This week, students from Maine’s Unity college moved into TerraHaus, the first dormitory in the U.S. to meet the passive house standard. Housing ten students, it will serve as their residence and a teaching tool. They’ll also have to participate in giving tours of the house. Can you imagine how horrified people would have been touring your dorm room after a few months of college living? I assume these students must be neater than most college students! The students were part of the design process all along, but a lot of the work was done by G•O Logic, a firm that has been making great strides in creating beautiful energy efficient homes. Unity is striving to become the greenest campus ever. This dormitory is certainly a step in the right direction.
I’m not sure how Coca-Cola can ever erase its carbon footprint, but this innovative billboard is a good step regardless. Perhaps Chik-Fil-A can start putting its crazy “Eat More Chik’in” cows on a planted vertical field in the future:
They estimate that the billboard can absorb up to a total of 46,800 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere per year.
So today I feel like I really accomplished something. First and foremost, I actually used a Groupon I’d purchased before it expired, which is a rare event for me. Second, that meant making an appointment with Atlanta Air Experts to have my dryer vent cleaned out. It was only $65, a small price to pay compared to how much a fire could cost in money, damage, and injury! It took about ten minutes and the guys were friendly and professional. It’s going to make my dryer more energy efficient, and more importantly, prevent a lint buildup fire. This video is kind of scary:
Speaking of fire, don’t use a plastic dryer hose. If you have one, have it replaced with a metal hose. Also, do not leave the dryer running when you are not at home.
To check on your vent yourself, run the dryer and then go outside to the vent. Put your hand underneath to feel if there is a strong, steady stream of air. To be on the safe side, have your dryer vent professionally cleaned once a year.
It’s always a treat to have some access to TED, and I felt the mush in my brain starting to perk up and come to life again as I watched Janine Benyus speak of how biology and life should be inspiring the way we approach design. Are you Jonesing for a taste of the classroom or a lecture? This one is 24 minutes long and I think it will blow you away.
I was reading Dear Abby the other day and Dan Bowers from Red Lion PA had written in to tell her readers about a great program. It’s a service where you can pass your paperbacks along to the troops and their families. In general, they are looking for “bestsellers, action and spy-novels, murder mysteries, fantasy and science fiction — those are our most popular genres. However, we also have many requests for business and investing books, classics, history (especially military history), and current event-oriented non-fiction.” These items can be shipped via USPS Media Mail (if you want to include other items in the box, you’ll need to ship via Parcel Post or Priority Mail), which is very inexpensive, and you’ll know that book you weren’t going to pick up and re-read is going to someone who will appreciate it. I’m thinking I’ve been hoarding a pile of Nelson Demille thrillers somewhere in this house that I need to box up and ship!