Walking to the shops makes life better

It often takes an outside eye to help one see things close at hand. Last night, a friend came to my house for supper. I'd made a rhubarb crumble, and mentioned that it really should be served with ice cream. Everyone agreed, and my daughter said, in the most ordinary way, "I'll go get some at the coop." The Berkshire Coop is a small version of Wholefoods and it's about five minutes' walk from my house, straight down the hill and across Main Street. She picked up her purse and [...]

McMansions

I have no right to be holier than thou and have never claimed to be a perfect when it comes to household matters, but I was a bit shocked by this story comparing Al Gore's home to George W. Bush's house in Texas. The excellent Urban Legends site, Scopes.com, says it's true: http://www.snopes.com/politics/bush/house.asp.

August 22nd, 2007|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , |

Turning down the A/C

I was in Washington DC recently and will be there again soon. It's a wonderful city. There's much talk about the subjects I care about, excellent ethnic food, and people are remarkably friendly: everywhere I went I got into conversation with someone, even in the reception area at the Brookings Institute. But it is a city of air-conditioning. In the Berkshires, where I live, only stores and restaurants and new mansions have A/C. Why, I wonder, do people want to live in buildings colder in the summer than in the [...]

July 31st, 2006|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |

Will we join them? Or will they join us?

While I'm feeling guilty about air travel, I guess the oil companies are feeling twinges of guilt, too. At least that's what you would think, at the airport or reading the major financial papers. Chevron, Shell, and BP (British Petroleum) are all engaged in 'peak oil' PR, and it's simply amazing to see. Greenwashing, according to critics at Postcarbon.org, but it seems to me that if oil companies are splashing statistics across the walls of airports the situation is grave enough that lots of people can be persuaded that we [...]

October 18th, 2005|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |

Traveling light

I do a lot of traveling, more than ever before, and I'm increasingly conscious of the impact of our excessive mobility is. I'm not sure just what to do about it, but there are certainly a few days we can do immediately. First, we should wake up to the impact of trips by car and especially aeroplane, and we should not make them carelessly, or just because it's what everyone else does (fly to Florida in March). How many times have you heard people say, "I needed a vacation from [...]

October 9th, 2005|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |

Autumn advice on using mirrors to brighten rooms

I was in London last week and found a spare hour to visit the Sir John Soane Museum in Holborn. I loved it just as much as I had as a student, and wondered if I had been unconsciously influenced by the memory of its rich red walls when I chose the paint for our offices--and in fact the color we now call "Berkshire red" for my company's logo and stationery. I wish I could decorate my home with pieces of Roman ruins, as Soane did. But I did get [...]

October 6th, 2005|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |