Filed under: Green education, Sustainable purchases | Tags: gifts, holidays, sustainability
I have been notably absent from blog-writing these last few weeks as finals have taken a serious toll on my free time and creative endeavors. I am now out of finals fog, entering into a month-long holiday break and would like to share with you all just a few thoughts on sustainability in the holiday season. Some of these recommendations may be a little late in coming, but at least they are food for thought on how YOU can incorporate sustainability into your own life.
Rethink holiday gifting!Try to reduce consumption when it’s solely for consumption’s sake. Make your gifts meaningful to ensure they won’t just end up in a landfill somewhere, try to avoid products that are excessively wrapped in plastics and styrofoam.
Buy gifts that grow! Giving live plants and flowers as gifts can be fun, and sustainable too!
Reduce travel and shipping expenses. When buying online, purchase in advance to make sure you avoid express shipping, which is costly for you and the environment as well. Bundle your shopping errands together into one trip rather than several to reduce travel.
For a whole host of interesting recommendations on greening your gift-giving, check out Grist’s recommendations here. Grist is a really interesting website filled with environmental news. Environmental Defense also has some good recommendations on holiday gift giving.
For those of you who celebrate Christmas, check out this article from the New York Times on buying “green” Christmas trees. Which is greener? A real tree that is grown in a Christmas tree farm, possibly dozens or hundreds of miles from your home, or a fake tree made of plastic that you store in your attic every year? Click here to find out!
Filed under: Green education, Recent news | Tags: energy efficiency, going green, Security Council, sustainability, United Nations headquarters
Hey everyone, I came across this article a few weeks ago, and am really excited to share with you the news: The U.N. headquarters in New York are going green! The building, which apparently is one of the most visited in New York City, is undergoing a five-year and nearly two billion dollar reconstruction that will make structural revisions to the aging building.
They will be making major changes to almost all aspects of the complex. Besides retrofitting old windows and walls to conserve heat more efficiently, they’ll also be incorporating photovoltaic cells into the glass windows to turn sunlight into energy, putting in energy-efficient lighting, and installing a heating system that comes from the floor rather than the ceiling. All of these changes are intended to improve energy-efficiency a total of 44% – that’s almost half of their energy costs!
While I won’t be so presumptuous as to suggest that BMUN played a role in the decision, I am very excited about this development, because it shows that the importance of sustainability is finally permeating into major institutions at the top level. It is so important to consider the ways that you can reduce your own consumption, whether at home, in your business, or anywhere else you spend your time, and it’s great that the U.N. headquarters are choosing to lead the way in their sustainably minded-retrofits.
Check out the article here. And if you read through the 2nd page of the article, you’ll find a side-note on potential architectural changes to the Security Council (shown in the picture above). If you’re aware of the debate that is ongoing about reforming its membership, you might find it pretty interesting.