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Happy Earth Day!

Forty-eight years ago the first Earth Day was observed. We have made some positive changes including phasing lead out of gasoline, removing asbestos from many products, and improving regulations on health and environment impacts of pesticides. This year the focus is on reducing single-use plastics. Each year around 300 million tons of plastic…
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The Tiny House in Australia

The tiny house movement continues to expand in Australia as more people are exploring smaller house options. The interest comes from a variety of factors, including a lack of decent affordable housing for those entering the housing market for the first time as well as an interest in reducing greenhouse…
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Australia: Healthy Housing 2016

Healthy housing is an issue of concern around the globe. The Healthy Housing 2016 conference in Brisbane provides an opportunity to share research on the indoor environment and sustainable design. This is the 7th International Conference on Energy and Environment of Residential Buildings (ICEERB 2016) and my colleague and I were…
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Distracted Walking

I can’t tell you how many times I have been walking on a sidewalk and had to move over so someone wouldn’t walk into me.  I find myself wondering what are they doing that is so important and interesting on that phone.  A sidewalk crash usually results in minimal injuries; however,…
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Party Without Being Trashy

mugs

During the holidays Americans produce excess amounts of trash, much of which comes from holiday entertaining. In 2012, Americans generated around 251 million tons of trash. That’s 4.38 pounds per person per day! According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) we are recycling 34.5 percent of what we throw…
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Solar Energy at Home

solar roof on house

Not even 10 years ago, a home with solar panels was a relatively rare sight. But recently an uptick in local and federal incentives as well as some advances in the technology has made them more popular than ever. This is why homeowners of all types are now looking to…
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Recycling the European way

Recycling seems to be a part of everyday life for most Europeans.  I saw large recycling bins along the roads in Spain, France, Germany and Austria.  All of the containers I saw required people to separate their trash (i.e.  glass, paper, cans, etc.). Interestingly the university in Spain where the conference…
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Journeying to Spain

Tarragona

I am leaving the family behind and flying off to Spain in a few days to participate in the European Network for Housing Research conference.  I have attended this conference one other time – in Prague – and it was fantastic! I am looking forward to learning and sharing what…
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Climate Change – Story of Stuff

pick up trash

I just finished watching Bill Moyers’s interview of Biologist, mother and activist Sandra Steingraber. This made me stop and think about how I approach my life as an activist, my life as an educator, my life as a Change Agent. in the video Ms. Steingraber discussed how we all have…
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Stopping Drafts in Your Home

cat door

Is your cat watching the warm air in your home leak out around the front door?  This infrared photo shows air leakage around the front door of my home. Does this look like your house? You don’t need an infrared camera to check to see if you have air leaking…
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Ecovillage at Currumbin – Part 1

ecovillage kangaroo and joey

Last Friday, we wandered around the Ecovillage at Currumbin, which is located in a rural area on the Gold Coast, Queensland, just south of Brisbane. This community is made up of around 150 homes on 110 hectares of reclaimed farmland, laid out around a village center that includes community facilities,…
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