The Sustainability Project exists to inspire change in the built environment of our region in order to improve the quality of life, in harmony with nature, for this and future generations.
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The Sustainability Project @ Earth Day
We’ll be there tabling and talking about our upcoming event later this summer/fall: King Tides – A Visual Indicator of Climate Change. Come by our booth to see incredible photographs from Bill Dewey and Roe Anne White of the Santa Barbara coastline. 11-5 Saturday and Sunday at booth #506 in the Live Green Zone.
TSP members, friends, & family toured the South Coast Transfer Station on a lovely Saturday afternoon in early November, 2012. Our group was able to witness huge quanities of recycling, construction debris and greenwaste mulch awaiting trucking to various markets and end uses. Amazing to consider 300-500 tons of materials flow through this facility every day.
The County operators told us that greenwaste mulch goes out to avocado orchards, and ranchers, while recycling is delivered to a dedicated recycling sorting facility in Ventura before being sold on the market.
We then toured the MarBorg Construction and Demolition facility in downtown Santa Barbara. Trucks come in to the facility and dump a huge range of construction materials. Our youngest visitor was particularly excited to see the resident seagull chaser, a powerful Harris hawk (on the handler’s arm).
TSP Serves as the client for Assessing Decentralized Wastewater in Santa Barbara County – A Bren School Master Thesis Project (read more)
V.7 n.5 Good and Well Built Environments (pt.2)
By Barbara Hirsch
Creating a new space, or improving an existing one, we can use the same guidelines for promoting our own health and well being, and those of the greater community – what went into the materials we choose, how to reduce our consumption of resources – tools for living on a healthier planet. Here are a few, extracted from an information packed document created for The Sustainability Project by architects and others in related fields, linked below.
- Use the most environmentally sound products you can afford. Choose materials that minimize environmental and health impacts, when possible considering extraction, manufacturing, packaging, transport, installation and final disposal.
- Consider durability, as waste is reduced when repair and replacement are not required.
- Reduce demands on nonrenewable resources, such as old growth lumber. Salvaged and reclaimed lumber is often available. FSC (Forest Stewardship Certified) lumber is a renewable resource.
- Minimize use of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and other toxins. Examples are low or zero VOC paints and other finishes, now readily available, and non-toxic pretreated lumber, which prevents termite and fungi damage. Look for plywood and fiberboard whose binders are formaldehyde free.
- Energy- saving products and alterations can be incorporated into existing buildings for comfort and money savings, e.g. energy efficient windows and insulation.
- When shopping for new appliances and plumbing fixtures, keep water and energy use in mind.
- Use and recycle unused materials. Places like Habitat for Humanity and Art from Scrap may be be glad to offer them to others.
“The United States alone has consumed more resources since 1945 than all of humanity had consumed prior to that time.”