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Best Ideas of 2006? Super Recycling!

Business Week has come out with their 2006 perspective lists of the best and worst leaders, products, and ideas.

Importantly, “super recycling“, something we are big fans of here at ecoaesthete, is among the best ideas.  The article acclaims carpet maker Interface Inc., which uses reclaimed materials in its carpet tiles’ vinyl backing.  As they rather obviously conclude,”Super recycling is super-friendly to the environment.”

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December 9, 2006 at 8:04 pm Leave a comment

Organic in Oxford

There was a well-supported stall in Oxford publicising various organic products, from Green & Black’s chocolate to Grove Fresh organic juices. With lots of free samples!

A bright leaflet from Grove Fresh nicely summarises the case for organic foods…

  • Keep chemicals off your plate; When you choose organic, you avoid harmful pesticides and other toxins.
  • Protect future generations; Organic foods are better for children whose developing bodies are vulnerable to pesticides in food.
  • Great taste; Food that’s been grown in organically nourished soil is packed with nutrients and bursts with flavour.
  • Protect water quality; Organic farming does not pollute water resources with pesticides, a problem now affecting water from coast to coast.
  • Save energy; By using natural fertilizers, organic farmers save the resources that are wasted in the energy-intensive manufacture of synthetic fertilizers.
  • Promote biodiversity; By rotating crops and replenishing the soil, organic farming creates a balanced environment that allows all forms of life to flourish.
  • Prevent soil erosion; By caring for the health of the soil, organic farming prevents topsoil erosion, a serious downside of conventional farming.
  • Help small farmers; Buying organic supports the small, family farmers that make up a large percentage of organic food producers.
  • Protect farm worker health; Organic farm practices prevent farmers from being exposed to chemicals that put their health at risk.
  • Support a true economy; Conventional farming may seem less expensive, but it hides the future costs of environmental cleanup.

September 5, 2006 at 6:56 pm 2 comments

MIT’s Energy Research Council

More MIT news. (Guess you can tell where we went to school now.)

Pres. Hockfield has declared war on the Earth.  Or rather, she’s launched the school’s Energy Research Council, which in a Manhattan Project-style effort, aims to develop new technologies to address many of the World’s problems.

Wired News covers a range of research projects, ranging from solar cells made from spinach to algae-based biofuels.

The whole thing is co-chaired by ex-DoE Undersecretary and MIT Prof. Ernie Moniz.

August 13, 2006 at 2:51 am Leave a comment

Architects design a living home

Those crazy guys from MIT’s Media Lab, more specifically Mitchell Joachim et al. of the Smart Cities Group, have conceived the Fab Tree Hab — a home that doesn’t just use “green” design; rather it is itself a living ecosystem.

The basic framework of the house would be created using a gardening method known as pleaching, in which young trees are woven together into a shape such as an archway, lattice, or screen and then encouraged to maintain that form over the years. The goal was to develop a method to grow homes from native seeds. This enables these new local dwellings to be a part of an absolutely green community.

Joachim’s studio Archinode has details of more of his interesting projects.

Summary article available on Technology Review.

August 2, 2006 at 5:06 pm 1 comment

Look good, save the earth

The Independent has a nice review piece on organic clothing. It explains how cotton may be natural, but it’s far from planet-friendly.

It has a few links of labels to wear with pride…

  • American Apparel – “worker-positive” cooperatives recycling fabric scraps and using sustainable cotton.
  • Bamford & Sons – vintage and new items, inc. organic Japanese cotton & ecological leather.
  • Edun – “trade not aid” ethical clothing launched by Bono et al.
  • Gossypium – organic and Fairtrade cotton.
  • Loomstate – pre-industrialised farming and manufacturing methods used to weave raw organic cotton yarn and labels embedded with wildflower seeds.
  • People Tree – organic and Fairtrade-certified cotton clothing made to high ethical and environmental standards.
  • Reflective Circle – “a political and social participant, responsible for all levels affected by design, including ethical and aesthetic areas”.

July 6, 2006 at 10:30 pm 1 comment

Best Product Design of 2006 Awards

BusinessWeek has coverage of the Best Product Design of 2006 Awards. For the first time, this year ISDA presented awards in “ecodesign”, something we hotly follow here at ecoaesthete.

Two office chairs (Zody and Celle[right]), a pair of Mion water shoes designed for Timberland, and a digital carpet-sampling system that did away with the fabric won.

Most notably, Jurors weren’t happy with the low number of entries. “The design community is not knowledgeable in this,” said jury Chair Conley. “Architecture is better.”

July 6, 2006 at 9:44 pm Leave a comment

FabPrefab

fabprefab, a web resource dedicated to tracking developments in the market for ‘modernist prefab dwellings’.

  • In fablist they have 13 different architects offering pre-fab solutions in North America and 15 outside, inc. PLACE houses that we mentioned previously on ecoaesthete.
  • In fabzone they list explorations of prefab as a design and construction ideology, from unbuilt work to built work that is not actively being marketed as a product.
  • For budding designers, in fabschool they track Architecture School projects that are examining various aspects of off-site residential fabrication.
  • They also have a special area containerbay dedicated to shipping containers. Hopefully fresh projects like Bog will feature soon.

June 20, 2006 at 11:56 pm Leave a comment

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Eco-Aesthete is a blog for those who think that hippy is turning hip, thanks to fresh creative design focused on sustainability.

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