Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Better (and cooler) CD Packaging

I went to see a band called Poor Old Shine tonight and was totally blown away by them.  So much so that I wanted to support them by buying a CD.  

Now normally I would download their stuff and save the CD, but I was so impressed with their packaging that I decided it was a must have for the purposes of showing others.  

Instead of those hated plastic sleeves, or worse, the hard plastic shells that CDs come in, they had taken a single sheet of paper, printed up their info, and folded it ingeniously into this amazingly thrifty and exceptionally cool CD "case".  One piece of paper and not only did it limit the footprint of the CD, but it actually added to the overall value of my purchase as it's really quite beautiful and pops open and closed with ease, while still holding it's shape.  Totally cool and a major shout out to the band and whoever came up with this boffo idea.  Kudos my friends!

And for anyone interested, check these folks out.  They are stupendous!


When rechargeable becomes disposable.

I don't really have that many things that have rechargeable batteries. That is to say that I use rechargeables, but most of the electronics that I have that need batteries have replaceable batts, meaning I can take them out and replace/recharge them as I need. So I was taken aback at a note my good friend John sent me about his super duper sonic high tech toothbrush the other day.

John, like myself is one of those guys who is constantly trying to fight the good fight on waste. We commiserate about turning the lights off only to have our loved ones come in and turn them back on, changing the thermostat slowly enough so no one knows, and on and on. So when he called the other day I knew something was amiss.

John uses an electronic toothbrush that I don't really know anything about (I'm still a stick, dirt and leaves man myself) and apparently the rechargeable batteries inside had stopped fighting the good fight.   Faced with replacement due to a lack of power, he decided, like any good hacker would, to open it up and see if he could change out the batts himself.  Seems simple enough right?

Well, as you can see from the pics, all did not go well.  After a bit of scoring, cutting, cracking and slowly moving tiny cables from side to side, he was actually able to get to the two AA nicad batteries inside.

Nirvana was in sight.

Until he realized to his dismay, that the batteries were solidly held in place with glue from a hot glue gun.  Foiled.  While many would have stopped there, he soldiered on and tried to pull the batts out anyway.  The call i got came shortly after he had accidentally cut into the batteries themselves and realized that he might end up doing more harm than good.  Sonic Toothbrush - 1.  John and the rest of us - 0.

What got him, and get's me about all of this, is that we, the buying public, are sold this bit of rhetoric that we are somehow doing the world a solid by buying an item that has a rechargeable battery.  Surely it's better than one where we throw out the batteries over and over right?  But if it means that when the batts are dead we have to buy a brand new thingamabob (how convenient huh?) then are we really doing that much better?  After all, 99 times out of 100 that gizmo is going to end up in a landfill and nothing will get recycled!

Now it's obvious that the company who makes this doohicky doesn't want you opening it up, but the fact that they put it together in a way that should you break the outer shell you still can't get it apart, cheeses me even more.  I'm guessing it all comes down to cost, but it seems as if they don't want you fixing anything yourself even if you know how.

Moral of the story, stick with your toothbrush and leave the rechargeables to someone else.  Are rechargeables better than "disposables"?  Of course, but as this goes to show, not all rechargeables are created equal.  Thanks for sharing John and keep fighting the good fight.  I'm gonna turn the fridge up one setting as a way to honor your quest for wasting less and a stick and dirt are in the mail as we speak to help keep those choppers strong.



Monday, December 10, 2012

One person's trash....


Friday, October 26, 2012

Great piece on the reality of wind as a source for energy.

Fantastic piece on wind energy and the reality of what it can do.  To generate 1/2 of the worlds
power needs (half because wind cannot be depended on to flow at all times) we'd need 4 million 5 megawatt windmills that would cover 1% of the land that we have.  Seems like a lot but 1% of usable land, and 4 million windmills (there are generally 50 million cars built per year) doesn't seem like much for clean renewable sustainable energy does is?  Check it out here.


Wind Power of the future?


What goes in the ocean goes in you!


The Farming/Food Myth

There's a tremendous amount of myth flying around out there about what our food needs are, what they will be, and what we need to do in order to keep the world (well some parts of the world) from starving.  As usual, and as this video points out, a lot of it is incorrect logic and when you trace it to the source, put out there by folks who stand to profit.  Remember, systems that are not sustainable, are not working systems in the long run.


Friday, September 28, 2012

What's Replacing BPA Anyway?

My friends at 5 Gyres have written up a great little piece explaining the dreaded BPA we all hear so much about and wondering what type of plasticizer is taking it's place.  Good read.  Enjoy.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Eco Villages Around The World


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Startling graphic about CO2

Make sure to watch all the way to the end.


The way societies should travel?

Copenhagen, already a bike friendly city, is building a series of bike highways complete with lanes, times traffic lights, foot rests for stops, and bike pumps every mile.  In a society where 1 in 3 uses biking as a main means of transportation, it looks as if they are aggressively trying to increase that number.  How cool is that?  If only every society had this kind of foresight and willingness to support modes of transept that are better for society and the environment.  You can read/listen to more about it here.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Opting out of American Express Card mailings

Great info can be found here.

  • If you are not an American Express Customer, opt out by calling 1-800-528-4800;
  • If you are an American Express Card Member, opt out by logging into your American Express online accounts and adjusting your mailing preferences;
  • If you are an American Express Consumer Travel customer, opt out by calling 1-888-485-0470;
  • If you are an American Express Travelers Cheque and Prepaid Services customer, opt out by calling 1-800-722-8614;
  • If you are Personal Savings from American Express customer, opt out by calling 1-800-446-6307.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Great piece on Solar In Pakistan

Great piece on solar in Pakistan that not only shows the importance in solar in moving forward but so much more about raising people out of poverty, empowering women, and beyond.


Thursday, May 31, 2012

Germany Sets Record Generating Half of The Countries Power with Solar

For those of you who still say solar can't cut it, think again. Last weekend, Germany generated a whopping 22 gigawatts of power, half the national need!  Now for those of you counting beans, the reality is it was only at midday hours and not for the entire 48 hours.  But the point is, this is where they are, and where they are going is to be fully renewable.  Something like this shows that, with a greater quantity of panels, and advanced storage facilities, coupled with energy reducing technology, and most importantly a change in how we use(waste) energy, this is doable!  Very cool stuff.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Los Angeles Finally Stepping Up - Finally Ready To Ban Plastic Bags!

All I can say is it's about time. Los Angeles City Council to vote on plastic bag ban


Makes Sense To Me


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Watch Gasland for more info on Hydro Fracking


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Vermont becomes first state to ban Fracking!

Well done VT. Way to show the oil companies that clean water and a safe future for our children can't be bought! Now the question is, will other states recognize the wisdom of your ways?


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Postmortem Green

I don't know about you, but anything that talks about Body Decompiculture and Toxic Remediation has my vote for attention grabbing. Check out this TedTalk about an artist who has created a mushroom burial suit that she hopes to use to turn her then toxic body (BPA, Pthalates, Lead, and beyond) into non toxic mushroom food that will be cleansed and not enter back into the earth cycle. It's a tad out there too be sure, but does that mean that the alternative makes sense? Check it out.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Chasing Sustainability

I've been teaching a seminar called Chasing Sustainability for about 3 years now, to school groups, businesses, religious institutions, and basically anyone who will listen, and finally got around to creating a somewhat useful website for the talk.  It's a work in progress (and most likely always will be), but at least it's a place to head if you are interested in hearing more about the talk or having me come and speak.

Thanks and be well,



Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Armory Lovins Explains How We Get Off Oil In 50 Years


Check out this really good piece on Puente Hills Landfill from the book Garbology.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Plastic State of Mind - OFFICIAL from Ben Zolno on Vimeo.