They’ve scored a niche in the fashion world by creating stylish yet budget-friendly clothing. And now H&M is getting noticed for another growing fashion trend — the use of organic cotton. The world’s biggest clothing retailer already incorporates the eco-stylish material into their lines, but they’re stepping it up big-time this fall.
“Naturally our customers are concerned about the environment, but it’s also important that garments are up-to-the-minute trend-wise,” says H&M’s head of design Margareta van den Bosch. They’re even doing due dilligence by labeling all organic garments with a special hang tag.
The ladies can expect to see tunics, short dresses, t-shirts, trousers and leggings, all made from organic cotton. The men’s collection includes plain and striped tees, jeans and sweaters.
H&M says the cotton it uses is certified by the Control Union and has been cultivated without the use of harmful chemicals. H&M has also been a member of Organic Exchange, an organization that promotes organic cotton cultivation, since 2003.
Looking to lose the spare tire that’s sitting uncomfortably in your gut? Or simply wanting to curb a little bit of belly fat? Sure, adding a few crunches to your exercise routine can help – but that’s working mainly on a muscular level, which only helps to a certain extent. A physical trainer I once had likened fat and muscle to a popsicle. The frozen part is your fat and the stick is your muscle. You can build up the stick all you want, but unless you lose some of the frozen part, you’re not going to see it.
So, what’s my suggestion for shedding some frozen? Try adding whole grains to your diet.
New research suggests that filling up on whole grains is not only good for your heart, but good for your gut. A recent study of obese adults revealed that a dietary increase in whole grains helped lower blood levels of C- reactive protein (CRP) and shed more body fat.
The Japanese tancho crane is in a precarious position. And it’s not impending extinction – at least not in the way you normally think. While numbers are low (an estimated 1,200 tanchos exist in its natural marshland habitat of Hokkaido in Japan, with an additional 1,400 thought to live in Russia and China), the crane population is actually the highest it’s been in 100 years. Granted, it’s still one of the most endangered birds in the world, but when you consider that it was thought to be extinct until 10 birds were discovered in the 1920s, 2,600 is not bad at all.
I’ve always wanted a Volkswagen bus. Long before I was able to drive, I had a fantasy of living down-and-out in a VW camper, aimlessly meandering it along isolated roads far from civilization and parking it along the beach or deep in the woods in order to catch some sleep and gather supplies.
My fantasy never came true and it never will. Turns out I’m not a down-and-out sort; my idea of roughing it is downgrading to a three-star hotel. But luckily for me, there’s nothing rough about the new Volkswagen Westfalia Verdier Solar Powered Mobile Micro Home.
Micro Homes are the way of the future. At least that’s what the design team at Verdier Solar Power thinks, as well as the Jury at Germany’s Caravan Salon Dusseldorf, who awarded the company a Special Design Award for their inspired VW redesign.
The coming together of the Westfalia, long a symbol of the hippy culture, and the green energy technology of Verdier takes the camper experience and turns it on its head, transforming the simple VW bus into a modern, self-sufficient driving/living machine with a smooth design and the coolest features this side of a high-end fifth wheel. Verdier set out to enhance the “light recreational vehicle” and make the Westfalia traveling experience more luxurious and autonomous. And the result is one of the tightest designs I’ve seen.
Here’s the latest solution from the global war on climate change: giant metal tubes that force cooler water to the surface of the ocean. National Geographic News recently reported a proposal by James Lovelock, a British scientist and the author of the holistic world view known as the Gaia theory, that would sequester CO2 “naturally” by fostering algae growth at the surface of the ocean.
VegNews, arguably the world’s most well known vegetarian magazine, recently named actress Natalie Portman their Favorite Vegan Personality of the year in their 2007 Veggie Awards. Not familiar with this honor? According to their article, “the VN editorial team spent all year scouting the best of the best of everything veg: restaurants, products, people, and companies, and as our year-end gift to you, we’ve compiled our top picks and packaged them up as the Veggie Awards.”
The magazine goes on to say that 10,000 people casted votes for the awards, which makes it “the world’s largest survey of all things veg.” Whether or not awards were handed out at a fancy vegetarian dinner is not known. To read the complete list of award winners, check out the current issue of VegNews or grab a cup of hot soy cocoa and click here.
Driving by construction sites I can’t help but notice the massive dump trucks loading, unloading, and polluting the air. And with gas prices being so high, I can imagine that owning and operating one of these is pretty costly. Could there be a solution on the way? Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) thinks so.
MFTBC started the journey toward creating green dump trucks in October 2005 when they released the Shin Caterpillar, which employed Advanced Combustion Emission Reduction Technology (ACERT). According to Mitsubishi’s website, they also created new designs for the air intake and exhaust to prevent gas from being mixed with the air that travels through the cylinders, while their “CAT” monitoring system helps to track fuel efficiency and emissions.
In July 2006 Mitsubishi started production on a model dump truck called the Canter Eco-D. Recently unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show, the Canter Eco-D uses a hybrid system and has a lightweight build and an emissions control that help ensure that the truck cuts back on pollution.
If you told Ryan Frank that his Strata collection was garbage, he would probably smile proudly and nod.
This native South African has found a use for the battered redundant office furniture that East London apparently has an abundance of. He’s designed Strata, a beautiful set consisting of a chair, dining table, coffee table and stool. In order to create the unique look, Frank laces different woods together, so the collection is 60%-70% salvaged material and the rest is FSC-certified birch ply.
Here’s something that I think few people know about hybrids (at least I was oblivious): technology and price can differ significantly based on the engine, not the manufacturer. At this month’s Detroit Auto Show, GM/Saturn showed off its different versions of the Saturn SUV, The Vue.
The Vue currently in production sports the BAS (battery, alternator, starter) hybrid engine which is not much more expensive than full gas power. In this system, the batteries turn a beefed-up fan belt that then turns the pistons in the engine without using gas. The batteries are recharged through braking and the engine shuts off at stoplights, just like other hybrids. The catch is that the efficiency benefits are marginal – only about 5 mpg – yet still significant and one step cleaner.
We’re all familiar with coffee to go, but what about a “To Go” coffee house? The world’s first “instant café” is the brainchild of architect and artist Adam Kalkin, whose work involves the design and implementation of “Quik Houses” created from used shipping containers. The instant coffee house was born out of the concept of crate internet cafés (Where’s there’s a computer, there must be coffee, right?) and redesigned from Kalkin’s Push Button House, which previewed at Art Basel Miami Beach.
The Cargo Café can be delivered just about anywhere by truck. From there, it’s a mere push of a button and a 90 second wait for it to open (which it does like a blooming flower) before the fully furnished café it’s ready for business – lights, tables, seats, even a kitchen are included.
I’ve always said “You can’t go wrong with a Honda.”Not very American, I know, when you consider the worthwhile Fords and Chevys out there, but my experience through several Hondas over the years is that they work their ass off for you and give you very little trouble.
However, my internal jury is still out on the Puyo, the hydrogen concept car premiering at the Tokyo Motor Show at the end of the month. Juiced by hydrogen fuel cell technology, the Puyo takes efficiency to new levels while displaying an aesthetically ambiguous shape that looks neither hard nor soft, and both box-like and rounded. It’s certainly odd looking. But I thought my CR-V was odd when I got it. (Is it a station wagon? Is it a minivan? Is it an SUV? It was all of those and more. And it was a great care.)
But the funky thing about the Puyo is, it actually is soft. Honda calls it their “gel body” – it’s designed for safety in the event of a collision. And it also glows in the dark, which may help cut down on collisions. Certainly no one in their right mind would aim their vehicle directly at a glowing car.
Just last week, I cleaned out my closet for the first time in awhile.There were plenty of fashion skeletons in there — college t-shirts with cheesy messages, ill-fitting blouses, and “the flood is coming” jeans — yikes. It was a bear of a job, but it turned out to be the perfect timing. I was able to clear some space and figure out what I need and don’t need. Below is my new and improved, monkey proof, 4 step closet de-junking plan that’s also easy on the earth.
Step 1: Get down to your last threads
The hub and I do laundry only when absolutely necessary – when the piles start making the cats nervous and we’re finally out of comfortable knickers. If your family is like mine, take this perfectly dirty opportunity to go through your closet. Chances are, if you’re desperate for clean clothes and you still won’t wear what’s on your hangers… it might be time to rethink whether or not you need it. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos