Friday, July 27, 2007

CO2 LED Project

Public art addresses environmental concerns and leads the way to the annual Planet Arlington World Music Festival

Arlington, Virginia, June 2007

A trio of environmentally-friendly artists, Jack Sanders, Robert Gay, and Butch Anthony have created a temporary public artwork in Rosslyn

Through Sept 1, 2007. The project, titled CO2LED, is erected in a the traffic island at near the Iwo Jima memorial. On display through Labor Day, CO2LED celebrates environmental stewardship and beckons the way to the second annual Planet Arlington World Music Festival.

552 solar-powered LEDs (light-emitting diodes) secured to rods of varying heights, each topped with a reused plastic drink bottle, illuminate the traffic island in an unmistakably beautiful way. The poles’ slight flexibility, combined with the LEDs’ nebulous glow underneath the ridged surfaces of the plastic drink bottles, create a soft, undulating cloud of light. A native American prairie grass, little bluestem, is planted beneath the poles and stands in contrast to the grid upon which the poles are installed.

At the end of the exhibit I hope someone finds a way to preserve this inspiring use of solar energy.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Paint With Clay

This non-toxic alternative to paint may not be what comes to mind when you think of wall coverings, but compare it to wall paper, a material most often now made of vinyl.

From Building Green TV:

If you’ve been thinking about slapping a fresh coat of paint on the walls in your living room, or your bathroom, or your bedroom, or anyplace inside your home, you might want to stop and reconsider. Unless you’re buying zero-VOC paint, the fumes can be harmful to your health.

You could skip the paint altogether and, instead, cover your walls in clay. Sounds a little odd; however, once you see the photo gallery at American Clay, you might be sold on the idea.

American Clay’s line of natural earth plasters are non-toxic, non-dusting mold resistant, repairable—and the stuff creates essentially zero waste, as leftovers can be saved for patching or even spread around in soil outside.

Interested? You can attend a hands-on workshop near you and give the stuff a try.


Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Innovation: Biodegradeable Coffee Cups!

Today, there is no way to compost or recycle the billions of disposable coffee cups used in the U.S. each year. It’s all due to a simple fact: the cups are lined with a petroleum-based plastic (polyethylene) to prevent leaking. But, finally, someone has invented a biodegradable coffee cup. The innovators are International Paper and Green Mountain Coffee. They’ve created a 100% biodegradable cup called the “Ecotainer”. The cup has a liner made from corn instead of petrochemicals. In a blind trial test of more than 5 million cups, not one customer noticed anything “different” about the corn-based cups from the regular variety.