A Library of Materials: Translucent wood, Security wallpaper, Aluminum foam

These are not your usual list of books and files found in a library. Companies worldwide have abundant resources at their disposals to help with their sustainable initiatives from manufacturing to packaging design. However, companies need to take more than just the aesthetics of an eco-friendly product into consideration. It’s not simply the materials going into the product, it is how the product is packaged, shipped, and ultimately what happens to it when the consumer is finished with it that truly makes a product sustainable. Final designs need to address all of these elements successfully.

With technology changing so rapidly, organizations such as Material ConneXion keep track of and make information on innovative sustainable materials and design practices more readily available to designers and corporations worldwide. 

Recognized as “Top Eco-Innovator” by The New York Times, Material ConneXion provides a central place for designers to explore new cutting-edge materials with immediate access to the growing physical libraries around the globe and online database of over 6,500 materials.

What is considered sustainable? 

"The philosophy essentially is to create a product via a waste-free production process, using only reusable, biodegradable or consumable materials."

In order to understand what products are considered sustainable, it is helpful to understand how a product is made. Learn more about the “stuff” in your life with this informative animated video, The Story of Stuff with Annie Leonard. “If you don’t know your stuff and their secret lives, you don’t know your world.”

Here’s a list of 10 Little and Big Things You Can Do

(Source: The Economist, The Story of Stuff Project) 

Plant a tree with your smartphone! Without any cost to you (yup, it’s FREE), simply download the iPhone or Android TREE PLANET app and click to plant a tree around the world.
Kim Hyung-soo, the environmentally-conscious entrepreneur, has chosen to leave his mark by literally planting trees for a living. The 25-year old created the ad-supported smartphone game that converts each player’s virtual tree into a real one.
As of September last year, 250 trees had been planted in Indonesia, and an additional 1500 in the DMZ between South and North Korea through Tree Planet. It has also collected a good handful of credible endorsements, including:
Selection as the G20 Seoul Summit’s official app (2010)
Partnership with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) 
Partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
First place in Social Venture Competition Asia (2010)
Third place in Global Social Venture Competition (2011)
The future of social enterprise via social media and networks is branching out!
I have not checked out the app yet, because I recently parted with my Blackberry and am using a non-smartphone (yes, I can still function). Therefore, test it out and report back - thank you!
P.S. Tree Planet is Korea-based, therefore the website, which isn’t the easiest to navigate, is not entirely in English however Google translate is very handy. 

Plant a tree with your smartphone! Without any cost to you (yup, it’s FREE), simply download the iPhone or Android TREE PLANET app and click to plant a tree around the world.

Kim Hyung-soo, the environmentally-conscious entrepreneur, has chosen to leave his mark by literally planting trees for a living. The 25-year old created the ad-supported smartphone game that converts each player’s virtual tree into a real one.

As of September last year, 250 trees had been planted in Indonesia, and an additional 1500 in the DMZ between South and North Korea through Tree Planet. It has also collected a good handful of credible endorsements, including:

  • Selection as the G20 Seoul Summit’s official app (2010)
  • Partnership with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) 
  • Partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
  • First place in Social Venture Competition Asia (2010)
  • Third place in Global Social Venture Competition (2011)

The future of social enterprise via social media and networks is branching out!

I have not checked out the app yet, because I recently parted with my Blackberry and am using a non-smartphone (yes, I can still function). Therefore, test it out and report back - thank you!

P.S. Tree Planet is Korea-based, therefore the website, which isn’t the easiest to navigate, is not entirely in English however Google translate is very handy. 

Natural art work! Why destroy when you can create and have fun in the snow. The ‘Snow Drawings’ project took over a field near Steamboat Springs, Colorado by artist Sonja Hinrichsen and 10 volunteers in snowshoes.

Steamboat Today adds the work is designed to be impermanent, reflecting “beauty at the whim of Mother Nature.” Using Mother Nature, our environment, as the landscape for temporary art work is taking sustainable art to the next level. Though the snow will eventually melt, Cedar Beauregard of Steamboat Aerials was on hand to record the work. You can see the video here.

I don’t know about you, but this is truly inspirational. How else can creative minds use nature’s beauty to create impermanent works of art?

Motivation struck at 3:20am. Like many of you, I found my mind racing with thoughts of how my childhood, environment and choices have shaped me into the being I am today. How I was as a child, habits, quirks, relationships, what I learned - a never ending list. Then my focus turned to the present, what am I doing today? 

Going off on all sorts of loopy tandems, I found myself thinking about my younger brother and began unearthing a deep desire to help him on his journey in Mordor (as I like to call it). In the process of discovering this truth, lay the answer to many of my own brick walls and gates…

When we acknowledge what is happening to us we can benefit from life’s teachings. It allows us to look past the surface (pain, anger struggle, etc.) to what teeming life exists beneath. What exists within me; what I have to offer the world. It is an invaluable way to connect with life, with the moments.

Hence my journey leads me here. I will take on the possibility notebook as my “something for 30 days” to mark this transformation and remind me to recognize and value all that comes my way in this life and how my being can impact those around me.

It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself. Serve and thou shall be served. -Ralph Waldo Emerson