Pack your bags, Mei Sheng, you’re going to China. Mei Sheng, a four-year-old panda, born and raised at the San Diego Zoo, is moving to China to take part in China’s breeding program. Mei Sheng will be staying at the Wolong Nature Reserve for Giant Pandas. A loan agreement exists between the U.S. and China which states that all foreign born pandas return to China when they mature.
For Ron Swaisgood of the S.D.Z.’s Giant Panda Conservation, the departure of Mei Sheng was bittersweet. Swaisgood stated, “Mei Sheng will be missed…but his role in the conservation of his species involves a move to China.”
Swaisgood also elaborated to the San Diego Union-Tribune on how crucially endangered the pandas are: “As a critically endangered species, it is vital that Mei Sheng is in a place where he will be around other pandas, and the Wolong Reservation is a great home.”
Pandas are critically endangered. Only 1,600 are thought to survive in the wild and a mere 180 live in captivity. Mei Sheng is the second of two pandas born in the U.S. to be brought back to China. The first was Hua Mei, also born at the San Diego Zoo, who has since then given birth to three panda cubs at the Wolong Reservation.
There are now between 150 to 250 Iberian Lynx in the world.
Haven’t heard of the Iberian Lynx? That’s because it’s a rare cat native to Spain and Portugal. The population is down from about 400 in the year 2000, but they could be on the climb again. Even better news for conservationists trying to save the lynx is that a new population found in central Spain is genetically distinct from the others, meaning inbreeding can be limited to the surviving population.
Fortunately, The Iberian Lynx are no longer legally hunted and caution has been taken to protect their habitat. But like a lot of other animals, they had become endangered due to habitat degradation or by being hit by cars near their stomping grounds. Another large reason is because their main source of prey — the rabbit — has been decimated in Spain due to disease.
What do you get when you combine the ever popular shipping containers with old airplane fuselages? A Mobile Dwelling Unit, of course. The brainchild of LOT-EK, this brilliant architectural design has been on the market since 2002, and is the model from which other module-based designs are now being based. Led by Ada Tolla and Guiseppe Lignano, LOT-EK’s mission is to blur any boundaries between art, architecture, information and entertainment. Their groundbreaking approach to design and architecture is redefining the way we as a populace interact with industry and technology.
But there is a glaring problem with this design. It’s just plain ugly. Which is too bad, because MDU is the same firm who designed the Puma City mobile store made from multiple containers and that one is pretty cool. Well, except for the use of the orange again. A colorist should really talk with these guys. They use orange in hazard area’s for a reason, its a bit disturbing.
Attention eco-chic women who are interested transforming the face of fashion: check out Del Forte Denim.
Based out of Los Angeles – a city known for its anti-sweatshop legislation and enforcement, Del Forte Denim has partnered with The Sustainable Cotton project, which is known for bringing together farmers, manufacturers and consumers to grow markets for certified organically grown and sustainable cotton.
The brains behind the designs, Tierra Del Forte’s career started in 1999. After touring various manufacturing facilities around the globe, Tierra saw what an impact the design industry had on the environment. Tierra was so concerned about this, that when she returned to California, she dedicated her work to creating a company that was eco-friendly in all ways possible.
Mazda unveiled its Taiki concept at Tokyo this month and for those in the “G”, it’s nothing to write home about. This car might have looked cool 10 years ago, but it really just looks like an ‘80s model Corvette with less back end and covered rear wheels. Aerodynamics is important, but what’s under the hood?
The Taiki boasts the latest version of the Renesis 2 rotary engine that has possible hybrid capability. The Taiki lives up to its name – “taiki” means flow of the atmosphere – and the car screams “flow,” but Mazda focused on ergonomics rather than eco-nomics. And Taiki is being dubbed the parent to a new line of sports cars in the RX theme. With cars like the Aptera out there pushing 300 mpg, the Taiki is going to take a backseat.
Kyeok Kim isn’t exaggerating when she says her jewellery leaves a long-lasting impression. I’d take it a step further and say some of her designs are painfully unique. Take for instance the gold plated silver bracelet or ring that when worn actually leaves an impression on the skin. The bracelet leaves behind a message reading “in the rain, sounds like a cello… in the sunbeams, sounds like a piano… like your voice”, the ring’s imprint says “one day in April”.
The premise behind Kyeok Kim’s designs are “Jewellery as Second Skin” and she’s pushing it to the next level.
I’m not sure how “G” the Aurora ring is – its lights cast a glowing pattern on the skin, which seems more flashy than eco-forward. But I’m all about the fragrant soap rings that do double duty. You can wear the ring as long as you want. Then when you’ve had enough, you wash your hands until the soap ring dissolves and leaves behind a lasting scent. What a cool sustainable idea for all of those scraps of soap that end up wasted.
Another unique design is the stamping bracelet and ring. The “Lace Trace” stamps a design that resembles a henna tattoo when rolled over the skin. Just make sure you don’t bump into anyone wearing a white shirt.
For now, you can only marvel at Kyeok Kim’s creations. But soon you’ll be able to purchase them on her website.
When I asked architect Matt Allert who the ideal inhabitant was for the Dwelling Dock, his super-green pre-fab home, he responded instantly — “Everyone!”
The Dwelling Dock is a green housing concept for which Allert was the recipient of the Cascadia Emerging Green Builders Award, a prize awarded to up-and-coming green architects. I caught up with Allert in his offices at Callison architectural firm to talk about the Dwelling Dock, green building and the climate crisis in general.
“I entered the competition and I was looking to do something that went way beyond what I considered ‘the green band aid’,” says Allert. “I was looking for something that was more fully integrated a way of living.” Not limiting himself to green buildings, Allert researched various kinds of infrastructure in order to come up with a basis for his concept.
Allert notes, “I saw other industries, and I noticed a hydrogen fueling station for the car and thought ‘Hey, wouldn’t that be cool if a house could do that.’ If you had infrastructure that was built — a dwelling — and you could store that power, water, heat all those things the framework or infrastructure naturally collected in the environment in your unit, which is pre-fabricated, and you just plug into that like a car in the fueling station.”
Listen up, fashion conscious women with a conscience: if you want to be as well dressed as A-listers Cate Blanchett and Sienna Miller, check out Ciel, the new label from British designer Sarah Ratty.
Hip, luxurious and special are words that come to mind, style-wise, when perusing the latest collection from the designer who brought you Conscious Earthwear. Smart and aware also come to mind. Created with green fabrics and practices, Ciel’s signature pieces make a more ethical and environmental choice available to stylish women.
For those of you not fortunate enough to be on this year’s guest list (or able to pay $500 for a ticket) G Living will be your eyes and ears at this year’s 17th annual Environmental Media Awards (EMAs). We are taking G LIVING’s REAL G on location, couch and all. We will make sure Nobel Prize winner, Former Vice President Al Gore, and all his Hollywood friends get cozy on the G Living Couch and get real!
What could be better than seeing the Statue of Liberty in person? How about traveling there in a noiseless and fumeless boat?
That’s exactly how the ride will be when New York City’s new solar and wind powered hybrid ferry is operating service. Completely petroleum-free, the ferry itself is called “Miss Statue of Liberty” and is being made in partnership with Solar Sailor of Australia. When running, the ferry uses a sail covered in solar panels that collects energy from the sun and wind. (If the vessel goes over 6 knots, a diesel main propulsion engine cuts in.) This 600 passenger, 115 foot trimaran ferry can also be plugged in and the batteries recharged.
Solar Sailor’s founder, Robert Dane, and Circle Line (the ferry operator that provides service to the Statue of Liberty) both agree that the ferry is a beautiful ship that has enormous potential to make people more aware of the environment. Said to cost between $2-3 million dollars more than a conventional ferry, Circle Line believes cutting fuel usage by about a third each year will make it worthwhile financially.
Recycled wood gets a big thumbs up from me. As does great design. Especially when it’s for the office, where I seem to be spending most of my time these days.
But this “Xcetera” desk isn’t working for me at all. Designed by Basten Leijh of Bieijh Concepts & Design, whose aim (according to his company’s website) is to “combine esthetics and function”, this new line of furniture was created with Westra, a Dutch company with a flair for office funkiness. And this desk is the first of many offerings in the collection that be brought to market in the hopes of visually jazzing up the workplace through its use of lively colors and groovy shapes.
According to Jessica Aldred with the Guardian Unlimited, Cod levels in the North Sea are on the rise, yet restrictions need to be in place in order for the continuation of their growth. For the first time in six years, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) has not placed a ban on North Sea fishing.
Martin Pastoors, chairman for the advisory committee on fishery management (ACFM), has reviewed ICES’s findings and feels that although the number of young fish has increased, it is still only half of the long term average. The key to growth lies in the hands… er, fins… of the young fish. ICES has asked governments to place a limit on the number of catches to 50% of the 2006 catches in areas where cod are still threatened. They have also asked that in the area of Kattegat, the Irish Sea and waters west of Scotland that the catches be limited to zero because of the exceptionally low levels of cod present there.