There is no shortage of articles, books and videos about ‘How to Go Viral,” but what do you do when your little hobby turns into a an instant viral sensation? Sonia, from Tasmania, loved dolls as a kid and now, as an adult, discovered the pleasure of recycling old, discarded dolls and giving them a natural makeover. In that fertile soil of playful creativity and simple frugality, a seedling of a company grew. Tree Change Dolls had only 12 dolls, but a few clever photos and a healthy dose of shares resulted in a viral forest.
Sonia started out by de-glamourizing some used Bratz dolls (removed their makeup) and turned to her knitting genius mother to create some the simple custom fashions. This little kitchen table hobby soon turned into an internet maelstrom of cheers for this lone mum from down-under who accomplished what the big dollmakers like MGA Entertainment (makers of the hyper-sexualized Bratz dolls) seem to have missed. Girls love dolls that actually look like real people. Watch this well-done video that may just set the doll kingdom on its tiny plastic head. Best of luck to Sonia and her new company, Tree Change Dolls as she grows a business that makes a difference.
The IKEA Group announced today that it had purchased it’s second wind farm in the United States from Apex Clean Energy: a 165-megawatt wind farm in Cameron County, Texas.
This represents the single largest renewable energy investment made by the IKEA Group globally to date. The wind farm will contribute significantly to the IKEA Group 2020 goal of producing as much renewable energy as the total energy the company consumes globally. The Cameron Wind farm is expected to be fully operational in late 2015.
Earlier this year IKEA Group announced its first U.S. wind farm purchase located in Hoopeston, Illinois. The Cameron Wind farm will be more than one-and-a-half times the size of the Hoopeston project.
IKEA Group has now committed to own and operate 279 wind turbines in nine countries, and will invest a total of $1.9 billion in wind and solar power up to the end of 2015. IKEA has also taken steps to further the development of a low-carbon economy by supporting key initiatives including the People’s Climate March, UN Climate Summit, RE100, and the Climate Declaration.
“Apex is excited to partner with IKEA once again to bring clean, renewable energy from wind to market in the U.S.,” added Apex President, Mark Goodwin. “Both companies understand that this abundant resource is great for the planet, great for our business and great for our shared future.”
New York City was first with it’s No-Idling laws, but the UK, it seems, won’t settle for #2.
Unless of course it’s the #2 (Human waste) that just happens to be fueling the first-of-its-kind city bus. The 40-seater Bio-Bus runs on fuel generated from treated sewage and food waste and helps improve urban air quality as it produces fewer emissions than traditional diesel engines. The bus can travel up to 200 miles on a full tank of gas generated at Bristol sewage treatment works – a plant run by GENeco, a subsidiary of Wessex Water. Up to 10,000 passengers are expected to travel on the Bio-Bus each month.
It’s not petrol, bio-diesel or natural gas. It’s Biomethane, and can even be used to power up to 8,500 homes, and although the bus’s graphics seem to imply it’s a moving shitter, the fuel is actually a product of Bristol sewage treatment, which treats around 75 million cubic meters of sewage waste and 35,000 tons of food waste through a process known as anaerobic digestion. The waste is collected from households, supermarkets and food manufacturers every year.
“GENeco Bio-Bus is an excellent demonstration of biomethane’s unique benefits; decarbonizing areas other renewables can’t reach,” says Charlotte Morton, chief executive of the Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association (@adbioresources). “A home-generated green gas, biomethane is capable of replacing around 10% of the UKs domestic gas needs and is currently the only renewable fuel available for HGVs.
Although the Bio-Bus is new, in 2010, GENeco powered a car on biomethane produced during the sewage treatment process. The Bio-Bug was used in various trials to see how viable it was to power a vehicle on sewage gas.
By Amanda Crater for GreenBusinesses.com (watch video below)
This can’t be good. News broke this week about a mysterious virus affecting millions of starfish along the West Coast from Mexico to Alaska. “Sea Star Wasting Syndrome” has been decimating more than 20 species of starfish for about a year, and scientists this week discovered the culprit which has been widely reported on.
Marine biology researchers investigating the virus linked to the “wasting” deaths of countless starfish are looking at what role environmental causes might play in the massive die-off. Scientists have identified the specific virus responsible for the ongoing devastation of starfish along the Pacific Coast of Canada, the United States, and Mexico, as reported by BoingBoing.net. The Seattle Times did an in-depth report that said, “[I]t remains unclear if the pathogen’s current deadly spread is part of a complex natural cycle — or whether blame for this massive die-off is linked in some way to climate change, souring seas or other harm humans have inflicted on the ocean. Either way, the gruesome deaths are still spreading, confounding scientists and threatening to fundamentally transform marine systems along thousands of miles of Pacific Ocean coastline. This is the sea-star-removal experiment of the century. It’s pretty staggering,” said C. Drew Harvell, a marine epidemiologist from Cornell University based at Friday Harbor Labs on San Juan Island. “The ecological impact is going to be huge.And researchers still have no clue when the dying might end.”
From Mexico to Alaska, starfish have been mysteriously melting for more than a year. When a starfish first gets sick, its arms pretzel up and white lesions form on its skin. Next, the starfish, normally plush with water absorbed to keep its shape, starts to deflate. Then suddenly, its limbs begin falling off. Once symptoms start, it can take only a fewdays for the starfish to disintegrate and die.
The illness has been dubbed “sea star wasting disease,” and it emerged and spread rapidly along the Pacific coast last year. But marine biologists only had a few hunches — global warming, perhaps? — as to what was causing the deaths of millions of these animals.
Now, a massive new study has narrowed down the cause of what’s liquefying this lynchpin species. The findings, from a diverse group of invertebrate biologists, geneticists, statisticians, veterinarians and virologists, were published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
It’s a virus that’s sweeping the starfish, researchers say. In fact, it’s the first starfish virus ever discovered.
Sometimes the best ideas sound the silliest at first, but companies who embrace creative solutions to complex problems often have the greatest success. In this interview with Paul Dillinger, VP of Product Design and Innovation for Levi Strauss & Co. (@LeviStraussCo), Nick Aster of Triple Pundit (@TriplePundit) discusses the innovative approach that Levi’s has been known to take when incorporating sustainability into their business practices. Filmed at the SXSW Eco-Conference (SXSWeco.com) in Austin, Texas last month, Aster poses the question, “how can creativity be a part of sustainability?”
Citing his experience working with complex problems involving numerous committees, Dillinger reveals that often the solution can be found in the “creative unknown.” An example he refers to involves the issue of the wash of the company’s jeans. The “water-less” rinse program involved a “counterintuitive inversion of the meaning of wash,” which resulted in taking the fundamental resource (water) out of the rinse process and thereby saving 800 million liters of fresh water.
Dillinger goes on to give other examples of this “disruptive, silly, sort of backward thinking that yields great results.” It’s a fascinating glimpse into how a major corporation is using creativity on behalf of sustainability.