We had a good time in Michigan, talking up folks on the street with tales of CAFE standards and wolverines. Then we explored living roofs at Ford and the Grand Rapids Ballet Company. Finally, we found out that Julie can dance, and Mark and Ben… well, they can’t.
Considering the fact that we’re driving a Ford Escape Hybrid all around the country, we decided to take a look under the hood at the eco-features of the company while we were in Michigan. Christian Øverland, Vice President of Museums and Collections for The Henry Ford, filled us in on the environmental features of their newly updated Rouge Plant outside of Detroit. We only had time to show a few in our video (living roof, natural lighting, porous pavement, and swales), but we were delighted to learn that they have all sorts of things going on over there, both at the Rouge and The Henry Ford museum nearby. We also hear that they’re building Hybrid Escapes at their Kansas City plant, so we’ll see if we can take a look when we hit that state in December…
We were delighted to learn that a giant company like Ford isn’t the only organization implementing a living roof– the Grand Rapids Ballet Company is also adding one as part of a building rennovation project. It helps with LEED certification, increases the life of the roof, looks cool, and actually is cool– by insulating the roof from the sun. Does it help make dancers better? Probably, but nothing can help the sorry "skills" that Ben and Mark showcase on camera.
Trying to Raise the Roof Awareness,
Ben, Mark, and Julie (Your YERT Team)
P.S. And now for Breadcrumbs! If you want to learn more about the topics in this video, check out these resources:
- CAFE Standards: If you really can’t wait to learn more about them, feel free to check out this website and this other website. We also can’t help but share this powerful letter about CAFE Standards by Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute. This is also an interesting angle from the Apollo Alliance.
- Living Roofs: I think that Europe may well have a leg up on the U.S. when it comes to living roofs– at least by the looks of this handy in-depth living roof document.We also found an interesting news article covering the history of these nifty things… here.
- Wolverines: Are there wolverines in Michigan? Maybe.