Gail of Green Living


A huge part of green living for me is supporting green businesses.  HEB, a Texas grocery store chain has decided to construct their buildings and run their business with green design features and green business practices.   Recycling containers for plastic bags are set outside more than one entrance to the store.  I put my bags in the same place I keep my re-usable shopping bags–in the trunk of the car, so I have them to turn in every time I shop.

HEB is recognized as one of the best in the U.S. for safety and emission reductions.  Their truck wash saves 1.7 million gallons of water each year.  They have reduced their use of diesel fuel by over 830,000 gallons each year and carbon dioide emissions by more than 8,300 tons annually, which is the same as removing 614,815 cars from the road in one day!

This charging station for electric cars is in the HEB parking lot at Buffalo Market near West University.  eVgo‘s business is based on a network subscription plan where subscribers pay a fixed monthly charge that covers their vehicle charging at home and on the eVgo public charging stations. NRG pays the electricity cost on the public charging stations.

To learn more about this process, visit, where you can find
a wealth of information on eVgo, electric vehicles and public charging stations.

I’m going to cover some of the green architecture of Buffalo Market in a future post.  In the mean time, what green businesses do you support in your community?


A Tall and Tiny House in Texas
August 18, 2011, 12:31 pm
Filed under: Green Building--Residential, Green Living | Tags: ,

Marfa, TX, is known for its community of artists and freethinkers, so it makes sense that the town’s architecture would reflect its populace’s values. Architecture firm Candid Rogers contributed the Marfa 10 x 10 Lightbox to the residential mix, and it fits in perfectly with Marfa’s collective aesthetic. At 320 square feet, it’s a tiny, inspiring addition. The home’s architecture consists of two stacked boxes clad in rusty Cor-Ten steel siding. The simple, modern structure features a minimalist awning that opens from one wall into the home. This awning structure pays homage in look to the artwork of Marfa’s most famous resident, minimalist artist Donald Judd. In its explanation of the vision behind the Marfa 10 x 10 Lightbox, Candid Rogers noted,

“As a retreat for thoughtful repose, the Marfa Lightbox embraces the site and landscape of the Southwest. Offering unique connections to the local landscape and the landscapes beyond, including the stellar and fictional.”

It makes sense that a building in Marfa would reference the fictional world of artist and writer, since the town has attracted these creative types for decades. And since Marfa’s been rumored to be a prime destination for extraterrestrial visitors, the stellar reference makes sense, in a wacky way, as well. The Marfa 10 x 10 Lightbox won the AIA San Antonio Design Award, 2007 and the AIA National Small Projects Award, 2008.  This tiny house is a great example of green architecture and green building.

Photos courtesy Chris Cooper and Candid Rogers