Mid-Course Correction

I'm going to start implementing book reviews into my blog! After attending Greenbuild in Toronto last month, I started reading this book. Here is my review:

Pg. 11 -
  • "In nature, there is no waste: one organism's waste is another's food."
  • Recycling should be drive by renewable energy, otherwise we will consume more fossil fuel for the energy to recycle than we will save in virgin petrochemical raw materials by recycling in the first place.
  • GAIN, not a LOSS ---> CLOSED LOOP
Pg. 55 -
  • Ex.) Apollo XI - off course for 90% of the trip ---> MID COURSE CORRECTION!
  • Humanity is off course...
  • Wealth comes from raw natural resources... We cannot create something out of nothing.
T (technology)/x ---> x/T
T as part of the solution... Redefining wealth.
  • Perception: EARTH IS IN CRISIS; not so bad
  • Action: INADEQUATE; good enough
  • Outcome: collapse; ABUNDANT FUTURE
  • The Alarmists vs. Foot-Draggers
homo sapiens are 1/140th of a second on earth's 7 day timescale. (since the Industrial Revolution).

Pg. 60 -
  • We have the wrong tax policy!
  • We tax GOOD things such as income & prosperity.
  • We need to tax BAD things such as pollution, waste & co2 production.
  • Applied Intelligence:
  • Harness solar income.
  • Stop consuming stored natural capital.
  • Close recycling loop & eliminate waste & toxic emissions.
  • ---> Change the way we live, redefine wealth & come together as communities.
We lose rainforests at a rate of 1 football field every 2 seconds! The rainforest is home to 1/2 of the world's species.

Plutonium has a lifespan of 500,000 years.

Sea levels will rise 20 inches in the 21st century. That is 9,000 sq. miles of the US underwater in 100 years!


Group 14 Engineering - LEED Platinum!

This engineering group provides resource efficient solutions to green any building or neighborhood. Their office space was remodeled and certified Platinum. Here are some of the highlights of the building:

  • The original building served as a dental office. They had remediated the asbestos and got points for using a brown site.
  • The landscaping incorporates native/low-water plants.
  • There is natural daylighting throughout of office because of the use of Solatubes throughout the building.
  • Every employee has access to operable windows.
  • They achieved a 64% savings in measured energy use relative to ASHRAE 90.1-2007
  • A 3.5kW PV system offsets over 15% of the office energy consumption.
  • Organic waste is composted through a contracted hauler.
  • Reusable mugs, dishware, napkins, washcloths & take-out food containers reduce waste.
  • The carpet, paints, adhesives & coatings contains no VOCs.
  • 100% of the furniture is salvaged or reused.
  • 1.1 gpf toilet, dual-flush toilets & a .125 gpf pint urinal are used. A 38% savings of water consumption was achieved.


why so much to war?

Wow, we pay this much for our military and still can't offer our citizens health care..

Check out the picture you can zoom and pan:




if you are thinking. you are winning.


february 2011 shred-it

yeah yeahh i know it's april, but i'm a bit behind on my shit.
libby, jon & i out for some early spring shred...

yep.. i love snowboarding.

The First Regiment Armory - LEED Platinum

Preservation AND Sustainability:

The First Regiment Armory is now the new home of Portland Center Stage, this formerly vacant landmark serves as a vibrant public gathering space and an educational outreach for sustainable practices.

Built in 1891, the Portland Armory is the first building on the National Register of Historic Places and first performing arts venue to receive a LEED Platinum rating. There are

fewer than 25 Platinum projects nationwide, and this building marks the first Platinum award in Oregon and Washington.

The extremely complex renovation preserved the historic character of the building shell while meeting the highly technical requirements for a state-of-the-art theater and attaining the highest LEED level possible. Located in the city’s core, this high-profile project included a

diverse group of public, non-profit and private stakeholders and utilized public funds.

An underground cistern harvests and filters rainwater for reuse in the building to flush toilets, and low-flow fixtures are used throughout the building. The former sidewalk surface has been replaced with pervious pavers, bioswales and native plants to create a “sliver” park that reduces stormwater runoff and activates the site during the change of seasons.

Displacement ventilation brings fresh air into occupied spaces and distributes it through an underfloor system to improve indoor air quality and save energy. In the office area, chilled beams work in concert with the ventilation system to heat and cool the space. The CFD model’s analysis of air movement ensured proper placement of the chilled beams and floor diffusers for maximum efficiency.

Skylights in the office area illuminate the open lobby and administrative spaces with natural light, and sensors monitor light levels and dim electric lights when not needed to conserve energy.

As a result of the combined systems, the Portland Armory realized an 89 percent savings in potable water and a 30 percent energy savings for a comparable building. By utilizing 45 percent of regionally manufactured materials, the renovation also supported the local community and reduced CO2 emissions.

The project’s sustainable features extend beyond construction, as stakeholders and building tenants implement green practices into daily operations through the use of recycled materials, on-site product recycling and a green cleaning policy over the building’s life.

Moreover, guided tours and interactive displays created by Second Story Interactive Studios educate visitors about the Portland Armory’s sustainable design and construction. This extensive outreach program offers the public new perspectives and highlights the importance of minimizing our impacts on the environment.

Source: http://www.greenbuildingservices.com/news/releases/

THE greenest building..

Is a new building the most sustainable choice?

  • It takes an average of 40 years for an energy-efficient home to recover the carbon used during construction.
  • A 10 story building when demolished, generates about 19 hundred tons of waste.
  • What if a community invested in rehabilitating their existing buildings? Steady, local and sustainable jobs would be created!
  • Greater craftsmanship = more buildings meant for the long-term.


Food For Thought

Is this natural? Is acres upon acres of green grass supposed to be found in the desert? I think not. We the people are NOT separate from the environment.
In the US, there are 35 million acres of lawn as well as 36 million acres of housing and lots used to feed animals. This doesn't even account for golf courses! This acreage is enough to feed the country...

50% of the food in America spoils. This is EDIBLE food... that simply spoils. What if even 1/4 of this food was given to one's chickens? What if everyone had a chicken coop on their property? This food would not be wasted and the egg commerce would be obsolete. An excellent example of a closed loop system.

America has a serious problem. Childhood obesity is out of the roof. Could these be contributing? ---->

Children's immune systems are also at risk. Parents are sanitizing them left and right. They are not playing in dirt, they are playing video games. They are not being exposed to germs and their immune systems are not being exercised.

We must look UP the stream to our country's health problems. What if we developed a HEALING food system. What if the hospitals were to lose business because Americans were healthy because their diets had improved so much?

We eat feedlot beef. We eat meat in almost every meal. We consume more meat than any other country in the world. What's wrong with adding more vegetables and consuming less meat? All those acres of crops are used to feed these poor cows, when they could be used to feed us directly.

Farmers should be ones to provide food that nourishes one. And our government should support this. Too bad the FDA receives millions from the USDA, "Beef, It's What's For Dinner"...

Infographic: United States of the Environment

Every state has an asset that puts them ahead of all of the other states.. but they also have a downfall. These pictures display this.


Kim and I went down to Durango for our annual SnowDown trip...


I really dig this song. :)


Carbon Nation

Whether you believe in it or not.. what's wrong with clean water, air and most cost effective energy!?


click huurrrr

First edit of the 2010/11 season. Footy of my friends and I in Summit County and the good 'ol Midwest.


Our Economy Needs Help..

We Must be the Change

The curtains were raised on the inter workings of Wall Street when the market collapsed. Wall Street is a world of deception, misrepresentation and insider dealings that does not contribute to anything of real value. Our economy needs to be one that roots economic power in communities to support the democratic ideal of one-person, one-vote citizen sovereignty & sustain our resources to support life on Planet Earth.

Our economy should be one that values life over money and give priority to the well-being of all... not just to those few with fortunes.
"Communism forgets that life is individual. Capitalism forgets that life is social, and the kingdom of brotherhood is found neither in the theses of communism nor the antitheses of capitalism but in a higher synthesis... that combines the truths of both."
--MLK Jr.
-Excerpts from the book, Agenda for a New Economy: Transforming Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth by David C. Korten


Macallen Building - LEED Gold

The Macallen Building, Boston, MA


Boston's first LEED certified condo development. This building implements a green roof, uses steam from the stormwater lines to heat the water and captures rainwater for irrigation. It is saving 600,000 gallons of water annually and uses 30% less electricity as compared to a conventional building.



love sucks.

No I'm still not over you, but right now.. this is how I feel:



I am currently reading the book, Collapse. It talks of how societies choose to fail or to succeed and highlights past societies that have failed, such as Easter Island, the Anaszi and the Mayans. It also talks of past societies that have survived and current societies in peril. The author highlights the five factors that are involved with any societal collapse. Four of the five factors that may or may not prove significant to societal collapse are:
  • Environmental Damage
  • Climate Change
  • Hostile Neighbors
  • Friendly Trade Partners
But the one that ALWAYS proves significant is:
  • The society's responses to its environmental problems.
Here are some quotes from the book that really are significant and open your eyes to our current situation:
  • "When the Easter Islanders got into difficulties, there was nowhere to which they could flee, nor to which they could turn for help; nor shall we modern Earthlings have recourse elsewhere if our troubles increase. Those are the reasons why people see the collapse of Easter Island society as a metaphor, a worst-case scenario, for what may lie ahead of us in our own future."
  • Talking of the Anasazi Society: "Despite these varying proximate causes of abandonments, all were ultimately due to the same fundamental challenge: people living in fragile and difficult environment, adopting solutions that were brilliantly successful and understandable "in the short run", but that failed or else created fatal problems in the long run, when people became confronted with external environmental changes or human-caused environmental changes that societies without written histories and without archaeologists could not have anticipated."

Milwaukee Art Museum

Only seeing this building from the highway driving to the airport, it was truly amazing. I did some research on this architecture phenomenon and hope to visit next time I'm in Wisconsin.

Quadracci Pavilion

The graceful Quadracci Pavilion is a sculptural, postmodern addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum completed in 2001, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.

Calatrava, inspired by the “dramatic, original building by Eero Saarinen, …the topography of the city” and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie-style architecture.

"Thanks to them, this project responds to the culture of the lake: the sailboats, the weather, the sense of motion and change.”

The structure incorporates both cutting-edge technology and old-world craftsmanship. The hand-built structure was made largely by pouring concrete into one-of-a-kind wooden forms. It is a building that could have only been done in a city with Milwaukee’s strong craft tradition.

Architecture highlights

Windhover Hall is the grand entrance hall for the Quadracci Pavilion. It is Santiago Calatrava’s postmodern interpretation of a Gothic Cathedral, complete with flying buttresses, pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and a central nave topped by a 90-foot-high glass roof.

The hall’s chancel is shaped like the prow of a ship, with floor-to-ceiling windows looking over Lake Michigan.

The Museum’s signature wings, the Burke Brise Soleil, form a moveable sunscreen with a 217-foot wingspan. The brise soleil is made up of 72 steel fins, ranging in length from 26 to 105 feet. The entire structure weighs 90 tons. It takes 3.5 minutes for the wings to open or close. Sensors on the fins continually monitor wind speed and direction; whenever winds exceed 23 mph for more than 3 seconds, the wings close automatically.

According to Santiago Calatrava, “in the crowning element of the brise soleil, the building’s form is at once formal (completing the composition), functional (controlling the level of light), symbolic (opening to welcome visitors), and iconic (creating a memorable image for the Museum and the city).”


Highlands Sustainable Home

Check out this home which is currently in its early stages, but has big goals to achieve!

The Denver Highlands Sustainable Home:
  • Passive Solar
  • Modular Construction
  • Geothermal Heating & Cooling
  • On Site Food Production
  • Infill Site

Wall Street

I went to see the movie, Wall Street the other day and it has totally solidified my wants to live off the grid, self-sustainably, much like Thoreau did in Walden. The fact that one unsubstantiated rumor can cost thousands of people their job and put many others on the line is quite scary. Why would our entire country be based on a stock exchange system which is controlled by greedy, self-absorbed people that would throw anyone under the bus at any time?

And what about media control? What if the American people were totally oblivious to the state of the economy? We the people would go about our lives. We would work. We would still continue to consume.

We would not live in fear.

"Insanity - When people continue to do the same thing and expect a different result." So lets change our actions. Lets control the media. Let us live more simply.


Against the Grain

You can take me anywhere, anytime, anyway.
To the trailer park, to the Manhattans.
I'll be ok. I may not fit in, but that's ok.
Maybe it's ok that I don't truly fit in ANYWHERE.
I will always be a floater.. from one group to another.
Guess you need to mix it up in life, eh?

man i love motocross..

Probably one of the best races of the Outdoors season! Canard & Pourcel battle it out.. these two have been so fun to watch all season. Both so talented and in it to win it. Also, in the 450 class, Windham takes the 1st overall for the first time in three years! I grew up watching this guy and am blown away that he still kills it.


new beginnings

As a lost and sometimes frustrated recent college graduate, I often wonder what it is that I want to achieve in life. I have been boating through some rough waters with a loved-one and that feeling of being unsettled has only sunk in. A huge college debt and parents in need has inhibited any plans to travel or to snowboard hundreds of days a year. However, I will not let these circumstances bum me out. Thinking within, I would rather make myself a better person, rather than the goal that I want to achieve. I have decided to constantly remind myself of the person I want to be in this life... and it goes:
  • Appreciate every moment with your loved ones.
  • Stop thinking, "Woulda, shoulda, coulda". You can't change the past.
  • Be generous with acts of unselfishness.
  • Don't be envious of others.
  • Surround yourself with good-hearted people.
  • Keep your glass half full.
  • Live simply.
  • Take chances.
  • Dream big.
...And I'm dreaming of Crested Butte. :)


into the unknown

"... I take in a deep breath"
-Imogen Heap, Candlelight


My Own Edit!

Shots from the 08/09 and 09/10 season.. mostly taken by and fully edited by bjo.
(he rocks)

Amanduu from Beej on Vimeo.


..on a brighter note

Some favorite songs of mine. The music videos suck, but least the songs are still awesome.

College Graduate

Graduation is a time of celebration. It's a new chapter of your life completed. Most people are ecstatic. They're excited to start a career, make lots of money, get married, have kids, blah blah blah.

I see graduation as a transition. A transition where the real world slaps ya in the face. A transition from sleeping in to waking up at the crack of dawn. From snowboarding frequently to being a frequent weekend warrior. A transition to minimal free time and social isolation (aka home).

But like the saying goes, "All good things must come to an end". Now I must pay off this debt that I am swimming in and get to work. I can cope with the real world.. I'm just terrified.



Watch this and get f*in crazy and weird.


A Favorite Author of Mine Once Said..

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.

As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.

Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something.

--Henry David Thoreau


The "Wooden Spiral"

Hundertwasser's Waldspirale, "Wooden Spiral"

This building, located in Darmstadt, Germany, is one of my favorite buildings with a green roof. All of this is from the imagination of Friedensreich Hundertwasser, an Austrian painter and architect.

No two windows are the same and all of the corners are rounded off in these apartments along the roof and walls in an application of Hundertwasser's dogma "gegen die gerade Linie" or "against the straight line." Waldspirale is a loud testament to Hundertwasser's hatred of straight lines and his allegiance to nature

Hundertwasser once said, "If man walks in nature's midst, then he is nature's guest and must learn to behave as a well-brought-up guest."



riding a roller coaster
up, down and around
feelings of joy and anger
emotions being bound
...but i am like water
and cannot drown


Up In the Air

I love flying.. to look at our Earth from the air is truly amazing. I see the endless quilt of farms, the many rows of houses, the coastline separating the land from the ocean and while over mountain ranges, I pick the line I would take down them on my snowboard. Mankind has constructed some amazing buildings, but from the sky they seem so miniscule, so minut. We are one planet and one galaxy of many. We currently believe that Earth is the only planet supporting life in our galaxy.. and so much life it is!



"Arcology" - Used by famous architect, Soleri Paolo, meaning architecture coherent with ecology. Paolo was an author, visionary and pioneer of new human spaces. He was the first architect to design buildings and communities with keeping our habitat in mind.

His idea was that there is an inherent logic in the structure and nature of organisms that have grown on this planet. Any architecture, any urban design, and any social structure that violates that structure and nature is destructive of itself and of us and inversely, these that are based upon organic principles is valid and will prove its own validity, i.e. it's vailidity to live.

Paolo's conception of Arcology is a visionary of cities designed to maximize the interaction and accessibility associated with an urban environment; minimize the use of energy, raw materials and land, reducing waste and environmental pollution; and allow interaction with the surrounding natural environment.

Why has it taken so long for man to start building communities in this way? Imagine a community where everything was accessible by walking, biking or alternative transportation. A community that shared gardens and grew all the fruits and vegetable they needed. A community with recycling & composting programs and education of sustainability. A community connected with the environment... and why not make this a reality?

Here are some of his quotes I found interesting:

"The photosynthetic veneer, the vegetal world, must not be overlaid by a man-caused opaque veneer."

"The real is the present. The practical is in most cases the past, a frozen imagery of the real not fully becoming. The American dream is the present as practicality rather than the present as real."

If everyone lived the "American dream", it would take over 20 planets to support us...

"That which can be described can become obsolete."

A community in the current era, the first LEED Platinum Community in British Columbia called the Olympic Village: