Posts tagged Sustainability








Robots With ‘Swarm Intelligence’ to Repair the World’s Dying Reefs- Coralbots Team wrote in Technology, Environment and Sustainability

Coral gardening by humans is time-consuming, restricted to small areas, and impossible in the deep sea because of human diving limits. Our project, Coralbots, advances the current state-of-the art by creating a team of autonomous underwater robots with artificial intelligence to repair coral reefs. Coralbots is a truly cross-disciplinary project based at Heriot-Watt University in Scotland and the Autonomous Undersea Institute in the U.S. The team has expertise in marine biology (Dr. Lea-Anne Henry), artificial intelligence (Prof. David Corne), computer vision (Dr. Neil Robertson) and autonomous underwater robotics (Prof. David Lane and Dr. Richard Blidberg).

Continue reading on good.is

Robots With ‘Swarm Intelligence’ to Repair the World’s Dying Reefs
Coralbots Team wrote in Technology, Environment and Sustainability

Coral gardening by humans is time-consuming, restricted to small areas, and impossible in the deep sea because of human diving limits. Our project, Coralbots, advances the current state-of-the art by creating a team of autonomous underwater robots with artificial intelligence to repair coral reefs. Coralbots is a truly cross-disciplinary project based at Heriot-Watt University in Scotland and the Autonomous Undersea Institute in the U.S. The team has expertise in marine biology (Dr. Lea-Anne Henry), artificial intelligence (Prof. David Corne), computer vision (Dr. Neil Robertson) and autonomous underwater robotics (Prof. David Lane and Dr. Richard Blidberg).

Continue reading on good.is

Socially Conscious Style Is on the Rise- Juana Colon posted in Design, Living and Fashion
The good news and bad news is that socially conscious fashion is no longer news. It’s undeniably wonderful that so many designers are paying closer attention to how, where, and by whom things are made.
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Socially Conscious Style Is on the Rise
Juana Colon posted in Design, Living and Fashion

The good news and bad news is that socially conscious fashion is no longer news. It’s undeniably wonderful that so many designers are paying closer attention to how, where, and by whom things are made.

Continue reading

How to Feed a Town: The Incredible Edible Project- Adele Peters wrote in Food, Sustainability and Sustainable Design
Four years ago, a group of residents in the small English town of Todmorden decided to adopt an ambitious goal: by 2018, the whole town would become completely “food independent,” growing and raising all of the food it needed itself, through the Incredible Edible Todmorden project.
Now, virtually every free piece of land in the town is filled with food, from yards in front of the police and railway stations, to parks, schoolyards, backyards, and traffic roundabouts. Everything grown on public land is free for anyone in town to take. The nonprofit running the project also offers classes in everything from baking bread to pickling.
Continue reading on good.is

How to Feed a Town: The Incredible Edible Project
Adele Peters wrote in Food, Sustainability and Sustainable Design

Four years ago, a group of residents in the small English town of Todmorden decided to adopt an ambitious goal: by 2018, the whole town would become completely “food independent,” growing and raising all of the food it needed itself, through the Incredible Edible Todmorden project.

Now, virtually every free piece of land in the town is filled with food, from yards in front of the police and railway stations, to parks, schoolyards, backyards, and traffic roundabouts. Everything grown on public land is free for anyone in town to take. The nonprofit running the project also offers classes in everything from baking bread to pickling.

Continue reading on good.is

Solar Panels and Schoolyard Chickens: A Net-Positive Campus- Jenni Schneiderman and Katherine Elmer-DeWitt wrote in Environment, Education and Sustainability
When Seattle’s Bulitt Center—the “greenest office building ever"—opens on Earth Day it will symbolize a shift in 21st century priorities towards intentionality, stewardship, and service. It will soon be followed by a net-zero energy hotel in the Fall of 2013. But businesses aren’t the only entities striving to meet the parameters of the Living Building Challenge by implementing the most ecologically conscious design and technologies available. A net-zero energy public school in New York City will open in 2014, and at our school on the southwest side of Chicago, the Academy for Global Citizenship, we are building a net-positive campus to house our net-positive community.
Continue reading on good.is

Solar Panels and Schoolyard Chickens: A Net-Positive Campus
Jenni Schneiderman and Katherine Elmer-DeWitt wrote in Environment, Education and Sustainability

When Seattle’s Bulitt Center—the “greenest office building ever"—opens on Earth Day it will symbolize a shift in 21st century priorities towards intentionality, stewardship, and service. It will soon be followed by a net-zero energy hotel in the Fall of 2013. But businesses aren’t the only entities striving to meet the parameters of the Living Building Challenge by implementing the most ecologically conscious design and technologies available. A net-zero energy public school in New York City will open in 2014, and at our school on the southwest side of Chicago, the Academy for Global Citizenship, we are building a net-positive campus to house our net-positive community.

Continue reading on good.is

NYC Will Turn 12,000 Old Parking Meters Into Bike Racks- Adele Peters wrote in Cities, New York City and Sustainability
Two years ago, New York City’s Department of Transportation decided to transform some of the city’s decommissioned parking meter poles into bike racks. In part, it was a way to help fix a new problem: when the city installed an electronic multi-meter parking system for cars, and took out the tops of the old parking meters, cyclists suddenly had fewer places to lock their bikes. Of course, those were never official bike racks, and weren’t ideally suited for the task. By retrofitting the poles with new circular loops, the city created many more options for bike parking, helping solve the problem of one spot for every 30 cyclists.
After the initial trial of 200 meters was deemed a success, the city has decided to continue to retrofit the rest of the poles—12,000 in total. It’s a smart idea. The city saves money on new bike racks, and makes use of something that otherwise might be torn up and thrown out. And every small step that makes biking easier, whether it’s a better light or somewhere to park, helps get more bikes on the road. Other cities, from Boulder to Sacramento, are using similar designs.
Photo via (cc) Flickr user nycstreets

NYC Will Turn 12,000 Old Parking Meters Into Bike Racks
Adele Peters wrote in Cities, New York City and Sustainability

Two years ago, New York City’s Department of Transportation decided to transform some of the city’s decommissioned parking meter poles into bike racks. In part, it was a way to help fix a new problem: when the city installed an electronic multi-meter parking system for cars, and took out the tops of the old parking meters, cyclists suddenly had fewer places to lock their bikes. Of course, those were never official bike racks, and weren’t ideally suited for the task. By retrofitting the poles with new circular loops, the city created many more options for bike parking, helping solve the problem of one spot for every 30 cyclists.

After the initial trial of 200 meters was deemed a success, the city has decided to continue to retrofit the rest of the poles—12,000 in total. It’s a smart idea. The city saves money on new bike racks, and makes use of something that otherwise might be torn up and thrown out. And every small step that makes biking easier, whether it’s a better light or somewhere to park, helps get more bikes on the road. Other cities, from Boulder to Sacramento, are using similar designs.

Photo via (cc) Flickr user nycstreets

Infographic: The World’s Oldest Trees- Adele Peters posted in Environment, Sustainability and Design

A recent study in Science reported that some of the world’s oldest trees—most between 100 to 300 years old—are dying rapidly, in part because of climate change. This infographic (from 2010, but still relevant) shows the location of trees that are even older, and now at risk.

Infographic: The World’s Oldest Trees
Adele Peters posted in Environment, Sustainability and Design

A recent study in Science reported that some of the world’s oldest trees—most between 100 to 300 years old—are dying rapidly, in part because of climate change. This infographic (from 2010, but still relevant) shows the location of trees that are even older, and now at risk.

Zara Pledges to Eliminate All Toxic Chemicals After Greenpeace Campaign- Adele Peters posted in Design, Business and Sustainability 
Zara, the world’s largest fashion retailer, has agreed to remove toxic chemicals from its clothing by 2020—thanks to a week of intense pressure from consumers (including the GOOD community) in a campaign led by Greenpeace.

Zara Pledges to Eliminate All Toxic Chemicals After Greenpeace Campaign
Adele Peters posted in Design, Business and Sustainability 

Zara, the world’s largest fashion retailer, has agreed to remove toxic chemicals from its clothing by 2020—thanks to a week of intense pressure from consumers (including the GOOD community) in a campaign led by Greenpeace.

A Stronger Bike Helmet, Made of Cardboard and Inspired by a Woodpecker- Adele Peters wrote in Health, Technology and Sustainability

When Anirudha Surabhi was a grad student at the Royal College of Art in London, he was in a bike accident. Even though it was a minor crash, and Surabhi was wearing an expensive helmet, the next day he learned that he had a concussion. He spent three days in the hospital. He wondered why the helmet hadn’t worked—and decided to explore the problem for his thesis project.

It turns out that bike helmets are not as safe as they’re portrayed to be. Over the last few decades, Surabhi says, some helmets have gotten more aerodynamic and better-looking, but they haven’t gotten any better at protecting us from injuries.
As he began working on his design, Surabhi looked at the anatomy of a woodpecker for inspiration. When a woodpecker slams its beak into the trunk of a tree, the impact is cushioned by a special micro-structure between the beak and head. By mirroring that structure—after testing 150 different materials—Surabhi was able to create a helmet that can withstand three times greater impact than a standard helmet. 

Special cardboard ribs inside the helmet are designed for flexibility. The cardboard itself has a honeycomb structure filled with air pockets to provide more cushioning. It’s stronger than a standard helmet liner, and lighter. 
It’s also greener than the ubiquitous polystyrene foam liners. Foam, unsurprisingly, is not great for the environment; the manufacturing process is a health hazard, and it also creates hazardous waste. It’s also more energy-intensive to produce than cardboard. Surabhi used 100 percent recycled cardboard, which he says takes no electricity to produce at all.
For the full design story, watch the video below. The helmet’s in production now, and Core77 reports that the first U.S. version of the helmet will be out next year through ABUS.
Watch video

Images courtesy of Anirudha Surabhi

A Stronger Bike Helmet, Made of Cardboard and Inspired by a Woodpecker
Adele Peters wrote in HealthTechnology and Sustainability

When Anirudha Surabhi was a grad student at the Royal College of Art in London, he was in a bike accident. Even though it was a minor crash, and Surabhi was wearing an expensive helmet, the next day he learned that he had a concussion. He spent three days in the hospital. He wondered why the helmet hadn’t worked—and decided to explore the problem for his thesis project.

It turns out that bike helmets are not as safe as they’re portrayed to be. Over the last few decades, Surabhi says, some helmets have gotten more aerodynamic and better-looking, but they haven’t gotten any better at protecting us from injuries.

As he began working on his design, Surabhi looked at the anatomy of a woodpecker for inspiration. When a woodpecker slams its beak into the trunk of a tree, the impact is cushioned by a special micro-structure between the beak and head. By mirroring that structure—after testing 150 different materials—Surabhi was able to create a helmet that can withstand three times greater impact than a standard helmet. 

Special cardboard ribs inside the helmet are designed for flexibility. The cardboard itself has a honeycomb structure filled with air pockets to provide more cushioning. It’s stronger than a standard helmet liner, and lighter. 

It’s also greener than the ubiquitous polystyrene foam liners. Foam, unsurprisingly, is not great for the environment; the manufacturing process is a health hazard, and it also creates hazardous waste. It’s also more energy-intensive to produce than cardboard. Surabhi used 100 percent recycled cardboard, which he says takes no electricity to produce at all.

For the full design story, watch the video below. The helmet’s in production now, and Core77 reports that the first U.S. version of the helmet will be out next year through ABUS.

Watch video

Images courtesy of Anirudha Surabhi

Steal This Idea: Glove Love Rescues Single Mittens- by dothegreenthing

A week won’t go by in the winter that you don’t wander past a single glove, dropped into a puddle, hanging over the back of a bench or propped up on a fence post. Sad, cold and lonely, the glove has been lost by its owner and is now all on its own with no one to care for it, destined for the trash bin.
But help is at hand.
Do the Green Thing is a climate change charity in the UK, and a few years back we set up Glove Love, an anti-waste initiative to help lost gloves everywhere find love again and be saved from the landfill.
Continue reading on good.is

Steal This Idea: Glove Love Rescues Single Mittens
- by dothegreenthing

A week won’t go by in the winter that you don’t wander past a single glove, dropped into a puddle, hanging over the back of a bench or propped up on a fence post. Sad, cold and lonely, the glove has been lost by its owner and is now all on its own with no one to care for it, destined for the trash bin.

But help is at hand.

Do the Green Thing is a climate change charity in the UK, and a few years back we set up Glove Love, an anti-waste initiative to help lost gloves everywhere find love again and be saved from the landfill.

Continue reading on good.is

It’s Monday, and it’s also our last day of spring cleaning. We leave you with tips for your coffee break.
Make your coffee good even after the last drop.

It’s Monday, and it’s also our last day of spring cleaning. We leave you with tips for your coffee break.

Make your coffee good even after the last drop.

Why Drinkers Don’t Like Organic Wines
In a world where green foods reign supreme, it seems only natural that green drinks should too—but stamp a bottle of wine ‘organic,’ and its price plummets.
Read how winemakers are responding on GOOD→ 

Why Drinkers Don’t Like Organic Wines

In a world where green foods reign supreme, it seems only natural that green drinks should too—but stamp a bottle of wine ‘organic,’ and its price plummets.

Read how winemakers are responding on GOOD→ 

Most Americans Want a Walkable Neighborhood, Not a Big House
The symbol of American success often involves having the biggest house possible, but our outsized fantasies seem to be shifting. It turns out most of us value nearby stores and parks rather than McMansions. Luckily, that’s probably where we’re headed.
Read it on GOOD→ 

Most Americans Want a Walkable Neighborhood, Not a Big House

The symbol of American success often involves having the biggest house possible, but our outsized fantasies seem to be shifting. It turns out most of us value nearby stores and parks rather than McMansions. Luckily, that’s probably where we’re headed.

Read it on GOOD→ 

The Race for the Most Ethical Water Bottle
The market for sustainably-branded products is more competitive than ever. The more sophisticated the water bottle drinker becomes, it’s not enough to claim to be “recycled” or “reusable” or “sustainable” or “eco-friendly” or “pure” anymore. Bring on the buzzwords.
Read the story on GOOD→ 

The Race for the Most Ethical Water Bottle

The market for sustainably-branded products is more competitive than ever. The more sophisticated the water bottle drinker becomes, it’s not enough to claim to be “recycled” or “reusable” or “sustainable” or “eco-friendly” or “pure” anymore. Bring on the buzzwords.

Read the story on GOOD 

At This Vending Machine, Swapping is the New Buying
Enter the Swap-O-Matic, a fresh New York City-based vending machine project that wants to “shift culture away from an emphasis on unconscious consumption” by encouraging people to donate and receive used items for free.
Read all about it on GOOD→ 

At This Vending Machine, Swapping is the New Buying

Enter the Swap-O-Matic, a fresh New York City-based vending machine project that wants to “shift culture away from an emphasis on unconscious consumption” by encouraging people to donate and receive used items for free.

Read all about it on GOOD→ 

Austin, Texas is already home to Whole Foods, but that won’t stop a group of entrepreneurs from founding a new grocery store right in the natural food behemoth’s backyard. While the new store In.gredients will also specialize in local and organic ingredients, there’s one major difference between this venture and its hometown competion: In.gredients promises to be the country’s first ever ”package-free, zero waste grocery store.”
The idea is so simple, it’s surprising that no one in the United States has implemented it yet. (The United Kingdom, on the other hand, got the bulk food-only Unpackaged in London last year). Just like many people bring tote bags to the grocery store, shoppers at In.gredients will be encouraged to bring their own containers to pack up items like grains, oils, and dairy. If a shopper doesn’t have his own containers, the store will provide compostable ones. It’s as if the specialty bulk food section rebelled and took over the rest of a traditional grocery store. In.gredients will replace unhealthy, overpackaged junk with local, organic, and natural foods, and moonlight as a community center with cooking classes, gardening workshops, and art shows on the side.
Read more on GOOD →
Zero-Packaging Grocery Store to Open in Austin, Texas - Food - GOOD

Austin, Texas is already home to Whole Foods, but that won’t stop a group of entrepreneurs from founding a new grocery store right in the natural food behemoth’s backyard. While the new store In.gredients will also specialize in local and organic ingredients, there’s one major difference between this venture and its hometown competion: In.gredients promises to be the country’s first ever ”package-free, zero waste grocery store.”

The idea is so simple, it’s surprising that no one in the United States has implemented it yet. (The United Kingdom, on the other hand, got the bulk food-only Unpackaged in London last year). Just like many people bring tote bags to the grocery store, shoppers at In.gredients will be encouraged to bring their own containers to pack up items like grains, oils, and dairy. If a shopper doesn’t have his own containers, the store will provide compostable ones. It’s as if the specialty bulk food section rebelled and took over the rest of a traditional grocery store. In.gredients will replace unhealthy, overpackaged junk with local, organic, and natural foods, and moonlight as a community center with cooking classes, gardening workshops, and art shows on the side.

Read more on GOOD →

Zero-Packaging Grocery Store to Open in Austin, Texas - Food - GOOD