Stunning bamboo speakers marry Vietnamese tradition and modern technology

June 16, 2016 by  
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The centuries-old tradition of coiling and carving bamboo is unique to Vietnam . Craftsmen shape the material by hand to form shells. Multiple layers of varnish are then applied to create a natural finish. The resulting design merges traditional manufacturing techniques with modern technology-the spherical shell lets sound resonate acoustically, a Bluetooth connection offers flexibility, while the integrated potentiometer allows precise volume control. Related: Beautiful Speakers Made from Sustainable Bamboo and Leather The speakers are made by Bruno Chandon, an engineer who loves innovation and sustainability. He received a chance to combine these two interests when he met Chung, a rural craftsman skilled in working with bamboo. With the help of French product designer Marie Hautecoeur, he designed this remarkable speaker, which he then equipped with the best possible drivers, amps, and other components. + Hazang Bamboo Bluetooth Speakers + Hazang Kickstarter

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Stunning bamboo speakers marry Vietnamese tradition and modern technology

How Green Product Claims Affect Purchase Intent and Brand Perception

October 22, 2014 by  
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Great sustainable product stories, told well, can generate enormous benefits. That’s why leading global brands have made sustainable products and processes — and the effective communication of their efforts — a high priority. But telling a sustainability story is rife with risks. Making unsubstantiated claims can damage your brand’s reputation and strain customer loyalty. On the other hand, communicating your sustainability efforts in a credible and compelling way can influence consumer purchase intent and brand perception. How do you tell your product story effectively? That’s what UL Environment set out to uncover with a study, conducted by Shelton Group, that polled more than 1,000 consumers and conducted more than 40,000 head-to-head green product claim comparisons. In this hour-long webcast, you’ll hear the key findings from that study and hear a discussion about how to leverage this information to enhance your company’s sustainability story to drive greater brand value. Among the things you’ll learn: What consumers want to know related to green product claims The impact of green product claims on purchase intent How consumers view claims that are vague or misleading Register to attend the webcast and receive the recording when it concludes. Topics:  Branding Consumer Products Product Design & Packaging Tuesday, November 18, 2014 – 2:00pm Sponsored by:  UL Environment Webcast URL:  Click Here to Register

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How Green Product Claims Affect Purchase Intent and Brand Perception

Inside Paul Hawken’s audacious plan to ‘drawdown’ climate change

October 22, 2014 by  
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Inside Paul Hawken’s audacious plan to 'drawdown' climate change Joel Makower 9:11am Featured Image:  Catch Paul Hawken in person next week at VERGE SF 2014, Oct. 27 to 30 . Today, at the Greenbuild conference in New Orleans, entrepreneur and author Paul Hawken will publicly unveil a project, more than a year in the works, aimed at reducing greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere. You read that right: to reduce, not just stabilize, atmospheric CO2 and other gases, in order to reverse rising global temperatures. Project Drawdown , as it is named, will produce a book in 2016, detailing the costs and benefits of scores of climate solutions, from light bulb technology to livestock techniques to literacy for teenage girls. For each, Hawken and his team will “do the numbers,” providing detailed, science-based data and econometric models showing how each plays out, based on current technology and how it will likely evolve over the project’s 30-year horizon. “The book is not a plan,” Hawken explained to me recently. “It is not a proposal. It is a reflection back to the world what we are doing and know how to do right this second.” A meaningful dent The project grew out of Hawken’s frustration with actionable, scalable solutions that would make a meaningful dent in the atmosphere’s growing accumulation of greenhouse gases. The solutions that had been proffered over the years were all seemingly out of reach — ungodly amounts of solar and wind energy that would be required, for example, or the mass adoption of futuristic, unproven technologies. “It made me feel like this is intractable, that it requires such Promethean work by such mammoth institutions, with policy changes that are more than structural,” he recalled. “It made me feel like it wasn’t possible to address climate change, rather than giving me hope.” When the activist Bill McKibben wrote the seminal article, “ Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math ,” in Rolling Stone in 2012, Hawken asked, “Why aren’t we doing the math on the solutions? Somebody should come up with a list and see what it requires so you get to drawdown.” The idea of “drawdown” — actually reducing greenhouse gas concentrations so that global temperatures drop — hasn’t been part of the conversation, at least among the United Nations crowd, climate activists or cleantech companies. Most focus on the seemingly pragmatic goal of stabilizing greenhouse gases at some level, expressed in parts per million, or ppm, that would be tolerable — or at least not catastrophic, from economic, environmental and social perspectives. Hawken thought differently. “There’s no such thing as stabilization at 450 or 550 ppm,” he said. “That’s not stabilized. That’s volatile. I felt that the goal should be drawdown, which is a year-to-year reduction of carbon from the upper atmosphere, period.” Last year, Hawken began teaching at the Presidio Graduate School , alongside climate activist and entrepreneur Amanda Joy Ravenhill. “One day we were just riffing, and we started talking about drawdown and said, ‘Let’s do it. No one else is doing it,’” Hawken recounted. Today, Ravenhill is Project Drawdown’s executive director and, with Hawken, the book’s co-editor. The two have recruited more than 80 advisors, partners, scientists, government agencies and participating universities, along with more than 200 graduate students. Doing the numbers Hawken and Ravenhill will need that army to pull off their audacious vision. The challenge, as Hawken describes it, isn’t in describing the solutions but in doing the numbers — the carbon savings and financial accounting, of course, but also how each solution plays out by country or region, based on available energy resources, climate, economy and other factors — and how each is likely to morph over the next 30 years. And not just the positives. “We had to be very, very careful that we had the subtraction sign,” factoring in ways greenhouse gas emissions can increase in the atmosphere along the way, offsetting any reductions. For example, he said, ”We can talk about reforestation as being one of the hundred solutions, which it certainly is, but we have to make sure we subtract out the rate of fires in the world to reflect what’s burning down.” Moreover, he says, technologies can’t be measured in isolation; they need to be viewed as parts of the systems in which they operate. “We can talk about LED bulbs, but we also have to talk about solutions like dynamic skins or smart glass, which actually reduce light load by 40 or 50 percent. Each of these solutions has a history and measurements and metrics and numbers, so we are not pulling rabbits out of a hat.” And then there’s the problem of double-counting, where individual benefits — energy reductions or financial savings, for example — are counted twice, or even three or four times in a single calculation, inflating a technology’s benefits or understating its costs. That’s been a frequent problem with some clean technology advocates’ rosy scenarios. The goal, says Hawken, is to make the numbers indisputable. “The numbers wanted to be beyond impeccable in terms of methodology and inputs and even their bias. We wanted to have a very conservative bias on the numbers, so that nobody could say we’re egging the pudding or exaggerating.” “Doing the numbers” has proved to be as daunting a challenge as Hawken expected, or perhaps more so. The concern over getting it right has led Project Drawdown to push back the book’s publication date, to spring 2016 from the original goal of fall 2015. Beyond books True to Hawken’s nature — he’s not likely to be satisfied with simply creating a book, however ambitious and meticulously detailed — Project Drawdown’s plans extend in several directions. The solutions and calculations will be contained in a publicly available database, along with the means for individuals and groups to create customized applications (using APIs, in computer parlance). “Anybody can repurpose it, download it, regionalize it, so they can use the Drawdown solutions to measure progress in any geographically bounded area,” he explained. Users could model solutions differently — for example, factoring in different scenarios of how the cost and efficiency of solar energy might play out over the years. Hawken says there are also plans for accompanying educational curricula developed by National Science Foundation. And possibly some media projects based on the work. The research could even be used as a policy tool, Hawken says. “What we see again and again is negative cost. We don’t see the opprobrium that is always cast on climate mitigation, which is, ‘It costs too much, costs too much, costs too much.’ We don’t see that at all. We see ‘Return, return, return.’ So governments — whether cities or local or communities or counties or states — can understand that these are no-regrets projects that have a very strong positive return, in which case you would want to do them, regardless of what you think about the rate of change in climate or whether you believe in it at all.” Despite the long road ahead, Hawken is already looking past the publication of what he dubs “Drawdown 1,” and on to its sequel. That, he promises, will look at the next generation of technologies, with all of their unrealized potential to solve climate change. “We don’t know the ending of this book, make that very clear, but with Drawdown 2, we’re saying, ‘Look what is coming. It is stunning.’”  It’s easy, in today’s divisive and toxic political environment, to view Project Drawdown as too good to be true, a quixotic quest for an unattainable goal. But there’s something simple and sane about Project Drawdown’s collective ingredients: unabashed optimism tempered by sharp-pencil calculations, a bold goal undergirded by scientific pragmatism, immediacy coupled with a 30-year horizon, all leveraging the wisdom of a very smart crowd. Not all of it will pan out — there are simply too many variables and uncertainties — but much of it will. And it just could move the needle. Topics:  Climate

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Inside Paul Hawken’s audacious plan to ‘drawdown’ climate change

4 myths about green product declarations

July 26, 2013 by  
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Understanding the differences among a range of product disclosure types will help building teams avoid confusion.

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4 myths about green product declarations

Want to Sell a Green Product? Don’t Call It Green

January 30, 2012 by  
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In a wide-ranging conversation with GreenBiz Executive Editor Joel Makower today, the co-founders of Method explained why a company created with environmental responsibility written into its DNA would distance itself from the green label.

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Want to Sell a Green Product? Don’t Call It Green

5 green products designed for greener highways

September 13, 2011 by  
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Rajlakshmi Retesh: Highway green product Green products designed for greener highways Sustainable technology development is the need of the hour. With fast depleting natural resources, threat to survival has become evident. The scientists and designers are on a constant look out for designs that solve survival needs of tomorrow. It is true that highways, with its ever growing vehicular traffic, has to be blamed for creating environmental pollution. But many modern industrial designers vouch to transform this traffic lifeline into green power generation hub for future. Highways extended on vast stretch of land, have potential for developing many sustainable means of generating power. Electric cars, e turbine, solar and wind energy lighting and solar powered air purifiers are few of the futuristic designs to curb the pollution levels and build self- reliant system through highways. It will not be long when these green innovations fructify our highways into power generating hubs. It is most likely that they might soon start fueling power to our residential complexes and industrial hubs. This will not only be a cheaper option but will also save our leftover non- renewable energy resources like coal, nuclear and petroleum products. 1. Solar-powered City Air Purifier Solar-powered city air purifier Solar-powered city air purifier designed for greener highways Air pollution has done enough damage to our health as well as our ecosystem. Ever rising vehicular traffic on our streets and highways needs a check. It is possible now through a solution provided by industrial designer, Ken Jansinski. Jansinski’s solar-powered air purifier can be attached on any existing street lighting poles. It uses solar panel to generate energy for running ultraviolet air purification system. The system captures carbon dioxide from surrounding air and releases oxygen into the atmosphere. It is designed to work on overcast days as well. 2. E Turbine E Turbine E Turbine green products designed for greener highways So far we are aware of cars prone to consuming generated energy but new developed concept has made it possible to generate renewable energy from car movements on highways. Industrial designer, Pedro Gomes uses e turbine technology where air movement caused by fast pacing cars to convert into renewable energy. This energy can be further utilized for street and road lighting, information panels and emergency phones. Placed in between two lanes, the system generates energy from vehicular air movement, which is transferred to main battery. 3. Concept Road Ribs to Generate Energy from Traffic Movement Concept Road Ribs Concept Road Ribs for greener highways Electricity generating road ribs is a design that allows the vehicular traffic on highways to produce renewable energy by their movement. These road ribs are here to convert energy in fuels used by vehicles into usable energy. This is more like best from waste. This saved energy can be utilized for lighting highways or charging electric vehicles. This technology is based on concept that any moving vehicle is bound to make ribs move as well, this in turn generates energy and this energy can be stored in batteries placed along roadside. These ribs are capable of withstanding heavy vehicular weights without showing signs of wear and tear. 4. Concept Highway Lighting – Night Owl Concept highway lighting Concept highway lighting for greener highways Industrial designer Eden Kurzweils has made this preparation for soon approaching era when electricity will be unaffordable. Foreseeing the depleting other source of energy, he feels only solar resources have the potential for future needs. This LED lighting system is powered by solar energy. This will illuminate cities and roads by LED clusters that rely on batteries charged by large flexible polymer solar films integrated on the top of the lights. It is low in maintenance. 5. Green Roadways Project for Wind and Solar Power Generation Solar and wind generators Solar and wind generators designed for greener highways Innovators, Gene Fein and ED Merritt conceived the idea of utilizing potential growth of highways into renewable energy generating spaces. Vast stretches of highways are suitable for placing these green generators, wind turbines and solar panels. This progressive roadway project makes use of strings of solar panels, wind turbines and geothermal devices to transform natural resources like sunlight and wind into electricity. The idea was to make highways capable of electrifying our cities with green energy and at the same time can become charging stations for electric vehicle.

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5 green products designed for greener highways

Mercedes-Benz to debut hydrogen fueled F125! at Frankfurt

September 13, 2011 by  
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Pratima Kalra: Mercedes Benz F125 Concept vehicle powered by fuel cells Whether a leak out of some facts about automobiles before launch creates more intrigue or spoils the punch can be mooted hard. The biannual Frankfurt Motor Show gives the big brand car makers like Mercedes Benz, BMW, Volkswagen, etc a platform to display their lavish plans for the future in terms of both design and technology. Therefore, the perfect platform for Mercedes Benz to launch its all new hydrogen pumped F125!, a concept aimed for 2025 CL-class. Picture Gallery 2011 Mercedes Benz F125 Hydrogen Gullwing 2011 Mercedes Benz F125 Hydrogen Gullwing Concept Vehicle Powered by Fuel Cells Automobile innovation no longer gives jitters to people; they know if you can think something, you can actually deliver it. We’ve digested the evolution of electric cars and now maybe it’s time for something more alluring. Thus, if Mercedes Benz claims that F125! will be fuelled by hydrogen with an engine that will bail out 231hp and it will take just about 4 seconds to reach to 62mph, with a top speed of 137mph, the facts will be well taken. To top it, the car has been designed to consume just 0.79 kilograms of H2 per 100 kilometers. As for the design details of F125!; it takes inspiration from the F800 with its fluid form and gullwing door concept. This gives this new Benz poise and elegance and also renders is useful for congested car space in cities. Just like a few other Mercedes Cars like McLaren, the undercarriage is made of a combination of carbon fiber, aluminum and plastic; using their comparative advantage to come up with something more solid. A gas tank made of carbon fiber is fitted to hold hydrogen to the capacity of 700 bars. Also it gets some power from an onboard 10kWh lithium-ion battery that would permit it to travel approximately 31 kilometers. Whether the 125 years of existence and success of the dynamic Mercedes Benz is once again going to dazzle the audience with its unique mix of technology and design all encompassed in the new gullwing F125! at the Frankfurt Moto Show, will be a thing to follow up with. Via: Autoblog

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Mercedes-Benz to debut hydrogen fueled F125! at Frankfurt

Bionic-Arch: A green gift for the City of Taichung by Vincent Callebaut

September 13, 2011 by  
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Pratima Kalra: Bionic Arch Designed by Vincent Callebaut History has witnessed that whether it was great warriors or was it Emperors, they all wanted to become immortal and leave behind their mark in some tangible form that will be remembered for centuries after they leave earth. Picture Gallery Bionic Arch Bionic Arch Designed by Vincent Callebaut Most of us enjoy meaningful gifts that add some value to our lives. This is an era of value addition; especially if the purpose behind gifting is social and it will collectively affect many people. Thus, keeping in mind this ideology, the Government wants to give Taichung a special gift that will not only be contemporary but will be marveled by people for times to come. The government has acknowledged the newness and freshness of the architectural feats of Vincent Callebaut and has assigned them to use their expertise in spatial inventiveness that will foretell the destiny of times to come. Creativity cannot be legitimized by eligibility criteria. Every new creation has its own definition and dimensions. The only binding factor is nature and humans and if their needs are being met with coherence, the purpose of creating and innovating is well justified. Thus the government is promoting freedom of thought and has allowed Vincent Callebaut Architecture free play to design a unique skyscraper that will personify the life of the people of Taichung. The clear message that this skyscraper, dubbed Bionic-Arch, would epitomize is that humans and Mother Nature can always live in harmony; all it takes is some cognitive logic and the right inspiration for the same comes from the world around. The blue of the sky, the green of the trees, the crystallizing of water with sun beams, etc. will give a final face to the structure that will merge to become sublime. To the distant eye the structure will not stand out for attention but for reverence, hence accomplishing the government’s dream of spreading awareness about green and its benefits to mankind. Via: Evolo

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Bionic-Arch: A green gift for the City of Taichung by Vincent Callebaut

Sarajevo Survival Tools: Ingenious DIY Designs for Life During Wartime

March 31, 2011 by  
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Sarajevo Survival Tools is a showcase of extraordinary ready-made objects that citizens of Sarajevo had to design and hand-make when the capital city of Bosnia-Herzegovina was under siege from 1992 to 1996. The exhibition’s wide range of objects expose an atmosphere of everyday struggle through horrid conditions while revealing shining examples of human ingenuity.

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Sarajevo Survival Tools: Ingenious DIY Designs for Life During Wartime

Ode To A Nano- My Green Product of the Year 2005

December 23, 2010 by  
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Five years ago I wrote about my new iPod Nano , the 1 ounce, 8 dram wonder that I called the green product of the year. I wrote that it “demonstrates that brilliant design can let us all live as well or better than we do now in less space, using fewer resources and with a smaller footprint

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Ode To A Nano- My Green Product of the Year 2005

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