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03 Dec 2011 - 22 Mar 2021
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Home Articles posted by Laurie Balbo
About Laurie Balbo
At university, she was annoyed that her architecture degree was called a Bachelor of Environmental Design. As a working architect, she was annoyed that projects weren’t designed with more environmental consideration. She’s a usually-annoyed architect and sustainability specialist who hopes that venting her frustrations will make a positive environmental difference. Her husband just hopes it makes her less annoyed. Born in the United States, Laurie has managed design and managed construction of ports and airports in New York, Dublin and now Amman. She blogs on knitting and other arcane topics at www.fibermeister.com Laurie can be reached at laurie@greenprophet.com
Shining a light on #EarthHour2016
Earth Hour is upon us. It comes every year on Saturday 19 March, as the clock strikes 8:30 PM around the globe. It’s a worldwide movement [ Read more ]
March 19, 2016
Those smiling Irish eyes originated in the Middle East!
Just in time for St. Paddy’s Day, scientists from Dublin and Belfast have evidence that stone age Irish settlers had genetic origins in the [ Read more ]
March 14, 2016
Heads up! A look at Iran’s fantastical ceilings (PHOTOS)
Instagram photographer “m1rasoulifard” has been creating a visual catalog of Iranian architecture, shooting the interiors of mosques, [ Read more ]
February 26, 2016
World’s largest solar power plant goes live in Morocco
Morocco has activated the Noor I concentrated solar power (CSP) plant, the first part of a three-phase development in the Sahara Desert intended to [ Read more ]
February 22, 2016
Brilliant IKEA dinner table outsmarts mealtime smartphone users!
Sit four people around the dinner table, and at see that least three are tethered to their smartphones (well, someone’s got to cook and [ Read more ]
February 14, 2016
The “wearable habitat”: a refugee coat that turns into a tent
Interior Design & Textiles students from London’s Royal College of Art (RCA) have designed a piece of clothing with three distinct uses: it [ Read more ]
February 14, 2016
Syngenta Merger Must Be Blocked
China’s state-owned ChemChina tendered a $43 billion bid for Swiss seeds and pesticides group Syngenta today as part of a strategy to improve [ Read more ]
February 3, 2016
Google gets hot for Wilbur Scoville!
Google did a doodle marking the 151st birthday of the pharmacist who helped us navigate the chili peppers, the tiny veggie with the power to drop [ Read more ]
February 2, 2016
Earth breaks its own world temperature record, again.
A new report from the Climate Council of Australia revealed that last year’s global average temperature was the highest since global records [ Read more ]
January 31, 2016
Soup for Syria: feed your belly and your soul
Soup for Syria is a beautiful new cookbook of delicious and easy-to-make recipes guaranteed to fill your belly and feed your mind with heightened [ Read more ]
January 10, 2016
Free wonder drug available now. No prescription needed.
Does nature have a marketing problem?  Headlines about climate change, extreme weather, and their catastrophic impacts to the built environment [ Read more ]
January 9, 2016
So what did COP21 in France conclude?
The Paris Conference of Parties has officially ended with 195 nations signing up to a partially legally binding program of measures for curbing [ Read more ]
December 13, 2015
Water, Wars and an Uncertain Future
As the world awaits the release of the final draft agreement emerging from the COP21 climate talks – expected this morning –  longtime [ Read more ]
December 12, 2015
Paris climate talks extended another day
Global climate talks expected to close today in Paris have extended into Saturday, according French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.  Appearing last [ Read more ]
December 11, 2015
Arab civil society calls Arab nations to achieve 100% renewable energy
While UN climate-conference delegates seek ways to cut world reliance on high-carbon fuels like oil, OPEC (the Organization of the Petroleum [ Read more ]
December 9, 2015
MENA must push – NOW! – for 100% renewable energy
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) must keep pace with the rest of the world and push for a future fully powered by renewable energy, says [ Read more ]
December 3, 2015
Climate change has its soundtrack! Concrete organ makes music from rising seas
Croatian architect Nicola Bašić added a sensual dimension to a waterfront promenade in Zadar, Croatia by using wave energy to create sound. His [ Read more ]
November 29, 2015
Experience the (new, artificial, and made-in-America) Middle East! Coming to Dubai in 2018
American media giant 20th Century Fox has teamed up with United Arab Emirates Al Ahli Holding Group to build a theme park in Dubai, set to open in [ Read more ]
November 8, 2015
UBER Middle East delivers puppies on-demand in the most adorable fundraiser!
It’s raining cats and dogs in Amman, Jordan now, closing roads (flooded underpasses), some schools, and many offices. It’s the usual [ Read more ]
November 5, 2015
Suntan around these badass solar palm trees in… Dubai!
Following Israel’s smart solar trees, the Dubai Municipality is rolling out a series of “community tech hubs” based on 3D printed palm [ Read more ]
November 1, 2015
EU schoolkids build food waste charter includes doggy bags and free food
The European Charter against food waste was just presented at Milan Expo 2015, two weeks before the end of the six-month-long world’s fair which [ Read more ]
November 1, 2015
Lend your nationality and swap passports to those in need
Dutch Design Week 2015 is a misnomer, the event actually runs over nine days across 100 locations displaying the experiments and ideas of 2400 [ Read more ]
November 1, 2015
London calling: Gulf elite caught in conspicuous consumption
Critically acclaimed Scottish photographer Dougie Wallace has stepped on some well-heeled toes with his latest documentary project where he turns his [ Read more ]
October 19, 2015
Wean yourself off plastic with clever Trolley Bags
Jordan’s plastic bags enjoy more freedom than most of its people. Bags fly free. They don’t need visas to cross borders, and they [ Read more ]
October 13, 2015
Lexus built a cardboard car that actually drives!
In the early 1970s, architect Frank Gehry earned his first design awards for clever furniture made from corrugated cardboard, triggering an explosion [ Read more ]
October 8, 2015
Love Story: Jordanian newlyweds share their wedding with refugees
Why blow your wedding bucks on one extravaganza when you can hold two for the same price? Jordanian newlyweds Mutaz Mango and Basma Omar opted to [ Read more ]
October 8, 2015
UNHCR and Kickstarter could be the “A-Team” for refugee aid
A special Kickstarter campaign invites you to aid the ballooning Middle Eastern refugee crisis, with all proceeds going directly to the United [ Read more ]
October 7, 2015
WorldBeing wristband tracks personal carbon consumption
Wearable tech is hot, with new gizmos unveiled at every design expo and technology fair. Runway models are accessorized with functional fashion, even [ Read more ]
October 2, 2015
Flying Spark food-tech asks, “Do you want flies with that?”
A start-up business focused on finding new ways of using insect protein in food products is a finalist in this year’s MassChallenge, the [ Read more ]
September 22, 2015
Relive your childhood with adult-sized modular ‘lego’ bricks
EverBlock is a modular system of full-scale plastic blocks that, like Lego, interconnect without fasteners or special tools.  But these playful [ Read more ]
September 21, 2015
Amman Jordan’s approach to pollution is upside-down
The Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) this week announced expansion of its “tidy-roofs” campaign, which kicked off last June to tackle [ Read more ]
September 17, 2015
World’s best eatery NOMA reborn as an urban farm
Celebrity chef and foraging superstar René Redzepi told the New York Times on Monday that he is closing his Copenhagen restaurant Noma at the end [ Read more ]
September 13, 2015
This UAE birthday cake could send 740,000 refugee kids to school
Marie Antoinette has nothing on the wealthy Arab clients who commissioned a cake commemorating their daughter’s combo birthday and engagement [ Read more ]
September 13, 2015
Costa Rican tourists thwart sea turtle nesting, a surreal mirroring of the crisis in the Med
This story is not about the Middle East, although the images are a surreal reminder of what is happening on our Mediterranean shores – albeit [ Read more ]
September 12, 2015
Free training for Levantine green entrepreneurs
Are you a green entrepreneur? Need to grow a business model that creates environmental and social value? Want to launch your new green service or [ Read more ]
September 11, 2015
Extreme “grey swan” hurricanes heading to Dubai (and Tampa!)
Much of the Levant is under siege from a large dust storm right now covering Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Israel with parts of Cyprus and Turkey [ Read more ]
September 9, 2015
Will robotic wheels replace drones for future home deliveries?
Last March, Amazon’s futuristic delivery plan seemed ready to fly when the US awarded a patent to its drone technology. Now an industrial [ Read more ]
September 2, 2015
Fashion revolution! Mom creates clothing you cannot wear “wrong”
Someone’s been thinking. About a big problem affecting a lot of us. That turns out to have a brilliantly simple solution. Meet the woman who came [ Read more ]
September 1, 2015
Hydroponics in the house in Qatar!
Qatar – the tiny desert nation known for sinking millions into futuristic follies like artificial clouds and underwater TV studios – has [ Read more ]
August 30, 2015
Meet the teen eco-rapper headed to COP21!
Colorado-raised eco-activist and rapper Xiuhtezcatl Martinez is a powerful voice in the youth-led climate movement. He’s got a 2014 Ted Talk [ Read more ]
August 28, 2015
New Jersey kids doing hydroponics? forghedaboudit!
There are green things growing in a New Jersey public school, a small shift from the traditional farming that gives the “Garden State” [ Read more ]
August 26, 2015
Organic ink grows 3D printed gardens (and then what?)
Students at Slovenia’s second largest university adapted a computer numerical control (CNC) machine to act as a 3D printer, substituting the [ Read more ]
August 25, 2015
NASA lettuce grown in space heading to Dubai salad bars?
Ever have a salad that was out of this world? Astronauts aboard International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 44 have. They just dined on the only [ Read more ]
August 12, 2015
Submerge yourself in nature in a Getaway tiny home
Collaboration between business, law and design students from one of the world’s top universities is producing tiny houses that could revolutionize [ Read more ]
August 10, 2015
Turkish couple invited 4,000 Syrian refugees to their wedding feast!
Quick!  What’s the best wedding you ever attended? Youtube archives threaten to break the internet with flash mob proposals, bridal party [ Read more ]
August 5, 2015
Massive sandstorm swallows Amman’s airport!
[ Read more ]
August 2, 2015
Drone spots amazing hobbit home on Mediterranean shoreline!
[ Read more ]
July 31, 2015
Veggies travel to Burning Man on a souped-up Airstream!
[ Read more ]
July 29, 2015
Artist Ilan Ashkenazi gives spirituality shape
[ Read more ]
July 22, 2015
Dulse: a seaweed superfood that tastes like bacon!
[ Read more ]
July 18, 2015
Solar Impulse 2 journey suspended until 2016!
[ Read more ]
July 16, 2015
Crime doesn’t pay! Israeli antiquity thief agrees.
[ Read more ]
July 14, 2015
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