Hooray for radical West Coast hippie-liberal tree-fondlers! It’s now mandatory in San Fran for municipal construction projects over 5,000 square feet to meet LEED Silver Standards. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a national green building certification system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. It is also one of our favorite acronyms.
CHICAGO We’ve always thought Chicago kind of smelled, but at least now there’s a damn good reason for it: a full-scale composting program that turns grass clippings, leaves, sod and yard trimmings from landscaping companies, horse manure from the Chicago Mounted Police stables, and food from grocery stores and University of Chicago cafeterias into rich, wonderful soil. Keep on stinking, Chi-Town!
The Windy City’s Golden Fuel Systems is one of the country’s foremost grease car converters, turning standard diesel engines into recycled restaurant fryer-oil guzzlers. With all the fast food this country consumes, grease-based infrastructure makes a crazy amount of sense — but then we’d probably have to invade and occupy food courts all across Canada.
Can an entire city become a great green sponge? Philadelphia’s Office of Watersheds is trying to find out by adapting city parks, roadways, school sites, lawns and yards to absorb and naturally filter rainfall, storm- and waste-water, creating an urban ecosystem that will assure clean and reliable water for fishing, swimming and drinking.
STOCKHOLM People just keep dying, and it ain’t no good for the environment. There’s not enough room in cemeteries, and cremation is energy intensive (and burned fillings release mercury) — what to do? Well, eggheads in Sweden have begun freezing the dead in liquid nitrogen and then shaking the remains until they disintegrate into powder. It’s called “promession” and though it seems a little morbid, c’mon, we’re talking about dead people here — they’re not going to know.