April 24, 2010

The Armenian Genocide: Agreeing on the boilerplate

Filed under: Publications — grahamophone @ 11:16 am

You know someone who died from cancer. Imagine that every time you tell somebody how your friend died, you have to explain the concept of cancer and wonder if they believe you. You also find vitriolic arguments all over the Internet saying cancer doesn’t exist and it didn’t kill your friend.

American Red Cross archive photo of a forced march of Armenians out of their homeland in the Ottoman Empire.

Now imagine that people blame your company for creating cancer. You want to say, “Yes, but that was a different company and different people a long time ago.” The CEO says you have to keep denying it. You have to perform increasingly elaborate contortions to deny your company’s complicity.

Replace cancer with “the Armenian genocide” and consider the psychic damage of genocide denial. (more…)


March 20, 2010

Trust this green logo

Filed under: Publications — grahamophone @ 3:24 pm

In writing regular reviews and articles about sustainable products, I am continually frustrated by greenwashing labels, marketing and logos. It’s hard to know what all those little green seals mean. Thankfully, I can vouch for one of them: the US Renewing Forests logo. I was skeptical about this seal, which is created and promoted by the wood flooring industry, but I was pleasantly surprised when I investigated this story. The whole aim of the program is to move forests and manufacturers toward certification by the respected Forest Stewardship Council. And it can’t be a marketing stunt because, ironically, the logo is not applied to consumer products.

March 3, 2010

The other side of green jobs

Filed under: Publications — grahamophone @ 2:07 am

Instead of creating new green jobs, smart businesses are greening up their act to attract and retain good employees. Read my latest column for EcoHearth for survey findings and more information about greening the workforce.

February 28, 2010

Win a new faucet

Filed under: Publications — grahamophone @ 9:52 am

You can win the fancy Italian-designed faucet I installed for my in-laws. It’s called the five-minute faucet because it installs in 300 seconds. I wrote a review of the faucet and installation process for Networx. Check it out.

January 24, 2010

More than you ever wanted to know about heating systems

Filed under: Publications — grahamophone @ 10:06 pm

Networx has published a new series of my articles on home heating systems:

Here is a story about pros and cons of common heating options.

Here is a piece about thermostats.

Tips on how to choose a furnace.

• And my favorite story, which is about energy-efficient heating systems.

Stay warm this winter.

January 15, 2010

New shingles have recycled, recyclable content

Filed under: Publications — grahamophone @ 7:44 am

Four out of five roof replacements use asphalt shingles (and this house on the left needs some new ones). Many of these roofs could be more environmental while looking a little better (albeit costing quite a bit more). My latest story on green building materials at is about composite shingles that have recycled, eco-friendly content.

January 11, 2010

Dig in for gardening season

Filed under: Publications — grahamophone @ 11:11 am

The snow hasn’t melted for months in my yard (and yes, that is unusual for the Front Range of Colorado), but I guess it will melt someday, and I can get cracking on my landscaping, vegetable gardening and Xeriscaping projects for the year. At least all this moisture should be good for the yard. Also, home improvement site is posting new stories about outdoor ideas, including my piece on landscaping for your climate. Hint: start by figuring out your climate zone from this psychedelic map.

January 7, 2010

Concrete’s not so bad

Filed under: Publications — grahamophone @ 11:28 am

I’ll use any excuse to put heavy trucks on my blog. I guess I never grew out of the little boy obsession with heavy machinery. This cement truck adorns the page because the latest piece in my series about green home improvement and construction at is an article about ways to go green in building with concrete. Concrete is basically cement with chemical binders and additives. Neither is the most eco-friendly building material, but there are ways to improve the sustainability of concrete, and use it more sparingly than in traditional construction. Rock on.

January 6, 2010

EcoHearth blog updating weekly

Filed under: Publications — grahamophone @ 11:04 am

My blog at is back for 2010, and better than ever. I will be posting every Wednesday with some jabber about businesses profiting (or saving) through sustainability. This week’s update is about food — one of my favorite topics. Restaurants plan to go more local and sustainable this year. Those are the top trends, according to chefs and restauranteurs.

January 5, 2010

Scooping the New York Times

Filed under: Publications — grahamophone @ 4:04 pm

The New York Times has a feature on upscale bowling alleys today. But I scooped the Times back in September with my story about Brooklyn Bowl, an eco-friendly and upscale New York bowling alley.

My story is on Eco-Hearth, an environmental news site where I have been writing stories and blog entries since August. The site’s content is constantly expanding and improving, and it is becoming the go-to site for environmental news and opinion.

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