TED Talks are loved and hated in seemingly equal measure, but this one struck a chord… after noting that Americans go through 13 billion pounds of paper towel each year, Portlander Joe Smith demonstrates a simple way to achieve the same amount of absorption while using fewer paper towels: shake and fold.
Aside from a picture in USA Today (the 4th one in this slideshow), this story doesn’t seem to have made the news in the US, but Cecilia read it in a French paper and we both thought it was worth sharing here.
To celebrate its 50th anniversary, the Swiss arm of the World Wildlife Fund set up 1,600 paper mache pandas in Geneva, to represent the number of pandas left living in the wild. The statistic is very depressing, but I can’t think of a livelier way to draw attention to the cause.
Very cool environmental initiative we’re involved with through our parent company in France, which recently teamed up with Tree Nation to plant a forest of 100,000 trees in the Dosso Plantation in Niger.
The Quo Vadis forest will be financed through a portion of Habana sales in the U.S. and Europe — I’m not sure if other regions are participating — so whenever you purchase a Habana, you’ll be contributing to it. Eventually, we hope to include stickers on the Habanas themselves to help spread the word (see the image on the far right-hand side), but I’m not sure when that will happen.
At any rate, if you want to learn more about the program, check out the following website. There, if you’ve purchased a Habana, you can enter your name and email address to receive an official planter’s certificate and more information about the trees that are planted. Actually, there’s no code or anything, so you can sign up without making a purchase. But you’ll only be contributing to the forest if you do, of course.
I made an impulse purchase the other day at a store in Chelsea Market: a $2 ballpoint “GLO” pen. GLO stands for “Global Learning Outreach,” and sales proceeds help fund student scholarships and educational grants (learn more on the Project GLO website).
I’ve never been a huge fan of ballpoint pens, but these ones are pretty cool. They’re made from biodegradable paper and “corn plastic,” which apparently takes 65% less energy to produce and can be composted, incinerated, or recycled. Performance is as you’d expect — no better or worse than a Bic — and of course you’re also contributing to a very worthy cause.
Given, as I recently discovered, that 6 billion pens are thrown out in the US each year, it seems like a good investment. If you’re interested, you can buy one online, or see if there are any local retailers near where you live.
As many of you know, I often go hiking on summer weekends near the NJ/NY border—lovely perk of having a car… A couple weeks ago, before heading out to Ramapo State Forest, we stopped by the Great Falls in Paterson, NJ. They didn’t disappoint: big cliffs, gushing water, and a footbridge that stretched out across them where you could take it all in.
What may have impressed me the most, however, were the Canada Geese that were standing quite literally at the top of the falls and pecking at the fish that went by. I don’t know how they managed not to get caught by the water’s momentum, but I’ve got the evidence on camera. Unfortunately, in my eagerness to capture the closeup I didn’t pull back to convey how tall the cliffs are and how fast the water’s moving, but there’s a still picture after the jump that should give you an idea. (Or you can check out one of these other videos of Paterson Falls.)
My favorite is number 2: “As part of its Reuse-A-Shoe program, Nike will take your old funky-smelling sneakers and turn the rubber, foam, and fabric into three types of Nike Grind—a major ingredient in synthetic surfaces such as basketball courts, tennis courts, running tracks, and playgrounds. Niketown stores and Nike factory outlets will accept any brand of athletic shoes as long as they are not wet, are not cleats, and don’t contain metal.”
Visit this website for more information. And don’t forget to read the other tips, too!