Green Books

Greening Asia

Emerging Principles for Sustainable Architecture

By : Nirmal Kishnani


In the past decade Asia's building sector has slowly come around to the idea of the Green building. The movement has picked up pace since 2005 with the introduction of, at last count, 13 national Green building assessment tools. Despite a steep rise in the number of certified buildings, the approach to Greening is fragmented and cautious at best.

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How to Change the World with Style

Post by the Pinoy Green Mom


How to Change the World with Style is actually the subtitle to the book by Tamsin Blanchard, GREEN IS THE NEW BLACK. It is one of the most popular green fashion books on the shelves, my mini research told me, and that's why I grabbed a copy of it. It was a quick read. It was a pleasant,informative, quick read.

Saying something is the "new black" is saying that something is the most fashionable or en vogue. The phrase has its history in Audrey Hepburn's 1957 film, Funny Face. It's a quote from fashion magazine editor character, Maggie Prescott: "Pink is the new black."

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Our Contract with the Earth

A contract made is a commitment made, guaranteed no less by one’s character. Breaches of contracts are breaches in one’s integrity. One’s moral uprightness upholds contracts--- no, not by the laws of men, which are designed often  faultily to be faulty.  Morality, integrity, and truth are unchanging, immovable, and absolute .  It is when moral fibers are weak that contracts are broken. Breaches, men think, can be hidden from view---no, nothing can be concealed from the eyes of God.

Contract withthe earth

Such were my early morning ruminations as I was about to start reading the book,  A CONTRACT WITH THE EARTH by Newt Gingrich and Terry Maple. “TEN COMMITMENTS YOU CAN MAKE TO PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT NOW,” the subtitle says. While I, already, can think of a number of things that could be listed inside, I was more intrigued with the thought of who’s going to check on compliance, on conformance. 

Those who believe in a supreme being will have God. Others will say Gaia, the earth itself--- nature. Still others will say the future generations.  Note: all considerations didn’t involve man’s law and man’s government. Having a contract with the earth, clearly then involves a personal commitment--- stronger than legally bound contracts. How many times have we heard that Climate Change is a MORAL issue?

What would happen to the earth if the moral fibers of men are weak? Integrity and character, sadly, are getting less popular compared to wealth and ease. Contracts are often laid aside for these.

My prayer this Sunday, is for personal renewal for all men, for the restoration of values. Check: is it not that most global problems, like war, terrorism, extreme poverty, hunger, diseases, and now, climate change, are rooted in our selfishness, greed, and pride?



Psalm 15:1-4

  LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary?
  Who may live on your holy hill?
  He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous,
  who speaks the truth from his heart
  and has no slander on his tongue,
 who does his neighbor no wrong
 and casts no slur on his fellow man,
    who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the LORD,
 who keeps his oath even when it hurts,
    who lends his money without usury
 and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
 He who does these things will never be shaken.

The Book that the Big Flood Washed Aground

Rains have a way of bringing back memories.  Books have a way of bringing back memories of rains …and a torrent of many other things that include feelings of fear, anxiety and gloom. Books, however, also have a way of bringing back the sun and its shine up and a glorious host of other good things, like a rainbow and feelings of hope, peace and calm, and the joy, that comes with new life.


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Clean Car Wars

On my desk, coverpage waiting to be lifted, is a book, entitled CLEAN CAR WARS: How Honda and Toyota are Winning the Battle of the Eco-Friendly Autos, written by Yozo Hasegawa and translated into English by Tony Kimm. It's been there, sitting, since three months ago. 


I guess it's true; I'm not a "car person." I drive. I love the fact that cars can take me from point A to B in relative comfort (discounting traffic, irate other drivers, uneven roads, bully buses and trucks, zigzagging motorcycles, and other road undesirables); but that's about it for me. I know the book can educate me, elucidate me on many hazy car matters; but all these time, I find other green living topics, more interesting to read about and post about. That is until I saw this spread on the newspaper today:

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How To Take Care of Your Share of the Planet

Congratulations, Ms. Betsy Franz, on the launch of your new book on the "care of our share of our planet". New Year's Day is a great day for beginnings. The Pope's green message is timely; the release of your book is timely; every decision we make and action we take directed towards the care of the environment is timely. May many hear or read and subsequently, finally, take heed. 

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Trash Talk Your Kids for a Greener Tomorrow

A friend sent in an email about seeing a creek, running along a main city thoroughfare, that’s brimming full of garbage. Informal settlers’ houses line the creek; and it’s easy to deduce it’s not by magic the trash appeared on its current location. What she saw is evidence that we, the people, are partly responsible for the calamity that befell us. Flood waters can’t flow properly along the designed tributaries. 


Aghast, as everybody would, she asked “Are we just blind?“ True, we’ve turned our eyes away like we did not see. “…or have we simply just gotten so used to it?” She then wrote that we can do something about it, and floated some suggestions.

How about us: what can we do about it? Cleaning up and de-clogging the water arteries in Metro-Manila need to be done; but for the long term, we have to change and do away with certain bad habits. 

The next generation, hopefully, they would know better than we do now. Let’s start teaching them the good green habits while they’re young. The science of global warming and climate change might be too advanced to most of them; but there are tales and fables we can use to assist us. One is a story written by Mary Ann Ordinario-Floresta and illustrated by Pepper Roxas, entitled, Flying Trash (Ang Basurang Lumilipad)

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