Archive Of The Category ‘healthy building‘


Induction Cooking Is the Bomb!

I have a kind of strange admission to make, for an eco-freak. I am eagerly awaiting the death of an appliance. Admittedly, this has happened before, but then it was an aesthetic issue. This time it’s about climate change.

I want to ‘decarbonize’ my home — eliminate all sources of fossil fuel combustion so that I can get the gas line capped off at the street. That means we will need to swap out all the gas appliances for electric: space and water heating equipment, the clothes dryer, and the kitchen range.

I expect our situation is pretty similar to a lot of other people’s. It’s hard to justify the expense (and embodied carbon footprint) of scrapping appliances that haven’t yet reached the end of their useful lifespans, and there are some logistical challenges, too, such as getting adequate electrical supply to the range location. 

Unlike many, though, I don’t have an attachment to cooking with so-called “natural” gas (which is methane, a greenhouse gas that is 80x more potent than CO2). I’m already persuaded of the many benefits of induction cooking over gas. It’s faster, more efficient, reduces burn risks, and results in cleaner indoor air by eliminating natural gas combustion byproducts. And perhaps best of all, the CLEANUP will be much easier!! The gas cooktop has far too many nooks, crannies, and crevices that get coated with muck from my husband’s liberal interpretation of “tablespoon” when it comes to the application of olive oil. 

Many people react poorly, though, to the idea of giving up their gas cookery; their only point of comparison is old-style electric ranges — which bear little resemblance to today’s induction appliances. Induction is a magnetic technology, and the fact that the ranges plug into the wall is irrelevant (gas ranges plug in, too). 

I’d like to recruit YOU to join the induction campaign! Learn about induction, test it out (single burners can be had for ~$50), and take your recalcitrant friends, family members, and clients to a showroom – a live demo of this technology can be very persuasive. Consumer Reports also has some great resources:

  • ‘Which is better’ – the highest performing stoves tested by CR are induction models, and one is cheaper than 9 other models in the top 10!
  • ‘Pros and cons’ – induction cooktops are faster & respond better to dialing back the temperature

Now get cookin’ with your campaign!

BW2: Brilliant Weekend @ BuildWell 2014

120 green building leaders and innovators in the built environment gathered last weekend at BuildWell 2014 in Sausalito, CA. Kudos to Ecological Building Network‘s Bruce King, co-producer Sarah King, and their dedicated band of volunteers for producing a brilliant event. The speaker line-up included keynotes from Architecture 2030‘s Ed Mazria, science wiz John Warner from the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry, and ecological footprint creator Mathis Wackernagel of the Global Footprint Network — visionaries all.

Highlights — besides the keynotes — included talks by at least two dozen inspiring individuals. Organizations represented included the USGBC, International Living Future Institute, Healthy Building Network, Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, the US EPA, University of San Francisco, University of Santa Clara, BuildingGreen Inc., Gensler, Arup, Webcor Builders, Pankow Blue, and a host of other leading AEC firms.

Hosted at the gorgeous Cavallo Point resort (a star in its own right), this intimate meeting of the minds was the antithesis of the Greenbuild crush, where you’re lucky to spend 90 seconds with your favorite gurus. With most of the participants staying on premises, there were countless impromptu meetings and gabfests on porches, in hallways, and by the firepits.

Invite yourself to BW16 — sign up for the mailing list at

Better yet, join the organizing team or become a sponsor for this exclusive event!


BuildWell 2014 Attendees at Cavallo Point, March 22, 2014