Lloyd Alter

Lloyd Alter

Writer / Toronto, Canada

Lloyd Alter is design editor of TreeHugger. He has been an architect, developer, inventor and prefab promoter.
He contributes to MNN.com, The Guardian, Azure and Corporate Knights magazines, and is Adjunct Professor teaching sustainable design at Ryerson University School of Interior Design. Lloyd is a Past President of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario.


In the course of his work developing small residential units and prefabs, Lloyd became convinced that we just use too much of everything- too much space, too much land, too much food, too much fuel, too much money, and that the key to sustainability is to simply use less. And, the key to happily using less is to design things better.

You can follow Lloyd on Twitter, Facebook and Google+

Latest Stories from Lloyd Alter - Page 666

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    Be Cool: John Travolta on Hybrids

    June 18, 1:10 PM by Lloyd Alter in Culture

    In the movie "Be Cool" John Travolta's Caddy is blown up and he is given a Honda Hybrid as a courtesy car. How he deals with this: Martin (Danny Devito) Hey Chili, that your car? Chili: Yes, Its the Caddilac of Hybrids. Martin: A bit tight for a guy

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    Flaunt Magazine- The Green issue

    June 18, 8:24 AM by Lloyd Alter in Style

    Flaunt Magazine "has made it a point to consistently break new ground, earning itself a reputation as an engine of the avant-garde and an outlet for outsider culture". It is not your usual enviro mag. This month's green issue includes articles titled

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    Windfarms- Beauty or Blight? CONTEST CLOSED

    June 16, 11:51 PM by Lloyd Alter in Culture

    Thanks to all who entered the beauty or blight competition. Our judges found most of the pictures beautiful, some questionable depending on your biases, and only this one really a blight and that is more because of all of the electrical infrastructure

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    New study shows wind turbines don't harm birds

    June 16, 8:01 AM by Lloyd Alter in Corporate Responsibility

    For those who thought they could survive the Long Emergency by standing under windmills and catching dinner, we have bad news. A recent Danish study shows that migrating birds learn quickly to avoid routes that pass through windfarms- less than one

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    Our Companions in Creation

    June 15, 7:27 AM by Lloyd Alter in Green Food

    This Treehugger is not a vegetarian, a conservative, an American or a Christian. Nonetheless he was blown completely away reading former Bush speechwriter Matthew Scully's conservative Christian case against factory farms in Canada's National Post. He

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    Exxon on Global Warming

    June 14, 10:28 AM by Lloyd Alter in Culture

    According to today's Wall Street Journal, Exxon President Lee Raymond doesn't think much of Global warming, the Kyoto Accords or Peak Oil. He thinks Shell and BP are wusses for investing in alternatives to fossil fuels while he funds skeptics and fights

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    Turn-on: not a plane old house

    June 14, 7:57 AM by Lloyd Alter in Sustainable Product Design

    At treehugger we keep talking about living with less, but we never ask the question- "why are we wasting all of that ceiling space?" Austrian architecture and design firm AllesWirdGut ("everything will go well," in German)has figured this out- turn it

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    Ask a Question to Jim Kunstler

    June 14, 7:24 AM by Lloyd Alter in Culture

    The Author of The Long Emergency has agreed to do an interview with Treehugger. We've written our questions for him but want some from other treehuggers. Just put them in the comments section with your email address (or send them to

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    It's Rastra, mon, not Rasta!

    June 13, 7:36 AM by Lloyd Alter in Green Architecture

    Put on the Bob Marley while we tell you a tale about Rastra- an ICF (insulated concrete form) that is "a sustainable, energy efficient, environmentally correct construction system". Lets get it out of the way first to say that as an architect, we have

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    Hybrid Inventor Victor Wouk, 1919-2005

    June 12, 8:04 AM by Lloyd Alter in Cars

    Hug a tree in memory of Dr. Victor Wouk, who died last month. In 1971 Dr. Wouk received an EPA grant to develop a hybrid car, along with a promise to fund a larger project if it met spec. Dr. Wouk had decided years earlier that all-electric cars were

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    Real Estate Frenzy from Fortune Magazine

    June 12, 7:54 AM by Lloyd Alter in Corporate Responsibility

    Fans of Jim Kunstler's Geography of Nowhere and the Long Emergency will be particularly nauseous after reading Fortune Magazine's article Riding the Boom, now available free online. 22 year old speculators buy "threesies" and foursies" (multiple

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    Got a problem? Bury it.

    June 12, 7:15 AM by Lloyd Alter in Renewable Energy

    Some scientists are proposing pumping CO2 into the ground to let us keep burning fossil fuels without releasing greenhouse gases- they call it Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage or CCS. The Guardian has done a lovely interactive report, showing how this

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    Forget the tiger- Put sheep urine in your tank

    June 11, 7:53 AM by Lloyd Alter in Renewable Energy

    As John Laumer pointed out in yesterday's post, Diesels produce a lot of Nitrous oxides. Mix ammonia with Nitrous Oxides and you get nitrogen and water. And, if you are in England, a good source of ammonia is urea from sheep pee.

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    The Only Good SUV is a Dead SUV

    June 11, 7:41 AM by Lloyd Alter in Cars

    "Attack: an explosive, graphically violent work serving as an indictment of the oil and auto industries"- a blown-up SUV- was installed in Toronto this week, by ATSA- Action Terroriste Socialement Acceptable. What we really like: Its in the City's new

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    Competition for Design of Sustainable Housing

    June 10, 7:52 AM by Lloyd Alter in Corporate Responsibility

    Architectural idea competitions that are worth entering are rare. We raved about C2C, where the winners are actually getting built. However the coolest one we have ever seen is the 1St Advanced Architecture Contest - They are looking for designs for

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    John Sewell on Import Substitution

    June 10, 7:15 AM by Lloyd Alter in Corporate Responsibility

    Import Substitution is a concept that was popular in South America after the depression, where nations used it to wean themselves from dependence on foreign finance and imports. (read Wikipedia here) We were reminded of it reading Worldchanging about

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    Everywhere you look: Biofuels

    June 9, 12:26 PM by Lloyd Alter in Renewable Energy

    In the US they are planting 355,000 acres of canola to make ethanol. In Malaysia they are using palm oil. Brazil is exporting ethanol made from whatever they plant after they chop down the rainforest. In France and Austria they are making it from sugar.

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    Solar Power Heats Up: Wall Street Journal Discovers Solar

    June 9, 7:49 AM by Lloyd Alter in Renewable Energy

    Long after green issues are old news to treehuggers, they get covered in the Wall Street Journal. This is a good thing- Dad no longer thinks you are completely nuts. Now they are looking at the business of solar and PV's, and of course the government

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