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design indaba: heath nash

Submitted by turbosprout on Sat, 2007-02-24 15:44

heath nash lightheath nash lightThe canvas of this year's Design Indaba was not green, but if you looked carefully you would make out a subtle green pattern woven into the fabric. From the Toyota Prius displayed at the ticket sales queue to the rubbish bins that proclaimed "this waste will be recycled for you, Design Indaba Expo cares for the planet" there were underlying green and caring themes to pick up on.

I really enjoyed my visit yesterday. I was there for just over three hours with a mission to identify designs that fit with the urban sprout ethos.

I'd read about Heath Nash, winner of SA Elle Decoration's Designer of the Year Award for 2006, and knew about his light fittings from plastic containers, but to see them in the flesh was awesome. If you think you've seen cool recycled functional items for the home think again. This tops what you've seen before and for the intricate design, I think they're very reasonably priced at R250+ for a white, organic, leafy light fitting. I had a chat with Richard Madongwe, one of the 5 workers in the studio in Woodstock. He was a proud ambassador for the brand and was enthusiastic about elaborating on the designs.

leasing clothes: an alternative to cheap, non-eco-friendly clothing?

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2007-02-06 10:58

The rising trend for discount retailers to offer cheap clothes, and encourage continual buying in response to fashion trends means that clothes are discarded before wearing out.

This is an environmental problem, compounded by the difficulty in recycling. Most consumers are unaware of the true costs of the clothing they buy. They look at the purchase price and not the ongoing costs to themselves or the environment.

Part of the problem is that neither manufacturers nor customers understand much about how the clothing industry degrades the environment. Significant environmental impact occurs from the harvesting of cotton or the manufacturing of synthetic fibres; the production, packaging and transportation of the clothes; clothes washing; and drying by the consumer, and disposal.

In their efforts to "buy green," customers tend to focus on packaging and chemicals, issues that do not factor in with clothing. Likewise, they purchase "natural" fibres like cotton, believing they are good for the environment.

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greening it up – wed 17 jan 07

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2007-01-17 10:51

Toxic waste dumped illegally in the south of Jo’burg is an indication of the lack of legislation the country has in place to deal with toxic waste. And as usual, no-one is taking responsibility – neither waste-disposal companies or the alleged dumpers, who will only suffer a fine of between R1500 and R20 000 when it could cost the council as much as R350 000 to deal with the problem. [M&G] Pikitup has recently launched an e-waste recycling initiative in Johannesburg and computers, cellphones, microwaves and other electronic equipment can be dropped at 25 Pikitup garden sites across the city []

Free State to use plastic number plates. The province apparently wants an increase to the maximum number of characters on personalised number plates and plastic plates for regular, special and personalised plates – have they stopped to think about the environmental repercussions? [M&G]

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revenge of the cloth nappy

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2007-01-08 10:25

pic: list of clever comebacks on wearing cloth nappies I can count on one hand the number of people who literally wrinkle up their noses when they hear that I’m a cloth nappy devotee. Not my fellow nappy changers so much, no, they’re full of admiration – although they wouldn’t consider going that route themselves. The reasons are many: too smelly, too much work, too much bother, too old-fashioned, too leaky, too messy, too (fill in whatever strikes your fancy).

Have you ever walked past a bin full of disposable nappies – seriously, have you stopped to take a good whiff of all that poo and chemicals? Do you really think that a bucket full of slightly stained, soaking cloth nappies could possibly give off quite the same stench?

I’m not going to get radical and start mentioning the why’s and the wherefores of cloth nappies here – we all know about the hundreds of years it takes for a disposable to decompose and the questionable chemicals used in the production of disposables. [mothernatureproducts]

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global electronics companies rated on their 'green' credentials

Submitted by turbosprout on Thu, 2006-09-14 15:37

Greenpeace recently ranked top electronics manufacturers on their use of toxic chemicals and their e-waste policies in their quarterly Green Electronics Guide.

The ranking criteria reflect the Toxic Tech campaign's two demands of electronics companies.

    clean up products by eliminating hazardous substances;
    takeback and recycle products responsibly once they become obsolete.

I was not too surprised that European company, Nokia was ranked at the top of the log. Albeit they still have some way to go in order to impress Greenpeace, clocking in at a rating of 7 on a nominal scale of 10.

Innovation and design leaders Apple failed to make the grade scoring a measely 2.7 and coming 11th out of 14 companies rated. So maybe owning an iPod is not so cool after all?

Admittedly the Guide does not take into account labour practices, energy use or other environmental issue

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