To celebrate the first month of existence, the Green Housing Collaborative is going to implement a few changes. First, the focus on housing is going to be expanded to include other societal elements that pertain to sustainability, such as consumerism, land use, energy, and transportation. I realize there are already myriad blogs out there (see sidebar for a few) that address these issues, but the intent is to contribute to the dialogue and to build a more extensive online community (or, attract more readers) that can hopefully translate into a real life green housing project.
Another idea that comes to mind is finding ways to push for more interaction on the site. I realize that a blog is really a one-to-many information system when what I really envision is a many-to-many system (hence the name collaborative). I'm thinking a transformation to a wiki site may be a way to facilitate this interaction.
I'm also curious about virtual environments and collaborative design programs. I've read that some of these exist but am not familiar with them. I'm thinking of some sort of software where I could 'sketch' a floorplan, then you #1 could modify it, then you #2 could add and subtract from it: kind of like a whiteboard in a design meeting. I'll be looking into this; any recommendations would be appreciated.
In staying true to this new format, I offer you a picture of a sign outside of the downtown Banana Republic.
It reads, "Shop April 22-27 and we'll donate 1% of our sales, up to $100,000, to The Trust For Public Land. This Earth Week initiative is the first step towards our $1 million commitment to The Trust For Public Land." An article on the Banana Republic website highlights their environmental efforts.
While they were the only store I saw in the downtown retail district that was advertising anything green, I couldn't help but wonder where their garments are manufactured. Needless to say, a quick walk through the men's store confirmed my suspicions with those oh-so-common words "Made in China." True, that's unfortunately the contemporary standard but I think a real commitment to "Greener Cities," or a greener planet, would involve reducing trans-oceanic shipping. It's a shame that American Apparel doesn't make clothes for the business casual set.