Making it Easier to be Green
Green design includes energy conservation, but that's not what it's all about. It's about having good air quality both indoors and outdoors, making the environments in which we work, live, study and play healthier and more comfortable and conserving all of our natural resources.
This site will provide a balanced, holistic view that includes advice about saving energy, water and other natural resources, improving indoor air quality, using environmentally responsible design and construction techniques and minimizing waste.

I will be focusing on interiors for three reasons:

  • We spend about 90% of our time indoors.
  • Buildings in the United States annually consume about 30% of our total energy and 75% of our electricity.
  • As a New York State Certified Interior Designer and a LEED Accredited Professional, I want to share my knowledge and expertise with you.
Sustainable design and construction can be done in many different styles and using a wide variety of materials. There are examples of healthy, sustainable, comfortable and inviting interiors for commercial, not-for-profit and residential clients on the web site for Interior Design Solutions.
You can use the labels on the sidebar to locate entries that you want to read. For instance, most people might want to look at the entries for "Green Homes," but "Green Finance" would be of more interest to professionals involved in the design, construction, management, financing and marketing of buildings.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Seeking Water from the Sun

Most of us take plentiful access to drinking water for granted, and don't think twice about how much we waste when we install inefficient plumbing fixtures, leave the water running when we don't need to,  and plant lawns, flowers and ornamental shrubs that require frequent irrigation. 

Okay, I'm cheating here --- there was never much rainfall in the land occupied in the Navajo Nation, and  brackish water is not a new problem in this area.  But  potable water is becoming an increasingly scarce resource, even in the U.S.  And there's increasing pressure to allow hydro-fracking, even where it could affect all of our drinking water.              

40 percent of the population on some parts of the Navajo Nation does not have access to potable water. That doesn’t just mean drinking water.  The water is not even good enough to bathe in, wash dishes, irrigate a vegetable garden or quench the thirst of livestock. Many Navajos have to make long trips every few days to haul water from communal wells.  A large part of the problem is that most of the groundwater of the Navajo Nation is salty,  brackish and impossible to drink because it comes through a salt cavern.

Scientists from the University of Arizona and the Bureau of Reclamation took on a project to design and build an off-the-grid prototype solar solution that would purify existing undrinkable water. The system  co-generation solar system will produce heat and electricity to run the entire desalination system without being tied to the grid.   

The project has been showcased in Seeking Water from the Sun, a 30-minute documentary detailing the designing and building of this solar-powered water distillation prototype.  The documentary can be viewed on the Arizona Public Media Site: