Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Virginia “LEEDS” the pack

I was born and raised in Virginia so this article immediately caught my eye. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), home of the LEED green building certification program, announced the top 10 states for LEED certified buildings in 2012 as measured by the amount of LEED certified space per resident.  LEED which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is a means of verifying that a building(s) was designed and built in a way that would improve energy savings, water efficiency, indoor environmental quality, and CO2 emissions reduction.

2012 Top 10 States for LEED (plus the District of Columbia)

  1. District of Columbia – 36.97 per-capita square footage
  2. Virginia – 3.71
  3. Colorado – 2.10
  4. Massachusetts – 2.05
  5. Illinois – 1.94
  6. Maryland – 1.90
  7. New York – 1.77
  8. Washington – 1.56
  9. California – 1.46
  10. Texas – 1.43
  11. Nevada – 1.39

Although Virginia is the highest ranked “state” with 3.71 square feet of LEED certified space per, the District of Columbia is off the charts at 36.97 square feet per resident. This is mainly due to the fact that D.C. is home to the USGBC headquarters and green building one of President Obama’s focal points.  So actually we’re #2 on the list…but we’ll take it.

It should also be noted that Georgia was not listed in the top 10 and I was unable to find out the rankings past #10. No matter where the state of Georgia falls on this list, Life University is going its part with two LEED Gold certified buildings, the Socrates Café and Life’s Village Retreat.

Source: MNN and USGBC

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Wordless Wednesday

Dead Star, ball of dead batteries by Michel De Broin


Source: OunoDesign

Live from LA

For the next three days I will be blogging from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) conference in Los Angeles, CA.  The AASHE conference is an opportunity for me to have diverse face-to-face conversations with other campus sustainability advocates and learn about real-life campus sustainability experiences, best practices, and tips.

Conferences often carry with them a lot of travel and grueling schedules but I love being surrounded with people who “get it”. They understand what I do, my goals and my challenges. When I introduce myself as the sustainability coordinator I don’t get a blank stare but a “so tell me a about your program.” AHHHH how refreshing.

So in the spirit of Meatless Monday I’ll tell you about my first experience in LA. After a long day of travel I went into classic American restaurant for dinner. I asked the waitress what she recommended (I was honestly too tired to decide for myself) and her first question was “Do you eat meat?”  I could not believe it. How progressive? Not….what do you have a taste for? Or let me tell you about our specials, but “Do you eat meat?”

I have always heard that all things environmental start in California and move east. I wonder how long it will take for this level of awareness to spread?

Presidential Debates and Sustainability

Politics will always be a sensitive subject for most people. Especially in these changing times….opinions are stronger than ever. That being said A Sustainable LIFE will reserve comment issues surrounding the coming election. We will however share unpartisan interesting info when we find it.  

I think this analysis by Mother Nature Network (MNN) is worthy of sharing. MNN took a look at the last five elections and analyzed the changing environmental priorities. They combined the presidential transcript debates of the last 20 years and made word clouds! These clouds highlight the most frequently used terms. I love the way some environmental terms are used year after year while others have been added or scrapped.

2008 — Sen. John McCain (R) and Sen. Barack Obama (D)
• Full word cloud:
• Environmental word cloud:
2004 — President George W. Bush (R) and Sen. John Kerry (D)
• Full word cloud:
• Environmental word cloud:
2000 — Gov. George W. Bush (R) and Vice President Al Gore (D)
• Full word cloud:
• Environmental word cloud:
1996 — President Bill Clinton (D) and Sen. Bob Dole (R)
• Full word cloud:
• Environmental word cloud:
1992 — President George H.W. Bush (R), Gov. Bill Clinton (D) and businessman Ross Perot (I)
• Full word cloud:
• Environmental word cloud:

Meatless Monday

Here are some fun facts about our Meatless Monday veggie of the day, Broccoli. Broccoli is one of the healthiest green vegetables. It’s versatile, inexpensive and tastes great.

Broccoli has been cultivated for more than 2000 years. Cultivation is believed to have originated in Calabria, Italian. This is the origin of the Italian name “Calabrese.”

Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Brussel Sprouts, and Kale are all of the exact same species of plant! Many folks don’t believe this as they look so different…. but how does a Poodle compare to a Great Dane?

The name “broccoli” comes for the Latin word brachium, which means “branch,” or “arm.” Broccoli has only been grown in America for about 200 years and for much of that time it was considered exotic. Until the 1920’s, broccoli was virtually unknown by most Americans. Broccoli production in the U.S. increased 700% between 1971 and 1991 and is continuing today.

Broccoli is a “cool weather” crop and does poorly in hot weather. Because it is tolerant to cold, it is available year ’round in the U.S.

The American film producer, Albert R. Broccoli, (April 5, 1909 – June 27, 1996) famous for producing the James Bond movies, claimed his family invented Broccoli. This has been judged a highly dubious claim by most experts.

Broccoli comes in a variety of colors, ranging from deep sage all the way to dark green and purplish-green.

Tom “Broccoli” Landers  holds the current world record for eating 1 pound of broccoli in 92 seconds.

Source: Swampy Acres Farm
Photo: Electric Tree House

Meatless Monday

Today we continue the “Easy ways to eat more veggies (and fruits)” series, featuring tips on how to get move veggies into your busy lifestyle.

Find veggie alternatives for a less-healthful ingredient. Instead of serving tacos in flour tortillas, serve them in iceberg lettuce leaves or artisan lettuce “cups” (think lettuce wrap). Instead of stuffing tuna salad into a pita, serve it over a green salad. Load up that omelet with diced tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers and scale back the cheese.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

Feature Friday

ATide laundry detergent podss a mother of a young child I thought this was something worthy of sharing with the LIFE community. It seems that there is an alarming new trend of children being poisoned after eating colorful, bite-sized and delicious-looking laundry detergent packs. It seems that  the squishy/colorful/bite-sized/delicious-looking nature of  Tide Pods is just too tempting for many curious tykes to resist. Reports of toddlers mistaking the capsules for candy, eating them and falling gravely ill continue to rise. Ken Wahl, medical director for the IllinoisPoisonCenter states: “I’ve never seen a consumer product that had that degree of injury in a child.” If you purchase laundry pods please make sure they’re stored in child-proof containers or out of the reach of your little ones.