MediaKrush is helping out in the fundraising campaign to buy a specialized telephone for a Las Vegas victim of Multiple Sclerosis. This patient is paralyzed from the neck down and lives alone at her home. When her daytime caregivers go home for the night she relies on her telephone to summon help.
But this is no ordinary telephone. The Konftel 300 is a teleconferencing unit that is programmed into a voice activated control center mounted on her bedrail. A caregiver knocked her Konftel phone from the shelf, and it no longer works. She can not afford repair or replacement. For now she has resorted to having a push button phone placed on her chest that she operates with a stick in her mouth.
We find this situation unacceptable and have pledged to do something about it!
Your contribution will help purchase a new Konftel phone and have it reprogrammed to her voice control unit. ANY amount you can spare will help get us to our goal of $400. You can contribute to the campaign on Crowdtilt: http://tilt.tc/9DsJ
Thank you and please share this fundraising campaign on your social networks!
The producers of this creative video ad for Carlsberg borrowed a small 150 seat cinema playing a popular film, and filled 148 of its seats with rough-looking tattooed bikers, leaving only two open seats in the middle of the theater. They then allowed theater management to sell tickets for the last pair of seats to several young couples.
Natural Bamboo Bike Frames As Eco-Friendly As They Come
Looking for an eco-friendly bike? Good for you, I think your getting the idea! Check out a bamboo bike frame or complete bike from builders like Stalk Bicycles, Bamboosero, and Calfee Design.
Yes, BAMBOO! This woody weed on steroids is highly sustainable, grows without the use of fertilizers and pesticides, and has a higher tensile strength than steel, and weighs less or as much to boot.
Then there’s the aesthetic aspect. These bikes are just b-e-a-utiful. You’ll find a bamboo bike for every riding style; crusier, fixie, mountain, road, or race. What better tool to strike up an eco-conversation with strangers than one of these two wheeled steeds? It sure beats paying for gas!
Commuting By Bicycle Not Just For Hipsters
The point of this post, besides promoting eco-friendly bamboo bikes, is that commuting by bicycle is a viable part of the green solution. As we mentioned in our previous post Save The World On A Bike, we could prevent thousands of tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere by running errands on a bike just once a week. That’s completely doable. Just imagine if you could eliminate 2 or even 3 car trips a week. Chances are if you actually did it just 1 day a week, you’d come to enjoy it enough to make it 2, 3, even 4 trips a week. Some of you would begin biking exclusively at least a few days a week.
All I’m asking for though, is one. Try biking around just 1 day a week. Deposit checks, pick up that ingredient your missing for dinner, hit the library, or go to the gym. You really will be making a difference. My hope is, more people who take up commuting by bicycle results in more advocates for change. We need more tax paying citizens demanding these changes at city hall. Cities like Portland, OR and Tucson, AZ have the infrastructure in place that make biking easy and accessible and serve as examples for our own cities and towns to follow if we want to make a visible impact on smog, vehicle emissions, and health.
Green Business Can Do Its Part With Bike To Work Programs
Being involved in eco-friendly businesses, as many of you readers are, we can make a huge impact by supporting “bike to work” programs – at our own companies and across the community. Shining examples like Fleetwood Industries in Riverside, Clif Bar in Berkeley, and Lockheed Martin in Sunnyvale – all in California – have robust programs in place that promote, support, and reward biking by their employees. Discovery Communications in Silver Springs, MD and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston prove it’s completely viable on the east coast as well.
Encouraging biking to work has numerous benefits for the green business. It shows a company’s interest in the health and well being of their employees (imagine a healthier work force, and less sick days), the community, and the local environment. Instituting a bike to work program strengthens the impact of your corporate social responsibility efforts by reducing emissions, traffic congestion, and requiring less parking space. The Bicycle Commuter Act of 2008 also provides incentives for companies who promote biking to the workplace.
How have you or your company/workplace/school used biking to make a difference (however big or small) in your community? And which one of you lucky pedal heads is doin’ it on a bamboo bike? Leave your comments below!
Remember back when you were a kid, and you and your bike were pretty much inseparable? You probably spent hours on that bike (or several bikes) pretending to save the world. It turns out this childish role play was actually a valuable life lesson - unfortunately spoiled by the teenage desire to drive, and all of the freedom it entailed. Little did we know or concern ourselves back then how this rite of passage could affect the environment and our health. Today though, we can resurrect those adolescent bike habits and literally help save ourselves and the world.
It’s no big secret that American driving habits are taking a toll on the environment and on our health. The following infographic makes it easy to see just how absurd our addiction to driving really is. It also shows us how absurdly simple it would be to make a difference. I can only imagine what an amazing impact it would make on air quality and respiratory disease if every able bodied man and woman could commute to work (or some repetitive destination) by bike just once a week…
Five cities across the globe are leading the way when it comes to implementing sustainable initiatives
Consistently performing well in worldwide “livable city” rankings, Vancouver has an ambitious goal of becoming the “the greenest city in the world” by 2020. They already lead the world in hydroelectric power—making up 90 percent of its supply—as well as regularly tapping into renewables like wind, solar, and wave power.
As part of their 2020 goals, they aim to decrease emissions an additional 33 percent, while also enacting strict green building codes (all new developments must be carbon neutral) and improving the energy efficiency of existing structures by 20 percent.
One area where Vancouver could improve is in their use of electric vehicles. The Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association estimates there are only 20 pure electric vehicles on city roads. This is largely due to availability, with the Chevy Volt only just released in Canada and the Nissan Leaf expected later this fall. While there are only 15 charging stations currently planned, city officials are planning more for the future and expect EVs to account for 15 percent of new vehicle sales in Vancouver by 2020.
San Francisco, U.S.
Atop the ever-shifting throne of green North American cities sits San Francisco, one of the most densely populated metropolitan areas in the U.S. High marks for air quality, waste management, and commitment to eco-friendly commuting options continue to separate San Fran from its counterparts.
“Why do we do all this?” former Mayor Gavin Newsom said in a 2008 interview. “Because it’s the right thing to do. We’re consistently among the top travel destinations in the world. We think people are attracted to the values of this city.”
The metropolis—which was recently ranked as the number one green city in North America—recycles 77 percent of its waste, reserves nearly 20 percent of its land to green spaces, and has more than 497 LEED-certified green building projects.
On the auto front, San Francisco is considered the electric vehicle capital of the U.S., with over 160 public charging stations and plans to install an additional 2,750. An innovative “battery-swapping” station is also planned for mid-2012 to service a 60-car EV taxi fleet. It’s estimated that the city will have over 1,000 EVs and 5,000 plug-in hybrid vehicles by the end of 2012.
With more than two-thirds of its municipality covered in protected forest, waterways, and agriculture land, it’s no surprise that Oslo is one of Europe’s leading sustainable cities. Examples of pioneering practices include intelligent lighting that adjusts intensity depending on traffic conditions and weather, bio-methane from waste to power mass transit and heating, and an “eco-certification” program that involves all 43,000 employees of the city.
By 2030, Oslo aims to cut carbon emissions by 50 percent—Norway as a whole plans to be carbon neutral by 2050—and is targeting its transportation sector for the greatest gains.
Car and bike sharing programs are in place (including a hugely successful EV sharing fleet), and 400 charging stations have been installed downtown. Already, over 1,700 EVs grace Oslo’s roads, all receiving free parking, toll immunity, and access to lanes generally reserved for public transport.
The city’s heating system is currently powered by 80 percent renewable energy, mainly from biomass from residual waste. This relationship annually saves the carbon emissions equivalent to 60,000 vehicles. Within the next decade, Oslo plans on expanding the system to reach 100 percent renewable sources for heating.
Named by Reader’s Digest as the “Best Place to Live in Brazil,” Curitiba is regularly commended for its sustainability and conservation efforts. Back in the early 1970s, the city set out to develop a long-term urban plan that would not only accommodate future growth, but also encourage green spaces and a clean environment. Only non-polluters were invited to resign within its limits and public transport was efficiently divided into concentric circles within commercial corridors.
Where there was once only one square meter of green space per person, now there is more than 52. Over 1.5 million trees have been planted along city streets and a network of 28 parks and forests developed. Some 2.3 million people a day use Curitiba’s inexpensive and fast transit service—a model of efficiency adopted by other cities including Los Angeles and Bogota, Colombia.
Ninety percent of residents recycle two-thirds of their garbage daily and the city has even come up with an innovative program that allows people to exchange trash for transit tokens or fresh produce. This has greatly minimized litter and waste in even some of the poorer sections of Curitiba.
Said former Mayor Jamie Lerner: “There is no endeavor more noble than the attempt to achieve a collective dream. When a city accepts as a mandate its quality of life; when it respects the people who live in it; when it respects the environment; when it prepares for future generations, the people share the responsibility for that mandate, and this shared cause is the only way to achieve that collective dream.”
Copenhagen, site of 2009’s climate change talks, is a shining green jewel as Denmark’s capital city. Like to bike? You’ll be in good company—as more than a third of the city’s 1.2 million people regularly cycle to work via more than 217 miles of dedicated bike lanes. Officials hope to get 50 percent of the population on two wheels by 2015 by closing down some major roads to cars and developing an additional 43 miles of bike lanes.
Besides having the largest wind turbine industry in the world, Denmark also leads in wind production—supplying roughly 19 percent of the country’s power needs. A new offshore wind farm planned for 2013 (featuring 111 turbines) will supply an additional four percent.
As part of their goal to be the world’s first carbon neutral capital by 2025, city officials have instituted a mandatory green roof policy, requiring all new developments to incorporate some level of vegetation into their building designs. In addition, “pocket parks” (half the size of a soccer field) are being installed around Copenhagen so that by 2015, 90 percent of all residents will be able to walk to a green space in less than 15 minutes.
Here’s something we haven’t seen before: adverts that transform into chairs, no tools required! Thrown up around a handful of Gen-Yer haunts in New Zealand recently, these flat-pack plywood posters, each a DIY project in waiting, are the latest gimmick experimental ad campaign from Nestle’s Kit Kat – like a grown-up version of a cereal-box toy.
Except more useful. They can be assembled in a few minutes by pulling off the poster’s six wood pieces then slotting them together. Voila! A lawn chair. Or a fresh addendum to the living room. Though the Kit Kat logo splayed across the seat back pretty much guarantees that only broke-ass college students will want anything to do with them.
This may not seem at first glance to fall in the category of eco-marketing. Here’s a big company creating advertisements not just on paper, but on inch thick slabs of solid tree that stand a good chance of ending up in a landfill, or at the very least a crackling campfire. How irresponsible can that be? Not to mention Nestle’s reputation concerning Fair Trade and it’s unethical marketing practices that undermine breastfeeding and infant health.
But looking inside the wrapper we do see quite the cool shade of green, even though the campaign has not been promoted on those merits. To begin with this was a very small scale campaign, run in high profile locations for maximum exposure. The laser cut plywood boards were installed in public areas near concerts and other events so delivering the message to their intended audience was a simple task. Street teams passed out product samples and stirred interest while those curious of the concept could take the pieces and construct their free chair emblazoned with some product jargon, sans glue, nails, or tools – and the left over panels uninstalled and recycled. (Recycling enjoys a much wider acceptance than in the US. An estimated 97% of Kiwis have access to household recycling). Participants could literally have a Kit Kat bar and “take a break” too.
The genius of this creative marketing campaign lies in part in the limited use of renewable materials, of course, but also in the way those materials were used. The odd spectacle of putting the chairs together in public, then using them for seating at large summer events must have made them the talking point of the day. I’m sure the conversations repeated themselves days afterward as the Ikea-like chairs were taken home to be tested by every rear-end within reach. While the chairs certainly weren’t mid-century modern danish masterpieces, they did offer something useable long after it had served it’s initial purpose.
Most effective though must have been the various media attention the campaign attracted as it was covered by popular design sites, television media, and some chairs even ending up on popular auction sites. It goes to show how a little creativity and elbow grease can make a small scale campaign have a big time impact. Kudos go to JWT Australia for the creative campaign.
Unfortunately, Nestle is a hot bed of eco-controversy for it’s Fair Trade and sustainability claims, and is also the focus of a boycott by Baby Milk Action. MediaKrush does not endorse Nestle or any of it’s products. So there.