You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Action’ tag.
Friday’s Focus? Seven videos from the past. How past? A year maybe. Maybe more. Maybe less. In any event, it’s the day before Christmas and you probably have lots of time to devote to old videos. So go. Enjoy.
In 1992, at the age of 12, Cullis-Suzuki raised money with members of ECO, to attend the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro where she was applauded for a speech to the delegates. She graduated from Yale University in 2002 with a B.Sc. in ecology and evolutionary biology. After Yale, she spent two years traveling. In early 2002, she helped launch an Internet-based think tank called The Skyfish Project. The Skyfish Project disbanded in 2004 as Cullis-Suzuki turned her focus back to school and enrolled in a graduate course in the University of Victoria to study ethnobotany.
If you’re a frequent visitor to this site, you know that plastic bags are the bane of our collective existence. And you know you should bring your own shopping bags to the grocery store. But what about those little plastic bags in the produce department? Refuse/Re-use. You can buy reusable produce bags online at places like reusablebags.com or you can even learn to make your own at motherearthnews.com.
Superuse is an online community of designers, architects and others who’re interested in inventive ways of recycling, from bottle-cap festooned guitars to tables made of discarded cassette tapes. At Superuse, everything old is new again.
originally uploaded by yet|matilde
Friday’s Focus = DOWNSIZING – a look at four simple ways doing with less can contribute to a cleaner environment. TINY HOUSES, TELECOMMUTING, LITTLE CARS, SMALLER PEOPLE, MINI GARDENS, and ITSY BITSY HOTELS. Okay, enough with the words. Go:
Tinyhouseblog.com chronicles the growing architectural and social movement around the world that advocates living in small homes. The advantages of a small home go beyond basic economics to include a simplified lifestyle and a much-reduced carbon imprint. The typical size of a small home seldom exceeds 500 square feet.
If you’re a business and you’re looking for ways to save money, consider downsizing your office rather than your staff. You’ll also be doing the environment a favor. You can begin by encouraging your employees to telecommute. More than 34 million American adults already telecommute at least some of the time. According to InformationWeek, “if everyone who could telecommute did so just twice weekly, the country could save 9.7 billion gallons of gas and $38.2 billion a year.”
HAT TIP: informationweek.com
The Peel P50 was manufactured in 1962 and again in 1965 by the Manx Peel Engineering Company. The smallest automobile ever manufactured, it claimed eco-friendly fuel consumption of about 100mpg and a top speed of 38mph.
Then again, there’s the whateveritis:
Last year, researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine published a study demonstrating that, because of food production and transportation factors, a population of heavier people contributes more harmful gases to the planet than a population of thin people. “The main message is staying thin. It’s good for you, and it’s good for the planet,” says Phil Edwards, senior lecturer at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. “In terms of environmental impact, the lean population has a much smaller carbon footprint.”
Hat Tip: cnn.com
For every 100 spam e-mails you forward to email@example.com, Chipotle will give $10 to The Lunch Box. The goal is to give $10,000 to the cause which will help schools implement healthy lunch programs for kids. Chipotle will accept up to 500,000 emails, topping off their donation at $50,000.
Hat Tip: www.tonic.com
Related articles by Zemanta
Green Field is all about the paper- tree free paper. While they offer a range of handmade papers and machine made hemp paper, they are best known for their Seed Embedded Wedding Invites. The beautiful paper is embedded with wildflower seeds so you can plant it instead of recycling. (Also check out their 100% Junk Mail® papers – made from their own junk mai!)
Trash for Teaching is a non-profit organization that collects (clean and safe) cast-off materials from manufacturing processes (that would otherwise become trash) and repurposes them as educational resources. This innovative program helps bridge the gap between the excess of waste created in manufacturing processes and the lack of materials in public education. Crafty!
This Friday’s Focus is Recycling. It begins with a demonstration of wearable art created from plastic bags:
So not true, Mr. Gallagher. Reverse vending machines automate beverage container recycling by “re-consuming” cans and bottles and refunding the deposit to the consumer – instantly. They’ve been around for years overseas… let’s hope we start seeing more of them pop up in the U.S.
Ma Yanjun, a farmer living in the Chinese village of Oigiao in Shaanxi Province, is the creator of a solar-powered water heater made out of 66 beer bottles. The bottles are connected to each other so that water –heated by the sun – flows through them. “I invented this for my mother,” explains Ma. “I wanted her to shower comfortably.” More than ten families in Oigiao have installed versions of Ma’s device.
HAT TIP: weirdasianews.com
When and if you’re confronted with the question, “paper or plastic,” the best choice is neither. Which is to say, BYOB – bring your own reusable bag. According to MSNBC.com, manufacturing all the bags Americans use each year takes 14 million trees (for paper) and 12 million barrels of oil (for plastic). Making paper bags creates 70 percent more air pollution than plastic, but plastic bags create four times the solid waste. And they can last up to a thousand years. The most compelling reason to reject plastic bags can be seen in our next post.
Kissing tooth brushes. Love, Heart & French Kiss Part II, originally uploaded by Baqir Ali
Preserve® plastic products are made from benign #5 polypropylene plastic that is collected from reputable sources and transformed into new products. Among their many innovate and eco-friendly products is the “mail back” toothbrush, which comes in packaging that doubles as a return envelope – so you can send it back for recycling!
Red Bull energy drink is encouraging the recycling of their cans… into artwork. The Red Bull Art of Can competition and exhibition has been going on for years now. Some of the entrants are beautiful, some whimsical, even bizarre… and always interesting. Got an idea? Get it together now – entries close May 15th].
At last year’s Ocean Conservancy International Coastal Cleanup, 400,000 volunteers found more than 6.8 million pounds of trash at beaches and lakes in 100 countries and 42 states in just one day last year. Their flagship event in September is the largest single-day volunteer effort aimed at protecting our ocean and waterways. But don’t wait until September. Enter “beach cleanup” into your favorite search engine and there’s a good chance you’ll find one coming soon to a beach near you.
HAT TIP: oceanconservancy.org
One for the innovative use of trash files: UK artist Nick Gentry is creating one-of-a-kind portraits using recycling floppy disks. According to Nick, his work “represents the increasing pace of the modern life cycle, where objects are created, used and disposed of quicker than ever. To challenge this notion, as these personal artifacts of life are cast aside, the obsolete are now given new life and a renewed purpose by using them as a medium for art.” Mr. Gentry’s website is just a click away: www.nickgentry.co.uk.
Taking place in New York at the end of the month, the Greener Gadgets Conference tackles all of the issues surrounding energy efficiency and sustainable design, from innovative advances in packaging and product manufacturing to end-of-life recycling solutions. Save the date: February 25th.
Electronic waste, or e-waste, refers to the mountains of broken or obsolete computers, printers, televisions, stereos, and telephones that have entered the world’s waste stream over the past couple of decades. In fact, Greenpeace International estimates that up to 50 million tons of e-waste is generated globally each year. Bringing the e-recycling message to the streets, Best Buy gets kudos for a very clever billboard.
HAT TIP: scoutingny.com.
Depave – a project of Portland Oregon’s non-profit City Repair – is an organization dedicated to inspiring and promoting “the removal of unnecessary concrete and asphalt from urban areas.”
Their objectives are to:
• Provide information, inspiration, and technical assistance to those wishing to remove concrete and asphalt
• Educate the public about the benefits of pavement removal
• Advocate to minimize and/or reduce the amount of impervious pavement in public construction and repair projects.
• Promote responsible and creative reuse and recycling of concrete and asphalt
• Provide an opportunity for greater connection with the natural world
For more information, visit http://depave.org/.
John Hantz, of the financial services firm Hantz Group, hopes to rejuvenate the city of Detroit by creating the world’s largest urban farm. Hantz Farms – owned, operated and staffed by residents of Detroit – could provide the city with “hundreds of “green” jobs and a generous supply of fresh, local, safe produce for local families and the region in general.” You can read about the project in more detail at hantzfarmsdetroit.
Andrea Parrish and Peter Geyer of Spokane, Washington, are a young couple whose idea of marriage is downright trashy. The enterprising and eco-conscious duo are determined to pay for their wedding by recycling 400,000 aluminum cans. The wedding date is July 31st and they’ve amassed over 25,000 aluminum cans so far. Details at weddingcans.com.
Last week Greenpeace issued its 14th quarterly “Guide to Greener Electronics,” which rates hardware makers on chemical waste, e-waste, and recycling efforts. This quarter the guide also assesses each company’s public efforts on environmental issues – revealing companies that actively lobby for industry-wide laws that would prevent use of environmentally damaging materials. Download the PDF here.
Adam Gardner of the band, Guster, speaks about what he and the band are doing to do their part to help the environment, and about REVERB, the company he created to help other musicians go green.
The 5 Gyres Project is the first comprehensive study of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans. Beginning January 18, 2010, the project will travel thousands of miles across the North and South Atlantic oceans, collecting ocean samples to study plastic accumulation, as well as examining fish for possible plastic ingestion and toxins in their tissues. These expeditions will help further our understanding of the impact of plastic waste on the world’s oceans. Visit http://5gyres.org/ for more information (the site includes a What’s Happening Now blog).
For those without a roof above their heads, the power of architecture holds less significance than the idea of basic shelter. Recognizing this truth, the 2010 Natural Design Competition, in partnership with Salvation Army’s EnviRenew Initiative, will focus its sights on the rebuilding effort in New Orleans, Louisiana. Competitors will be divided into students and young professionals groups with the challenge of designing design a LEED® project that is priced affordably and is functional for elderly occupants. Finalists will actually get to see their projects built in New Orleans’ Broadmoor neighborhood. Once the homes are built, they will be graded on energy efficiency, water reuse, and indoor air quality among other categories. The design team whose home performs best will be awarded the grand prize. But in this competition, everybody (students, occupants, and environmentalists) wins.
If you despise one-use plastic bags as much as we do, here’s some news that’s totally, like, nano-tubular. A chemist has created an “upcycling” method of turning the disposable bags into carbon nanotubes. Nanotubes technology is pretty new, but Stanford University researchers recently coated copier paper in ink made of carbon nanotubes and silver nanowires to create bendable, highly conductive storage devices. Nanotubes could also become self-repair tools for electronic circuits in our smart phones and laptops. Here’s the scoop.
If you’ve been praying for a greater consciousness when it comes to global issues, you’re not alone. A collective of churches known as Interfaith Power and Light is mobilizing a religious response to global warming in its congregations by promoting renewable energy, energy efficiency, and conservation. A praiseworthy effort indeed! HAT TIP:interfaithpowerandlight.org.
Pennsylvania’s Woodloch Pines Resort was honored by the Global Renewable Energy Expo Networking Summit April 16, 2009 for demonstrating ingenuity, creativity and perseverance in the pursuit of pioneering green goals. Their “Green Team” meets regularly to implement eco-friendly solutions for the resort. Here is just some of what they offer:
• Environmental programs for class trips, corporate groups & scouting programs.
• Use of bio-degradable disposable plates, flatware, cups and to-go containers.
• Energy-Saver faucets and shower heads as well as faucets with infrared sensors to limit water waste.
• Energy saving compact fluorescent lighting
• Tree replacement program through their landscaping department.
• Use of recycled paper whenever possible for promotional materials.
• Recycling of economy-sized cans and packaging in their kitchens.
• Installation of an energy management system, which controls the air conditioning/heating and lighting of public areas through the use of infrared sensors.
• Co-mingled recycling bins throughout the grounds of the resort for guest and employee use.
• Bat Boxes throughout the resort – a natural way to control insects
photo: Vince Alongi
If you were walking down the street and you saw a plastic bag lightly tumbling in the breeze, would you stop to pick it up?
If you’d been with us aboard the Baylis, you would without question.
Welcome to the Derick M Baylis, a 65-foot auxiliary-powered sailing research vessel, a Prius at sea.
Chartered by Sealife Conservation, its mission is to inspire conservation of the Oceans by fostering awareness of the marine environment through research and education. On board, a mixture of open minds: a fifth grader and an ocean activist, college students and college grads, dads and daughters. The most obvious commonality is the desire to experience and learn.
Would you step out of your way to pick up that Styrofoam cup in the park?
A day aboard the Baylis would provide you with more than one reason to do it.
The Baylis has just left its slip and nets are manned on both the port and starboard sides. A candy wrapper is the first catch of the day, small, but certainly there’s not a thought of throwing it back. A simple standard has been set: if you see it, call it out, and it will get hauled in. During the trip to the sea, other debris is collected. The experience is underscored by living sea lions basking on a buoy, pelicans flying overhead, and twenty or so dolphin close enough that you can
hear them breathing and slapping the water. A drifting patch of kelp is hoisted on board and the passengers comb through the leaves looking for life’s beginning stages taking refuge in the safe haven. Tiny crabs and other little creatures are placed in beakers so they can be studied.
A torrent of plastic and other trash is impacting their lives, so while the ocean is where most of earth’s life begins, it seems to be our least-respected resource.
If you were strolling on the beach, would you salvage that plastic cup half buried in the sand?
If you knew the crew of the Baylis, absolutely, you would.
The Billabong seaplane rendezvous with the Baylis off the SoCal coast.
On board are three incredible, big-wave riders. Mike Parsons, Grant “Twiggy” Baker and Greg Long don’t look like the hell men they really are as they board the sailboat from a dinghy, calm and clearly intrigued. Each of them has surfed the largest waves in the world with that same studied character.
They understand the ocean and it’s contents. Around the globe, they have seen pristine beaches turn into dumps and witnessed a bounty of plastic bags and bottles mixed with syringes. They watch as the Baylis nets its own collection of discarded objects, using GPS to note the location.
Would you stop a boat to pick up a floating water bottle?
At this point you know the answer is yes. A manned net on the starboard side misses a plastic bottle and suddenly the boat is turning around to gather it – a 65-foot boat on a turnabout for a single water bottle. There are no complaints, only interest in the brand and where it is from. The 180-degree turn for the bobbing plastic makes a point – for if we can stop trash like this from ever leaving the land, it will never find its way to the ocean’s garbage dumps.
That plastic bag, tumbling in the breeze?
Are you going to pick it up?
There was a point in my life when I would have answered, “no.” Or perhaps I wouldn’t have answered the question at all. Today I find myself stuffing plastic bags in my wetsuit sleeve while surfing. There are funny looks from the others in the line -up until I explain that, to a turtle, a plastic bag looks just like a jellyfish. Suddenly, they understand.
Back aboard the Baylis: A chunk of Styrofoam is netted (the little foam balls that break-off are easily mistaken for food by fish and sea birds). A silver Mylar happy birthday balloon is scooped off the surface to a chorus of hilarious, helium-inspired cheers. Things change. I’ve changed. Anything is possible.
Steve Lawrence, greenlandoceanblue
**All unattributed photos by Steve & Madison
Get into the spirit of the holidays and the spirits of sustainability with 360 Vodka. Billed as the “world’s first eco-friendly vodka,” it’s filtered five times and produced at a facility that takes great strides to make the production process as eco-friendly as possible. Packaging is created from 100% recycled content, bottles are created from 85% recycled glass, and the 360 factory even has an on-site recycling center.
A town in New South Wales, Australia, may be the first in the world to ban bottled water from store shelves. Just two hours drive south of Sydney, the village of Bundanoon voted for the ban in July. John Dee, a spokesman for the campaign that inspired the decision, says that the 2000-person town demonstrates at the local level how “we can sometimes do things that can surprise ourselves, in terms of our ability to bring about real and measurable change that has a real benefit for the environment. The alternative doesn’t have a sexy brand, doesn’t have pictures of mountain streams on the front of it, it comes out of your tap.”
HAT TIP: wl.theaustralian.news
The Institute of Medicine recently released a study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that found children are not eating enough dark green vegetables, fruits, or whole grains. Reauthorization of The Child Nutrition Act in early 2010 is important if federal school nutrition programs are to provide healthier, safer, and more nutritional food for students.
Lunch Encounters, a spoof of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, was created for the One Tray organization by three IATP Food & Society Fellows — Shalini Kantayya, Nicole Betancourt, and Debra Eschmeyer — in hopes of raising awareness for the upcoming reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act.To read more about One Tray, visit http://onetray.org/.
Newsflash: 60% of American hotels are trashy. A recent study shows the average hotel guest throws away about two pounds of garbage every day and only about 40% of hotels offer a recycling program of any kind. Fortunately, more and more hotel and resort operators are getting the wake-up call. Details at travel.nytimes.com.
In the not-too-distant future, “vertical farms, many stories high, will be situated in the heart of the world’s urban centers. If successfully implemented, they offer the promise of urban renewal, sustainable production of a safe and varied food supply (year-round crop production), and the eventual repair of ecosystems that have been sacrificed for horizontal farming.”
Some of the advantages of vertical farming:
* Year-round crop production
* 1 indoor acre is equivalent to 4-6 outdoor acres or more, depending upon the crop (e.g., strawberries: 1 indoor acre = 30 outdoor acres)
* No weather-related crop failures due to droughts, floods, pests
* All VF food is grown organically: no herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers
* VF virtually eliminates agricultural runoff by recycling black water
* VF returns farmland to nature, restoring ecosystem functions and services
Hat Tip & More Info: verticalfarm.com/
Lily, a 5th-grader at Montgomery County, Md., Public Schools’ Great Seneca Creek Elementary School, talks about attending a LEED-Gold school.* For more information, visit www.buildgreenschools.org.
*The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ encourages and accelerates global adoption of sustainable green building and development practices through the creation and implementation of universally understood and accepted tools and performance criteria.
Biomimicry is a new science that “studies nature’s best ideas and then imitates these designs and processes to solve human problems.” Here’s an example of biomimicry in action: the air conditioning system at the Eastgate Building in Zimbabwe, is modeled after self-cooling mounds created by termites. The termite structure maintains a constant “indoor” temperature 24 hours a day even though the outside temperature can vary up to 40 degrees centrigrade. Eastgate’s architects mimicked the termites so well that the building uses 90% less energy for ventilation than other buildings its size (saving the owners over $3.5 million in air conditioning costs. For more information, visit biomimicryinstitute.org.
British rock group Duran Duran, heavy metal band Scorpions, Senegalese star Youssou N’dour, Irish singer/composer Bob Geldorf, Chinese singer Khalil Fong, and South African archbishop Desmond Tutu are among 55 world celebrities who have joined in recording a song as part of a mass media campaign on the threats of climate change organized by the Geneva-based Global Humanitarian Forum.
The song entitled “Beds’r Burning,” was originally recorded by the Australian group Midnight Oil and will be available for download, for free, following a public launch in Paris on Oct. 1.
Hat Tip: green.yahoo.com.
Plastic Pacific: greenlandoceanblue’s Excellent Journey, 9/15/09
On Tuesday, September 15th, film director and greenlandoceanblue co-founder, Steve Lawrence will fly from Hawaii via seaplane, the Billabong Clipper, with a group of planet-caring souls to an area of the Pacific known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Once there, the group will experience the environment first hand as they join the ocean research vessel Alguita, captained by Charles Moore – the man who discovered this once Texas-sized soup of plastic a decade ago.
Lawrence, who directed Disney’s recent X Games 3D, will produce a diary of the journey on film which greenlandoceanblue hopes can become the centerpiece of a global lesson plan to help educate students and the media about the growing problem of plastic waste worldwide.
On their flight to the Garbage Patch, the group will also be assigned the task of noting ocean debris with GPS units and the data they collect will be used to help NOAA scientists involved in at-sea detection and removal of large amounts of debris.
Credits: For more information about greenlandoceanblue, please visit www.greenlandoceanblue.com and for information about Capt. Charles Moore and Algalita Marine Research Foundation, visit, www.algalita.org.
Thank you, Billabong (www.billabong.com)
Photo Hat Tip: Splash & Play Seaplane available for purchase here.
At Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport, a device called the Eco-box is being used to capture human breath exhaled by travelers and convert it into fuel for the airport’s diesel vehicles and heating system. If the project is successful, the airport plans to expand the carbon recycling system to collect 289,000 gallons of fuel. But why waste our breath. Read more here.
Hat Tip: livescience.com.
Several times a month, Food Forward – an all-volunteer, grassroots group of Angelenos – convenes at a private property (by invitation) and glean the excess fruit on its trees, donating 100% to local food pantries. For more information – or to join them – visit foodforward.org. You can also read more about the Food Forward movement here.
Hat Tip: Kiko and latimes.com.
A group of Italian researchers are testing a robot that can collect trash on demand. The robot is called, DustCart, and he/she has been zipping through the streets of the city of Peccioli in the Tuscany region of Italy. The WALL-E clone not only collects trash but also gathers data regarding atmospheric pollutants such as nitrogen oxide and sulfur oxide. Hat Tip: inhabitat.com.
Sewer pipes have been recycled for use as hotel rooms at the Das Park Hotel in Ottensheim, Austria. Hat Tip: Superuse.org*
* Superuse.org is an online community of designers, architects and everybody else who is interested in inventive ways of recycling. The site allows you to post items at various scales within the reuse-topic. All examples of small commodities, furniture, interiors, buildings and reuse on urban scale are welcomed.
originally uploaded by San Diego Coastkeeper
The world’s first Plastic Bag Free Day will be on the 12th September 2009. Leave plastic bags at the checkout, help to make your town Plastic Bag Free or join in the celebrations at town’s that have already stopped using plastic bags. You could also write to shops and supermarkets asking them to support the day. For more information, visit adoptabeach.org.uk.