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Posts tagged “Sustainability

Quotes + Thoughts | On redefining poverty

If we stop thinking of the poor as victims or as a burden and start recognizing them as resilient and creative entrepreneurs and value conscious consumers, a whole new world of opportunity will open up. ~ C.K. Prahalad

Inspiration: Exela Ventures, Ideas Inspiring Innovation

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Grassroots Innovation | Abject Project, LA ~ design as a gamechanger

Abject Object is a design enterprise that supports homeless individuals and shelters through the design, production, and sale of retail accessories made from reclaimed materials. A hands-on rather than handout model for social and economic empowerment, Abject Object teaches valuable job skills including sewing, production, and business strategies, to homeless individuals.

The Los Angeles team of Project H partnered with the Downtown Women’s Center, a shelter in central Los Angeles, to develop four retail products that could be made using basic sewing skills, and whose function would have retail marketability, as well as tell stories about the women who made them.

The design team and women from Downtown Women’s Center worked side by side for three months on the development and prototyping of four products, each with a double-function:

1. A Bag that transforms into a hammock,

2. A “pocket scarf” that can be used as storage,

3. A hood garment that doubles as a tote bag, and

4. A cloth mat whose pieces can be used as pot-holders.

All materials were scavenged or donated, and included recycled bike inner tubes, parachutes, donated clothing, and rope. The sale and proceeds of all four products, which will be sold through local and online retailers, go back directly to the individual who made the item, and the shelter.

Using the Downtown Women’s Center as a first client, the team has now developed a manual, user guide, training program, and resource kit for additional shelters in the area to launch their own in-house Abject Object enterprises.

Inspiration: Project H Design


Eco Lifestyle Visionary | Blake Mycoskie

Blake Mycoskie of TOMS Shoes fame offers some candid insights on the condition of today’s environment and society, and the opportunities that exist for business to rethink their business model to include a “give back” component and do more. Green-thinking is here to stay, and is still evolving, touching a mere tip of the iceberg of the sheer possibilities. Mycoskie and his TOMS (the two brands are really inseparable!) are truly inspiring, a clear pioneer of a new way of business thinking.


Quote of the Day | On infant mortality reduction

You can buy a Coca-Cola virtually anywhere in developing countries but in these same places 1 in 5 children die before their 5th birthday from simple, preventable causes like dehydration from diarrhoea.

~ Cola Life


Quote of the Day | On sustainability and poverty alleviation


Sustainable Development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

You cannot achieve environmental security and human development without addressing the basic issues of health and nutrition.

~ Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway (1986 – 1989 and 1990 – 1996) and Director General of World Health Organization (1998 – 2003)


Grassroots Innovation | Alleviating poverty ~ one bike at a time

By Dian Hasan | October 10, 2010

Innovation that brings good to the people and makes a measurable and quantifiable difference always fascinate me. So without further ado, I’ve chosen to zoom in and share stories from around the world of innovative ideas and initiatives that help alleviate global poverty.

And although on the surface this may seem like a tall order, the stories bring forth some very unusual and random ideas that seek to attack the problem at the root.  My hope is that the stories will be inspiring that we can all make a difference.

Here’s a look at what is being done in RWANDA, AFRICA. And the tool of choice: BICYCLE.


The cargo bike that will replace the wooden bike and help any coffee farmer tremendously. Project Rwanda is helping establish a program of bike ownership.


The functional but unreliable wooden bike that will be replaced by the cargo bike.


The “Wooden Bike Classic” race, an event initiated by Project Rwanda to sustain the tradition of handcrafted bikes and create an ecotourism event.

WHO:

US-initiated Moss Landing, California-based PROJECT RWANDA. Founder: Tom Ritchey

WHAT:

  • the bicycle can be an important tool in rebuilding a country, building national pride and addressing local issues facing Rwanda and other African nations.

WHY (THEIR MISSION):

  • furthering the economic development of Rwanda through initiatives based on the bicycle as a tool and symbol of hope.
  • use the bike to help boost the Rwandan economy as well as re-brand Rwanda as an attractive and safe business and ecotourism destination.
  • provide a program to replace traditional wooden bicycles with better-performing modern bicycles, while concurrently sustain the traditions of the handcrafted wooden bicycles.

HOW (THEIR PROGRAMS):

Coffee-Bike Program: cargo bicycles can solve the transport problem if a program could make the bikes available to coffee farmers for a reasonable price on credit and where quality premiums would cover the bike’s cost.

The Rwandan coffee sector has enormous potential to create a dynamic and prosperous rural economy through the pursuit of extreme-quality specialty coffee for the U.S. and European markets. This will drive the Rwanda’s rural economy, empower the population, create employment and generate increased revenues.

Cargo bikes are provided through a collaborative venture between Project RwandaRitchey Design, and Rwanda Smallholders Specialty Coffee Company (RWASHOSCCO).

(more…)


Discarded 2 Desired | Transforming trash into tasteful art

By Dian Hasan | October 5, 2010

What separates us from designers or anyone with a good eye for design, is their ability to look beyond the obvious and turn a daily object into a work of art! And when you combine this knack with an eco-consciousness, the result is amazing. Creations that soar as far as the imagination.

What others consider as trash, waste, garbage or simply junk, they see as a palette of design potential!

Here’s a look at what happens to trash, and how it’s  transformed into tasteful home decor items. Courtesy of talented South African artist, Heath Nash.

Heath Nash is a sculptor living in Cape Town who has made his name by creating functional art from rubbish. Read the story of how Nash started working with waste material creating ranges such as Other People’s Rubbish as “a possible form of future upliftment for a country in desperate need of employment opportunities, and as a way to promote the idea of recycling to a very unaware SouthAfrican public”

Nash graduated from Cape Town University with a degree in sculpture transforms trash into treasure. A crusader of recycling, Nash finds and creates beauty in unlikely places. Collecting and using plastic bottles, caps and other discarded materials, Nash and his team creates funky lampshades and other lifestyle products. He also employs local artisans and crafts people, creating a local industry that generates income for people, revives traditional craft methods while infusing a contemporary element. Recently, Nash was nominated to represent South Africa as a young design entrepreneur for the British Council’s young design entrepreneur award in England.

Flowerdrum-white, Bottleformball and Milkbase Drum recycled plastic bottle pendant light fixtures.

Flowerball-multicolor-medium, Pod and Flowerball-pink-small recycled plastic bottle pendant light fixtures.

Inspiration: Design in Africa


Discarded 2 Desired | Repurposed tires into exquisite art

By Dian Hasan | October 5, 2010

What separates us from designers or anyone with a good eye for design, is their ability to look beyond the obvious and turn a daily object into a work of art! And when you combine this knack with an eco-consciousness, the result is amazing. Creations that soar as far as the imagination.

What others consider as trash, waste, garbage or simply junk, they see as a palette of design potential!

Here’s a look at what happens to discarded tires, and how they’re transformed into exquisite – albeit rather harsh-looking work of art. From the hands of South Korean sculptor Ji Yong Ho.

2TyreArt

Inspiration: Web Ecoist


Discarded 2 Desired | Repurposed old tires

By Dian Hasan | October 5, 2010

What separates us from designers or anyone with a good eye for design, is their ability to look beyond the obvious and turn a daily object into a work of art! And when you combine this knack with an eco-consciousness, the result is amazing. Creations that soar as far as the imagination.

What others consider as trash, waste, garbage or simply junk, they see as a palette of design potential!

Here’s a look at what happens to discarded tires. Transformed into modern furniture pieces. From the minds of South Africa-based Tyred. One appropriate name indeed!

We make Sustainable, Lifestyle Furniture from the used mass amounts of tyres that have accumulated into towers of unusable waste. We managed to turn them into something chic and enjoyable, fun and durable. ~ Tyred Furniture

By repurposing old tires, Tyred creates custom designed chairs, ottomans and tables that can be used indoors and outdoors. Using various materials from foam and leather to canvas and wood, means that each furniture piece can be customized to specific needs. While helping the environment, Tyred is also making a social impact by only employing men with families and attest to hiring more men as the need arises.

Inspiration: Design in Africa


Trash 2 Treasure | Repurposed toilet plunger

By Dian Hasan | September 30, 2010

Ok, most of you will immediately think: NO WAY! This idea is way too far-fetched and gross. But let me put it into perspective first: I’m in no way suggesting that you should recycle and repurpose a former toilet plunger, although you’d be surprised how many items city dumps have been brought back to life, including those that serves our most intimate daily needs, like plungers, condoms (yes those too!), and discarded diapers. The latter of course (let’s hope) were not recycled in any way, but merely “rubbed shoulders” with other material in city dumps!!

Which leads me to this nifty idea of “turning trash into treasure”: toilet plungers repurposed into modern lamps. Mind you, these plungers are not of the “used” kind, but newly bought  and just modified as lamps. Here’s how a New Jersey-based industrial designer Michael Andrulewich reconfigured a common household black rubber plunger with an electrical socket and then added an accordion style plunger on top to act as a shade.

Inspiration: Grassroots Modern