the future are focusing on improving technology, equality, sharing, civic participation, and more.”
Over the past several years, the idea of the being "smart" has emerged as a key mechanism for cities to find innovative solutions to the challenges that they are facing. Increased demand for infrastructure, housing, transportation, jobs, energy, food and water are all straining city governments and infrastructure, as people around the world flock to urban centers in hopes of a better life and more opportunity. For many years, the push to create smarter cities was led by technology companies looking for uses (and buyers) for their products. But in recent years, cities have begun to think more holistically about what being a smart city could mean, and have innovated new ways to modernize how a city serves its citizens.
A new report from leading Canadian academics finds plenty of renewable energy potential if the government gets serious about climate change. It found that the country could get 100 percent of its electricity from low-carbon sources like wind, solar, and hydropower by 2035 and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050. To achieve these goals, the report recommended that the federal government implement a nationwide price on carbon and eliminate subsidies to Canada’s fossil fuel industry — particularly, its tar sands industry.
Catherine Potvin, lead author of the report and biology professor at McGill University in Montreal, told ThinkProgress that if Canada’s federal government has the will, the country could shift to being powered renewable energy as early as 2025. Already, according to the report, 62 percent of Canada’s electricity is produced from renewable energy — mostly in the form of hydropower. Just 23 percent is produced from fossil fuels.
The world can only consume a fraction of the known deposits of fossil fuels if it’s to avoid the most dangerous effects of climate change, according to the biggest assessment of the issue.
Burning reserves of oil, natural gas and coal already identified by national governments and commodity companies would cause widespread droughts, more-violent storms and melting of polar ice caps, a long-awaited report by a panel of climate scientists gathered by the United Nations said.
It is good to see the momentum in my local market moving so quickly towards solar. I myself contracted to get the max solar system on my roof here in Chicago. Weather permitting we get it in this year. Small steps on a large scale will make the difference.
AsbestosMineral fiber once commonly used in many building materials, including insulation, fireproof siding, and resilient flooring. Inhalation of invisible asbestos fibers can lead to chest and abdominal cancers as well as scarring of the lungs. The use of asbestos in some products has been banned by the EPA and the U.S.
Jim Gramata's insight:
I get this question all the time. Should I be concerned about asbestos in my home? The short answer is yes. The longer answer is explained in this article.
“ Seattle-based Method Homes has just unveiled their new Paradigm series of net-zero energy and water prefab housing at the US Greenbuild Conference and Expo in San Francisco.”
Via 361 Architecture + Design Collaborative
Recycling is processing used materials into new products to prevent waste of potentially useful materials, reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, reduce energy usage, reduce air and water pollution. The infographic below shows some fun recycling facts about aluminum, paper, plastic, and glass along with the environmental impact by US state.
Solar panels are becoming increasingly affordable, but many people still face barriers to harnessing the power of the sun for their own homes. For example, they might live in an apartment or in a house where the roof is angled or structured improperly for solar panel installation.
A new Boston-based startup called CloudSolar is offering an intriguing solution. Founded by a team including two electrical engineering Ph.D. candidates and currently raising funds on Indiegogo, CloudSolar lets people buy a solar panel, or a share in one, on a farm that is expected to be completed by 2016 (erecting the solar panels will only take a couple of months, but the company also has to deal with utility and land permits, which will take longer).
A House-passed short-term budget fix to plug a $1.6 billion shortfall would snatch nearly $100 million in ratepayer-funded money to invest in renewable energy projects.
Jim Gramata's insight:
The carrot has been and will always be a new revenue stream for governments and corporations to get on board. In this case the State and the new governor are taking the rate payer's money (my money) and using it to fill poor government management instead of pushing our state forward in the renewable energy field. That is disappointing.
A bill intended to bring in minimum standards for rental housing has not passed its first reading.
Jim Gramata's insight:
The idea of improving standards for all housing types should be applauded. The idea of applying the healthy homes principles to the rental market is one I've had for a long time. Kudos for the efforts.
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