Big Ideas in Green Design

August/September 2008

Cover of Issue 23

Featured in this issue:

Home Renovator's Guide

The complete Plenty manual for healthy, renewable, energy-efficient materials that will add value to your home and let you breathe a lot easier

By Brita Belli, Brian C. Howard and Tracy Tullis

Less Than Zero

Forget simply cutting a building's footprint. A new wave or architectural thinkers wants to create buildings that help regenerate the environment like living organisms. Structures that give back: Is that future so far off?

By Lisa Selin Davis

Greenlined Design

Ten Innovations of the Last Century that Better our Planet

By Elizabeth Thompson

Letter from the Editor

Beyond the Bulb - The future of green design

By Mark Spellun

Land of Plenty

Our readers across the country (and around the world) are making strides toward living the green life and creating a modern Land of Plenty. We've selected a few of their eco accomplishments - both big and small - to share. Send us stories about how you're trying to make a difference; we'll choose the best to publish in an upcoming issue of the magazine

By You

Ask Plenty

I know it is terrible for the environment and also a serious health threat, so I hesitate to use pencils. But plastic pens seem like a bad idea, too. What should I stock up on before heading back to college?

By Tobin Hack


One Shot: Jug Boat

By the Numbers: China's Fortunes

China's been in the spotlight lately thanks to the Beijing Olympics. But despite efforts to green the Games, the country doesn't exactly get the gold for the state of its environment. take a look at how massive development and population growth are taking their toll on China.

He Said/She Said

Transportation: How They Roll

By Dianna Dilworth

Policy: Brook Learning

By Ben Whitford

Eco Speak: Grolar Bear

The Big Picture

By Bob Eckstein

Sports: Salute Their Shorts

By Molly Webster

Trend: Magical Misery Tours

By Ben Whitford

Art: Message in a Bottle

By Steven K. Lee

Act Out: Oil-La-La

By Nicole Scarmeas

Miss Eco Etiquette: Cut the Cord

QUESTION: To save energy, I unplug electronics when I'm not using them. Is it ok to do the same at a friend's house?

By Kiera Butler

Life in the Green Zone

Lizz Winstead comes across a bad case of separation anxiety and channels her inner therapist to save the day

By Lizz Winstead


Science: Smoking Grass

An ancient technique for enriching soil could revolutionize farming and curb climate change

By Ben Whitford

Science: Findings

Science: Ask a Scientist

If sharks are in decline, why are shark attacks on humans more prevalent now?

By Susan Cosier

Science: The Trying Game

China's efforts at a clean and environmentally sensitive Summer Olympics

By Victoria Schlesinger

Business: Stamp of Success

By evaluating whole companies instead of products, B Labs aims for a new standard in business practice

By Eileen P. Gunn

Business: A Smarter Spark

Adventurous startups are taking the energy industry out of the dark ages by introducing green IT to the grid

By Dan Fost

Tech: All Systems Go Green

As private space tourism nears launch, some companies are climbing to new heights for less-polluting rockets

By Eliza Strickland

Tech: Full of Crop

Farmers are planting more genetically modified plants worldwide every year

By Dave Zuckerman

Tech: On the Drawing Board

Breaking Down Is Hard to Do

By Nicole Scarmeas

Tech: Patent Watch

Chalk It Up

By Sandra Upson

Activist in Residence

Bill McKibben finds a potential blueprint for linking modern-day environmental stewardship with religion in more than 20,000 pounds of free food

By Bill McKibben


People: Eco Star - Kelly Rutherford

12 questions for Gossip Girl's pampered mom whose real-life motherhood sparked her green lifestyle

By Victoria De Silverio

Travel: Eco-Hopping

A modern-day Greek odyssey that cruises the Aegen Sea by (mostly) wind-powered means, taps unspoiled destinations, and zeroes in on sustainable island life

By Jennifer van der Kwast

Going Places: Buenos Aires

Argentina's capital lags behind other major metropolises in offerings like solar energy and green architecture, but it compensates with several earth-saving customs that are ingrained in the city's daily life

By Fernando Cwilich Gil

Food: Market Economy

Thanks to engaged vendors, enterprising organizers, and hyper-local efforts to serve their communities, today's best farmer' markets are changing more than just our diets

By Christine Cyr

Food: Pure Perfection

By Kristine Hansen

Food: Sweet Success

By Jessica Tzerman

Food: Farm to Fork with Dan Barber

An enterprising farmer transforms already sublime tomatoes into out-of-this-world fruit with a bit of salt and a careful hand. Try them alone, or in this simply amazing late-summer salad

By Dan Barber

Trash to Treasure: Fit to be Lit

Max McMurdo transforms a discarded industrial coffee canister into a stunning, flower-inspired lampshade

By Max McMurdo

The Green Fiend

Annemarie Conte extreme-recycles for a day, tending to all the urinals and floppy disks people stockpile in their garages

By Annemarie Conte

Style: Rainbow Brights

Low-impact dyes paired with organic and recycled fabrics let you wear nature's brightest hues and keep her waterways free of toxic colors and pesticides, too

By Starre Vartan

Style: Take Two

A boring old jacket gets a mod makeover with a few simple snips. THE RESULT: an inexpensive look equally suited to the urban safari and vests-are-everywhere du jour

By Starre Vartan

Style: Critical Mass

By Starre Vartan

Style: Bronze Standard

Mineral-based bronzers that are good for you and the planet

By Alexandra Zissu

Style: Natural Selection

Recapture the summer with products infused with sea salt

By Alexandra Zissu

Reviews: Green Media

New reading and film for the ecophile

By Tobin Hack

Green Gear:

Fun and Games

Summer's winding down and fall has come a-knockin'. Here are ten reasons to embrace earlier mornings, spending more time inside, and, yes, the inevitable daily grind-you may even have a little fun while you're at it.

By Jessica Tzerman

Plenty Labs:

A Good Green Wash

Detergents that won't drag the planet down the drain

By Deidre Dolan

Seal Watch: Desperately Seeking Standards

How organic is organic in personal-care products?

By Alexandra Zissu

Behind the Wheel

Camry Hybrid

By Stuart Schwartzapfel

Best of the Rest

Rain Barrels

Green, Greener, Greenest

Is it worth it to drink eco-friendly brews, and what are my options?

By Lori Bongiorno

Last Word: Herbicide in the First Degree

How to kill your lawn and not feel bad about it

By Kristin Gore

Issue 25

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