Category: sustainability

Waste

Thursday 07.07.11

My husband and I ordered take out the other night from the local Japanese restaurant. We ordered three rolls, hijiki, a green salad and some dumplings. When we were done cleaning up, I took a step back and really looked at the waste generated from all the containers used to transport our meal. I’ve done this before, but never been motivated to actually stop and think long enough to want to change my behavior regarding one of NY’s diehard habits. And then I did a quick and rough calculation: I figured that if they got just 30 take out orders a night, and multiplied that times the number of days in a week, weeks in a year and then times that by the number of Japanese restaurants in Brooklyn alone…I lost track when I hit 230,000 separate pieces of plastic. I started to feel dizzy and a little sick. Not to mention guilty. Basically, that is one shitload of plastic containers. There has got to be a better way! First of all, no more take out.

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Shrinking Biodiversity

Tuesday 06.28.11

 

Issues regarding our food supply are particularly pressing as our agricultural practices become more and more industrialized. This chart needs little explanation. Thanks Robert for posting…National Geographic via Paul Kedrosky

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Bow Bins

Wednesday 05.18.11

Cordula Kehrer Bow Bin_01 for Areaware

Cordula Kehrer Bow Bin_02 for Areaware

Cordula Kehrer Bow Bin_03 for Areaware

Cordula Kehrer Bow Bin_04 for Areaware

Cordula Kehrer Bow Bin_05 for Areaware

I spent a little time this week over at the ICFF, and hands down, these were some of the best designs I saw. Designed by Cordula Kehrer for NYC-based Areaware, the rattan and reclaimed plastic bins are manufactured by the talented Aeta people of the Phillippines. If I have this right, the whole project is sponsored by the NGO Preda, who engage in fair trade practices. The designs embody the ultimate challenge of re-purposing existing but discarded products. The plastic bins are paired with some hand process, in this case the weaving of sustainably harvested rattan, then re-imagined into something far more wonderful than either thing on its own.

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‘Plume’ Becomes ‘Plumen’

Wednesday 05.04.11

I’ve seen a lot of press on these low energy compact fluorescent bulbs designed by Sam Wilkinson for Hulger. And up until now, they were incompatible with our voltage here in the US. But yesterday, the Future Perfect in (NYC and Brooklyn) sent out an email saying that they would be carrying the bulbs come end of May.

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Stapler

Tuesday 04.19.11

I am on a bit of a jag lately when it comes to my office supplies and tools. Like most of us, I used a regular stapler for the majority of my adult life. But then I came across the ZENITH, with its tiny elegant staples. Look at the difference in size compared to normal staples. Anyway, my stapling experience changed from boredom and often frustration to that of enjoyment. That is saying a lot for a pretty mundane task. I frequently ponder how and why we get attached to tools and functional objects. Sometimes it’s an aesthetic experience. Most often, for me at least, it is dictated by the efficiency and feel of the tool itself. If it works, AND it feels good to use it, then why use anything else. The other factor that looms large for me is the notion of longevity. If the thing feels as though it’s built well and will last the requisite eternity, then I am in.

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Reading Material

Wednesday 04.13.11

Paul Hawken first wrote this book in 1994. I don’t think any of us need to be told that a lot has changed since then.  So, in 2010, he revised the original book to make it more timely. Not sure if what he was saying in the 90s had lost any of its potency, but the newly revised edition brings his philosophy and approach into the here and now. I cannot recommend this book enough if you are looking for answers to questions about sustainability and how we get there from here! Buy it. Read it.

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Woot! A Little Self Promotion

Tuesday 04.05.11

Okay, so my Tupperware | Keep Tabs™ containers are finally complete!! Of particular excitement is the fact that the largest of these pieces will hold a whole chicken. All this storage, when not in use, occupies less than one square foot of real estate. And, these are guaranteed to last a lifetime…literally. No planned obsolescence here.

Photos by Richard Gary.

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