Ten Things to Do on Earth Day | What Have You Done for the Earth Lately?


It’s Earth Day today, which means you’ll probably be faced with a dozen or so reads from various websites, specifically suggestions, to-dos, and resolutions for showing your love for the planet.  That’s okay—we can never have too many reminders. 

"You can't beat the view." (Scene from Gravity, 2013)

“You can’t beat the view.” (Scene from Gravity, 2013)

We’ve always said that the Earth doesn’t need saving from us—ultimately it’s us who’ll bear its fury when it has had enough.  Remember, in the face of the massive forces the Earth is capable of unleashing (think flash floods, heat wave, super typhoons, etc.), we are just puny, defenseless mortals.  So all these conscientious and well-meaning Earth Day lists are actually for our own benefit and the generations after us.

Without further ado, here’s our humble list of ten things you can do for the planet, and ultimately for yourself and everyone else.


Switch to LED bulbs.  The next time your CFL bulb burns out, be sure to replace it with an LED version.  LED bulbs are cheaper now than when they first came out in the market, which makes it feasible to retrofit all the light sockets …

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Sustainable Furniture with a Conscience

With the advent of 3D printing, everyday objects in our lives suddenly acquired a new dimension so to speak.  From mass-production, we move to DIY.  No longer are we dependent on the whims of designers and manufacturers.  The promise of 3D printing is that it empowers people (the well-heeled, at least) with the ability to create something unique and wonderful right at the comfort of their own homes.

BigRep's ONE 3D printer is big enough to print a standard-size furniture.  As long as you have $39,000 to spare.

BigRep’s ONE 3D printer is big enough to print a standard-size furniture. As long as you have $39,000 to spare.


Take furniture for example.  Now that the technology is capable of producing large and sturdy pieces, 3D creations aren’t confined anymore to the small, whimsical, and decorative (i.e. food, trinkets, fashion items, etc.)  Furniture—with all its requirements for load-bearing and structural strength—can now be 3D printed.

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Composting in LEED v4

If you have friends who compost, ask them what they love most about composting and they’re sure to list a good many things about it.  They’ll even happily explain the whole process to you.  As someone who’s been composting for five years, I’m still constantly amazed at this miracle of nature—how organic waste that was once a chaotic heap of shredded paper, vegetable peels, dead leaves, and other kitchen and garden scraps could eventually turn into beautifully dark and crumbly nutrient-rich soil. 

Bins for kitchen scraps in Portland's Garbage-to-Garden program

Bins for kitchen scraps in Portland’s Garbage-to-Garden program

Essentially, composting is nature very own recycling program, a very efficient one.  Compost breaks down clay soil, replenishes lost nutrients, and lets beneficial microorganisms thrive in the soil.  In turn, plants need these nutrients to grow healthy in order to bear the fruits and vegetables we eat.  So it all comes back full circle.

And in this age of extreme consumerism and throw-away mentality, composting helps …

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Greening Our LED Smart Lighting

The recently concluded Light+Building trade fair in Frankfurt, Germany showed the world what an exciting competition there is for smart lighting.  Hundreds of exhibitors, both new and long-time players in the LED lighting system industry, showcased their creations, innovatively merging the concepts of smartness and sustainability.  The competition is fierce but friendly, and all the better for everyone involved.

Philips' installation at Light+Building

Philips’ installation at Light+Building (Image from www.ledinside.com)

This year’s theme: Technology for Life – The best energy is the energy that is not consumed, couldn’t be more appropriate since countries are still dependent on non-renewable energy sources.  Cities are rising up and growing, and energy demand for lighting is greater than ever before.  Every bit of efficiency then is crucial.

Our Future is in LED   

Two years ago, lighting giant Philips wowed us with Hue smart lighting system—app-controllable LED light bulbs with …

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On Green Buildings and the Internet of Things | Part 2

Click here for the First Part of this article.


Exactly How Green?

There’s no doubt about the greening consequences of the Internet of Things.  As data flows in real time, our devices can make urgent decisions just as soon, saving us time and effort.  That’s very intuitive, yes.

How green exactly is the Internet of Things? (Image from www.djokic.org)

How green exactly is the Internet of Things?
(Image from www.djokic.org)


But do we really need this many so many devices connected to the Internet 24/7?  Whether we like it or not, all those connected devices use up energy, no matter how low at sleep setting, so that they can jump back to life anytime we need them …

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