Social Capital and The Commons

I'm interested in having clean water to drink and swim in and grow food both for myself and for my children and their children. Water is an excellent example to use in a discussion about common resources, because we know that if one person pollutes our water it can be unsafe for everyone else to drink. Because water is trapped in what is called a ‘watershed’, all the rain in one large spatial area will flow to lower elevations and then move from upstream to downstream.

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A Tree That Tweets

It sounds like a premise for a bad M. Night Shyamalan movie: a tree that broadcasts its activities and “feelings” across social networks. But in fact it’s reality. Is the world ready for a tree that tweets?

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The Most Sustainable College in America?

Tucked in a mountain valley on the outskirts of Asheville, North Carolina, Warren Wilson College has earned a reputation as a college whose graduates are well-versed in the practical realities of ecological work and life. Boasting a 300-acre livestock and field crop farm that produces 90 percent of the beef and pork consumed on campus, ten acres of orchards, and the state's largest solar array, the school might seem more like a self-supporting village than typical college campus.

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Home Renovation, the Shareable Way

On any given day you can tune into a renovation show on TV and find instructions on how to personalize your home. More and more the market asks us to go beyond a well-built dwelling in a good location. Now our personal spaces need to somehow reflect our sense of aesthetics and character.

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How Affordable & Sustainable is Your Neighborhood?

Our friends at GOOD magazine turned me on to this really cool tool by the Center for Neighborhood Technology. The "Abogo" (as they call it) calculates the transportation costs in your area and then estimates the size of your carbon footprint (and yes, they do explain their methodology).

I just moved from urban San Francisco to suburban Palo Alto, and I was not surprised by the comparison that emerged.

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The Weeds of Ecotopia

In 1972, Ernest Callenbach was an editor with the University Press of California in Berkeley, “leading a normal, bourgeois life,” he says. Aside from the occasional peace march, he didn’t participate in the revolutionary turmoil that defined Berkeley in the 60s and 70s.

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