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Saturday, January 28, 2012


lamps, vases and objects made from recycled aluminum – jahara studios


Brazilian designer Brunno Jahara creates much of his work from recycled materials. Brunno’s Batucada Collection of trays, lamps and vases is created from 100% recycled aluminum.



Brazil recycles over 90% of its aluminum, primarily due to the proliferation of ‘catadores’ – a culture of people who survive  on the money earned from picking through the country’s landfills and reselling what they find.


Though the objects share common shapes, each piece in the collection has its own unique surface, a combination of hammered dents and garbage dump imperfections.

Note: Batucada is the name given to the percussive beats played on drums and handmade instruments at carnivals and parties – its rhythms are reflected in the shapes, forms and unique lines of these colorful pieces.

Related: more green design on The Alternative Consumer

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Friday, January 27, 2012

eco-fashion friday finds: indie designers


(above) Funky chic — designer Stephanie Teague’s Pretty Birdie’s Hemp Silk Layer Dress is made from gathered layers of gorgeous, sustainable hemp silk. The dress features hand sewn flowers made from organic cotton gauze or peace silk and trim that’s organic lace. The hemp muslin belt is hand dyed with eco friendly dyes. Quite a departure from the scruffy hemp-laden fare of yesteryear … find it @ stephanieteague Etsy shop


(above) Sign of the times … Eco-fashion visionary Gary Harvey creates his high-fashion works from the most unlikely, and often mundane, recycled materials — like the 30 folded copies of the “Financial Times” literally used to construct the gown above.


Right in step … Mohop Shoes makes their cherry wedge sandal from Pará wood that is harvested from sustainably managed plantations and has been dyed a cherry color with eco-friendly, water-based dyes. The sandal features durable black rubber soling with (more…)

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a mixed bag of green news


backpack photo via

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

the house arc – a cute, modular, off-grid prefab


The House Arc is the brainchild of Bellomo Architects. The small-footprint, modular, off-grid housing solution is designed to be shipped in pieces (fabricated locally if possible) to a site and erected by the user or community. The designers envision the freestanding tiny-house as an emergency housing solution for communities located in warm weather climates struck by natural disasters — like earthquake-ravaged Haiti and hurricane-battered New Orleans. The first House Arc prototype has been built and installed on the Big Island of Hawaii.


The house has a simple layout the features large windows that provide natural light, maintain views, and funnel in ocean breezes to cool the interior. A rooftop shading trellis diffuses sunlight and limits heat infiltration. The raised structure (no foundation) allows air to flow underneath for cooling and has little impact on site terrain and ground permeability.


The House Arc’s modular construction allows for quick on-site assembly. The structure is designed to assemble like a piece of modular furniture (think iKea) with a kit of parts and an easy-to-follow, graphic installation manual.


Rooftop solar panels (see rendering above), a rainwater capture system and other customization can further enhance the design’s green quotient. In addition, several units can be combined to create a larger domicile like the one in the rendering below.


Related: House Arc and other sustainable ‘Arc’ designs can seen @, which specializes in modular bike parking systems and structures.


More great eco design on The Alternative Consumer

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SolarSail – hybrid solar and wind powered ships reduce emissions


A 2008 report by CNN points out that the greenhouse gas emissions from ocean-going ships is a far greater problem than most people realize. The shipping industry emits an astonishing 1.2 billion tons of greenhouse gases per year — over twice the amount of the aviation industry! The Australian company, SolarSail, may offer the industry some hope.

Recipient of the Technical Innovation Award at the Sea trade China Awards 2010, SolarSailor specializes in hybrid marine power. Their SolarSail and Hybrid Marine technologies are patented for use on tankers, cruise liners, commercial ferries, private yachts, and unmanned coast guard drones. They have it all covered.

Their website offers this description of how their solar panels function like wings, “Comprising a unique pivotally mounted airfoil and joint it is attached in such a way as to be able to angle to the sun and/or the wind to harness solar power and sail, folding away when not in use.”


  • This month SolarSail launched the first of four new hybrid-powered passenger ferries for (more…)
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Whirleo – a little green gaming app for the apple of your eye


If you’re spending more quality time with your iPhone or iPod than you are with your kids, you may want to download this little app. Whirleo is an eco-themed app game that can help you connect with your kids while teaching them the importance of saving the planet and fighting pollution. This fun-with-a-message app is pretty affordable — the first seven levels of the new game are free and players can unlock 23 additional levels for just $0.99.


Details: Whirleo follows the journey of a group of colorful, spinning tops that whirl across the planet Rotopolis. As they move around the planet, each Whirleo cleans up pollutants released by the begrimed Guzzler (we know the type). Using their mobile (more…)

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

bound in balance – earth-friendly designer jewelry


Andrea Williams of Bound Earth is devoted to nature in all aspects of her life, from collecting seedpods on her frequent outdoor hikes to using only non-mined materials in her work and encouraging other jewelers to do the same. Her goal is to share her sense of wonder and reverence for the earth, and to help develop a communal sensitivity and respect for the gifts that it provides. Her pieces bear that message beautifully…bold balanced designs, gently uniting person to place.

Andrea seamlessly unites her playful creativity and her love of nature with her holistic work ethic. She uses metals from reclaimed and recycled sources, and she never uses mined gems…instead she chooses alternative materials such as smooth cool beach pebbles. Her New England home was designed by a green architect and is powered by renewable energy. Her studio was built in a renovated barn alongside her beloved bees, chickens and organic garden, and it too uses renewable energy. In her practice she opts for organic solutions such as citric acid in place of the harsh chemicals often found in the metalsmithing process. Her message to other craftspeople is to do the same…question the process, educate yourself and change what you can to better align your work with the natural world.


Andrea’s commitment to truly ethic-driven craftsmanship is inspiring, and her talent for elegantly harmonious designs is remarkable. In fact in 2011 she won (more…)

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a mixed bag of green news


image credit: wind turbine photo via

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