Posted: May 28th, 2008 | Author: James Glave | Filed under: Almost Green, Eco Shed | No Comments »
So, here’s one of the two lighting fixtures I installed today; it’s a Artemide Talo, a fluorescent wall light over the desk. Looks nice, but it was a pain in the ass to install. There was supposed to be an adaptor plate in the box to make this eurolamp fit onto a standard US-Canadian receptacle box, but it wasn’t there. The company was not helpful, insisting that the plate is always in the box. (Wait, didn’t I just blow more than — *cough* — $400 on your product?) So I whipped up a little sketch of what I needed and took it to Peter Ryan of Ryan Metalworks here on the island. He fabbed it in 45 minutes, for $15. Local wins my heart again!
Oh, here’s the other, this is a “monopoint” from MP Lighting, based in Vancouver.
This beauty runs an MR16 halogen bulb. I looked into MP’s new uber-efficient LED lighting. It costs a fortune. This should work nicely; it highlights the woodstove, a piece of art in of itself. All I now need is the shower door — coming next week — and the electrician to connect the last circuits. Then I’m ready for an occupancy permit. Anyone out there want to stay here? I’m renting it over the summer to eco-tourists who want to get away from the city without getting too far away. Web site coming soon!
Posted: May 27th, 2008 | Author: admin | Filed under: Almost Green, Eco Shed | No Comments »
It’s been a while since I fired up a MAPP Gas torch. But there I was the other day, kneeling on the floor of the Eco-Shed and blasting a 3/4-inch copper elbow with what wikipedia tells me is a 2927 °C flame (that’s 5301 °F) for you down yonder. I was sweating together a few bits of pipe to connect my Bosch PowerStar on-demand hot water heater to the supply stubouts under the sink in my kitchenette.
I’ve worked copper in the past, when I was adding a half-bath to my place back in Santa Fe, so I know what I’m doing. Well, mostly. Normally I let the plumbers do this sort of thing. But my pipe dude wouldn’t touch my Aquastar. “I’m not even going to take it out of the box,” he told me flatly.
Why? One word: liability. My plumber won’t shake a spanner at any appliance that doesn’t have a Canadian Standards Association (CSA) certification. The PowerStar has an Underwriters’ Laboratories of Canada (ULC) rating, but that’s not good enough for my man’s insurance. If the thing blows up, which it won’t, his insurance company won’t cover him in the event that I try to take him to court. So he left a couple of capped pipes under the sink and said nothing more.
“I can’t sue myself,” I told him, after making another snide comment about how lawyers are just making life harder for everyone these days. Anyway, here’s a little snap of the cut pipe, fittings, and a couple of the tools I used for the job.
In other news, I trimmed out the windows. I used MDF made of 100 percent pre-consumer wood waste, ie mill sawdust. It’s not FSC certified, and probably has formaldehyde in the glue. (So sue me!) The window ledge is FSC spruce from Tembec, some of the stock left over from framing. Three coats of Broda water-based low-VOC urethane on there, from CBR Products. Looks nice, eh? This bugger is almost ready for it’s close-up, which is good, because the cameras are circling….
Posted: May 25th, 2008 | Author: James Glave | Filed under: Almost Green, Media Coverage | Tags: almostgreen publishersweekly reviews | No Comments »
Publisher’s Weekly —the book industry’s most influential magazine—gives Almost Green a very positive review (see fourth item down). Key adjectives are "compelling," "as irreverent as is it deeply informative," "endearing," and "caustically comic." The 200-word ditty concludes that the book holds "real universal appeal." I’m psyched on this. The major audience for PW is the bookseller who wants a more critical judgement than is provided by catalogue copy, in time for him to place pre-publication orders. Cool stuff. Will add the link when it comes available.
Posted: May 18th, 2008 | Author: James Glave | Filed under: Almost Green, Habits, Shopping | Tags: consume shopping bigbox | 1 Comment »
…I sometimes shop at Big Box stores. I buy organic berries but I slather them in Cool Whip. The truth is, we don’t just commit to improving our lives and then wake up the next morning as post-reinvention transformed beings. There are a trillion half-steps between, endless lingering loose threads of our former selves. As I say in the book:
We live in a tortured age—rife with elaborate guilt trips, look-the-other-way hypocrisy, newfangled codes of ecological conduct, and everyday paradoxes.
That’s me above with my new mattress from IKEA. No, it wasn’t hand-made with recycled cotton at a North Vancouver fabric-arts co-op, it was stitched in Mexico. But at least it’s made of natural latex foam, not nasty polyurethene! So what I want to know is, what are your green true confessions? Do you eat local, but now and then stop at the Drive-Thru window for a biggie-size fries? Go ahead, don’t be shy, we’re all friends here. Hang out your almost-green laundry in the comments field below.
Posted: May 14th, 2008 | Author: James Glave | Filed under: Almost Green | Tags: almostgreen, smartcar | 4 Comments »
Ok, this is about the wildest thing to ever show up in my inbox. My red-state father-in-law—one of the individuals I’ve alienated with my overly-ambitious harebrained green schemes, the fellow who loves sports cars and who has a framed picture of George Bush Sr. in his office and who thinks global warming is a “swindle?” Well, check out his new wheels!
Sorry about the blurred face; I’ve promised my wife, Elle, that I’ll keep her dad out of the public eye, to preserve what remains of our fragile family relationship. But trust me, that’s him!
This is very exciting news. Who knew the old man had it in him?!
Posted: May 13th, 2008 | Author: James Glave | Filed under: Almost Green, Eco Shed | No Comments »
I’m back on the grid with a few choice tidbits regarding the book and the seemingly unending Eco-Shed studio project.
- First of all, I must salute my friend Robert Ouimet of Bigsnit, for the many hours he invested relaunching this site. After you’re done here, go over there and hire him for some stuff.
- I’ve added the book’s prologue to this site as an excerpt. Hit the tab up there in the toolbar to check it out.
- ALMOST GREEN is done and on the launch pad. I’m really pleased with the way it finally came together, and I hope you will be too. Keeners out there can pre-order it today through Amazon.com, Chapters.ca, or from your favorite local independent bookseller. (And for those of you lucky enough to live here with me on Bowen Island that is, of course, Phoenix. Julia tells me they’ve started a list…)
- I’ll be reading from ALMOST GREEN and speaking at the opening-night festivities of Write On Bowen, a new writers and readers festival going down right here on Bowen Island, B.C., July 11-13.
- The Eco-Shed is almost done. The cabinets and countertop went in today and they look fantastic. That’s a detail above from my new $40 recycled “lab-bench” sink-and-taps combo, which my dad picked up at a salvage yard. It’s not always a good idea to re-use old faucets—they can be water hogs—but the aerator on this modern beauty is rated to 2.2 gallons per minute, which certainly qualifies as “low flow.”
- I’m going to trim out the windows and doors in the next 10 days, and perhaps even build a bed out of the last of the reclaimed fir. Anyone out there got a used thickness planer they want to unload? Update: We’re going with “reclaimed Ikea.” Thanks, craigslist!
Posted: May 8th, 2008 | Author: admin | Filed under: Almost Green | Tags: new feed, rss | No Comments »
Who said this face lift was going to be painless. We’re just about to launch the new site and wanted to let you know that we’re changing our RSS feed address to serve you better.
Starting immediately, you’ll find the feed at feeds.feedburner.com/glave
Please plug that in to your RSS reader of choice.