Couldn’t resist passing this on regarding the Detroit Zoo’s efforts toward a sustainable future. Please follow the link above to take a look at what they are doing.
Two things really impressed me in the article. First, the zoo folks really appear to be looking at the world impact and ramifications for the future, not just bottom line impact. Even though some of their green initiatives negatively impact their revenue stream, they are still going for the sustainable choices and finding ways to offset the loss in those areas so that they can make things better for the future ultimately. Not everyone is willing to do that type of work (yet), so it is inspiring to hear of in a place as unique and challenging as a zoo. If they can do it…
The second thing that impressed me is that they seem to understand that this is an on-going, long-term commitment to be sustainable, not a one-time exercise in energy efficiency improvements to produce some measure of savings. They understand and articulate that now that they have taken care of the “easy” items that did not really impact operations much, that now they must dig deeper and evolve to be truly “green”. I’m happy to have supported the zoo and plan to continue to do so with this type of responsible leadership seemingly creating a bright future for our community.
Nice work, Detroit Zoo!
Here’s a humorous and interesting perspective on the root of GREEN.
GG Rainwater Rubber Ducky Derby - First Friday Rain
We have a great rainwater collection system on our future roof garden at the Green Garage. The system collects rainwater from the large, barrel roof with a small dam that directs the water to a collector, then sends it across the roof garden through a series of gutters where it ends up in a large storage tank on the lower flat roof. From the tank, the rainwater is piped down to our gardens, and with the tank being overhead, the water is under pressure down below so that we can just hook up a hose and water our plants when needed without using city water.
In order to study the rate of water collection and have some fun in the process, the Labs has decided to host a Rubber Ducky Derby the first Friday afternoon that we have rain at the garage during one of our normal Labs Sessions, which are Fridays from 1:30 p.m. to around 3:30 p.m. It’s really all in fun, but we are pretending to also get some data on how fast the water is flowing while we are having the fun, and in process, we may actually find some interesting observations on how fast our tanks fill up.
This video is a preliminary time trial for the Green Garage Rubber Ducky Derby where a couple of our MADD scientists brought their entries into the derby in to test the “track”. Take a look!
Part of our real rainwater experiment is to monitor how much water our plants take and to develop a sense of what really works in an urban environment like ours when we want to avoid using city water for any watering needs. The Labs are collaborating with the Garden Group to help figure this out. The Garden Group will then inform the Urban Sustainability Library so that we have information and hopefully some good recommendations when people inquire about what native Michigan plants are good in an urban area like Detroit.
For more information, visit www.greengaragedetroit.com.
Absorption chiller using solar down to 4.5 tons of cooling with commercial and residential applications mentioned.
ventilation_filters by The Green Garage on Flickr.
GREEN GARAGE VENTILATION SYSTEM FILTERS
What a difference 2 weeks makes! The filter on the far left is a brand new, clean MERV 8 filter. The middle filter is from our exhaust air stream in our energy recovery unit (used to protect the energy recovery wheel from any dust and dirt that might be in the exhaust stream), and the far right filter is from our outside air intake air stream in the energy recovery unit, both after 2 weeks of operating 9.5 hours per day, Monday through Friday. In terms of typical filter cleanliness, these filters are really not too bad. But we found it rather surprising and a little disturbing at how dirty the outside air filter was after only 2 weeks of part time operation. After all, this is our source for “fresh” air for our indoor environment!
One of the largest sources of outside pollution is burning fuel; in automobiles, homes, and industry. While we have come a long way towards reducing emissions and improving our outside air quality, I think this photo is a good reminder that we still have much room for improvement. So whatever little (or big) things we can do to reduce our fuel burning impact, whether directly or indirectly, we can help make it better.
Click here to learn more about pollution sources, both indoors and outdoors.