Museum of Plastic pops up at Art Basel Miami

December 6, 2019 by  
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The Museum of Plastic is popping up once again, this time at the EDITION Hotel during Art Basel Miami, from Friday, December 6 through Sunday, December 8. Creative incubator Lonely Whale designed the art installation to raise awareness about plastic pollution in the oceans, first unveiling it earlier this year in New York during World Oceans Week. Lonely Whale is known for campaigns like the anti-straw Stop Sucking and the anti-single-use plastic water bottle Question How You Hydrate . Inhabitat talked with Lonely Whale executive director Dune Ives about the Museum of Plastic, and the importance of personal behavior change and radical cross-industry collaboration to solve the world’s plastic problems. Answers have been edited for length. Inhabitat: What exactly is Lonely Whale Foundation? Ives: We’re located at 30,000 feet. We’re virtual. We spend most of our time in various places around the world addressing ocean health issues. We’ve been around for four years. We actually officially launched at Art Basel in 2015. We call ourselves an incubator for courageous ideas to save the oceans. It got its start out of inspiration from this documentary film about finding this whale that speaks at a frequency no other whale has been known to speak at before or since it was found, which is the frequency of 52 hertz. What our co-founders (Adrian Grenier and Lucy Sumner) wanted to make sure we did as an organization was pull people closer to the ocean. To get them to become aware that there is an ocean, it’s in dire straits, we’re largely the cause for that state of affairs. There’s so much we can do to help make it a better place. Inhabitat: What have been Lonely Whale’s biggest accomplishments so far? Ives: I think our biggest accomplishment to date is connecting people to each other. We set out to raise awareness about plastic pollution . But we wanted to create content and initiatives that broke down barriers to engagement. So we didn’t want to make it feel too heavy or too dire or too negative. We also didn’t want it to feel too far away. So we launched our first campaign, Stop Sucking , and that was launched in tandem with Strawless in Seattle . It was really intended to take a lighthearted look at a really big, serious and growing issue of plastic pollution . It struck a chord with people. You could be funny and be an environmentalist at the same time. Related: Plastic straws are a thing of the past, but which reusable straw is best for the future? We have an Ocean Heroes boot camp, we call it, where we bring kids together from all over the world. To date, over 50 countries. This year alone, we’ll reach about a thousand kids, and they are working with each other across borders, across languages, across time zones, to stop plastic pollution. We work with individuals, with our impact campaigns. We work with youth with our Ocean Heroes program. Next Waves is our third big initiative, where we get global corporations to sit across the table from each other to provoke a conversation about plastic pollution. But really it’s about shifting our perception about what is waste and what is usable material and to challenge each other to do more, to go further than they ever thought that they could in being a solution to the problem of plastic pollution. So I think it’s that connectedness, that togetherness, which is a unique contribution that Lonely Whale has made in the ocean health discussion. Inhabitat: What is Art Basel Miami? Ives: It’s an amazing amalgamation of people who are cultural taste-makers and thought leaders and artists and musicians and business leaders who are really excited to drive a conversation about how art and technology and culture intersect and should really allow us to advance progress on the issues that we’re working on as a society. Inhabitat: Tell us more about the Museum of Plastic. Ives: We call it an experiential activation or art installation . It will be installed at the EDITION Hotel , which is right on Miami Beach. People will go through a series of experiences throughout the open spaces in the EDITION. The first experience they’ll go through is what’s called the Ocean Voyage Room, which shows what will happen if we don’t make much more progress than where we are. It’s estimated that in 2014, ’15, ‘16, ’17 and ’18, we had a minimum of 8-12 million tons of new plastic entering the ocean every year. We’re projecting 2020, ’21 and ’22 to have the exact same situation. This Ocean Voyage experience is going to illustrate that this is how bad it can be. But it will also show how we can help prevent this. Because everyone who’s coming through is going to agree to take a challenge to eliminate their use of single-use plastic packaging . One of my favorite things that we’ve produced is a plastic money receipt. We project, based on estimates, that every year, we spend over $200 billion on single-use plastic water bottles. This plastic money receipt shows everything else that we could spend 200 billion dollars on. We could actually protect the entire tropical rainforest with 200 billion dollars. This is a very engaging, kind of eye-opening, jaw-dropping experience for people, where you see what our choices are doing and what our choices could do instead. The third experience at the Museum of Plastic is what we call the ATTN Theater in partnership with ATTN. It’s an original film about how people are using less plastic and the solutions that they’re moving forward with to help protect our oceans. It’s an exciting way to really get engaged in the topic of solutions, but in a way, that’s really inspiring. Inhabitat: Your partners include fashion designer Heron Preston, tech giant HP, media company ATTN, and the EDITION Hotel. How does that work? Ives: We can’t solve these environmental issues on our own as an organization, as a nonprofit. If we’re going to solve for plastic pollution or climate change or illegal fishing or, name the issue, then we have to do so in partnership with industry leaders. That’s really what we’re doing at the EDITION Hotel, in partnership with Heron and with HP, is demonstrating this is a new model for environmentalism that has been tested out over the last few years and is working quite well. HP released the very first monitor that had several of its component parts made from ocean-bound plastic. What HP has done that others haven’t yet been able to do is that it has created a blended polymer . What [HP] is doing with Heron, though, is really fascinating. It is now taking this young, strong voice in the sustainable fashion industry and connecting it 100 percent to the plastic pollution discussion by getting Heron to build the pilot program to try to find alternatives to plastic poly bags. [Note: Short for polyethylene, poly bags are used in most industries. In fashion, these thin, plastic bags are used to protect garments during shipping. The Heron Preston/HP collaboration resulted in poly bags that are compostable at home.] Millennials and Gen Z are very focused on environmental issues, Gen Z even more so than millennials. So when you collaborate with someone like Heron Preston, you’re taking a somewhat difficult-to-engage-with topic of plastic pollution, and you’re now infiltrating the Gen Z market in a way that we haven’t seen any other technology company do to date. He’s edgy, he’s young. He’s really starting to drive the sustainable fashion conversation. Now, he’s bringing his art and his ingenuity together with a technology company that’s leading on ocean-bound plastic issues. So it’s a really nice integration of those two topics together, and what better place to showcase it than at Art Basel. Inhabitat: What are the top things the average person can do to decrease ocean pollution? Ives: The nice thing about plastic pollution and what the individual can do is that there are so many options. When you think about straws , unless you need a straw to drink, just drink with your mouth. Where you do have access to clean, safe drinking water, just drink from a tap. You don’t need a single-use plastic water bottle. Those are two of the easiest things that you can do. I think the third is just be aware. Be more aware. Once you realize that single-use plastics are everywhere, they’re in your life, then you start making choices about do you need the English cucumber, or are you okay with the regular cucumber that doesn’t come wrapped in plastic? Then, I think once you make those choices, you see how easy it is every day to be a solution to the problem. The plastic pollution crisis is solvable. There’s no doubt in my mind. + Lonely Whale + Museum of Plastic Photography by Craig Barritt / Getty Images via Lonely Whale

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Museum of Plastic pops up at Art Basel Miami

Is the global quest to end plastic waste a circular firing squad?

November 4, 2019 by  
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There’s tremendous progress toward eliminating single-use plastic packaging. Why are activists so unhappy?

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Is the global quest to end plastic waste a circular firing squad?

Engie’s renewables chief on scaling corporate contracts, hydrogen hopes and offshore wind

November 4, 2019 by  
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How do you add 9 gigawatts of solar and wind in the next three years? You turn to corporate buyers, universities, hospitals and cities to commit to at least half that capacity.

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Engie’s renewables chief on scaling corporate contracts, hydrogen hopes and offshore wind

Ireland plans to ban single-use plastics

September 18, 2019 by  
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In a move that has environmentalists cheering, Ireland recently overhauled its waste sector by announcing a ban on single-use plastics, including cutlery, straws, cups, food containers and cotton bud sticks. The initiative also called for doubling the rate of recycled material and is considering new levy requirements for non-recyclable plastics, such as those found in food packaging at groceries. Richard Bruton, the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, explained that the new policies are part of the Irish government’s improved climate action campaign to eliminate unnecessary packaging, reduce food waste by 50 percent, improve plastic recycling by 60 percent and cut landfill disposal by 60 percent. Related: Ireland will plant 440 million trees in 20 years In recent years, single-use plastic pollution has skyrocketed, prompting dismal reports that project an Earth of 2050 where our oceans are filled with more plastic than fish. Many people are realizing the urgency, and government officials are being pressured into addressing the plastic waste dilemma. Accordingly, the European Union has proposed banning single-use plastics — and Ireland is the latest EU member to join the bandwagon. That the campaign to remove single-use plastics has already taken hold on the Emerald Isle is a profound step in the right direction. To date, it is estimated that every person in Ireland annually generates more than 400 pounds of waste packaging, of which 130 pounds are plastic, and these per capita statistics are above the EU average. Implementing this single-use plastic ban is expected to bring promising results to Ireland’s ongoing war on plastic pollution . Bruton said, “All along the supply chain we can do better — 70 percent of food waste is avoidable, half of the material we use is not being segregated properly, two-thirds of plastic used is not on the recycling list and labels are confusing.” For those sectors unable to readily comply with the ban, heavy environmental taxes will have to be paid. These tax levies are a further measure designed to deter the widespread use of single-use plastics, especially non-recyclable ones. Conservation and ecology advocates are supportive of Ireland’s ban, confirming that plastic consumption must be reduced to safeguard the environment. Supporters also uphold that the cost of the added tax should reflect the dire impact single-use plastic has on the environment. Of course, the issue is not without its critics, some of whom claim the tax would do little to alleviate environmental conditions but would instead disproportionately affect lower-income consumers. Nonetheless, optimists assert that the Irish ban on plastic waste will mobilize a shift in industrial, business and consumer behavior that can ultimately contribute to a cleaner, greener Ireland, perhaps bringing the country closer to a sustainable Emerald Isle ideal. Via EcoWatch , RTE and Irish Times Image via Flockine

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Ireland plans to ban single-use plastics

These works of art record and provide shelter to urban wildlife

September 18, 2019 by  
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The Interaction Research Studio at Goldsmiths, University of London is proving that you don’t have to leave the city to experience wildlife. Inspired by both art and nature, the studio has created a series of habitats that use hidden cameras to capture images of wildlife. The habitat structures use My Naturewatch wildlife cameras, easy-to-find materials and simple electronics and are designed to be used by even the most novice of nature-lovers. The structures are also built with natural materials to make the animals feel more at-home, with the potential to serve as both shelters or food. The natural materials include things like wood, coconut shells, stones and branches, in combination with recycled materials such as plastic water bottles (used as a waterproof protective casing around the camera lens). Related: IKEA teams up with London artists to upcycle old furniture into funky abodes for birds, bees ?and bats This marriage of natural and human-made components not only benefits the animals but also serves as an important metaphor for the intricacy of urban environments and the problems that city animals face on a daily basis. The habitats are a welcomed sight to the animals; they provide the creatures with an acting shelter, feeding station, watering station and a spot to mingle with other wildlife . The studio is calling the project “ Nature Scenes ” and is presenting it as part of the Brompton Biotopia expedition taking place in September during the London Design Festival. Along with a series of similar projects showcasing sustainable shelters for animals by fellow designers, Nature Scenes will serve as an inspiration for others to build their own animal shelters using recycled or natural materials as well as the My Naturewatch cameras. Most residents don’t realize how many animals they share their surroundings with: rats, squirrels, falcons, foxes, mice and more. The ability to watch these animals living their lives without the interruption of human interaction is a great way to connect with nature — especially for those living in city environments. + Interaction Research Studio + Naturewatch Via Dezeen Images via Interaction Research Studio at Goldsmiths, University of London

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These works of art record and provide shelter to urban wildlife

New York vows to ban plastic bags statewide in 2020

April 3, 2019 by  
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Lawmakers in New York just agreed to ban plastic bags across the state. The law is a part of a larger budget agreement and makes New York the second state in the United States to join the fight against single-use plastics . “I am proud to announce that together, we got it done,” Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, stated. The ban on plastic bags will officially start on March 1 of next year. In addition to ditching plastic bags, businesses within the state will be allowed to charge up to five cents for every paper bag. Two cents from that charge will go into a fund that enables low-income families to purchase reusable bags, while the remainder will go towards an environment fund. Related: EU moves forward with its plastic ban The only other state in the union to pass such a law is California, which initiated a ban back in 2016. Hawaii has also gone to great lengths to discourage the use of plastic bags, with most counties in the state prohibiting them. This is not the first time New York has attempted to ban plastic bags . Two years ago, politicians tried to pass a law that would force companies to charge customers five cents per bag. That initiative was blocked by Cuomo. In 2018, Republicans in the state blocked a similar plan, though Democrats picked up a few seats in the state legislature, making the most recent ban possible. While the new law is a big step towards curbing plastic waste, not all residents in New York are happy about it. In fact, a few people have expressed their concerns about the ban and claim they use the plastic bags at home. Environmentalists also believe that customers should not be allowed to buy paper bags instead of purchasing reusable ones. There has also been some backlash from grocery stores in New York. While some owners are in favor of the ban, they think a portion of the five-cent charge should go back to the stores to help with costs associated with banning plastic bags. Via Eco Watch Image via  cocoparisienne

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New York vows to ban plastic bags statewide in 2020

This carbon-neutral festival promotes sustainable fun in Thailand

December 4, 2018 by  
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The fields are alive with art, architecture, food, wellness, talks and workshops, family activities and music at the fifth annual Wonderfruit festival in Pattaya, Thailand this December. Wonderfruit is a five-day, carbon-neutral event that inspires curiosity and encourages exploration of the unknown while promoting sustainable practices. Technically, Wonderfruit is a three-part festival with phase one in September, phase two in November and phase three taking place in December. Individuals and families alike will find copious entertainment options with more than 60 musical artists and dozens of massive art pieces displayed throughout the venue, which they refer to as “The Fields.” There are a variety of accommodations at the event for those who wish to extend their stay and nearly 55 farm-to-table food vendors to explore while you do. The event even brings in world-renowned chefs each year to offer guests delicious feasts with a side of educational opportunities. Related: Bjarke Ingels is crowdfunding a massive reflective sphere for Burning Man 2018 After you’ve stuffed yourself, had a drink and danced ’til you dropped, you can attend one of the 100 wellness activities focused on yoga, chakras, meditation, drum circle dancing, massage and more. Once you’re relaxed, dedicate yourself to learning something new via the 35 different seminar speakers and workshops. But there is no need to set a rigid schedule. The idea is to simply move about the campus, taking in something new at every turn where you might run into a pottery-making demonstration, football lesson, musical engagement, light show, fire dancing or dragon kite flying. The festival hours for phase three of the Wonderfruit festival are as follows, where you can take in one day or multiple: Thursday, December 13: 4 p.m.-midnight Friday, December 14: 8 a.m.-midnight Saturday, December 15: 8 a.m.-midnight Sunday, December 16: 8 a.m.-midnight Monday, December 17: 8 a.m.-12 noon (site closes at 12 noon) In alignment with the mantra, “Reduce, reuse, refill,” the venue does not allow any single-use plastic, so visitors should bring a reusable water bottle. Of course, you can support the cause by purchasing a reusable stainless steel cup on site or before the event at a discount. This cup also provides a discount on all drinks purchased at the event. All servingware at the venue is biodegradable , and organizers request that all attendees do their part to create as little waste as possible. Recycling and food waste bins are located throughout the venue, and all visitors are expected to use them accordingly. Overall, if you are looking for a day (or four) of fun and sustainability, this is a festival worth attending. + Wonderfruit Images via Wonderfruit

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This carbon-neutral festival promotes sustainable fun in Thailand

Survey Results: Your Single-Use Plastic Water Bottle Purchases

October 17, 2018 by  
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Thanks to those of you who responded to last week’s … The post Survey Results: Your Single-Use Plastic Water Bottle Purchases appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Survey Results: Your Single-Use Plastic Water Bottle Purchases

India plans to eliminate single-use plastic by 2022

June 6, 2018 by  
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Big news from India : the country aims to abolish single-use plastic in about four years. Prime minister Narendra Modi announced the goal on World Environment Day , and The Guardian said it’s the most ambitious commitment out of the actions to combat plastic pollution happening in 60 nations. The move could dramatically reduce the flow of plastic from 1.3 billion people. India is resisting plastic pollution with what United Nations Environment head Erik Solheim called a phenomenal commitment. The country’s Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Harsh Vardhan said single-use plastics will be banned in all of the country’s states by 2022. Solheim said the move would inspire the planet and “ignite real change.” Related: Kenya introduces world’s harshest law on plastic bags “It is the duty of each one of us to ensure that the quest for material prosperity does not compromise our environment ,” Modi said. “The choices that we make today will define our collective future. The choices may not be easy. But through awareness, technology and a genuine global partnership, I am sure we can make the right choices. Let us all join together to beat plastic pollution and make this planet a better place to live.” UN Environment released  a report providing “the first comprehensive global assessment of government action against plastic pollution,” including case studies from over 60 countries. The report included a list of states and cities in India that have banned plastic bags or disposable plastic products, and the selected case study in the country highlighted beach cleanup efforts in Mumbai; Inhabitat covered the initiative started by local lawyer Afroz Shah earlier this year. Volunteers have cleaned up around 13,000 tons of trash, largely plastics , according to the case study, and this year people spotted Olive Ridley turtle hatchlings on the beach for the first time in more than 20 years. + United Nations Environment Via The Guardian Images via Depositphotos and Juggadery/Flickr

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India plans to eliminate single-use plastic by 2022

Infographic: Alternatives to Single-Use Plastic Bottles

May 27, 2018 by  
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So you want to ditch your single-use plastic bottles, but … The post Infographic: Alternatives to Single-Use Plastic Bottles appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Infographic: Alternatives to Single-Use Plastic Bottles

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