My name is John Gardner, I’ve been a professor of mechanical engineering for over 30 years and came to Boise State in 2000. After more than a decade of administration, I am finding my way back to a more traditional faculty role, leading a cross-disciplinary team of researchers addressing energy systems, smart grid applications and energy efficiency.

I am also in the midst of a series of transitions from home ownership to a more minimalist lifestyle.  That will be dominating my discussions for the next several months. You can also follow my wife’s take on the same transitions on her blog.

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Bill Krumm  |  March 23, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    Hi John,
    Just read all your posts in one sitting….very interesting, and a valuable service. Your blog points out, as in all things, that there is seldom one clear answer to complex questions…but asking a lot of questions is key to finding some clearer answers. I appreciate that you make the effort to squint from a variety of angles when examining sustainability efforts.

    Fun to read,

  • 2. Beret  |  July 15, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    Hi John,
    thanks for all of your work helping BSU reach sustainability!
    I just heard a rumor about glass recycling in Boise and wanted to see if your investigative skills could uncover the truth. There is no curbside recycling program for glass, but Is it true that the glass brought to dumpsters marked “glass only” at various locations throughout Boise actually gets dumped into a normal landfill?
    If it is true, could your office help change this?

    Beret Norman
    German Section, Modern Languages & Literatures
    Boise State

    • 3. boisestategreenguy  |  July 15, 2009 at 7:23 pm


      You just hit on one of my pet peeves about recycling and environmental protection. Here’s the short answer: My understanding is that glass that we drop off at the various drop-off points throughout the county is ground up and used as road bed filler (in the construction of new roads). To some extent, the mitigates the need for gravel and sand that is otherwise quarried at various locations around the country. That said, it’s important to realize that in the “big picture”, this isn’t really recycling, rather re-purposing and may or may not represent a net energy savings compared to throwing the glass in the landfill (where, other than take ups space, it does no harm whatsoever). These are interesting questions, sounds like a good idea for a blog entry 😉 (BTW, I’ll verify with my sources at Boise City whether this is accurate). Thanks for your comment!


  • 4. Corrine  |  June 28, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    Hi John,
    Great blog! Isn’t it interesting that Europe is more sustainable, by virtue of being an older civilization? Store, schools, and homes are all closer together. In the New World, we have more space, but we are more spread out, less sustainable. People have to drive cars. Now, we are trying to move towards being more compact and more sustainable. IIn some ways, we are moving toward a European model for our cities. I am sure you have some great insights while you are abroad.

  • 5. Thaddeus Yoquelet  |  May 17, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    Thx for information.


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