Listen Up!

This cool video is called Listen. I added the Up! because I wanted to get your attention.

LISTEN UP PEOPLE! We all have to do our part for the environment. If you smoke, you can start by not tossing your cigarette butts like they’re biodegradable. If you drink coffee, buy yourself a travel mug and take it with you. If you have kids, stop buying bottled water! I could go on, but I’m sure you’re shaking your head by now and wondering why I’m preaching. It had to be said.


The Ice Bear Project

This polar bear ice sculpture slowly melts as we stand back and watch and do nothing. It’s a strong environmental statement by animal sculptor, Mark Coreth.

So far Coreth has installed two ice sculptures, one in London’s Trafalgar Square and one in the Nytorv Square in Copenhagen during the Copenhagen Climate Summit. He calls it the Bear in the Square and plans to erect similar sculptures in several cities across the world, including Oslo, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Moscow, New York, Toronto, Beijing and Sydney.

It takes about 10 days for the bear to melt and with each drop, we’re reminded of our delicate environment and the rate at which it is changing.

If you want to learn more about the Ice Bear Project or how you can help, visit The Ice Bear Project.

Haute Trash — Recycled Fashion

I don’t know about you, but it takes about a week before my mail box is bursting full of direct mail advertising, coupons, promotions and notices. If you’re wondering what else you can do besides dumping them all in the recycle bin, take a page out of designer Nancy Judd’s book. Here she fashioned a dress out of catalogues, solicitations and newspaper ads, covered vintage shoes in old postage stamps and made origami earrings. This collection took 200 hours to make.

Former Levi Strauss and Dockers designer, Gary Harvey, created this dress from cans, bottle tops and cardboard boxes.

How about turning cigarette butts into clothing? Chilean designer Alexandra Guerrero came up with this idea when she was working on her thesis. Guerrero puts the cigarette butts through a purification process before shredding them to be woven into yarn. The residue from the purification process is donated for testing for a biological insecticide.

Aaron Chang designed this line of swimwear out of plastic soda bottles for Urban Outfitters.

The good news is that this kind of fashion is becoming more and more popular and events like the Trash to Fashion Awards, held in New Zealand every year, is giving designers the recognition they deserve. See also: Trash Fashion Design Awards, Haute Trash and Windfall Ecology Centre’s Trash Fashion Show.

How Many Carbon Emissions Have You Had Today?

The story is the same, but the picture has changed. Instead of swashbuckling adverturers scouring the seas for countries to rape and pillage, we have Mr. Affluent White-Guy killing the planet with his excessive globe-trotting and expensive taste in cars.

This video is one of three winners of the Germanwatch screenplay competition about Climate Justice. Since 1991, Germanwatch has been actively promoting North-South equity, focusing on the politics and economics of the North and its worldwide consequences. It lobbies for fair trade relations, responsible financial markets, compliance with human rights, and the prevention of dangerous climate change.

What this video does is makes you stop and think. Our actions affect everyone on this planet and right now the scales of justice are imbalanced. If we don’t all start making changes to the way we live today, it may be too late. In twenty years’ time, it’s going to be a very different landscape.

Inspired by: Earth Hour’s Video of the Week

The Rise and Fall of the Reusable Grocery Bag

I witnessed PR in the making today by sheer coincidence. It was so exciting, it gave me goosebumps and at that precise moment, the needle on my nerd monitor spiked.

There I was on, up to my neck in research and popular opinion on reusuable grocery bags, when in the matter of minutes it changed. Breaking news shot out over the Twitter waves from CNW, declaring reusable grocery bags a health hazard.

Reusable washable grocery bag

As this message spread out over the Twitter waves, I found myself up to my neck in dissenting opinion about reusable grocery bags. The National Post was quick to get the message out, and then, a couple of hours later came the damage control and this article in the Toronto Sun stating “the plastics industry is fighting back against the growing popularity of reusable grocery bags with a study that warns of health risks.”

As a sigh of relief filtered out over the Twittersphere, public opinion turned to common sense — of course it makes sense, the obvious solution is to wash your reusable bags and don’t use them for anything else like transporting your sweaty gym clothes. I can’t imagine the kind of skanky-assed bags they must have conducted their tests on. You think something like “the presence of fecal matter” would have a certain odor.

Nevertheless, to see this whole situation play out in real time, as I sat there recording every detail of it, is something I don’t think happens too often. It was quite the thrill. Yes, I’m a nerd, but at least I don’t poop in my grocery bags.