Jill Fehrenbacher

GREEN TALKS: Meet the Inhabitat Editors and Win A $1700 Folding Bike!

by , 10/07/09
filed under: Announcements, Green Talks

INHABITAT GREEN TALKS, Meet the editors

Hey Inhabitat Readers from around the globe! Want to meet the editors of Inhabitat and win this awesome folding bike – valued at $1700?

As we head into October we’re thrilled to announce a fabulous new initiative at Inhabitat: GREEN TALKS! We’re going to be harnessing the power of the internet to bring you LIVE presentations about future-forward green initiatives from public officials and renowned innovators – thanks to Adobe Connect Pro meeting software. We’ll be kicking off INHABITAT GREEN TALKS this month with our first ever Meet the Inhabitat Editors webcast!

We’re inviting you to share your questions and comments about our website and get to know the editors — and to encourage active conversation and participation from our readers, we’ll be giving away a super sleek Biomega Boston folding bike valued at over $1,700 to one lucky participant! So if you have something to say to the Inhabitat editors, and you want to win a sweet bike while you are at it, please JOIN US IN THIS CONVERSATION NEXT WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 14th at 1PM EST!

Inhabitat Editors

Here’s how to join our conversation and take a shot at winning the bike:

1. Leave a comment on this post with your question for the Inhabitat editors. We’ll be selecting the most interesting questions to answer in our discussion, and if we pick your question, you will be entered in the drawing to win the bike. So make your questions good!

2. Join our Adobe Connect Pro webcast next Wednesday at 1pm EST.

3. At the end of the webcast we’ll have a drawing to select the winner! YOU MUST BE IN ATTENDANCE AT THE WEBINAR TO CLAIM THE BIKE! If we call your name and you don’t respond, we will select another winner

Biomega Boston Folding Bike

Perfect for those with small living spaces, complicated commutes, or a love for carbon-free travel, Biomega‘s Boston bicycle is dream on wheels. This elegantly engineered bike features a quick and easy folding mechanism and boasts a unique integrated chain lock that is a structural part of the frame. Twin disc brakes, oversized tubing, and big burly tires round out the package, making the Boston a remarkably capable urban ride. Its innovative design even earned it a permanent place at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, so don’t miss out on this opportunity to take one home!

We’re looking forward to next Wednesday‘s meet-up, and it’s just the first course in our awesome new series of Inhabitat Green Talks, where we’ll be interviewing sustainability leaders throughout the US! We’ll be bringing you face to face with green luminaries in three cities that have been making huge strides towards sustainability – Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco.

greentalks banner, adobe conect pro, inhabitat

Live conferences tend to incur a heavy carbon cost as attendees trot the globe, so we’re inviting you, our readers, to get involved via web conferencing as we interview top civil and sustainability leaders and discuss expert ideas for improving cities. Our Inhabitat Green Talks, sponsored by Adobe Connect Pro will feature a blend of presentations about the local leaders’ work, interviews with Inhabitat editors, and questions submitted by YOU in advance of and during the webinars. Our online meetings will also be greening local schools with Adobe’s Green School Initiative!

+ Register for our Meet the Editors Webcast

+ Download Adobe Connect Pro to Participate!

adobe connect pro, greentalks, inhabitat

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125 Comments

  1. Alan October 12, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    With respect to what occurs in a classroom, the musician Sting argues that “teaching is not the word. Learning is what happens. [Teachers] create an environment where students are willing to learn.” As with any teacher, from your vantage point as a sustainability “classroom” or forum, you are able to witness the world’s most ambitious learners (i.e. ACCORD 21), over-achieving learners (i.e. Elithis Tower), late adapting learners, and so forth.

    Question: with respect to sustainability in the built environment, can you elaborate on where you believe the greatest rates of learning are taking place by region and industry?

    Thank you for your time and tremendous efforts at Inhabitat.
    Alan

  2. leee October 12, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    what do you think the A&D community can do above and beyond LEED?

  3. andreline October 12, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    Why do you believe that city planners/architects have not utilized Pedestrian/Bike friendly design? Is it being taught in major design/architectural schools? It is not as if the designs are new since they were the norm (albeit often crude examples) prior to the industrial revolution. It would seem that with so many people wanting/willing to utilize self-powered modes of transportation, there would be more options available for safe integrated travel.

  4. smugmug_sftp October 12, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    I am going o tweet this contest, if you don’t mind! My community in northern Virginia doesn’t really have the infrastructure for me to commute to work on a bike, but I’d take my chances on the side of the road with this.

    Anyway, what can I do to encourage local government to develop bike trails that are actually useful? I mean, trails that actually go to main business and shopping districts? I’d love to park my car, save the gas, be kinder to the environment, and get some exercise.

  5. ethansmith October 12, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    The last decade has seen the emergence of many companies who attempt to work towards a triple bottom line and associated standards organizations like ‘B Corporation’ that are generating quite a buzz. What are the most fascinating business models you have seen attempted in the past year? What do you think is on the horizon?

  6. Derek October 12, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    What are the three most effective changes that the USA needs to make to eliminate our reliance on climate damaging fossil fuels while creating new Renewable Energy industries, and what can we do collectively to enact these changes?

  7. galaxist October 12, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    In your opinion, what is the simplest way to go “green” and live a sustainable lifestyle?

  8. Jaesun79 October 12, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    With the current economic crisis, job loss and structural failures to the current economic models which have “sustained” the American and global economy. What are your thoughts on the potential for remerging ideas like permaculture and ultra energy efficient home, which popped up during the oil embargo of the seventies and latter disappeared, along with newer trends like organic produce and farm shares, maybe even community currencies to change the trend from people moving away from rural areas to overpriced and increasingly cramped cities (which now offer less and less job opportunities), to a repopulation of rural areas and a reestablishment of these communities with these reinvigorated ideas?

  9. rkitect28 October 12, 2009 at 11:57 am

    In my community as in most others I suspect, plastic recycling is limited to only a couple of kinds of bottles. With so much plastic packaging being accumulated in landfills, are recycling companies doing anything to try to collect more plastic products? Do you think manufacturers should be taxed if they do not use packaging that can be easily recycled? That my help defer the high costs associated with plastic recycling. I do my best not to purchase plastics when I can, but it is simply unavoidable.

  10. Budi Darmawan October 11, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    how much impact generated by these green events in the community, whether they are truly moved ?

  11. grabstart October 11, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    Which countries are taking the most concrete progressive and aggressive steps environmentally with an eye on the immediate results and a plan for the future?

  12. jeffrey_humble October 11, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    When can I have the bike? That’s the real question…

  13. nchristman October 11, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    Inhabitat editors:
    Obviously we’re all concerned about how much we’ve mucked up our planet. Every day, governments around the world enact new legislation to limit or prevent the pollution of land, water, and air. However, it seems that the majority of these laws, the majority of the concern even, is coming from the developed nations of the world, while the majority of the “undeveloped” nations remain silent on the issue, often due to a favoring of traditional industry in an effort to rise in prominence. Unfortunately, highly developed nations make up a only minority of the world stage, both in terms of land mass and population, making the potential impacts of “undeveloped” countries incredibly massive.

    As a truly sustainable-based industry is, at the very minimum, a decade away, what can be done to ensure global awareness and progress on this truly globally imminent issue, without forcing nations to sacrifice their own prosperity? Thanks!

  14. beamoburbank October 11, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    I was drawn to this site by a modest little video (hahaha) about weaving houses out of living trees–what perfect irony, coming into a world where trees are routinely butchered and rendered into houses! Truly, I am fascinated by this thought, having been a tree “pleacher” for many years, but is it ever going to become mainstream? I think not. I always have felt like a crackpot, in my lofty aims for us all to become like hobbits, but I know this is the stuff dreams and trilogy novels are made of.
    I am thankful to find your site, where people can let their imaginations run wild–but, my question is, do you think we can do anything to save this mess for more than our grandchildren to use? Can we actually back things up to a point where sustainability is possible? I sure hope so.

  15. eklypse October 11, 2009 at 1:25 am

    What are some of the potential drawbacks and dangers of renewable energy technologies? I’m thinking of the food vs. fuel debate in biofuels, the toxicity of photovoltaics, and the ecological danger of genetically engineered biofuel-producing algae, for example. And what are the answers to these critiques?

  16. lyke113 October 10, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    What are some of the organizations that are doing the most to push sustainability and efficiency, and what can we do to support them and help/guide/make others do the same?

  17. sesameseed October 10, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    How effective do you think the up and coming climate conferences in Copenhagen will be? Do you view them as a monumental achievement for the climate change movement, or just another step in the right direction?

  18. EarthPuppet October 10, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    How can we, as individuals, turn back the lifestyle clock, while using appropriate and useful technology in the most effective and least invasive manner to create holistic communities that live and understand our ancient relationship to community food sources?

  19. kristina October 10, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    how many gears does the bike have?

  20. rclpb October 10, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    Which type of bike has a smaller carbon foot print a bike with a “Carbon Fiber”, “Aluminum or “Steel”? Is the answer the one you want to be or the one that is in fact the truth. Like turning corn into gasoline?

  21. rclpb October 10, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    Which type of bike has a smaller carbon foot print a bike with a “Carbon Fiber”, “Aluminum or “Steel”?

  22. kimk October 9, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    What incentives would help landlords replace energy hog appliances and heat escaping windows when they do not pay the energy bills? What would help them say buy energy star refrigerators and put in on-demand water heaters, or replace old windows with energy efficient options? And are there any incentives such as these available. Otherwise, those of us who rent have limited options to conserve energy except through covering windows with plastic, buying our own smaller energy-star refrigerator (there is no room to put it if they don’t want to move “their” appliance), or try to install an on-demand hot water heater, but not get any return on the savings if we move too often.

  23. criticalj October 9, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    what drives you to pursue the life goal of sustainability of the future environment? or in other words what pushes you to be green?

  24. Citizenchan October 9, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    Do you think it will it ever be possible to create a world in which humans have a positive impact on the planet? I long hoped our species would find ways to contribute to the environment more than we consume, but I’ve begun worry that this is just the paradox of our existence – To survive, must we destroy that which sustains us.

  25. Cyclone11 October 9, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    As a student on a fairly large campus, I know many people that love to bike around campus. Our campus also has an excellent public transit system that will take students for free basically anywhere we need to go in town. While these are great steps in the right direction to becoming a sustainable community and campus, the university, for some reason, does not recycle most materials that other cities do. With such a great bicycling community and efficient public bus system, I’d like to know what I can do to try to convince the city and university that we need to be recycling everything possible, not just white paper and using combustion to dispose of the remainder of trash.

  26. greenthumbs_Brooklyn October 9, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    I think that green and sustainable design and architecture are important in solving to the current environmental crisis, but they do not address how this crisis has a disproportionate effect on the poor and on the South. How can this kind of innovation be shifted to benefit community development and engage green social thought and practice to widen community development’s understanding of the necessity to address our environment, well being and expansion of social projects that encourage a sustainable economy and stronger unified communities?

  27. marsie October 9, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    Who, or what single entity, would Inhabitat say is the biggest destroyer of the world’s ecosystem?

  28. maryellenrowe October 9, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    I love re-claimed materials for home projects and designs – where can I learn more about architectural salvage materials?

  29. ericalm October 9, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    Despite the current green zeitgeist, global warming and its effects, 9/11 and our subsequent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, last year’s high gas prices and the current recession, much of mainstream America has yet to embrace (or demand) green behaviors, products and policies that are environmentally friendly and promote energy independence. This is especially true among the poor and lower-middle class who are disproportionately effected by this but who perceive green lifestyles and politics as a luxury and a possible threat to business and industry.

    Will this change incrementally as green products become more affordable and convenient and new government incentives and policies take hold or will it take more disasters and crises to cause a true and lasting change in consumer behavior and attitudes?

    How can we best change the perception of “green” as a luxury for the affluent to an imperative that will benefit us all?

  30. karaml October 9, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    I really enjoy Inhabitat – its a great means for sharing whats new in the world of green design – but it doesn’t reach the unconverted. I think the main issue is enabling, what are the key changes the converted can do that with ease and enable the unconverted to default to the greener choice?

  31. CelebrateGreen October 9, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    Most people aren’t aware that the 3Rs are listed in order of importance. REDUCE is the most important, followed by reuse, and recycle.

    With that in mind and as much as I LOVE gadgets and beautiful design, especially eco-friendly design, how do we (I include myself in this as well as anyone who is attempting to change things by selling something) place as much emphasis on REDUCE as possible, yet support small business? Where is the balance? Is it possible to have it given our dire situation? Or is it as ephemeral as the balance we are all told we should seek in our lives?

  32. darkwing October 9, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    There has been word that the EPA has been talking about passing a tax on livestock flatulence. Whether or not this passes (which I don’t think it will because of its ridiculous nature) , do you believe that this is an effective way to protect our environment – by regulating natural bodily functions of animals?

  33. aisforadrian October 9, 2009 at 10:37 am

    There’s a main reason why going green has taken so long to go, and that’s cost in dollars. As long as everyday people, people who cannot afford a $1700 bicycle, cannot save themselves by saving the planet, green living will always be an uphill battle. I’m hoping for some kind of paradigm shift where we can all make our world a safer, greener place without bankrupting the everyman in the process.

    As for me, I cannot afford this beautiful bicycle, but I sure would love to win it. Thanks.

  34. cleanfairfax October 9, 2009 at 10:19 am

    I give presentations on sustainability/recycling/litter control etc for elementary school kids. What is the best way to change behaviors of kids who say their families don’t recycle even though they have curbside recycling with their trash pick up–that is without yelling at them and shaming them? Finding out some of the kids aren’t recycling at home really vexes me!

  35. tspott October 9, 2009 at 10:04 am

    How does the average citizen diffentiate between actual “green” products and those of the ever increasing “big corporations” ideas of “green” products that actually aren’t? We are constantly being taken in by the big budget advertising of these business’s that they too are on the “green” bandwagon. And as you know, it’s all about the average citizen getting on board with this important movement more than anyone else as we are the world!

  36. ktastrophe October 9, 2009 at 9:55 am

    It seems as though many government programs that I’ve seen focus on the individual homeowner, builder or developer. Are there any that focus on the regional, city or neighborhood level (meaning existing neighborhoods, not new builds)? The impact would be greater if you could install a geothermal power source that would reduce costs for an entire neighborhood than just getting one or two homes more energy efficient. Has this been attempted anywhere and if so with what level of success?

  37. nhlennox October 9, 2009 at 9:45 am

    Many excellent innovations never leave the studio. Do you believe that a lack of business skills constrain needed design ideas from penetrating the mainstream? What can we do to facilitate more cooperation between designers and business-minded people?

  38. nhlennox October 9, 2009 at 9:42 am

    Many great design ideas often never make it out of the studio. Do you think that business skills constrain the development of needed design innovations into the mainstream? In what ways can we facilitate greater cooperation between designers and business-minded people?

  39. greenspan greenspan October 9, 2009 at 8:52 am

    I love your website: I check it more than any other website on sustainability. I was wondering if eventually you will create a database of companies, products, and projects for consumers and other businesses to browse?

    It would be great for networking.

    And on a side note, I just started interning for a company in Jerusalem my last semester at university that patents and sells renewable energy technology products on the micro scale, currently wind, hydro, and wave, for businesses, consumers, commercial, and residential. LeviathanEnergy.com

    I don’t think there’s much attention to these alternative energies on a more down to consumer eye level at the moment, people are thinking too big. What do you think?

  40. Nicholas Varias October 9, 2009 at 8:42 am

    It seems that the current emphasis is on replacing gasoline engines with hybrid, bio-fuel, electric and hydrogen motors. Although this trend will greatly reduce pollution, it does nothing to encourage public transit which, being far less demanding on energy and natural resources than individual automobiles, is a more sustainable transportation system. Would it be possible to reconcile the two and transform the current highways network into an environmentally-friendly transportation system?

  41. aldenwicker October 9, 2009 at 7:25 am

    You often feature conceptual designs. How many of these come to fruition, and do they live up to their promises of sustainability and beauty?

  42. jwsalo October 9, 2009 at 6:57 am

    2 Questions.

    1) Do you think that the respected design awards could promote sustainable design by adding that as a criterion for the works that receive the prizes ? And should this be a criterion in other kinds of awards also (i.e. Millenium award, which is given to an inventor of a technology that has changed peoples lives) ?

    2) How do you distinguish between the green wash and real ideas ? For example the UAE floating iceberg hotel can´t be sustainable, yet it was on your internet pages. There are many claims of sustainability but only a few are true.

  43. eluzyon October 9, 2009 at 6:54 am

    We all know that recycling is, above all, an eco-friendly responsible action towards a better future. Although, there are companies profiting on our effort. They get raw materials that they can use with less energy costs and sell the result recycled product sometimes a lot more expensive than the so called “not green” one.

    In a economy model where we all must sacrifice to have our little pleasures, shouldn’t the recycling effort (and savings) be distributed also for those who start the process (we all) ?

    I believe that, if people were paid for their waste separation effort, we would see an exponential increase in the recycling attitude. What do InHabitat editors feel about this? How and how much would we be paid? Would this create new jobs and opportunities?

    Best regards!

  44. tonyt October 9, 2009 at 4:36 am

    I was a child of the 1970′s growing up in the bay area. We were taught by our schools a lot about “going green”, “recycling”, and “solar and wind power”. That was over 30 years ago and now my kids are being made aware of how we need to buckle down and go green. Why after of 30 years of talking about this as a nation, has the government not stepped in to help make going green a little easier for people and businesses. They should have been working with companies to to entice them to come up with new and better technologies years ago. They could have been working with the housing industry and builders to make new neighborhoods completely “green” and off the grid as much as possible. Do you think that there was a reason for our government to not stay focused on leading our country into the 21st century as a nation who could show the rest of the world how to be green? We had a chance to be leaders in this, now it looks like we are just following a trend.

  45. Ele Munjeli October 9, 2009 at 12:50 am

    I love that you guys are giving away a bicycle; but it will probably end up as a prop for an ecoposeur. I am car-free, and my perception is that the crisis we face in the environment is not about a lack of technology and design (there are many really cool green products). Most people just don’t seem to have the commitment to abandon destructive aspects of their lifestyle if it’s inconvenient, or socially stigmatizing. Being car-free in Los Angeles people (even so-called environmentalists) often treat me like a freak. We need role models: hipsters who are truly informed and devoted to the cause. How green are you? and how much greener do you want to get?

  46. rcrowen October 8, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    Could overpopulation be the root of all our problems?

  47. d_s_chandler October 8, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    Beautiful Bike. Wonderful Site! Keep up the good work!

  48. sksarc October 8, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    when i was a child, i was lucky enough to live in Germany…we had folding bikes and they were not this expensive (my father was a low-ranking military member and my mother did not work; we had five kids in my family; we were not well off)…i remember mine well and was sad when my parents sold it to move back to the States…the only way we will all get on the boat is when these products become economically feasible…let’s put American’s back to work and start making these products en masse…God knows we have plenty of scrap metal and plastics sitting in heaps around the Country that could be utilized…sustainable in so many ways…

  49. Ecall October 8, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    What is the best thing an apartment dweller can do to reduce their carbon foot print-beyond the requisite recycling and typical water and energy conservation steps?

  50. iBEAM October 8, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    Being in architecture myself [I have a Master of Architecture degree and a few year of experience], I am continually watching for, not only innovative, sustainable materials and methods, but also ones that allow for quick, widespread implementation, in a ways that are both time and cost effective. An example of this is the concrete that uses waste plastic as an aggregate, featured on inhabitat.com a couple of weeks ago [ http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/09/21/plastic-concrete-repurposes-landfill-waste-into-building-bricks/ ]. What do feel qualifies as best innovations of 2009 an sustainable architectural methods/materials? What do you project is coming in 2010?

  51. megamogwai October 8, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    With the lack of infrastructure from putting Green energy back into the power grid and sufficient storage capability; how can individual homeowners and commercial property owners create micro power plants from alternative energy for the purpose of serving the community ?

  52. grigej October 8, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    What do you think would be the best way for existing urban landscapes to adjust to needs of becoming more self sufficient?

  53. barbara-novo October 8, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    Environmentally-conscious living encompasses much more than simply buying the latest and greatest eco-chic stuff. Re-using and re-purposing, while saving money, helping others and being charitable go hand-in-hand with being socially conscious, which after all, should be part of the entire “green movement”. What are your thoughts on buying from consignment stores, garage sales and thrift shops that provide charitable benefits to those in need?

  54. propelfilms October 8, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    Sustainable design is definitely unaffordable for most. What will it take to come within reach financially and therefore reach critical mass for significant change to happen?

  55. chris_hawley October 8, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    The City of Buffalo, New York, will soon be starting a complete re-write of its zoning and subdivision ordinances, with the idea of creating a new form-based, unified development code. The City will be actively seeking out atlernatives to build into its development code that embraces sustainability and eco-friendly building practices. How can weak-market, post-industrial cities encourage sustainabiliity through their regulatory framework in a way that does not hinder investment (and, in fact, encourages investment) without imposing significant new costs on homeowners and developers?

  56. shealadraws October 8, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    Since reporting on the green industry, what is the most personally important thing you’ve learned you’ve learned about?

  57. North9ON October 8, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    I would like to see a dramatic reduction in “junk” consumer goods. For example, there are a lot of inexpensive versions of household products like can openers, salad spinners, furniture, etc. that are so cheaply made that they either don’t work at all or don’t last and quickly end up in the landfill.

    There should be minimum quality (e.g. suitability for purpose) standards that products must meet before they can be sold to the public.

    How do we achieve that without creating an expensive regulatory organization?

  58. cathiet October 8, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    The green movement, albeit born of genuine intent, has been hijacked by marketers and commerce. At what point, if at all, do you see the movement becoming less of a fad and more a part of the fabric of our culture, our beliefs, and our principles? In other words, when will it cease to be defined by “green” and instead by one of the many characteristics that define our country and our world?

  59. 99flyboy October 8, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    Is there a “green” construction aesthetic of homes? If so, when will it ever be available to the common American? There appears to be an ugliness, such as the beer bottle temple or the container-with-an-extended-roof-house, in green construction. As well as a massive price tag. Is “green” construction distanced from the American Dream by these factors? Can green construction be affordable and pleasant to look at (that is not just by the modern style home lover or the radical environmentalist)?

  60. thegurney October 8, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    What happens when wallmart start selling reycled or ecofriendly or “green” products?
    can we be happy about it?

  61. brandongerena October 8, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    In-office recycling: what % of average employees recycle? How much waste is unnecessarily being created as a result of this? Doe this vary by urban vs. rural work environments? Are particular companies instituting recycling as required behavior? Can the government step in?

  62. amyhengst October 8, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    I was at West Coast Green last week and fascinated by the new technologies, products, and discussion going on by vendors, builders and architects. But my building is from the 1920s, single paned windows, completely drafty and inefficient. Like many urbanites, I rent my home and have no control over the structure. Even many homeonwers have limited resources for using the latest and greatest in building technology.
    So, what can we do to green our homes, and make them more energy efficient for greater comfort and a healthier environment? How can we save and use greywater, improve insulation in our walls, and encourage our landlords to pursue green projects? Aside from the basics like changing light bulbs, how can we really make a difference and improve the way we live, and the structure of our homes?

  63. hannah_cho October 8, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    How does one know what “good design” has style and substance at the same time? How does Inhabitat go about this process?

  64. kknapp October 8, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    Going green can be a confusing concept for most newbies to our cause. What are the critical first steps all consumers can take in their homes right now that will positively impact their environment today and move them toward a greener existence?

    Also in your minds how long will it take for the average home owner to see value in pod or dome home living? Is it realistic to expect the vast majority of tract home owners to abandon their 4,000 sq ft McMansions for a 900 sq ft bio-bungalows in the mountains anytime soon?

  65. yellowmike October 8, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    alternative energy solutions.
    why the color green? why not yellow?

  66. StructureHub October 8, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    Preface: Inhabitat often posts on green ideas and initiatives proposed by professionals or public entities; these proposals are primarily oriented toward urban – e.g., NYC – applications.

    Question: What are some initiatives that have been started (even better, implemented) in suburban or rural areas – initiatives that have actually gained traction with public officials, resulted in palpable improvements to the landscape, and that weren’t conceived as a public stunt first, and practical solution, second?

    Although the Reburbia competition is related to this sort of inquiry, it (by design) focuses on starry-eyed concepts suggested by people who don’t generally have realistic chance of seeing their idea come to fruition. Reburbia is great, but drastic changes in the landscape rarely occur without a “first step.”

  67. steveo October 8, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    In specific to the commercial and private aircraft industry – Are there any existing or potential roadblocks to the development or use of alternative fuel in aircraft that are different from roadblocks that may exist for other land applications (home, vehicle, etc)? It would be great to see guest speakers from this industry in your green talk series :) . How do you see the future of alternative fuel aircraft – 5, 10, 20 years from now?

  68. steveo October 8, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    What type of buzz have you been hearing about Helium-3 and its abundant existence on the moon? I know that NASA has already shifted its focus to Moon-related missions, and is actively researching about this amazing energy source. Are you seeing a lot of activity/planning about this in the alternative energy sector?

  69. EsoMeliae October 8, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    I am a jewelry designer and would love to know more about green supplies, metals, etc. I already use a lot of vintage materials to reduce my carbon footprint, but would love to know if anyone knows more about sustainable products.

  70. steveo October 8, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    I’ve worked on a few Hydrogen Fuel Cell projects in the past, and as many already know, it is definitely a viable alternative energy solution for a wide range of future applications. From your perspective, knowledge, and research; what major roadblocks do you see impeding Hydrogen Fuel Cell technology from integrating into everybody’s daily energy needs (ie. cars, planes, appliances, homes, etc)?

  71. mXm October 8, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    In this down economy, with so many out of work, having to scale back to the basic necessities makes going green the only alternative. Most people I know can’t afford green gadgets. Maybe looking to the past and living simpler is what we need to go forward in creating a greener environment. How do you entice people to let go of their excess and do more with less?

  72. acarchitek October 8, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    In the editors opinion, what are the most promising developments in each the 10 major categories that InHabitat reports on:
    Architecture
    Landscape
    Interiors
    Furniture
    Products
    Gadgets
    Fashion
    Graphics
    Transportation

  73. acarchitek October 8, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    In the editors opinion, what are the most promising developments in each the 10 major categories that InHabitat reports on:
    Architecture
    Landscape
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  74. nickpoggioli October 8, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    The Make It Right foundation just unveiled a floating house in New Orleans, designed by Morphosis. An All Things Considered story, Thom Mayne appears to claim that the idea is innovative and original, but houses of that type have been in Holland for years.

    Is there pressure for architects, engineers, designers to sell their products as innovative, even when they’re not? How could this pressure be affecting how quickly alternative energy technologies are adopted? For instance, improving the thermal insulation of one’s house seems to be getting little attention, even though it could be a huge energy savings. Windmills and solar panels seem to generate much more excitement than weather stripping.

  75. pamcakes October 8, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    I just moved from NYC to the Netherlands fairly recently and am now seeing how other countries are so much more conscious of the environment. I ride my fiets (bike) every single day and take public transportation most other times. There are also more organic options at the regular super markets here whereas in NYC, I would have to go out of my way to a Whole Foods or a Trader Joe’s. Do you see a more conscious change in every day life in the states happening soon? If so, how? What would be the easiest (and economical) way to reduce your carbon footprint?

  76. BPereira October 8, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Great opportunities in soft-mode mobility, and especially bicycle mobility, in large cities are emerging. Nonetheless, to make a large city cyclable not only should the routes chosen be along primary transport corridors but they should also answer the mobility problems of the middle class: families, elementary and high school students and staff, connections with business areas and suburbia. In a shy and limited fashion, Lisbon municipality is starting to tackle this problem with the creation of bike lanes and cycle paths in two of the cities neighbourhoods with the densest residential populations (i.e. Benfica and Telheiras). Nonetheless, the urban sprawl outside the municipalities limits is lagging far behind in this matter, so many families, which can provide largar critical mass to urban (and suburban) cyclability are not being addressed yet.
    As a suburban dweller, my commute includes a part where my two eldest car-share to school with me (7kms / 20 minutes), then it’s a folding bike hop (1.5km / 5 minutes ) to the commuter train (5kms / 5 minutes) and a bike across the busiest and most important avenues of the city to my office (9kms / 30 min. uphill in the morning no sweat, 20 min. downhill after work). Caotic Lisbon car drivers respect bicycles more than each other, and rush hour dodging is great fun after work.
    The folding BIOMEGA BOSTON would be of great help in my daily commutes, and the rise in cyclers in this once considered uncyclable city would definitely enjoy my company on it.

  77. sustainableMBA October 8, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    Which has a larger impact, redesigning/engineering products to be more sustainable OR designing the companies who make products to be more sustainable?

    In what way can the design world have the largest [positive] impact on climate change?

  78. sustainableMBA October 8, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    What has a higher impact, redesigning/engineering products to be more sustainable or sourcing more energy from sustainable methods? Are there distinctions between the long- and short-term effects?

  79. danieds October 8, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    It seems like despite all the effort and knowledge being put into environmentally friendly products, the main problem remains trying to convince each individual that this is part of their duty and responsibility as a world citizen. How do you think it would be possible to ensure that this sort of environmentalism becomes universal, rather than just something the ‘crunchy’ people think about? And how do we convince people that paying a small premium for the green products is ‘good’ economics because the non-green products are not accurately capturing the environmental costs in their prices?

  80. Jayoutside October 8, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    A lot of communities talk the talk about walkable and bike-able community – and I support this 100%!!!! – but the reality is that cities are facing major budget shortages and are unable to complete a lot of the requests of urban design to achieve these goals. It would be great to make a weekly or monthly feature to highlight successfull programs in urban areas. Not just to show off, but what kind of lessons did you learn that you can give to the people in their local neighborhood associations so that we can get on the right track to achieving our goals. What kind of process did you go through? Did you use safe route to schools funding to get cross walks, etc? How were bike lanes mandated to be built into all new projects? Any federal or private grant support and describe the process? Inhabitat has always been an outstanding thinktank – but I’d love to see some step by step help for its readers to apply these ideas- thanks!

  81. Jayoutside October 8, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    A lot of communities talk the talk about walkable and bike-able community – and I support this 100%!!!! – but the reality is that cities are facing major budget shortages and are unable to complete a lot of the requests of urban design to achieve these goals. It would be great to make a weekly or monthly feature to highlight successful programs in urban areas. Not just to show off, but what kind of lessons did you learn that you can give to the people in their local neighborhood associations so that we can get on the right track to achieving our goals. What kind of process did you go through? Did you use safe route to schools funding to get cross walks, etc? How were bike lanes mandated to be built into all new projects? Any federal or private grant support and describe the process? Inhabitat has always been an outstanding think-tank – but I’d love to see some step by step help for its readers to apply these ideas- thanks!

  82. RandyRandy October 8, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    What and when do you think was the turning point in our becoming environmentally conscience as a whole?

  83. nbiddle82 October 8, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    How would you recommend that the average consumer avoid and combat the disturbing and increasingly common greenwashing of products, services, brands and companies?

  84. jacklenk October 8, 2009 at 11:13 am

    To what extent is our current un-sustainable condition a symptom of modern culture’s disconnect with nature? Do you believe that we can go a long way towards a sustainable future by fostering a sense of stewardship in young people through regular exposure to and appreciation of the natural environment?

  85. kalman October 8, 2009 at 9:37 am

    What is a great “green” gift to give your friends or family that won’t be seen as preachy?

  86. Mike9377 October 8, 2009 at 8:40 am

    What personal experiences have you had with “Design that will save the world” that really expanded your viewpoint or vision on how we can all help save the world? Why did it become more to you at that time?

  87. supatawey October 8, 2009 at 8:14 am

    Do you think this ‘green’ consciousness is here to stay? Or it would like the 1970′s oil crisis, that created the solar and wind power ‘hype’, but then when oils prices became cheaper again, we forgot about renewable energy completely in the 80′s & 90′s.
    I know that this time we have the climate change incentive besides the oil price, but what I mean is: What if we find the holy grail of renewable energy? Would we repeat history and exploit it at the expense of the environment or conserve it? Remember that climate change is not the only environmental problem, its just the one that could impact us the most, therefore it is easy to relate to and advertise on it.
    Is this ‘GREEN HYPE’ real this time? I’m partially glad that we still haven’t found a golden solution to this, so we are forced to CONSERVE for now; this might be the period to permanently change our wasteful & materialistic mentalities!

  88. bebauautu October 8, 2009 at 5:45 am

    It seems that nowadays ecology and eco-friendly design and architecture keep getting more and more media attention. But is it because of people truly starting to be aware of all the problems and pollution that surround us or is it just another commercial move and part of the media hype, for many companies see it as a trendy thing to propagate the green way of thinking?

  89. tim_robinson October 8, 2009 at 3:17 am

    In what directions do you see Inhabitat evolving in the future?

  90. neonbertron October 8, 2009 at 2:09 am

    In the recent past the growth and innovation of the industrial revolution followed by the rise of silicon valley have induced steroid like growth on the development of our cities and way of life. After the growth spurt tapered off we are left with over-tapped, diseased shells of once great rising metropolises and stagnant or struggling communities in and surrounding these post-boom hubs such as Buffalo, NY, Birmingham, AL, Pittsburg, PA, and Detroit, MI
    How can we learn from the industrial development of the past and combine it with the informational technology of today to pioneer more sustainable green industrial communities building on our existing infrastructures? How can we change the ways that we interact with our own communities as both a worker and a consumer that reinforce a sustainable culture?

  91. adamo_g October 8, 2009 at 1:52 am

    It seems that society is beginning to realize the environmental intelligence of our ancestors and the need to return to the inherent principals of sustainable living that have been around for centuries. As the future unfolds, do you see a complete reversal of the mentalities associated with the industrial revolution and the culture of excess that it has nurtured? How can new technologies aid this progression, or shall I say regression, without triggering negative environmental effects?

  92. pejoiner October 8, 2009 at 12:47 am

    How do you sell reducing consumerism? I think it is easy to sell people a green products, but how about the Idea of not buying what we don’t need. Overconsumption is the largest of our problems.

  93. pejoiner October 8, 2009 at 12:44 am

    How do you sell reducing reducing consumerism? I think it is easy to sell people a green products, but how about the Idea of not buying what we don’t need. Overconsumption is the largest of our problems.

  94. Xingbot October 8, 2009 at 12:38 am

    All of the designs I have seen here, while green, are for the rich. Considering the rapid industrialisation of the developing world, how can green design help combat the emerging problems coming from the intersection of social justice and environmental issues?

  95. Xingbot October 8, 2009 at 12:35 am

    What challenges do increasing industrialisation in the developing world face for green design? Of the designs I’ve seen so far in the developing world, almost all are targeted to the rich. How can green design help deal with issues emerging from rapidly converging social justice and environmental problems in the developing world?

  96. JanPattersonRN October 8, 2009 at 12:16 am

    In The Death and Life of the Great American City [1961] Jane Jacobs posited that separation of uses into commercial, industrial, residential destroys people’s ability to create and maintain livable communities. She argued for walkable distances between workplaces, schools, residences, and that commercial activity be kept on a human neighborhood level, i.e. corner stores and individual businesses, not malls and big box chains. Can cul-de-sacs of McMansions and strip malls be turned into people-sized neighborhoods? Can inner cities destroyed 50 years ago by “urban renewal” be returned to multi-layered community life with work, education, and play all walking/cycling distance from residential streets?

  97. eekostudio October 7, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    As the go to place for green architecture and technology, I’d like you guys to describe what you see happening in the next 5 years. There are so many exciting technological advances that are in production or still in concept phase, but not ready for the public — consumer electric cars, more efficient and cleverly designed solar panels, restructuring of cities, etc. A lot of things to be excited about. Of the concepts out there, what do you believe will actually happen and how will that effect our everyday life?

  98. archidaddy October 7, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    i know that green technology is really hot right now, and evry day there are new things being designed and made to improve them. But with all the manpower, money being spent, resources being used and things being spent on creating this technology, putting together these “eco/green/smart buildings” maybe defeat the purpose of being green? Would using more passive, more minimal design and building techniques to create these designs help to have more of an impact in where sustainable design is headed, and less of an impact on our planet.

  99. Adrian_cast October 7, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    Green products have become ubiquitous to consumers today. The problem is that they are almost always at a higher price than traditional or oil-based products. How do you think a solution to this problem facing consumers should be addressed if at all?

  100. susanbranchsmith October 7, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    How can the average person influence recycling efforts in his/her community? For instance, to recycle more kinds of containers, or to reduce the use of containers and buy in bulk?

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