Labor Day weekend is in full-effect in the United States, which means hordes of people will be making their way to their favorite park or beach for their annual holiday picnic.
In honor of our continuing and expanded 7 Days without Plastic project, I thought it would be interesting to figure out a way to have a plastic-free picnic or barbecue. Now, I'm not saying that this is the easiest of tasks -- but let's see if it can be done.
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There are some people who are doing this project along with me. Paco is one of them. He even made an entire blog documenting his experience.
day one recap: seven days w/o plastic from Zadi Diaz on Vimeo.
So yesterday went fairly well, didn't take in much new plastic into my life except for the two unsuspecting condiment containers that came with my lunch. I have to remember to make sure to ask for no straws, etc. Those kinds of things just pop up without warning. Made me aware that there are many small plastic items that add up in the end.
The most embarrassing moment? Buying a dress and having to ask the attendant if they had paper bags -- otherwise I wouldn't be able to buy the dress. I of course said it was for a project... what can I say? I was afraid she would think I was completely nuts. Surprisingly, she completely dug what I was doing. Whew.
And so it begins -- my foray into the land of the plastic-free. I have to admit that I really have no idea what to expect other than to expect to encounter plastic everywhere. For instance just this morning I thought, what happens if I cut myself? I can't use a band-aid? That's insane! What am I thinking?
But that's really not the point of this project. There is good plastic -- like bike helmets and band-aids, and there's bad plastic, the disposable kind -- like cups, utensils, and containers.
Elon Musk is the principal owner and chairman of Tesla Motors, an electric car company that actually released a 100% electric car -- their first model is a gorgeous sports car dubbed the Roadster. In April, they opened their first U.S. showroom in Los Angeles where Zadi got a chance to speak with Elon about electric cars and some of Elon's other endeavors.
flickr image by hometown invasion tour
This week Zadi introduced us to a website called Ecomodder with 100+ tips to help improve your gas mileage. Changing your driving habits to exceed EPA's gas mileage estimates is called hypermiling. Kind of a cool term isn't it?
Imagine a wall of digital media that uses ZERO energy. That's the claim of the GreenPIX project, which is set to roll out in Beijing for the Olympic Games. It's supposed to be dedicated to digital art, but if it's a successful rollout there are certainly tons of commercial applications. For example, these could be great alternatives to energy-sucking ad billboards.
From the GreenPIX website:
GreenPix is a groundbreaking project applying sustainable and digital media technology to the curtain wall of Xicui entertainment complex in Beijing, near the site of the 2008 Olympic Games. Featuring the largest color LED display worldwide and the first photovoltaic system integrated into a glass curtain wall in China, the building performs as a self-sufficient organic system, harvesting solar energy by day and using it to illuminate the screen after dark, mirroring a day’s climatic cycle
The Media Wall will provide the city of Beijing with its first venue dedicated to digital media art, while offering the most radical example of sustainable technology applied to an entire building’s envelope to date. The building will open to the public in May 2008, with a specially commissioned program of video installations and live performances by artists from China, Europe and the US.
More pics after the jump.
[ Via: [via technabob] ]
Firefox spinoff Flock calls itself the "social web browser" because of its tight-knit integration with social websites like Flickr, Facebook, and Twitter. The new Eco-Edition comes pre-loaded with a lovely green theme and self-updating content from environmentally-focused blogs and media sources from all over the web.
(via Drew Olanoff)
On Saturday March 29th at 8pm over 200 cities around the world will participate in earth hour - a global movement symbolizing the need to take action against global warming. World Wildlife Fund is working with city governments, power companies and large corporations to raise awareness and turn off major landmarks in each of their regions. Last year 2100 corporations and over 2 million people in Sydney, Australia joined the movement resulting in a 10% energy reduction in the city.
Whether or not you believe global warming is man-made, an hour of complete darkness might be really fun. So go ahead and unplug -- take a break. Think about how many fun things you can do in the dark! :)
Jay Shafer takes you inside his tiny 100 square foot home. Since 1997 he's been living in a house smaller than most people's closets. I don't think I'll ever complain about a small apartment again.
Jay talks about his reasons behind designing these tiny homes, which are mostly environmental... though he does mention that he doesn't like vacuuming. :)