Winter in Ireland is normally a mellow affair. A scarf and a pair of wellington boots usually does the trick.
The moderate temperatures are a result of the warmer ocean water of the Gulf Stream pushing north past the North Atlantic West coast and its extension, the North Atlantic Drift.

A typical Irish winter tends to be foggy, dull and damp but still green, albeit a little jaded.

Ireland with its typical winter coat.

Ireland and the UK, January 7, 2010

My trip home this winter, however, wielded a very different picture, its winter greens were a decidedly different shade of white. Read the rest of this entry »


I recently tried a recipe for chocolate soufflé and it came out great. “The Minimalist,” Mark Bittman, never steers you wrong. But what makes this green you ask? Well the main ingredient is of course eggs, which can be found at the farmer’s market pretty much year round. I picked up a half dozen on my way home to cook, marking this chocolate indulgence with a pretty small carbon footprint. Sure they cost a little bit more, but you can see the quality in the dark yellow-orange yokes. They made for a result that was certainly well worth it. One thing to add to Mr. Bittman’s recipe, which I learned over at Vintage Irving on E 15th Street, is to crack the top of your soufflé when it’s done and pour in some melted chocolate for good measure.

Here’s Mark’s step by step recipe from the New York Times: Recipe Video

Our new in-house sustainable lecture series kicked off in January with the first “Fire” topic – a discussion of building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) and solar thermal technologies. Leading the discussion of the ups and downs of using these technologies (including what happens when your solar panel provider stops making panels half way through your project and how to determine the domestic hot water requirements for a convent of nuns so devoted to the tenants of sustainability that they limit showers to 2 minutes every other day), the teams from the Plainsboro Public Library and Community of the Holy Spirit Convent presented the basics of BIPV and solar thermal systems. Read the rest of this entry »

Greeted by this sign during a recent office tour of the new Cooper Union building at 41 Cooper Square designed by Morphosis, a co-worker asked whether revolving doors really do save energy. Good question.

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Recipe from the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Djej bil Humous (Chicken with Chickpeas)

Note: Use 100% certified organic produce and products whenever possible.

1 can chickpeas, rinsed to get rid of the brine
salt and pepper for the chicken
1 certified organic free-range chicken, about 4 lbs
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp. turmeric
3 tbsp. parsley, chopped finely
1 stick cinnamon 3 inches long
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped (optional)
2 tbsp. each olive oil and butter
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
3 tbsp. raisins

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When you consider the many samples that are sent to architects over the course of a project, it adds up to a lot of cardboard, peanuts, and tape. Not to mention all the impacts of shipping. Its always a good idea to use a box or envelope more than once and even more than twice if you can, but this example that arrived today is possibly the best re-use we have seen. The excellent craftsmanship involved with turning the Toasteds box inside-out and creating a box out of what would otherwise be waste blew us away.

These are some great images found on the guardian that envision our great city in a whole new way…..

Just as the UN Climate Change Summit was set to begin in Copenhagen, the news that a string of emails from leading climate scientists had been hacked and released threatened to pull attention away from crucial global emission policy debate.  How much affect would these emails have?

Some excerpts of conversations here at BKSK:

“The latest news about Climate Gate is just another political distraction from the opposition to making significant CO2 emission policy changes. Instead of pointing fingers at which projections are right and which projections might be doctored, it is more important to let the facts speak for themselves. Let’s not forget these emissions have an impact on our health as well. Take for instance the rates of Asthma in the South Bronx. A study conducted between 2002 and 2005 (mentioned in a 2006 New York Times article by Manny Fernandez) linked increased rates of asthma in school children directly to elevated highway traffic emissions. The South Bronx is a micro climate of these toxic fumes, a home to more interstates per square mile than should be necessary. Most of these roads are continually used by large trucks to export NYC’s trash. If nothing is done to reform CO2 levels across all industries, incidents like this one will keep occurring and the climate change clock will continue to tick. Let’s stop debating how fast it’s ticking and solve the problem before it’s to late. Who knows maybe we can even lower our health care expenses and increase our quality of life.

-Jeff Massey

For more information on COP_15: