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Elaine Strunk, director of green

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Another in a series of miniprofiles of sustainability-minded people who are working to reduce humankind’s footprint on the planet. To recap, they're "mini" not only because they're short, but because all the questions are 10 words or less, and the answers are requested to match. Please, no counting.

ELAINE STRUNK, Cambridge
Director of green, The Lenox


Mondo corporations, sticking together

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My default position on corporations is pretty lefty, that they are not unlike stiff dicks — driven to get what they want, not caring about anything else. Pretty much of all them are chartered for self-preservation with blinders to social interests or social costs.

But I've been opening to a more nuanced position, based on the experiences of Adam Werbach and Wal Mart, and to a lesser extent, the writings of Joel Makower.


Mindy Lubber week at the Boston Globe

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Lubber is president of Ceres, a national coalition of investors and public-interest groups focused on environmental issues. Yesterday she was one of the Globe magazine's "earth angels," briefly profiled with five others as part of the issue's green focus.

Today, she's an op-ed contributor, making excellent points that will one day seem so obvious that everyone will wonder why, and rue, that they weren't conventional wisdom.


Brian Butler: "Where it all goes, that place called 'away'"

Another in a series of miniprofiles of sustainability-minded people who are working to reduce humankind's footprint on the planet.
BRIAN BUTLER, 40, Somerville
Owner, Boston Green Building
BGB is a general contractor specializing in sustainable building. "Our focus is making general contracting as green as it can be, given the scope of a given client’s resource and projects," said Butler, who is married with a son.


It's all one issue

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If you want the Prager who knows and values the outdoors, you want my brother, Richard: National Outdoor Leadership School, Outward Bound Minnesota, solo Appalachian Trail hiker from Georgia to Maine, scaler of all the 4,000-plus-feet peaks in New Hampshire, New York State School of Forestry graduate degree, all before age 25, and 10 years (maybe it was only 5) as president of the Simsbury (Conn.) Land Trust.

Me, I got nothin', as JS would say.


Ask nature

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It's not ready yet, so this is premature, but at least I can say you heard about it here first... Asknature.org is a database being prepared by the Biomimicry Institute of Montana that will allow users to explore the natural world for solutions to problems that people are trying to solve. That's what biomimicry is.


ESL (the lightbulb, not the language)

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For several years, LEDs were supposed to be the next big thing in consumer lighting, and they're still coming.

But a post this week at GreenDaily touts Electron Stimulated Luminescence as a quicker comer. They are supposed to be equivalent to CFLs in cost and lifespan, but to overcome two of their shortcomings: They use no mercury, and are dimmable.


The middle men

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I don't often have contact with contractors or subcontractors, other than those I meet at trade shows, and they are often a self-selecting group of activists, presenters, and all-round movers and shakers. But of mainstream builders, I know only a few.


Has the future of LEDs arrived?

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Eric Taub of the Times has a story this morning saying that the coming age of LED lights is just about here, but I don't know if he hit it just right.

The story touches the usual points about LEDs — very expensive, but lasts longer, has no mercury, and can generate any color — but on the question of white-light intensity, he devotes no more than an aside: "L.E.D. bulbs, with their brighter light and longer life, have already replaced..."


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