World’s 5th Certified ‘Living Building’ – Bechtel Environmental Classroom

To meet the Living Building Challenge’s green building certification requirements, a building must qualify in seven performance areas, or ‘Petals’: 

Site / Water / Energy / Health / Materials / Equity / Beauty

To learn how Bechtel  approached each ‘Petal’ of the challenge, and to read the very interesting Case Study for the Environmental Classroom, follow this link: / Note – tribute, by way of wood engravings on the building, is made to the Jefferson Salamander – an endangered species whose plight will be helped by Bechtel’s purchase of the land.

Bechtel Environmental Classroom


Condensed High-Rise Community Living

‘Smart’, ‘Dynamic’, ‘Sustainable’ – are all terms that describe the future of high-rise living, and indeed high-rise living is our future.  We must further condense our cities to accommodate our population and when urbania has sprawled as much as it can, the only way to go is up!

According to many forward thinkers, condensed high-rise communities could be the answer to cleaning up our smog.  When everything you need is within walking distance, this lessens and often eliminates the need for vehicles powered by fossil fuels.  This video shows some of the innovative architectural designs coming soon to a city near you!

rotating skyscraper dubai

WHO Rates 10 Cities with Cleanest Air in the World

The World Health Organization has ranked 3 Canadian cities among the top 10 with the Cleanest Air in the World.  There is one city on this list that could really surprise you!  Even though it’s close to one of the most industrially polluted areas on the planet, it has such an effective public transit and traffic routing infrastructure that it has significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions in the city.  Take a guess and then check your answer here:

clean air top 10


The Environmental Working Group has rated over 2,000 household cleaning products as to their toxicity levels – not very comforting results I’m afraid…

The good news is that there are some very safe and cost effective solutions that you can easily make yourself – DIY Jayne is even supplying the recipes –

cleaning products


One of the oldest and most respected furniture companies in Canada, Smitty’s Fine Furniture, based in Hanover, Ontario, has always had a very clear vision of quality, Canadian made products.  After reading their very comprehensive list “Top 26 Reasons why it is better to buy furniture that is made, produced, manufactured or assembled in Canada”, buyers will be aware of the impact made by their purchasing decisions.


I’m sure we can all cite the most obvious reasons, such as, quality furniture lasts much longer and will save you money in the long run, but I’m betting that there are some things on this list that a lot of people have not considered!