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burgerkingWell, baloney is more of a real meat substance than whatever is used to concoct a whopper.  This sign was spotted outside of at least five Memphis area Burger King locations.  Sounds like someone needs a refresher on how CAFO’s operate?

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southside solarExelon is planning a solar power plant on the southside of Chicago which would be funded by loan guarantees from the Department of Energy.

This story caps a solar-energy-news heavy month, where we learned someone is working on making solar panels affordable by making end-users leasees of the technology instead of owners.

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There is definitely a movement towards more sustainable building in this country and around the world, and rightly so.  There is only so much energy we can extract, drill, or techno-create and only so much landscape to cultivate.  We live in a finite system with finite resources where infinite growth is not scientifically or rationally conceivable.  Buildings currently consume the lion’s share of energy in the United States at 48%, checking in ahead of transportation (27%) and manufacturing (25%) (source: US Energy Information Administration).  They also swallow up once productive land while leaving a trail of asphalt and turf in its wake.  After a typical building is constructed it is hooked up to the power grid to produce electricity, to the water supply to provide potable water, and to the sewer system to carry waste.  Gobbling up resources from those utilities to support its needs while never giving anything back.  Historically, there is not much longevity for an eco-system or civilization operating under that premise.  This is due, in large part, to the design paradigm of one-size-fits-all architecture.  A house in Fargo looks and behaves no differently than one in Fort Lauderdale. Read the rest of this entry »

straw baleSo, the name of the blog.  Strawbales are nothing new and, no, they are not to be confused with hay.  Straw is the dried stalk of a cereal plant after the grain has been removed, an agricultural by-product.  They typically clutter the ubiquitous landscape of the rural world and are usually burned by the farmer as a way to rid themselves of the nuisance.

Here is an opportunity to make use of a waste.  An ethic we must subscribe to more frequently as we are fast depleting places to dispose of waste.

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