Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Monthly Slow News Summary: November 2011

Fab local blogger Jen from City and Baby formally invited her Edmonton readers to
shop at all the fabulous local independently-owned retailers this holiday season.
Coincidentally, November is Shop Local First month, and sponsor
Live Local are Edmonton's best resource for supporting local businesses.
On Slow Food:

I absolutely love this sidebar image from Lexie's Kitchen,
a website about cooking without most of the common allergens.
Found via Pinterest.

On Slow Fashion:

On Slow Design and Slow Home:
  • Historic Preservation Aligns With Green Renovation. And with slow design.
  • Sustainable lighting guru James Bedell has released his book Losing Edison, which walks you through lighting your home beautifully without sacrificing your eco-values. It's written with the average homeowner in mind, but I think a lot of interior decorators will also find it valuable.
  • My new favourite blog Slow Your Home gave us nine great reasons to have a slow home. (I'm not sure I agree that the minimalism or voluntary simplicity that she advocates elsewhere on her blog are prerequisites of having a slow home, but she certainly makes a persuasive argument for a slow home being decluttered and organized.)
  • My Green Birmingham posted a great interview with Slow Home Studio's John Brown.
  • Spain-based British interior designer Susanna Cots muses about the ideas of slow design on her blog. Brilliant stuff.
  • Spanish-language blog Monografica also discussed the ideas of Alistair Fuad-Luke about slow design in Elogio de la lentitud (In Praise Of Slowness). (I love that Chrome comes with a translation button.)
  • Zoe Saint-Paul from SlowMama wrote a great piece about the tiny house movement.
  • Speaking of sustainable home renos, EcoSalon have found the world's sexiest programmable thermostat. (Don't worry, that link is completely safe for work.)
  • The City of Vancouver's new Green Homes Program will require newly-built single-family homes and duplexes to not only meet minimum energy-efficiency, water-efficiency, and air-quality standards, but will also "provide the homeowner with the ability to easily install roof-mounted solar energy systems and electric vehicle charging systems in the future". Sweet!
  • The Strip Appeal design competition (to find ways to retrofit and reinvent older, small-scale strip malls to rejuvenate both the mini-malls and their neighborhoods) got some interesting coverage in the Edmonton Journal and the National Post. I love the shipping container pop-up-shop concept profiled in the EJ article, and the NP's point about immigrant communities turning strip malls into community meeting spots full of specialty shops and restaurants is borne out by the "Little India" area of strip malls on Edmonton's 34th Avenue. I can't wait to see the rest of the ideas that come out of this competition.
  • On a related note, the Atlantic had a fascinating post on the 19 Building Types That Caused The Recession. You might not agree completely with the thesis that the overbuilding of suburbia was responsible for the economic collapse, but anyone who is interested in place-making and urban planning will find the actual list of real estate products we need to rethink and suggested alternative building types really interesting.
  • The Wall Street Journal published a very slow-home excerpt from Deborah Needleman's "The Perfectly Imperfect Home": 10 Odd, Yet Essential, Elements Of Style. Please, Santa, put it in my stocking.
  • Here are two brilliant slow-design timepieces that have come across my radar: The Present, a wildly-successful Kickstarter-exclusive product by Brooklyn's Scott Thrift that shows the time of year instead of the time of day; and the ingenious 365 Knitting Clock by Norwegian designer Siren Elise Wilhelmsen (shown below) which makes time tangible by continuously knitting a tube at a rate of 2 metres per year. 
365 Knitting Clock, by Siren Elise Wilhelmsen, via.
On Slow Travel:
  • Nomadic Matt discusses Renting An Apartment While Travelling
  • Hubby and I are starting to plan our next big trip (which won't be for at least a couple of years), and we're thinking England (where we both have family history to explore and many museums we'd love to visit). So I'm really hoping that when we swing through Cornwall to have pints at pubs my forebears once owned, we can fit in an overnight stay at EcoSalon find The Scarlet. And maybe a spa treatment and a swim in the Atlantic.
  • Slightly closer to home is the LEED-Platinum-certified Bardessono resort in Napa Valley's Yountville. Winery bike tour, anyone?

On Slow Living:

On Sustainability:
  • This. Can we stop arguing about whether anthropogenic climate change is real and get on with finding solutions to it yet? No? Sigh.
  • Related: this amazing video showing two centuries of global warming, from 1800 to the present, from the same research group via The Guardian.
  • Meanwhile a draft summary of the newest IPCC report obtained by the Associated Press is saying weather-related disasters are likely to become more common as the planet warms.
  • EcoSalon interviewed The Story Of Stuff's Annie Leonard, who spoke last week at the University of Alberta. Lucky audience! (This one is a must-read. I'll be testing you on it. Seriously.)
  • Unless you've been avoiding the news altogether, you know that the protests over the Keystone XL bitumen pipeline and the recent decision to delay its construction while alternative routes are researched have been dominating headlines for a couple of months. GOOD posted a fantastic summary of what protesters should work toward next; meanwhile Canadian activists (and politicians) are switching their focus to the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline from the Oilsands through the Canadian Rockies to the British Columbia coast.

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