Daily Green Wrap-up 16.November, 2012

One of General Motor’s executives recently laid out the automaker’s plans for achieving 500,000 electrified vehicle sales annually by 2017. Pure electric cars will make up a big part of those plans, and leading GM’s EV charge is the Chevrolet Spark EV. Though the Spark EV will make its official debut at the L.A. Auto Show, GM has slipped a few pictures out to an eagerly-awaiting public, as well as some key information.
…Luckily, both winter and summer problems can be alleviated through the same energy efficiency tactics you can implement easily and affordably in your home. Many people believe that green initiatives in the household require large investments of time and money; however, the most common initiatives are actually quite cost-effective and simple. Marc Holland, Community Relations Director with HomeStarSearch, a rent to own housing provider, interacts with those concerned with the affordability of housing.
Since I was intrigued by process, not ingredients, I wanted to see for myself how various snacks were made. I envisioned teasing out the differences between natural ingredients and levels of processing, to see how these snacks held up to the rubric I use when deciding what to buy: Could I make them at home? In other words, are they made with ingredients readily available to retail consumers and possible to make in a home kitchen?
  • (Ally)GreenJoyment: Trips to the grocery store, for me, are very time-consuming because I feel compelled to read the labels on everything. I’m often disturbed by some ingredients found in foods marketed as “natural”  – things that sound really vague like “natural flavoring.” I don’t know what that is but I feel like I should stay away from it (after doing some reading, I’ve come across some sources that claim that ‘natural flavoring’ sometimes includes BUGS – literally insects- which is a little too ‘natural’ for me). So, like the author of this article, I’ve also come to the conclusion that homemade snacks are the best way to go. They’re more time-consuming than grabbing something off of supermarket shelf, but they can be fun to make and they generally taste better anyway.
Hostess Brands Inc., the bankrupt manufacturer of Twinkies, HoHos, CupCakes and Honey Buns, has failed to come to an agreement with members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco
Workers and Grain Millers International Union which have been on strike since last week.
Does this mean you should stockpile the Twinkies at the gas station to use as currency in the future?
Hardly.
Seattle-based Method Homes just unveiled their new Paradigm series of net-zero energy and water prefab house at the US Greenbuild Conference and Expo in San Francisco. The 722 square foot home features an impressive set of sustainable features, including a rooftop solar array, rainwater collection and filtering, and even mini greenhouses watered with greywater. Through the intelligent use of natural lighting, integration with outdoor spaces, and some incredibly cool, versatile furniture, the Paradigm home makes the most of its modest footprint. The home is targeting both LEED platinum and six of the seven petals of the Living Building Challenge.
  • Jeff (GreenJoyment): I like their use of “Transformers style” furniture to even allow the space within the home to be reused.  Privacy seems like it would be a bit of an issue since the bedroom is the family room, but I’m sure there is a demographic this would work great for.  What I would really like to see is modular “net zero” structures that can be assembled into a custom living space.  I could definitely see application for apartment-style living  with these homes though.  Maybe 30 of them grouped around a shared club house with common business center and gym.  Looking forward to seeing more from Method Homes.

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