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Post-consumer recycled take-out packaging; energy-efficient appliances; low-flow water spray valves in kitchen; food that’s local, organic, hand-made, hormone free. These are just a few of the ways treehugger.com describes Brooklyn’s Michael & Pings Modern Chinese Take-Out. The menu looks delicious. They’re at 437 Third Ave., phone #718-788-0017. Lettuce know if the food’s as good as it looks.
Photo: urbanblitz via flickr
Since March, Mother Nature has been unusually vocal on the subject of who runs the planet. Scroll for evidence (i.e., Heat, Drought, Dust, Flood, Earthquake/Tsunami, Tornado, Volcano):
Photo via Flickr, dr_zuss
Masahiro Sato is the Japan Environment Ministry official in charge of Super Cool Biz 2011 – a government program designed to save energy in the workplace. Plain ordinary Cool Biz was introduced in 2005 to fight global warming but this year’s super version comes on the heels of Japan’s current nuclear crisis and the overall target is a savings of 15% in electricity consumption beginning this summer when the heat (especially in Tokyo) is intense. In support of Super Cool Biz, Japan’s Prime Minister urges workers to abandon jackets and ties and say “yes” to Aloha Shirts (75 years-old this year — see below).
For more information about Super Cool Biz, visit www.popsci.com.
The bad news: we’re in the midst of a recession. Thg good news: we’re beginning to change our energy habits. Solar energy, for example, is now the fastest-growing energy sector in the U.S. (67% 2010 growth; 66% growth just in the first quarter of 2011) and in the world (70% 2010 growth). Meanwhile, China has recently doubled its goal of 5 GW to 10 GW of installed solar capacity by 2015. There’s more on the subject at msnbc.msn.com.
Hiroshi Takatsuki, Director of Miyako Ecology Center and Professor at Ishikawa Prefectural University in Japan is a researcher in the waste management field and also a member of the Japan Cartoonists’ Association. You can see more of his work at http://www.miyako-eco.jp/highmoon/english.html
Some things speak for themselves. Some congresswomen do, too:
UnNatur is a wood hermitage a few miles outside of ödeshög, Sweden (about three hours drive from Stockholm). A member of the Swedish Ecotourism Society, this off-the-grid forest hermitage offers visitors a change to “spend time reconnecting with nature” in hand-crafted cottages and tree-houses that are simple but luxurious (electricity, however, is only located in two structures, one of which is a conference hall). The cabin pictured above has a roof that’s covered with wild strawberries during the summer. An onsite (and web-sited) shop sells locally-designed products including lanterns, interior textiles, and moss carpets (see the example below).
Visit www.urnatur.se for more information.
in.gredients promises to revolutionize grocery shopping as we know it. The store’s goal is to reduce waste “by ditching packaging altogether – creating the nation’s first zero-waste, package-free grocery store!
in.gredients will allow customers to fill reusable containers (even ones brought from home) with their groceries, making waste reduction easy, fun, and convenient!” Opening in Austin, Texas this fall if funding comes through. Cross your fingers.
Note to GE: Natural gas is one of the most potent heat-trapping greenhouse gases. Hat Tip: grist.org.
Climate change deniers like to say that a single volcanic eruption sends more carbon dioxide into the air than we humans do. Sorry Rush, not even close. We humans outperform Madame Pele by a factor of 100. Cars and pickup trucks alone spew ten times as much CO2 as volcanoes.
HAT TIP: blogs.discovermagazine.com
Today is “Just Let Advertising Do the Talking Day.” Well, no it isn’t but if it was, this is how we’d be celebrating it.
Quirky is a unique “Socially Developed Product” company that transforms inventor ideas into actual retail products, many of them eco-friendly. Take the “Petal Drops” for instance. It’s a flower-shaped ped funnel that fits on top of standard threaded water and soda bottles, providing users with the chance to easily and elegantly capture rain water and repurpose it for watering plants.
Photo By VictorinoxAG via flickr
Christopher Ræburn is a young UK designer known for his pioneering work creating ethically aware and innovative men’s and women’s wear collections from re-appropriated military fabrics. Check out his line, including these great hoodies made from recycled Swiss military air-brake parachutes.
Field of Jeans – created by London College of Fashion professor Helen Storey – is a mini-meadow of air-purifying denim jeans with a photocatalyst on the surface of the fabric that breaks down pollutants when exposed to light. Behold the wedding of art and science and breathe easier. More on the story at inhabitat.com. And to read more about how clothing and textiles can purify the air, visit catalytic-clothing.org.
This past winter we posted “The Aurora,” a time-lapse video shot by Norwegian Terje Sørgjerd. Braving near hypothermia and an injuries from falling of a rock face, Mr. Sørgjerd returned to the wilds of Norway’s Lofoten archipelago to capture another precious few minutes of film. These beautiful images were recorded between the first two weeks of May, 2011:
A warning from Greenpeace/France: Some chemicals can reduce fertility. Woody Allen, take a bow:
The 3-D Act, (for Domestic Jobs, Domestic Energy and Deficit Reduction), sponsored by David Vitter of Louisiana in the Senate and Rob Bishop of Utah in the House, can be broken down into twelve proposals – what the New York Times refers to as the “Right’s Environmental Wish List.” You can read about all 12, in detail, at green.blogs.nytimes. Here are just 5, in brief:
1. Put oil and natural gas leasing on the Outer Continental shelf on a fast track.
2. Open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for exploration, development and production of the oil and gas resources of the Coastal Plain.
3. Prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from classifying carbon dioxide or methane from agricultural activities as a pollutant.
4. Allow state governors to declare emergencies which require federal officials to ignore the provisions of the Endangered Species Act when dealing with the emergency.
5. Prohibit the government from paying legal fees to environmental groups that prevail in lawsuits challenging the federal environmental stewardship if said groups “prevent, terminate or reduce” access to energy, minerals, timber, land for grazing and water for farming, or “eliminate or prevent one or more jobs.”
There’s work ahead. Meanwhile, be afraid. Very afraid.
Two solar-power farms in north-central France are currently generating enough electricity for 9000 families. Designed to follow the rolling contours of the local landscape, they have a certain aesthetic appeal. But better yet, they’ve been installed without concrete foundations, so sheep can graze among them. And after twenty years, they’ll be removed, leaving healthy land behind. For more information, visit good.is/post.
Founded in 2002, Sustainable Travel International is a non-profit organization, dedicated to providing education and outreach services that help travelers support environmental conservation and protect cultural heritage while promoting cross-cultural understanding and economic development. Their site is a great resource for travelers, tourism business professionals, and government agencies seeking ways to support sustainable travel practices.
In a region more often associated with oil profiteering than environmental concern, Abdul Aziz is an exceptional voice. Here’s an interesting article on the “Green Sheikh,” who was once a part of the oil machine and has since emerged as one of the UAE’’s most vocal environmental advocates.
JR East railway, a Japan railway company, has opened a nearly 6000 square foot community garden on top of the 8-story, Lumine shopping mall at Ogikubo Station in Tokyo. The “Soradofarm Lumine” encourages locals to rent out plots and grow flowers and vegetables (they can also browse the Muji Store and other Lumine shops when it rains).
HAT TIP: openalex.blogspot.com
Google (yes, that Google) recently unveiled the world’s first ocean cooled data center. Based in Finland, the facility draws in water from the Baltic Sea to feed heat exchangers that cool their servers. Lower energy bills and better for the environment. Win/Win.
HAT TIP: inhabitat.com
If your home was built before 1992, or you’ve replaced your low-flow shower heads, you probably use somewhere around 5 gallons of water for every minutes you’re running your shower. To become more aware of how much water you’re using, here’s a clever little device: a Five-Minute Shower-Hourglass.
Available at Amazon.
Photo by Squidly
Summer is officially right around the corner, and if you’re looking for a stylish new pair of shades, we found a cool little company that crafts frames from sustainable woods and contributes to worthy causes around the planet, including eye clinics in India. Plus, their lenses filter 100% of UVA/UVB rays, so you’re protecting your eyes AND protecting the planet. The company? PROOF. You want proof. Click IWANTPROOF.