April 21st, 2009
Springtime is the perfect time to go green, so Low Impact Living is very happy to announce a new green home contest for the Midwest. If you live within 300 miles of the Windy City and you live in a green home or want to make your current home greener, you’re eligible to compete. Low Impact Living and the Hotel InterContinental Chicago challenge you to make your home as green as you can!
We’re going to reward the greenest home and homeowners with a luxurious 3-night stay at the LEED-certified, greenest hotel in the Second City, the Hotel InterContinental. In addition, the winner will be treated to an eco-friendly stay in Chicago which includes tasty local cheeses and bio-dynamic wine at the adjoining ENO restaurant, a $50 gift certificate to the green clothing boutique Pivot and a gift from Chicago’s greenest boutique, Green Heart. More on the hotel and the prizes in a minute!
Low Impact Living will identify the single family home (and its proud owners) that has the lowest Low Impact Living Index (calculated using our Environmental Impact Calculator), and we’re going to share with you what that family has done to get there. Don’t worry if you haven’t done big projects like installing solar panels or a wind turbine - as the calculator shows, many of the best green home projects are simple and inexpensive. We’ll show you how to identify projects to make your home more eco-friendly. The contest will close on June 15, 2009. So you have time to make green changes!
What you have to do to enter
1. Visit our Household Environmental Impact Calculator and calculate your base LILI (Low Impact Living Index). It will only take five-ten minutes to use the calculator and create an account.
2. Once you’ve entered all of your base inputs, move on to the “select projects” page of the calculator. Make sure you only check projects that you’ve finished (or will finish by June 15th) before you log out.
3. Make sure that you log out or save your profile before leaving — if you just move on to another web site without logging out, your inputs could be lost.
4. If you’ve already created an account through our calculator, then you need to return and, log in again. We’ve added some new features recently, and they won’t work unless you refresh your account.
5. We realize the calculator isn’t all-encompassing yet, so there may be projects that you’ve done that don’t show up. If this is true, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org describing what you’ve done. Low Impact Living staffers will review your efforts and award up to a 5% additional deduction for compelling projects.
How we’ll select the winner
The contest closes on June 15, 2009, and we will announce the winner on July 1. This will give us time to check with the finalists to make sure that they’ve completed all of their checked projects. (Past entrants to our green home contests are not eligible.)
If you are a finalist (in our top 10 lowest LILI scores), we may ask you to verify that your projects are actually completed, via photos or receipts / invoices for work performed. We’ll also ask for your address (not to be published!) so that we can verify entered information about your home. If you’re a winner, then you have to be willing to let us share your projects and process with everyone via our blog, and to provide us with the photos and project descriptions necessary to do that. You’ll become a green star overnight!
What you could win!
The greenest homeowner will receive three nights at the luxe Hotel InterContinental in Chicago (valid until May 2010). Chicago’s only Green Seal certified and Energy Star rated hotel, the InterContinental is partially housed in a historic tower built in 1929 and overhauled in 2009 with state-of-the-art, energy-saving appliances and fixtures (talk about recycling!) Located on the city’s Magnificent Mile, the hotel is within walking distance of Lake Michigan, stores, the Loop, and the Art Institute. The hotel’s historic, junior Olympic size pool is recognized as one of the best indoor pools in the U.S. and is included in Chicago’s major architectural tours.
The InterContinental is continuously improving its environmental performance through the development and sharing of best practices, training and recognition of excellence. In addition to utilizing innovative technology to conserve energy as well as reducing and recycling the waste it produces, the property is also committed to promoting effective environmental management to its key vendors and contractors. In addition, the hotel is mindful of purchasing local products and eco-friendly products to reduce carbon emissions.
ENO, the InterContinental’s chic wine, cheese and chocolate lounge, boasts organic and biodynamic wines and local cheeses and chocolates. The winner will experience the unique and artisan offerings of this Second City favorite, merely a few steps from your room.
The winner will also receive a $50 gift card from Pivot Boutique, which opened in September 2007 and is Chicago’s first boutique devoted to eco-fashion. The store’s designers use organic or sustainable materials and processes to create chic clothing, accessories and gifts.
Finally, the prize-winner will also receive a specially-selected gift from Green Heart Shop, Chicago’s only non-profit, eco friendly, fair trade store.
So, good luck, and get to greening, you Heartlanders!
Popularity: 7% [?]
April 9th, 2009
Just when you thought GM was a washed up brontosaurus, they come out with a pretty cool announcement. GM and Segway are teaming up to develop an electric two-seater called the PUMA. This small vehicle is for urban use– with a top speed of 35 miles per hour. And they say it can go for about 35 miles on a single charge.
The producers are comparing the vehicle to “an iPod on wheels” due to its revolutionary nature. (Wishful thinking?) The snappy little car comes complete with Internet connectivity and an electronic brain to drive by itself. They claim it can even find its own parking spot!
They plan to roll the PUMA out in 2010 but they have not yet announced a price.
Popularity: 4% [?]
April 3rd, 2009
One of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to drive less, or even better get rid of your car all together. If you live in a city like San Francisco, New York or Chicago, this is a no brainer. In fact, you’re probably better off without the car - no worrying about parking, getting tickets, gas, or insurance, and in reality it’s usually easier and faster to walk or take public transportation. But what if you’re not in one of these cities, what if you’re in Denver, Portland, or even Los Angeles? Can you live without your car, or use it less?
Popularity: 2% [?]
March 20th, 2009
In a recent article for the Scientific American, Michael Lemonic wrote about the Top 10 Myths About Sustainability. The article is a great reminder that we still have a ways to go - not only in our understanding of what sustainability is, but in how to live a more sustainable life. The following is a summary of Lemonic’s Top 10 Myths. (more…)
Popularity: 5% [?]
March 16th, 2009
Holy Guacamole! Get ready, set, go! Earth Hour is coming to a planet near you. More than that, the GRAND FINALE is in Los Angeles (hometown of Low Impact Living). This global event will start at 8:30pm on Saturday, March 28 in Fiji and travel around the globe (the long way), time zone to time zone. It will culminate in a huge all-inclusive, finale celebration in Nokia Plaza at LA’s newest entertainment facility, L.A. LIVE in downtown Los Angeles.
So what is Earth Hour, you might ask? Earth Hour is a global event that was created by World Wildlife Fund to unite cities, businesses, schools, organizations and individuals by asking them to turn out their lights for one hour in a global call for action on climate change. It started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia with 2.2 million people participating and went global 2008 with 50 million people on all seven continents flipping the switch.
Earth Hour 2009 expects close to 1 billion people from Fiji to Figueroa to Turn Out, Take Action and Vote Earth, using their light switch as their ballot to send a clear message to our elected officials that we want them to act NOW on climate change!
WWF identified Los Angeles as a leader in addressing urban, environmental issues and chose the city as a flagship location for Earth Hour ‘09, joining Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, Miami, Nashville and San Francisco. As one of 400 cities in 74 countries participating in Earth Hour 2009, residents of Los Angeles get the chance to show the world how we can be a green role model for large cities and lead the way to a healthier planet.
But what does this mean? Vote Earth?
It’s simple: your light switch is your vote. By turning off our lights on March 28th, we are collectively sending a visual message to our elected officials that climate change is so important to us that they must make it a priority. And by signing up at earthhourUS.org, you are documenting your vote so that your voice will be heard beyond March 28th!
The Event at L.A. LIVE
The grand finale for Earth Hour 2009 happens at L.A. LIVE hosted by Mayor Antonio Villaragosa, MC’d by Billboard chart topper and Emmy-Award-winning DJ, Tony Okungbowa from the Ellen Degeneres Show, featuring elected champions of the environment and staring special musical guests the Agape Choir, the spectacular Gina Rene, singing her song, Be The Change, the official song of Earth Hour LA. And a special surprise guest to be announced shortly! Come together with your fellow Angelinos, Dine By Candlelight at L.A. LIVE restaurants and enjoy great entertainment, all while you watch Los Angeles icons all over the city go dark on the L.A. LIVE jumbo-trons! See the Capital Records building, the Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel, L.A. City Hall, the El Capitan Theater, The Getty Museum! The event is FREE and ALL are welcome! Go to http://www.earthhourus.org/losangeles for more details and prove to the rest of the world that we really do have a community here by turning off the lights together for Earth Hour LA!
We look forward to joining all of our eco-minded friends — in the dark– for Earth Hour on the 28th!
Popularity: 2% [?]