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Monday, January 30, 2012


Sinful Sushi and Japanese Bluefin Tuna Farms


Bluefin tuna is one of the most coveted varieties of fish in the world. Their meat goes for outlandish prices and is exported daily all over the planet. The high demand for wild bluefin tuna has led to overfishing of the species, particularly in Japan — as a result, the tuna population is greatly threatened. It does not help the tuna population that restaurants all over the world, including right here in the United States, are putting constant pressure on local fish markets to provide daily fillets and bluefin steaks.

Japanese scientists have developed a new method of hatching bluefins from eggs and farm raising the fish as a way to reduce overfishing and slow the destruction of the global bluefin population (traditional bluefin farming involves raising captured juvenile fish). One might think replenishing the tuna population and providing tuna for consumption via ocean fish farms might prove beneficial to both consumers and the dwindling wild bluefin numbers. Unfortunately, this might not be the case. (more…)

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

movie review + highlights: King Corn


The inspiration for this documentary: recent college graduates Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis find out that their generation could have a shorter life span than their parents because of what they’re eating — corn. The following are four of many reasons that I’m glad I spent an hour and a half of my time watching this documentary in which two young men travel to Greene, Iowa to plant and track a single acre of corn.
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  • I learned that a certain type of corn, a commodity corn that has been genetically modified, can be found in A LOT of things we eat. Think about the endless number of foods that have corn starch or high fructose corn syrup in them. To our non-vegetarian readers, what do you think comprised the diet of the last cow that you ate — lush green grasses? Chances are that cow was corn-fed.
  • (more…)
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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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