Cause and Effect: Visualizing Sustainability (Gestalten, 2012) showcases the campaigns, posters, digital media, and guerrilla marketing that have the power to change not only how we think about the environment, but also what we do about it. The thesis is simple: The more elegant the delivery, the more receptive we are to the message.
Architects Danny Mui and Benjamin Sahagun have come up with a novel concept: buildings that scrub CO2 emissions from the air.
Dream of the Floating World: "HavvAda" is Dror Benshetrit’s proposal for a man-made, hilly island city off the coast of Istanbul. The hills would be comprised of geodesic domes which boasted residences on their surfaces, and commercial spaces inside.
The man-made mechanical forest, five years in the making, consists of 18 supertrees that act as vertical gardens, generating solar power, acting as air venting ducts for nearby conservatories, and collecting rainwater. To generate electricity, 11 of the trees are fitted with solar photovoltaic systems that provide lighting and assist with water flow in the conservatories below.
In the 35 years since a cardigan-clad Jimmy Carter called on America to turn down the thermostat, the technology behind household climate control hasn’t changed much. Sure, there were some incremental improvements, but the world’s brightest minds weren’t exactly set on revolutionizing your A/C. After all, it’s far sexier to build smartphones, right?
Not to Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, who left Apple’s iPod and iPhone development division in 2010 to start Nest, a technology company working to bring thermostats into the 21st century.
“At that time, we already started our interaction with Apple and it was just after I had my meeting with them in Cupertino. I do feel that they have changed mindset on this issue, because at the end of our long meeting they said, “We need some kind of transparency over our supply chain management.” That was something I never heard before. Since then, we’ve had further communications and discussion. They reported back about some of the progress made in checking up on their suppliers that we cited in our report. They also created timelines to fix all their problems.”
“We are told ceaselessly that sustainable or organic agriculture cannot feed the world. I find this claim very hard to understand.”
It’s surprising that more people aren’t talking about this. We’ve reported on the Starbucks Cup Dilemma in the past, and it’s clear that corporate sustainability has serious limits. Even in this showdown between Starbucks and McDonald’s Starbucks barely edged out MickeyD’s when it came to measuring impact on our Earth. Entering the juice-bar market may seem like it makes good business sense, but is it a smart solution for our planet?
Wake Up Call of the Day: According to Starbucks’ sustainability director Jim Hanna, the coffeehouse chain may soon be unable to sell its principal product due to the detrimental impact of climate change on coffee bean production.
“What we are really seeing as a company as we look 10, 20, 30 years down the road – if conditions continue as they are – is a potentially significant risk to our supply chain, which is the Arabica coffee bean,” Hanna told the Guardian in a phone interview.
Hanna is set to speak before members of Congress today on the issue of climate change and how it’s real and how someone should do something about it before we run out of coffee and chocolate and a whole bunch of other foodstuffs “many people can’t live without.”
Starbucks has already put Plan B in motion, announcing yesterday it plans to enter the juice-bar market — news that freaked out Jamba Juice stockholders, causing the price of JMBA to drop 3.5%.
Today’s congressional event is sponsored by the Union of Concerned Scientists, which recently reported that coffee brands have increased the cost of grinds by as much as 25% over the last year.
“The dwindling supply of coffee is but one example of the many impacts to come due to climate change,” the nonprofit writes, ” and should be a wake-up call for us all.”
A new plant in Akron, Ohio plans to divert old bottles from landfills and churn out 80,000 barrels of oil a year. Read more.