Thursday, August 30, 2007

the 11th hour - consume less, live more

After reading numerous reviews and viewing the trailer for the 11th Hour, I think this movie makes a pretty darn good point - Consume Less Live More.

It's been ages since I've been to the movies, but I have a feeling this one will be well worth the trip... on my low-impact subway ride to the theater of course.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

tap water is making a comeback

Who would've thought tap water would've ever been on it's way out? With bottled water sales at about $15 billion last year we're either thirstier than usual or we just like the convenience and coolness of carrying around our plastic water bottles.

Studies have shown that in taste tests tap water rates the same, if not better than bottled water. So what's all the fuss about? Maybe it's just the bottle. Aquafina even admitted to simply bottling tap water.

Drinking tap water not only eliminates that extra plastic waste from the bottle, it also eliminates the energy needed to ship it. So turn on your tap and drink up. And save that money usually spent on bottled water for a rainy day.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

yum! lunch!

1. a fresh tomato picked from my mini-backyard garden (1 flight of stairs)
2. fresh basil also picked from my mini-backyard garden (same flight of stairs)
3. fresh mozzarella made this morning at Savino's Quality Pasta (.3 miles)
4. a crusty baguette also made this morning (I asked) from Fortunato Brothers Bakery (.4 miles)

= a tasty, local lunch all made or grown under a 1 mile radius from my design studio.

You may have heard of the 100 mile diet where you're challenged to get your food within a 100 mile radius from where you live. Eating local is fun and it's great to actually meet the people who made and grow your food.

big cities, small companies

If you're near Boston this Saturday get on down to the ReCraft event brought to you by those cool MagPie people.

If you're in Brooklyn this Saturday stop by the the Brooklyn Indie Market . And be sure to check out the nice stuff from Diana at Wonderthreads.

And if you're not near either of these cities, spend an afternoon crafting your own knitted ipod case from cassette tape or make a reuseable plastic shopping bag.

Hurray for handmade stuff!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

What does sustainability mean?

Sustainability and Design were a lecture topic at New York's Gift Fair yesterday. And the place was packed! It's great to see that the green word is getting out there.

The question of what the word sustainabilty means came up. The good people over at Artecnica and Aid to Artisans stated that being sustainable goes beyond being "green". Their approach to sustainability is going to 3rd world countries and taking the crafts people know and applying them in new ways. Like Artecnica's taTu table - they found a region where people made wire sculptures and they trained them to use the same idea to make their wire table.

To the nice people at 3R Living being sustainable means looking for "manufacturers and artisans who dedicate their talents to creating clever, modern, and earth-affirming products out of unwanted everyday items. In addition, we look for fairly-traded products and those made from organic ingredients." That sums it up pretty well.

RePlayGround's take on sustainabilty is to reuse found objects, normally thrown away, and give them a second chance.

I think sustainabilty is a combination of these answers.

I've said it before - being green isn't always black and white. There are nice shades of other colors mixed in there. Like the sustainable taTu table on top there - that's a nice shade of red.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

this works pretty good!

My best street find of the summer was a used air conditioner. Last week, as I walked home from my favorite new coffee shop I came across an air conditioner on the sidewalk. It had "This works pretty good" written in black sharpie across the top. "This works pretty good" is way better than recent "90+ degree days in Brooklyn", so I ran to my studio, grabbed my luggage cart and loaded up this treasure. (you have to be quick with good garbage in NY)
In about an hour I had the new-to-me AC up the flight of stairs to my studio (thanks George, the nice passerby!) and installed. And the person with the black sharpie was right "This works pretty good". Which is a good thing because after carrying and installing it, I had worked up a good sweat.

Eco note: Going without air conditioning may seem like a more eco-friendly alternative. With that said, sometimes it's hard to work in blazing hot conditions and altering the temperature can make a person more productive and have an overall better quality of living. I'm all for the Lazy Environmentalist mentality where an ideal world would be making the easiest choice would also be the greenest choice. I dream of a world where SUVs run on water and even generate electricity, and where plastic discards turn into nutrient-rich compost.
And I could've gotten the most energy efficient AC model. But I only need it a few days a year and this one was, in fact, FREE and I am keeping it out of landfill a little longer. And if using it makes me more productive then it is a more eco-friendly choice.
See - being eco-friendly is seldom black and white... It often comes in shades of green.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Craft Magazine rocks our socks! ...and our necks!

I just received the latest issue of Craft Magazine in the mail the other day. Since it only appears 4 times a year, it's always a pleasant surprise to see it on my doorstep and it always makes me smile. I'm totally going to teach myself to knit so I can make one of those Police Line scarves on the cover. Good thing I have a few months to teach myself before it starts to get chilly out. This summer in the studio has been a little on the warm side to say the least.

And be sure to check out RePlayGround's very own articles in this edition - "How to make handkerchiefs from old shirts" and "Recycled Checkers"

Yippee for crafting! and recycling!