Thursday, December 27, 2007

story of stuff: Introduction

This is just the intro video about the 'Story of Stuff', a new and enlightening video put out by Free Range Studios, the makers of favorite videos like 'Sam Suds', 'Store Wars' and 'The Meatrix'. See the rest of the 'Story of Stuff' here. (Long video, but worth the watch)

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haute haus l.a.: sea train house: design mobile prefab shipping containers

The Sea Train House by Jennifer Siegal's design firm Design Mobile is an amazing example of how you can change the natural environment. The home built in downtown Los Angeles, is 3,000 sf on a 300 loft live-work artist community by the Brewery. Storage containers and steel found on-site in downtown LA were used in the construction and a private garden oasis with grain trailers transformed into Koi fishpond and lap pool. (The Design Mobile site cannot be missed-great aerial photo). The storage containers are used to create and separate the dwelling spaces within the house. Each storage container has its own individual function, one is the entertainment and library area, another is a dining room and office space over looking the garden below, another serves as the bathroom and laundry room and yet another is the master bedroom.

Design Mobile offers two simple modular homes assembled at the factory. Buyers can choose from 10 floor plans and two sizes, depending on their needs and budget; a 12-foot-by-40-foot unit costs $79,000, and a 12-foot-by-60-foot unit goes for $125,000. The Swellhouse, on the other hand, is a customizable residence made up of panelized walls on a steel frame—components are shipped and assembled on site. It costs about $180 to $200 per square foot to build the Swellhouse in the L.A. area, but costs vary depending on the location and the client's choice of materials.

Photo by Undine Prohl

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marlies spaan: recycled wool quilts at anthropologie

I already am in love with the craftings of designer Marlies Spaan from the Netherlands. My jaw dropped when I discovered that her haute recycled bed spreads are now available in the U.S. at Anthropologie.

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niran bailbulat: textile designer of the year: finland

These compressed cushions won the Textile Designer of the Year award for Niran Bailbulat at the Design Forum Finland Show. I love this idea of using surplus waste fabric, compressing it, and then you have a stool/ottoman.

via Core 77

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lifeport solar carport by envision

The Life Port Solar solar carport kit created by Envision, creates electricity for homes and also charges electric vehicles. The self assembled kit can cut down electricity costs and minimize power consumption for a single family dwelling. The system features 24 solar panels, 6.4 kilowatts hour per day. The Life Port Solar is constructed using a recycled steel framework, a perfect place to park your Tesla.

via Got 2 Be Green

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ruth cross: knitted accessories for the home

Everything needs a cozy with the weather that Colorado is having today (16 degrees fahrenheit), these knit lovelies are from Ruth Cross

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gary harvey recycled haute couture fashion

Recycled jacket haute couture by British Gary Harvey.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

solar lighting: solar trees for europe

Designed by Brirtish Ross Lovegrove, and produced by Artemide with photovoltaics from Sharp Solar, the solar trees are an energy efficient replacement for current streetlamps and the waste of energy that the currently consume.

Each branch of the solar tree have 10 solar lamps and 36 solar cells. An electronic system and rechargeable batteries as a backup. Sensors measure the amount of light in the atmosphereto trigger the lamps on and off accordingly at sunrise and sunset.
via Eco Friend

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

drifters: salvaged sea net art by pam longobardi

Pam Longobardi, who recently exhibited her Driftwebs at the POOL art fair at Art Basel in Miami, wants her art to carry a message of human impact on the world oceans. WIth their amazing worn coloration, the webs are a portrait of global late-capitalist consumer society. The Driftweb sculptures, an assemblage of flotsam, are plastic traps meant to increase awareness and transform behavior. Pam Longobardi is a Professor of Art at Georgia State University in Atlanta.

Longobardi's intervention by physically removing the debris from the natural environment and then the subsequent arrangements should be encountered as a reflection for one’s own participation and interconnectedness in this destruction of the ocean biosphere. The sculptures represent a connection between earth and the global consumer society. She sees the discarded relics as an ocean regurgitating our plastic materiality.

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Monday, December 24, 2007

avita style: recycled cashmere by amanda shi

Amanda Shi's philosophy for her company Avita Style, is being committed to ethical, socially conscious and sustainable fashion, and championing the idea that luxury can be socially conscious. She uses recycled, organic and earth-friendly materials to create her silhouettes.

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recycled glassware: bluebell bazaar

Beautiful handmade recycled glassware with a sea green hue made by recycling old beer and wine bottles. Designed by Bluebell Bazaar and blown in Czech Republic.

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green building for ann demulmeister: mass studies

This lovely green design is a fashion retail shop for Ann Demeulemeester by Korean architect firm Mass Studies. The building features a living wall of herbaceous perennials planted on the building's facade.
via Architechnophilia

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Friday, December 21, 2007

winter solstice 07' today

via Wikipedia
photo via: me

Winter Solstice- tonight at 6:08 pm

Also called Midwinter, DōngZhì, Yule, Şabe Cele/Yalda, Soyal, Teḳufat Ṭebet, Şeva Zistanê, Solar New Year
Today marks the longest night observed by various cultures, ancient and modern around the world

Astronomically, tonight marks the middle or beginning of winter, the interpretation varies from culture to culture, but most hold a recognition of rebirth for this time. Around the world though people give celebration and festivals today, spending time with loved ones, feasting, singing, dancing, and lighting fires both hearth and candle.

The exact time for the next few years of winter solstice are below:

2007 21 18:06 22 06:08
2008 20 23:59 21 12:04
2009 21 05:45 21 17:47
2010 21 11:28 21 23:38
2011 21 17:16 22 05:30
2012 20 23:09 21 11:11
2013 21 05:04 21 17:11
2014 21 10:51 21 23:03

"The winter solstice occurs at the instant when the Sun's position in the sky is at its greatest angular distance on the other side of the equatorial plane as the observer. Depending on the shift of the calendar, the event of the Winter solstice occurs sometime between December 20 and 23 each year in the Northern hemisphere, and between June 20 and 23 in the Southern Hemisphere, and the winter solstice occurs during either the shortest day or the longest night of the year.

Calendrically, in most countries the time of the winter solstice is considered as midwinter. This is evident in calendars as far back as Ancient Egypt, whose system of seasons was gauged according to the flooding of the Nile. Most East Asian cultures define the seasons by solar terms, with Dong zhi at the Winter solstice as the middle of winter. Some Midwinter festivals have occurred according to lunar calendars and so took place on the night of Hōku (Hawaiian: the full moon closest to the winter solstice). And many European solar calendar Midwinter celebrations still centre upon the night of December 24th leading into the 25th in the north, which was considered to be the winter solstice upon the establishment of the Julian calendar. In Jewish culture, Teḳufat Tevet, the day of the winter solstice, is historically known as the first day of the "stripping time" or winter season. Persian cultures also recognize it as the beginning of winter. Recently, many United States calendars have marked the date on which the winter solstice occurs as the Astronomical First day of winter as a reference to the Tekufah.
Since the time when the 25th was established as the solstice in Europe the difference between the Julian calendar year (365.2500 days) and the tropical year (365.2422 days) moved the day associated with the actual astronomical solstice forward approximately three days every four centuries until 1582 when Pope Gregory XIII changed the calendar bringing the northern winter solstice to around December 21st. In the Gregorian calendar the solstice still moves around a bit, but only about one day in 3000 years.

Astronomical events, which during ancient times allowed for the scheduling of mating, sowing of crops and metering of winter reserves between harvests, show how various cultural mythologies and traditions have arisen. On the night of Winter Solstice, as seen from a northern sky, the three stars in Orion's belt align with the brightest star in the Eastern sky Sirius to show where the Sun will rise in the morning after Winter Solstice. Until this time, the Sun has exhibited since Summer Solstice a decreasing arc across the Southern sky. On Winter Solstice, the Sun ceased to decline in the sky and the length of daylight reaches its minimum for three days. At such a time, the Sun begins its ascent and days grow longer. Thus the interpretation by many cultures of a sun reborn and a return to light. This return to light is again celebrated (at the vernal equinox, when the length of day equals that of night.

The solstice itself may have remained a special moment of the annual cycle of the year since neolithic times. This is attested by physical remains in the layouts of late Neolithic and Bronze Age archaeological sites like Stonehenge in Britain and Brú na Bóinne (New Grange) in Ireland. The primary axes of both of these monuments seem to have been carefully aligned on a sight-line framing the winter solstice sunrise (New Grange)and the winter solstice sunset (Stonehenge). The winter solstice may have been immensely important because communities were not assured to live through the winter, and had to be prepared during the previous nine months. Starvation was common in winter between January to April, also known as the famine months. In temperate climates, the midwinter festival was the last feast celebration, before deep winter began. Most cattle were slaughtered so they would not have to be fed during the winter, so it was nearly the only time of year when a supply of fresh meat was available. The majority of wine and beer made during the year was finally fermented and ready for drinking at this time. The concentration of the observances were not always on the day commencing at midnight or at dawn, but the beginning of the pre-Romanized day, which falls on the previous eve.

Many of these cultural gatherings are still valued for emotional comfort, having something to look forward to at the darkest time of the year. This is especially the case for populations in the near polar regions of the hemisphere. The depressive psychological effects of winter on individuals and societies for that matter, are for the most part tied to coldness, tiredness, malaise, and inactivity. Winter weather, plus being indoors causes negative ion deficiency which decreases serotonin levels resulting in depression and tiredness. Also, getting insufficient light in the short winter days increases the secretion of melatonin in the body, off balancing the circadian rhythm with longer sleep. Exercise, light therapy, increased negative ion exposure (which can be attained from plants and well ventilated flames burning wood or beeswax) can reinvigorate the body from its seasonal lull and relieve winter blues by shortening the melatonin secretions, increasing serotonin and temporarily creating a more even sleeping pattern. Midwinter festivals and celebrations occurring on the longest night of the year, often calling for evergreens, bright illumination, large ongoing fires, feasting, communion with close ones, and evening physical exertion by dancing and singing are examples of cultural winter therapies that have evolved as traditions since the beginnings of civilization. Such traditions can stir the wit, stave off malaise, reset the internal clock and rekindle the human spirit."

To see more about specific cultural observances read more at Wikipedia.

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champagne chair contest: design within reach

Design Within Reach is at it again with their annual Champagne Chair Contest. This year the requirements have changed a bit though. You still need to create an original miniature chair using only the foil, label, cage and cork from no more than two champagne bottles. This year though, to cut down on packaging waste, submissions should be made digitally or with pics of your entry via snail mail.

Prizes are in the form of DWR Gift Cards.
All entries must be received, via email, by 5pm (PT) on Monday, January 7, 2008.
No additional materials!! and the chair must be at most 4"x4"x4" in size.
Thankfully this year the chair must be an original design – no more miniature replicas considered.
I thought that should have been a no brainer in previous years!

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haute appetizer idea: organic cheese ball

Still need to bring a host gift?

Cheese balls. yes, they're delicious if you have never tried them.

Try one of these recipes or this recipe and use organic ingredients, serve with crackers.
An instant appetizer hit.

Reflect on the deeper meaning and spirit of the holidays, thinking of what is important to you personally, important for your family and important for humanity of the world.

Happy Holidays

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design mobel: sustainable furniture: new zealand

Okooko is the exclusive stocker of the sustainable furniture line Design Mobel from New Zealand. Design Mobel has recently won the award for Sustainable Business of the Year 2007. The clean lines of their range are stunning.

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bottle trees: art for housewives

I found this lovely image of a tree made from bottles at Art For Housewives--a favorite site of mine....although the pictures don't load up very well for me. Frustrating!

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

pets: hilarious companions

I must admit--although my focus is clearly about living a green and simultaneously stylish life--I also never shy away from humor and never ever shy away from smart design. That is why I LOVE Kitty Wigs and Pre Fab Pets not eco--but you've gotta love these designers! If you need more laughs at a dogs expense click here.

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unpackaged: a grocery without the packaging

Beunpackaged was founded in 2006 by Catherine Conway in London. Her belief that there is a better way to sell food, a simpler and more ecological way without all the frivolous packaging. At the Beunpackaged location in London, shoppers are able to bring their own containers with them and shop essentially everything in the bulk style.

Unpackaged buys in bulk from fair trade companies, giveing preference to suppliers who are cooperatives or social enterprises, and does packaging swaps with smaller suppliers to minimize unnecessary waste.

They also offer a service to eco minded companies and those who sign up get their washing-up liquid, soap, toilet paper, tea, sugar and other non-perishables refilled with environmentally-friendly products.

Unpackaged: 42 Amwell Street, EC1R 1XT

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stuart haygarth: plastic bottle ends tear drop chandelier

Stuart Haygarth is consistently putting out amazing recycled design. This lovely teardrop chandelier made from old plastic water bottles looks alot like Venini glass.

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ever wanted to mix your own holiday music?

Factory Lab a graphic design firm in Denver has created the best holiday card ever. Mix your own tunes here.


windpower hawaii: on community owned lands

UPC Wind, a Massachusetts-based wind power company, has pledged $50 million to a campaign attempting to buy back land on the Hawaiian island of Moloka'I (Moloka'i Ranch) from offshore owners. The company then plans to build a windfarm on the community-owned lands. This generous, socially responsible and ecological move is groundbreaking.

The campaign is called Ho'i I Ka Pono, more about Hawaii windpower here.

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i love not cot's gift guide: with many eco items

Not Cot's gift guide is so amazing and contains many eco items--not to mention the creativity of it is off the charts.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

make silly putty from non-toxic material

the daily dump: tribal composter

There is something quite elegant about these simple ceramic composter from The Daily Dump.

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succulent wreath: for a warmer climate than mine

Loving this
succulent wreath.

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bamboo chair: sustainable design by eco systems brand

This bamboo chair by Eco System Brand, is a flat packed sustainable design. The trio of designers who founded Eco System Brand, can create two chairs from each piece of bamboo plywood. The chairs are manufactured using a CNC, then shipped flat pack to you for easy snap together assembly.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

haute holiday eco friendly gift ideas: for her

haute holiday eco friendly gift ideas: for him

haute holiday eco friendly gift ideas: for the furry/feathered ones

haute holiday eco friendly gift ideas: homemade

snowflake cookies

cranberry vanilla creme brulee

snowy holiday cupcakes

mistle toe-I confess I made one of these after being inspired by Lupin, but it would be much easier to buy one from her.

homemade holiday crackers

crocheted snowflakes

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haute holiday ideas: modern tots: creative playthings for children

Modern Tots carries a great selection of imaginative toys. Here is a selection of wonderful things that caught my eye. They have rush shipping for the next three days--in case you need to send gifts still.


Assorted Egglings

Villa Sibi doll house

Sushi Play Set in Bento Box


Huge Block Set

They also have a great eco friendly section here.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

bug-e: haute transportation design by mark murphy

Mark Murphy designed the BugE because most auto trips in the U.S. are made by one person driving less than 35 miles. Running local errands in a small personal electric vehicle that is clean, quiet, energy-efficient, the same height as other vehicles, easy to park, fun to drive, stable, and capable of carrying a few bags of you've go my attention!

With three wheels (two in front, one in the back), the BugE is classified and licensed as a motorcycle, but has greater stability and weather protection than most motorcycles.

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stefan zwicky: concrete chair

Don't know why I love this chair so, but I do. Lovely concrete chair for outside by Stefan Zwicky. I doubt it is made of eco concrete but it should be.

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mudlark: recycled stationery for thank you notes

Mudlark makes gorgeous stationery printed on recycled paper and packaged in wonderful reusable paper boxes. I love my new set! This image is called 'Temple of the Double Flower'.

Available at Anthropologie & Swisher Pens

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crispina: recycled sweater-pot holder rugs

I love the soft loomed rugs by Crispina in Stockbridge Massachusetts. Their products are lovingly constructed from discarded materials reducing consumption and encouraging reuse. These 'pot holder rugs' consist of old sweaters loomed together to create a soft cushion-y area rug.

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

sumi ink club mobiles: sarah anderson & luke fischbeck

These fabulous mobiles by Sarah Anderson & Luke Fischbeck of Sumi Ink Club are sadly all sold out.

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Friday, December 14, 2007

inke heiland: haute vintage retro wallpaper menagerie

Wallpaper Menagerie by Dutch artist Inke Heiland's began as an idea she had for her son's bedroom. Her animal silhouettes are hand crafted from vintage and reprinted wallpaper from the 60's & 70's. The retro zoo pieces are a great modern twist to art for childrens rooms. The packaging for Wallpaper Menagerie is equally as stunning as Inke's animals, and the mailable rolls come with everything you'll need to put them up (which requires paste). They are reasonably priced, starting at $60.

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