Posts Tagged ‘environment’


11 Apr 2012

Best of Green 2012

Category: Sustainability

captionPointer.jpgimage courtesy treehugger.com

What's the best electric car, green cookbook, or nature app? Who's the best celebrity activist? Or the best-looking endangered species (spoiler alert: it’s the Black-Footed Albatross)? TreeHugger’s Best of Green 2012 will answer these questions and so many more.

This year’s list – with 120+ winners in more than 100 categories, including Readers’ Choice– provides plenty of inspiration in green design, science, technology, and living.

And just in time for Earth Day, the Best Green Message on a T-shirt: "Run, Forest Run”:

captionPointer.jpgsheer awesomeness




captionPointer.jpgseason's sparrings

Is your eco trainer taking vacation days this holiday season? Don’t worry, you can keep fighting the good fight on your own. If you need help going fifteen rounds, check out the Sierra Club’s Holiday Survival Guide. This isn’t the guide to help if you get caught in an avalanche. But it might help if you get caught in a climate change spar with your sweet but confused Cousin Mervin.

Favorite take-away message: “There are a lot of different people open to green ideas if you frame it right and talk to them with respect.”

Not ready to go toe to toe because you haven’t kept up with the green headlines? Never fear, Grist’s Top Green and Gristy Stories of 2011, The NY Times Green Blog, and the various green posts available at Alltop will have you in peak condition in no time.

Classic line from Grist: “More horrifying [than screwed up weather] is climate's ruination of all that is good and holy: chocolate, peanut butter, bacon, oysters, wine, beer, bourbon, even coffee.”

Thank goodness humor doesn’t release any greenhouse gas emissions or contribute to landfill waste. We need a lot more of it as we take off our gloves and work together to affect positive change in the new year.




2 Aug 2011

Cars, What Cars?

Category: Sustainability

captionPointer.jpgI hopped aboard UTA to get to work today

Greenweek is in full swing at 3form, as evidenced by the uncanny lack of automobiles in our parking lot!

Today was "Empty the Parking Lot Day," and 3form employees really stepped up to the challenge, choosing alternative methods of delivering themselves to work - including carpooling, vanpooling, cycling, longboarding, walking, and busing.

How do we feel about that? Hot, sweaty, tired . . . and GREAT.

Just imagine the impact you can have if you made green choices like that every day . . .

captionPointer.jpgTwo of many 3formers who pedaled to work today




captionPointer.jpgBest of Green 2011

We certainly don’t need another reason to give props to DesignBuildBLUFF (DBB) but we’re happy to have one. TreeHugger.com recently awarded them the 2011 Best of Green Award for Best Student Architecture Work. This just days after they took the Readers’ Choice Award in the same category.

“Green” doesn’t begin to describe the efforts going on at DesignBuildBLUFF. Their mission is to realize architecture that nurtures the spirit and improves the lives of all who experience it.

Each year, their design and building pros mentor architecture students by providing them hands-on experience in sustainable design and social responsibility. To date, 150+ students have gone through the course and eight homes and three community projects have been built on the Navajo Reservation in southeastern Utah. Another five homes are planned for 2011.

This program provides benefits on a number of levels:

- All homes are built to have zero environmental impact.
- At the end of construction, the homes are given to a Navajo family at no cost to the family.
- And ideally, the students will take their green building skills and social awareness with them into the workplace.

It might seem a little self-aggrandizing to turn this achievement our way but, hey, it’s our blog! 3form is proud to be a longtime supporter of DesignBuildBLUFF. We donate building materials, volunteer labor, and financial support – and are thrilled to do so. In fact, we’re even offering a beautiful token of appreciation. Purchase a 3form Reclaim Bowl and we’ll donate 100 percent of the proceeds to DBB!

captionPointer.jpgDesignBuildBLUFF




captionPointer.jpgA Dutch artist upcycles blow-up dolls into clothing

It’s true; there’s potential for treasure in each trash can.

It’s disappointing that most of us aren’t looking at that potential. It’s even more disappointing that most of us aren’t looking at our trash at all. On average, each person in the U.S. throws out 4.5 pounds of trash every day.

Grist challenges us to panic about all the crap we throw out. To see what happens to it, check out The Story of Stuff.

At this point, hopefully it's a no-brainer to adhere to the old dictum of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, but I have to ask, is it possible to take it too far?





captionPointer.jpgGreen Building (The House Plan Shop)

Despite an overall downturn in building revenue, sustainable design is not only holding its own, it’s surging. The 2010 Top 25 Green Design Firms have shown that building green means making green. The top green firms are those that bring in the largest revenues from LEED and other certified green projects. GreenSource Magazine indicates that the growth of green revenue for the top 10 firms on the list was an astounding 42% in 2009. Kudos to Gensler for topping the list with 65% of their design revenue coming from green projects! Check out how 3form low-impact products just might help your firm make next year’s list.




22 Nov 2010

Sorry, Kermit

Category: Sustainability

captionPointer.jpgGreenwashing much? | Photo: Jo Jakeman

Here’s hoping it gets even more difficult to be “green.”

Yes, you heard me right.

Customers are demanding green products.  Businesses are selling them.  Nothing odd about that.

Trouble is, when it comes to being green, some of the eco claims made are for products or companies that are anything but.  This trend is commonly referred to as greenwashing – an insincere display of concern for the environment made on behalf of a product or company.  Yep, it’s even in the dictionary.

There are rumblings that greenwashing is about to take a much-deserved tumble.  Recently, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) called for public comment on proposed revisions to their Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims (“Green Guides”).  Among other things, the proposed revisions address the marketing of carbon offsets and certifications, and advise marketers that they “should not make unqualified general environmental benefit claims.”  Want to comment?  Do so here and do it before December 10th.

This first step looks promising and will hopefully have the intended result.  In the meantime, here’s an example of sincere, greenwash-free efforts.




18 Nov 2010

DesignBuildBLUFF

Category: News

[caption id="attachment_582" align="alignnone" width="630" caption="Adobe Walls of Studio 23"][/caption]

3form is proud to be a part of such an amazing program. We donate our time, materials and in-house expertise with the prevailing thought that an already inspiring effort will be that much better.

The name in and of itself is befitting: Design Build Bluff.

Navajo families in real need are selected by the program's staff and University of Utah students. During the design term, students are allotted a budget for materials and design ideation begins in coordination with the selected family. The homes created are not just the hottest modern, sustainable idea conjured up by the students - they are actually customized to the personalities and functions of the people who live within them.  And the kicker? The homes are constructed of mostly-donated time and materials.

On our most recent visit to the DesignBuildBLUFF site, students from the University of Colorado, Denver's Architecture program were in the build phase, working on Maxine Begay's home. This is where all the creative ideas and inspiration are tested in reality, and given direction. A lot of hard work is brought to bear as the students have only a single term to finish the home, creating a sense of urgency that drives the focus.

Until you spend a weekend in the city of Bluff, Utah, you may not realize that Bluff is an actual place on the map - not just the signature geographic feature of southern Utah. It was surprising to see the massive distances between each home - we traveled upwards of 45 minutes between homes on twisting dirt roads before even catching a glimpse of the next home on the tour.

[caption id="attachment_640" align="alignnone" width="630" caption="The Whitehorse House Area (Home Center of Image)"]The Whitehorse House Area[/caption] [caption id="attachment_639" align="alignnone" width="630" caption="The Whitehorse Home (Before)"]The Whitehorse Home (Before)[/caption] [caption id="attachment_638" align="alignnone" width="630" caption="The Whitehorse House (After)"]The Whitehorse House (After)[/caption]

Read the rest of this entry »




17 Nov 2010

The S-word

Category: Sustainability

Many of us keep a running mental tally of things we do to minimize our impact on the environment – taking the bus, eating locally-grown food, buying recycled-content goods - but, the plain truth is: the way we live is not sustainable.

And trying to be sustainable – whatever that means – can be misleading and downright overwhelming.

At 3form, our sustainability efforts revolve around choice. Have we achieved a state of complete eco-bliss? Nope. Is the environment always invited to the design table when product development is underway? Absolutely.

Most anything we do or use has an environmental impact, but we can minimize those impacts by making better choices. To help us get there, we urge you to jump into the conversation - comment on the choices we’ve made and those that we need to make, and, more importantly, share your ideas on how we can make continued progress toward total - dare we say it - sustainability.