Surfers Against Sewage

Surfers Against Sewage are a group British surfer from Cornwall, England who surf AND campaign for clean, safe waters, free from “sewage effluents, toxic chemicals, marine litter and nuclear waste.” They were founded in 1990 by a group of surfers, who were literally ‘sick of getting sick’ through repeated ear, nose, throat and gastric infections after going in the sea. The eco-warriors specialize in great publicity campaigns; such as posing naked with “no butts on the beach ” written on their bottoms and showing up at an awards ceremony with a golden toilet brush for one of the sponsors.

As a fundraiser they asked ten of Britain’s hottest artist to create a surf board design for them, the theme being the threat of coastal pollution. These environmentally friendly boards would be displayed at several art galleries and then auctioned off for charity. The artists included Damien Hirst, Jamie Hewlett, Banksy, Adrenalin Magazine, and Aphex Twin. That auction netted £77,000, with the 2 Damien Hirst boards going for £59,000 (love that booming art market). After such a roaring success, another art surfboard auction is planned for October, and the artists participating get even more famous: Sir Paul McCartney, Gavin Turk and Tracy Emin. Start saving. :: Surfers Against Sewage

Info Via Treehugger
Images Via SAS

Solar Power Neck Tie

This could be the 2008 sartorial equivalent of that 1980s classic, the Piano Tie, but it is certainly a lot more useful. Researchers at Iowa State University have glued solar panels using Photovoltaic thin film, onto the symbol of male corporate oppression and hooked it up to a Nokia phone, which sits in a handy pocket at the back of the tie.

Photovoltaic thin film has about the same thickness as paper, and properties similar to camera film. The film can be scratched, punctured, or rolled to a three inch diameter without impairing function. The researchers’ real challenge was to integrate it into an aesthetically pleasing garment. First, the team used a shiny cotton sateen to mimic the reflectiveness of the solar panels. Then they used digitally printed designs to create a pattern that looks, well, almost normal – for a tie.

The inventors even had the decency to laser-print a matching pattern between the panels to stop it looking like a patchwork quilt. The result? Success. The tie outputs 3.6 volts in full sun, enough to keep the Nokia battery topped up. And because the phone isn’t actually running off the tie’s power, even lesser light sources will allow some trickle-charging.

info via Wired & Inhabitat

Brazilian Eco Longboard

The Dry Leaf (Folha Seca) from Brazilian based Lets EVO is a clean way to travel and is made from some unique and sustainable materials developed by Fibra Sustainable Design. They start off with the Papunha veneer which is produced from the waste material of the sustainable palmheart industry. The use of this byproduct to construct a new sort of plywood extends the life cycle of the palm plant and provides income for small farmers who depend on this vegetation. The Dry Leaf is a stunningly elegant and creative endeavor from its inside out.
Natural fibers procured from fair trade and native to Brazil, such as jute, malva, and curaua, are used as a natural fiberglass along with recycled polypropylene. The use of these natural fibers benefits small farmers and produces no polluting waste material. The core of the Dry Leaf is Mosso Organic Bamboo which is grown sustainably in Brazil and treated with non-toxic vegetable based adhesives.
The Dry Leaf was submitted to Volvo’s EcoDesign competition and was a finalist for the 2008 competition earlier this year.

Info & Images Courtesy of Inhabitat & Green Upgrader

Recycled Tents In Time for Camping Season

So far we have seen bags, sleeping bags, footwear, apparel, etc, made with recycled content, but so far no-one has yet stepped up to the plate and served us with a tent made from recycled material. Until now, that is. Backpacker Magazine correspondent, Kelly Bastone, trawling the aisles of the Outdoor Retailer Show reports for that mag’s blog that two such Tents are in development.

Big Agnes, who are doing interesting things with recycled content sleeping bags, have a two and three person tent coming in 2009. The Salt Creek is said to use recycled polyester floor, inner, mesh and flysheet. According to the reports even the zippers have recycled content zip tape.

Information brought to you by Treehugger

Photos provided by Treehugger

Black Gold : Composting 101

Do you want to know the quickest way to eliminate over 75% of your waist by turning into a substance that will make your garden thrive? How about building a compost pile in your yard. Composting is the decomposition of plant remains and other once-living materials to make an earthy, dark, crumbly substance that is excellent for adding to houseplants or enriching garden soil. It is the way to recycle your yard and kitchen wastes, and is a critical step in reducing the volume of garbage needlessly sent to landfills for disposal. It’s easy to learn how to compost.

There are a number of different options for containing your compost. Some people choose not to use a bin, simply building a compost pile in a convenient spot on the ground. Others build bins from materials such as recycled pallets, or two-by-fours and plywood. And, of course, there are many commercial bins on the market.
Composting is not a new idea. In the natural world, composting is what happens as leaves pile up on the forest floor and begin to decay. Eventually, the rotting leaves are returned to the soil, where living roots can finish the recycling process by reclaiming the nutrients from the decomposed leaves. Composting may be at the root of agriculture as well. Some scientists have speculated that as early peoples dumped food wastes in piles near their camps, the wastes rotted and were terrific habitat for the seeds of any food plants that sprouted there. Perhaps people began to recognize that dump heaps were good places for food crops to grow, and began to put seeds there intentionally.
Today, the use of composting to turn organic wastes into a valuable resource is expanding rapidly in the United States and in other countries, as landfill space becomes scarce and expensive, and as people become more aware of the impacts they have on the environment.
Some believe in ten years, composting will probably be as commonplace as recycling aluminum cans is today, both in the backyard and on an industrial scale. Many states in the USA have stated goals or legislative mandates to drastically reduce the volume of waste being sent to landfills. Utilizing yard and kitchen wastes (which make up about 30% of the waste stream in the USA [1]) is a big part of the plan to minimize waste overall.
You can contribute to the ‘composting revolution’ by composting your own yard and kitchen wastes at home. If you have a large yard, you might prefer the ease of composting in a three-bin system out by the back fence. Cities and towns can promote composting through home composting education efforts and the collection of yard wastes for large-scale composting. Whatever your style of composting, there’s plenty of room to get involved!

Learn How To Compost

Learn What To Compost
Learn What Not To Compost
Composting Bins & Systems To Use

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