Recycled Cassette Coin Purse

In an age of mp3s, DVDs, and CD-RWs, you may wonder where have all the cassette tapes gone? Following the reuse-and-recycle design trend, these clever little coin purses pose one solution, turning old tapes into usable vessels for all your stray pennies. Hand-made and one-of-a-kind, the cassette tapes are available from Marcella Foschi, Italy.
Considering most change purses cost only a few bucks, these are still a bit pricey, but what a great idea.

$39 on Design Boom

Life Straw Water Purifier

With over 1.1 million people in the world who don’t have access to clean drinking water, water-borne pathogens are a huge problem for the environment and for human health. Fortunately a clever little design has come to the rescue in the form of the Lifestraw The cigar-sized plastic tool is both a feat of engineering and an inexpensive way to deliver potable water to those who need it. Lifestraw delivers the most basic needs and purifies water from potential pathogens like typhoid, cholera, dysentery and diarrhea, becoming one of the icons of humanitarian product design- by the time the water hits your lips, it’s completely safe and potable. The Lifestraw is one of the highlights of the Cooper Hewitt’s Design for the Other 90% exhibition, which highlights products, architecture, and technology that benefits under-privileged demographics across the globe.

China's No Car Day

Ever so often in the states we try to have a ‘no purchase gas day’, ‘plant a tree day’ or ‘no smoking day’, but imagine if we attempted something this extreme. September 22nd marks the first annual “No Car Day” in China, a national campaign hoping to reduce exhaust emissions and ease traffic congestion by limiting the number of private vehicles on the roads. Over 100 cities in China will participate, leaving residents to travel by foot, bike or public transportation. In Shanghai, a third of the city’s vehicles will be ordered off the roads and private cars will be banned from driving through areas of downtown.
In 1994, authorities in Shanghai began auctioning license plates to limit the number of vehicles in the city, but the number of cars in the city continues to rise despite rising costs (one license plate recently sold for RMB 47,000, US$6,200). While it will be hard to limit the cars on the road outside of the specified downtown areas, officials remain optimistic about No Car Day. “We hope everyone in Shanghai will contribute a little for more environmentally friendly living conditions,” said city government spokeswoman Jiao Yang.

Recycled Swimsuits

Aaron Chang jumps head first into eco-fashion with recycled swim suites. Who is Aarong Chang and how did he get involved in developing womens swim wear? Well-known in the photography world, his work has appeared on over 100 covers, on coffee table books, on countless ads for companies like, Nike, Yamaha, Polaris and Levis, not to mention a number of photos in Surfer and Surfing magazine. As an avid and legendary surfer, nature has always been in the forefront of his mind and he had a desire to incorporate his personal values with his professional work.

Thus, a great concept was formed to merge photography with fashion with swimwear. While the first few suits were not eco-friendly, this spring Aaron Chang will debut two new swimsuit lines that are made from 100% recycled plastic soda bottles. The response has already been so positive that Aaron Chang plans to make all summer swimsuit lines from 100% recycled plastic and eco-friendly.

The swimwear incorporates the direct photographs or small pieces from the photographs are used to design a logo that is used on the swim wear. Themes on the swimsuits incorporate elements of the natural world, such as waves, sunsets, flowers, elephants and indigenous designs from Panama. All swimsuits use bright colors, such as hot pints, greens, reds. The swimsuits are reversible, thus allowing for two suits for the price of one; A great concept.

Currently all cover-ups (shorts, tops and dress covers) are made from 100% organic cotton. Detailing on the clothes and suits is made from wooden beads, thus no plastic parts on the clothing or suits.

But why stop with the swimsuits or the cover-ups – Aaron Chang has made sure that all items related to the clothing are also environmental. Marketing materials and papers are all recycled and certified by the Rain forest Alliance to not come from virgin rain forest trees. Catalogs, hangtags and press kits are all made from recycled paper.

Aaron Chang

Test Marketing

A friend of mine brought to my attention posted under Interesting Times on The New Yorker a couple of days ago, and i thought that it was worth mentioning. I think that I should make note that I hope that the writer is completely off track, but I kind of have a churning in my gut that tells me that he may not be that far off. Let’s hope his timing is premature, although the subject matter may be inevitable.
Instead of trying to come up with some paraphrase for what was written I will post the actual content taken fromThe New Yorker August 31, 2007

Test Marketing
If there were a threat level on the possibility of war with Iran, it might have just gone up to orange. Barnett Rubin, the highly respected Afghanistan expert at New York University, has written an account of a conversation with a friend who has connections to someone at a neoconservative institution in Washington. Rubin can’t confirm his friend’s story; neither can I. But it’s worth a heads-up:

They [the sources institution] have instructions (yes, that was the word used) from the Office of the Vice-President to roll out a campaign for war with Iran in the week after Labor Day; it will be coordinated with the American Enterprise Institute, the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard, Commentary, Fox, and the usual suspects. It will be heavy sustained assault on the airwaves, designed to knock public sentiment into a position from which a war can be maintained. Evidently they don’t think they’ll ever get majority support for this they want something like 35-40 percent support, which in their book is plenty.
True? I don’t know. Plausible? Absolutely. It follows the pattern of the P.R. campaign that started around this time in 2002 and led to the Iraq war. The President’s rhetoric on Iran has been nothing short of bellicose lately, warning of the shadow of a nuclear holocaust.And the Iranian government’s behavior detaining British servicemen and arresting American passport holders, pushing ahead with uranium enrichment, and, by many reliable accounts, increasing its funding and training for anti-American militias in Iraq seems intentionally provocative. Perhaps President Ahmedinejad and the mullahs feel that they win either way: they humiliate the superpower if it doesn’t take the bait, and they shore up their deeply unpopular regime at home if it does. Preemptive war requires calculations (and, often, miscalculations) on two sides, not just one, as Saddam learned in 2003. When tensions are this high between two countries and powerful factions in both act as if hostilities are in their interest, war is likely to follow.

It’s one thing for the American Enterprise Institute, the Weekly Standard, to champion a war they support. It’s another to jump like circus animals at the crack of the White House whip. If the propaganda campaign predicted by Rubin’s friend is launched, less subservient news organizations should ask certain questions, and keep asking them: Does the Administration expect the Iranian regime to fall in the event of an attack? If yes, what will replace it? If no (and it will not), why would the Administration deliberately set about to strengthen the regime’s hold on power? What will the Administration do to protect highly vulnerable American lives and interests in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world against the Iranian reprisals that will follow? What if Iran strikes against Israel? What will be the strategy when the Iranian nuclear program, damaged but not destroyed, resumes? How will the Administration handle the international alarm and opprobrium that would be an attacks inevitable fallout?

If this really is a return to the early fall of 2002 all over again, then I’m fairly sure that no one at the top of the Administration is worrying about the answers. “

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