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Sustainability: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
Surprising Ways We All Use Water
Water is our most precious resource. Water is vital to life. Humans, plants, and animals are made up of mostly water. All living things would die if it weren't for water. We use water for drinking, washing, cleaning, cooking, and growing our food as well as many, many other things.
What is Sustainability?
More then going green, sustainability is the healthy balance of preserving a healthy planet (plants, animals and their ecosystems), nourishing people and their communities, and making a handsome profit to boot! Sadly, the driver is the realization (and the science) that we're using up and destroying the earth's resources faster then they can be regenerated and replenished. From that stance, sustainable development acknowledges that financially success is tied to ecological and societal success.
Why Save Water?
Water conservation is a big thing, but every little bit helps, so don't think that what you do doesn't matter.
The 3 R’s – Reduce, Reuse, and...
Every year, Americans throw away 50 billion food and drink cans, 27 billion glass bottles and jars, and 65 million plastic and metal jar and can covers. More than 30% of our waste is packaging materials. Where does it all go? Some 85% of our garbage is sent to a dump, or landfill, although we are quickly running out of space. We've all heard of the 3 R's of the environment: reduce, reuse, recycle, but do we practice what we preach?
Design a Rainwater Harvesting System in 6 Steps
Rainwater harvesting is the collection, conveyance, and storage of rainwater for future use - flushing toilets, irrigating landscaping, or in some cases, for drinking.
How to Calculate Indoor Building Water Use
The first step to reducing water use is to understand how much we are using in the first place – similar to tracking our monthly spending – you can’t reduce it until you measure it!
How to Become a LEED AP
Learn the ins and outs of becoming a LEED Accredited Professional.
Everything You Need to Know About LEED
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and is a voluntary, consensus based rating system for evaluating the environmental performance of building and community design, construction, operations and maintenance.
What is a Resilient City?
Resilience refers to future proofing our cities and their built fabric in the face of future shocks and stresses from climate change and peak oil.
8 Actions for Business and Industry to Reduce...
It is true that one person can save the world, and these eight actions offer immediate impacts for individuals, business and organizations to slow climate change - now.
Water Pollution
Scientists have specified eight general categories for the major kinds of polluntants. These categories include sediment, sewage and organic wastes, plant nutrients, infectious agents, organic chemicals, salts and mineral substances, radioactive substances, and thermal (heat) pollution.
10 Steps to Climate Responsive Building Design
With buildings contributing close to half of the energy use in the United States, and energy use being the number one contributor to global warming, an obvious means to mitigate climate change is to design low or no-energy use buildings using the local climate as your guide.
People Need Water
Every eight seconds, a young person in a third world country dies from insufficient water supply or lack of pure water. Right now most of us have plenty of water and by just turning on the faucet, it is at our disposal. What we have plenty of with such little effort, we often take for granted.
Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ)
What we do – and don’t - bring into our buildings can have a significant impact on the quality of the environment within and Building Related Illness or Sick Building Syndrome can result.
What is Biomimicry?
Biomimicry, as defined by the Biomimicry Guild, is an innovation method that seeks sustainable solutions by emulating nature's time-tested patterns and strategies, e.g., a solar cell inspired by a leaf. The goal is to create products, processes, and policies-new ways of living-that are well-adapted to life on earth over the long haul.
LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and...
LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance. Page 2.
What Causes Sick Buildings?
Poor ventilation, toxins introduced in building materials and furnishings, and biological contaminants such as mold and viruses are all contributors to sick building syndrome.
5 Steps to Environmentally Preferable Procurement
Buying and using environmentally preferable products (EPPs) has become an integral part of public procurement in recent years because it has become clear that this practice benefits the environment, improves efficiency and, often saves money.
Rainwater Harvesting
Rainwater Harvesting. Sustainability.
6 Steps to Behavior Change
Be it a green team working to increase recycling rates or reduce paper waste or a corporate sustainability officer working to reduce a carbon footprint, a key challenge is how to encourage changes in our decisions and actions. But we also know that change is not always easy to foster. Six steps for achieving behavior change.
Reduce Water Use Through Green Operations
Water is a precious resource that we squander away and our buildings are the primary source of wasted water. These easy steps, coupled with extremely simple and low cost technology (like $4 faucet aerators) can reduce potable water by millions of gallons each year, and can qualify for rebates and incentives. What are you waiting for?
7 Green Cleaning Tips
Green cleaning incorporate the use of products and services that prioritize optimum human health and have a lesser or reduced impact on the environment when compared with competing products or services that serve the same purpose.
How To Conserve Water Indoors
How To Conserve Water Indoors. Sustainability.
How to Mess Up Your LEED Rating
Tips and tricks to ensure LEED Certification.
How to Get a LEED Rating for Any Type of Building
Steps to achieve a LEED Rating for any building type.
LEED for Neighborhood Development
LEED for Neighborhood Development is a third-party rating system that encourages smart growth, healthy, vibrant and livable communities and green infrastructure and buildings.
Ten Ways to Green Your Operations
When it comes to the way your organization conducts business, there are plenty of opportunities to green your organizations operations and reduce your environmental footprint while increasing the value of your offerings. The following are a list of “low hanging fruit” or strategies that are easy and low cost to implement.
Regenerative Design
Regenerative design is the process of creating opportunity for all of living things to thrive in a way that creates a holistic, healthy consciousness - healing the rift between humans and nature through our relationship to the built environment.
Green Strategic Planning
Ok, it’s fantastic that your organization already has a strategic plan. Wait. You don’t? Well, get started with strategic planning here. To incorporate green strategy, goals and metrics into your plan, there are eight steps you’ll want to consider.
Women Sustainability Leaders
Female leadership blends economic and social value creation in a combination of so-called 'masculine' and 'feminine' values with, among other things, competition, linear and rational thinking on the one side, and cooperation, holistic and intuitive thinking on the other. The following women embody soulful leadership and are transitioning our society to one that nurtures life.
Reduce Climate Change Through Green Transportat...
We all know the steps to reduce electricity use to mitigate global warming. But what do we do when it comes to reducing the burden of climate change relative to getting around? Give your car an inexpensive, easy overhaul and save three or more percent in fuel costs, while cutting harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
Sustainability Frameworks
When starting off in sustainability, it's useful to understand the multiple frameworks that help shape the thinking of those who are beating the greener drum. It's these values and principles that can help you hone in on your work - be it designing a new product, building, or testifying before Congress on the importance of sustainability.
Energy, Emissions and Carbon Footprint
Have you ever stopped to think about where that energy comes from, how much it takes to power up the lights in your office, and how exactly that relates to our carbon footprint?
Developing a Recycling Plan for Your Business
Assess your current waste and recycling streams, determine reduction targets, install well signed collection and storage bins in appropriate areas, communicate your recoiling plan, and celebrate your results towards zero waste!
Intro to Integrative Design
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How to Incorporate Green Operations Into Your...
To incorporate green operations into your business, you want to follow three primary steps. Establish an understanding of your current operations, create, communicate and implement a plan and then keep score and continuously improve. The LEED EBOM green building rating system is an excellent tool to integrate green energy, water, waste and procurement strategies while saving money and developing behavior change in your business - and that's good for business.
What is an Environmental Exchange?
In the context of doing business, an environmental exchange is when the organization pays the environment back to offset consumption used in creating a particular good or service. When a business puts back 100% or more of the natural resources it uses to create a product or a service, then in theory the business is considered a sustainable business.
How to Conserve Water Outdoors
Reduce the amount of water you use outdoors.
Climate Change
Climate change affects more than just a change in the weather. It refers to seasonal changes over a long period of time. These climate patterns play a fundamental role in shaping natural ecosystems, and the human economies and cultures that depend on them.
What Are EcoDistricts?
An EcoDistrict is a small-scale area such as a neighborhood or a district with a community commitment to achieving sustainability.
Resilient Design Principles
Resilience is the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and reorganize while undergoing change, so as to still remain essentially the same function, structure, identity, and feedbacks. To prepare for the future, Resilientcity.org has created Resiliency Design Principles.
A Beginner's Guide to Eco Charrettes
An Eco Charrette is an intensive problem solving and planning session where multi-disciplinary teams assemble to solve complex sustainability problems and meet green goals.
Contractors: Do You Know How to Build LEED?
Contractors: Do You Know How to Build LEED?
Water Efficient Landscaping
Lawn and landscape maintenance often requires large amounts of water, but using native plants could reduce the amount of water that you need. When you landscape with the plants that are native to your area, you are helping to conserve water because native plants don't need as much water as some other plants that are not accustomed to the climate and other conditions of your area.
Retrofitting Indoor Fixtures to Reduce Water Use
So, you know that you want to retrofit the fixtures in your building to reduce water use, but aren’t sure where to start? Well look no further.
2030 Districts
District sustainability is the next big thing; reshaping and recharging the vitality of our urban framework and addressing issues such as climate change within existing communities.
Sustainability Definitions – G
Glossary terms and articles relative to sustainability.
What is the Living Building Challenge?
Part manifesto, part call to action, and part rating system, the International Living Building Challenge (ILBC) is a standard that rates buildings, communities and infrastructure projects using the metaphor of the flower.
Sustainability Definitions - A
Glossary terms relative to sustainability.
SITES - Sustainable Sites Initiative
The Sustainable Sites Initiative is the first performance benchmark and rating system for the design, construction and maintenance of sustainable landscapes - similar to a LEED for Landscapes.
Reclaimed Water
Any water that we are able to take back, process and treat, and then re-use is reclaimed. Learn the basics about water reclamation and it's appropriate uses.
White Collar Jobs - Going Green
America's interest in going green has skyrocketed in recent years. The research firm Clean Edge noted a 40 percent increase in revenue growth for solar, wind, biofuel and fuel cell energy. There are currently 8.5 million jobs in renewable-energy and energy-efficiency industries. According to estimates, by the year 2030, 40 million people - or 1 in 4 American workers - will be in fields such as renewable electricity production, alternative fuels, engineering and consulting, as well as energy-efficiency retrofits for homes and businesses.
Sustainable Winter Landscapes
When most of us think of beautiful, sustainable landscapes, rarely do we think of winter. However, designing for the winter garden can lead to satisfying and pleasing color and texture all year round. It can even inspire you to get all bundled up and head outdoors for some fresh air when the temperature falls.
Green Lease 101
By developing and implementing eco-strategies into your corporate real estate lease, building owners and tenants have the power to improve their work environment while minimizing its environmental impact.
WaterSense: Saving Water Made Easy
WaterSense is a voluntary program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that develops water efficiency specifications, partners with product manufacturers to create products that meet the specifications and then promotes those products to consumers.
Living Buildings a Reality
Part manifesto, part call to action, and part rating system, the International Living Building Challenge (ILBC) is a standard that rates buildings, communities and infrastructure projects using the metaphor of the flower.
Sustainability Websites To Watch
From the hottest environmental news to step-by-step guides, check out these reliable websites that outline a vision toward a sustainable future.
Sustainability Definitions – E
Glossary terms and articles relative to sustainability.
Sustainability Definitions – H
Glossary terms and articles relative to sustainability.
Sustainability Definitions – F
Glossary terms and articles relative to sustainability.
Sustainability Definitions – B
Glossary terms and articles relative to sustainability.
What is Greenbuild?
Hosted by the US Green Building Council, the annual Greenbuild Conference & Expo boasts over 1,000 exhibitors and the largest gathering of over 25,000 architects, engineers, developers, contractors and building owners and operators involved in the greening of the built environment in the world.
One Planet Living Framework
The framework for One Planet Living can be broken down into ten basic principles.
Green Incentives
Need a financial reward for going green? Here you will find a list of the most common incentives, with state by state links in areas of energy efficiency, green building and renewable technology.
Sustainability Definitions – D
Glossary terms and articles relative to sustainability.
Sustainability Definitions – C
Glossary terms and articles relative to sustainability.
One Planet Living
Solutions for living within the carrying capacity of one planet - a program developed by BioRegional and WWF.
Green Confidence Index
Green Confidence Index. Sustainability.

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