Looking for a happening city to visit but worried about having to stray from your healthy, ethical diet?
First, you worry too much. Second, check out Austin. The capital of Texas is the third fastest growing large city in the nation and was labeled MSN’s “Greenest City in America”. And what would America’s greenest city be without plant-based eateries that are as delicious as they are ethical?
“Watch out for the surprises,” one very helpful employee at Dhaba Joy said to me as I perused the vibrant bakery and coffee shop. Not sure what he meant by that, but I was nonetheless intrigued. Named from the Hindi term for eateries that serve local cuisine at convenient hours, Austin’s Dhaba Joy is quite the place, attached as it is to Toy Joy, a unique boutique teeming with modern, kitchsy remnants from your childhood.
But the food? Fabulous. The Oatscreme is soft-serve made entirely from oat flour, and it has a slightly nutty taste that goes well with their organic chocolate syrup. An awesome must-sample is the double Mocha Pushpa, made with their organic, 100% fair-trade coffee and organic chocolate syrup. The key ingredient is lavender-infused soymilk, which is made in-house. It lends a subtle fragrant puff of lavender that makes a next-sip automatic. And regardless of whether or not we allow ourselves to indulge, I think it’s fair to say most everyone likes chocolate chip cookies. About 4 inches or so in diameter and made with Dagoba organic chocolate, theirs are as good as the ones grandma used to make, only better because they’re made without eggs.
Sometimes in a practical and efficient world, style must give way to function. That said, when looking at the new Toyota Hi-CT concept car, I wonder just how much style we have to give up in order to achieve said practicality and efficiency.
Imagine, for a moment, a Mini Cooper. Nice looking car, right? Now take its nose and smash it so that it extends slightly further than the windshield. Welcome to the Toyota Hi-CT.
It’s like a car after a botched nose job.
But looks aren’t everything. True, the Hi-CT will facilitate travel in cities where traffic congestion is high, but along with its compact size, it’s the vehicle’s power source that’s of real interest here. The Hi-CT is powered by a hybrid drive-train, which combines a 1.5-liter gasoline engine with an electric motor.
Say what you will about the French (I’ve always found them to be quite friendly and exquisite, much the antithesis of the cranky, smelly stereotype), but their House of Tomorrow is très bon !
Recently featured in the French mag Architectures à Vivre, La Maison de Demain is a newly designed prefab that was unveiled last month at the Bâtimat Show in Paris. Comprised of three separate sections, the house surrounds an open middle section that can be enjoyed during the summers and covered by a mobile canopy in the winter. This setup provides a ridiculous amount of natural light, if that’s your thing, and makes the open area (which I’m guessing would be the structure’s social center) easily accessible from just about everywhere.
Another day, another prefab. This one from the architecture firm Marmol Radziner. Yeah, the peeps who brought us the Office of Mobile Design in Santa Monica and the four bedroom, five bath prefab pseudo-mansion in Nevada (among other genius designs) are bringing their fully customizable vision to Venice, California.
Marmol Radziner, having played major hands in the design game for over 15 years, prides themselves on creating a complete environment rather than just a house. So, this recently announced Venice project is creating quite a buzz.
It’s hard to think of used skateboards as being ladylike, but Kris Lovett — a University of Arts graduate — has found a way to combine his love for skateboarding, design and women and transform it all into a hip line of colorful shoes.
Skateboarding is often thought of as an eco-crime; more than 100,000 decks are produced each month in the United States alone. But rather than watch them junked, Lovett stepped up to the plate and used his fashion-forward thinking to make sure that the discarded ones saw life beyond all that rough riding, rolling and grinding.
His shoe designs are as unique as their origins. The wooden heels come in bright colors and with plenty of history. Lovett says, “By utilizing the overall shape and material properties found within the deck, the women’s shoe takes on an interesting aesthetic quality.”
I can tell you one thing for sure: the only fire I want at my house this Christmas is the open one roasting the chestnuts. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that from 2000 to 2004, Christmas trees — both natural and artificial — were the first items ignited in 300 of the reported home fires. Furthermore, holiday decorative lighting directly caused an additional 170 home structure fires in the same period with various materials being the primary source of ignition. These fires caused deaths, injuries, and $5.5 million in property damage.
The Bali Conference closed last weekend to a chorus of boos and hisses, directed mostly at the U.S. delegation for its successful stonewalling of progress in the war on climate change. It’s well known by now that the U.S. is the only industrialized country not to have signed on to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which calls for countries to reduce emissions to 5% below 1990 levels by 2012. Although it became clear at the Bali conference that Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
What could be more gratifying than rebuilding a tornado-ravaged town into an environmentally responsible and efficient safe haven for its survivors? The opportunity to educate and enlighten others during the process.
Welcome to “Eco-Town”, quite possibly the world’s first reality show with socially redeeming value.
This past May, a frenzied tornado devastated the tiny Midwestern town of Greensburg, Kansas. Nearly every structure – houses, businesses, schools, even hospitals – was severely damaged or destroyed. Lives were lost and those who survived did so without their homes.
The near total decimation of a town is a terrible thing, as the people of New Orleans can attest to. But can something good ever come from it?
This past May, a frenzied tornado devastated the tiny Midwestern town of Greensburg, Kansas. Nearly every structure – houses, businesses, schools, even hospitals – was severely damaged or destroyed. Lives were lost and those who survived did so without their homes Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
Let’s face it: the celebrities I admire the most are generally the ones I know the least about. Not sure if this says more about me or about them. Lindsay Lohan, for example? I know way more than I ever wanted to. Cate Blanchett? I know nothing about her except that she’s a chameleon-like actress who’s played everything from Elizabeth I to Bob Dylan.
Cate is amazing and Lindsay bugs me.
But I guess rules are made to be broken, because after accidentally reading about Cate in today’s Daily Telegraph, I like her even more. The Oscar winner and her husband just forked out $1.5 million plus to “greenovate” their $10 mansion in Sydney. According to the article, the project, overseen by Palm Beach-based Lesiuk Architects, includes greywater recycling, solar panels, energy saving lights and more.
Vaquita is Spanish for “little cow”. Not sure how such a moniker became attributed to the world’s smallest porpoise, but that’s what the locals call it. However, vaquita might as well be Swahili for “vanishing”, because according to vaquita.org, it is the planet’s most critically endangered small marine mammal.
Found only in San Felipe and Roca Consag in the Gulf of California, this rare Mexican porpoise prefers shallow water and is usually spotted along the shoreline. Less than five feet long, the animal has a medium to dark gray body with beautifully distinctive black rings around the eyes and lips.
Unfortunately, the vaquita is dangerously close to extinction, with only an estimated 100-300 remaining.