Posts Tagged ‘for’

Environmental News : : Los Angeles Going Green

TOMS Shoes are preventing HIV

 Charlize Theron, TOMS, TOMS Shoes, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, fashion philanthropy, HIV, AIDS, Africa, Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project, eco-friendly shoes, sustainable shoes, eco-friendly celebrities, eco-celebs, green celebrities

It just had to happen. Last week I voiced my opinion that TOMS was inherently flawed and that they were not helping fix world issues. With the help of actress Charlize Theron, TOMS is unveiling a new limited edition shoe that funds the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project, a non-profit charity that helps protect youth’s against HIV. Unfortunately, the shoes only come in women and child sizes. This hasn’t stopped me from wearing women’s clothes before though.

Theron says, “The relationship I have with TOMS is one that I cherish because none of us can do it alone”. 

You can buy your pair right here.

Los Angeles Mayor announces City will be “coal-free” by 2025

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has followed suit to many cities and announced LA will be coal free by 2025. The city currently gets 40% of its energy from two (out of date) coal plants. These plants are unsustainable, both economically and environmentally. Political plans along with the Department of Water have already delayed the initial coal free deadline by 5 years (previously the aim was 2020). Nothing yet has been set in stone, but there is a unanimous decision that the two 40 year old coal plants are just that, too old. Another step in the right direction for the green party.

50% of all food produced is wasted

Researchers at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers recently discovered that over 2 billion tonnes of food is wasted every year. This accounts for 30%-50% of all food produced. The main causes have been pinned down to;

1) Over cautious sell by dates.
2) Buy one get one free deals.
3) Everyone’s sudden obsession with vegetables.

Furthermore, 30% of crops manufactured in the UK are not even harvested due to the fact they don’t meet the immensely strict cosmetic standards set by food companies. This wasted food inevitably ends up in landfill sites where it produces mass quantities of methane, a gas that has many negative environmental effects. If this doesn’t concern you, then maybe the 1 billion people will who went hungry in 2010.
You want to know what you can do? Stop buying food in bulk and stop taking advantage of every “buy one get one free deal” just because you can. You may argue that we can’t control what the food companies produce or what their policies are. However you are the person buying the food, you control what ends up in your bin.
I leave you with

Buy glasses, save animals
Swim like a turtle with this wetsuit
The best iPhone case you can buy

 

Environmental News : : Is TOMS shoes

Is TOMS Shoes a failure?

Yes, we all love them. Yes, we all love the ‘one for one’ scheme. No, you cannot wear them with socks! TOMS shoes have become more popular than sliced bread, but is the one-for-one scheme that hooked us all bringing the demise of the company? Many people have started to agree that simply donating a pair of (let’s be honest, flimsy) shoes does not solve the poverty, health or education issues that encapsulate these lower economically developed countries.

Cheryl Davenport of Mission Measurement argues that TOMS does not help these countries economically, but rather makes consumers feel “morally superior”. Instead of figuring out a long term solution, we the consumers have been tricked into thinking we have immediately solved these countries problems by buying an overpriced piece of fabric. Don’t get me wrong, children walking around barefoot is not ok, however, the mindset that we have made enough of a difference with out purchase is wrong.

We all thought TOMS would be special at the beginning, providing those in need with a beneficial service. Doing all this with locally sourced materials but also creating jobs and building small businesses. However, most shoemakers have lost their jobs in these affected countries.

It’s certainly a controversial point of view, given all the good that TOMS have achieved since their opening in 2006. You just have to ask yourself, how good should I really feel about buying these shoes?

Town in Germany generates 100% of its energy form renewable resources

It’s no secret to most of you how often I rave about Germany and the sustainable milestones then continue to set. After the Fukushima disaster, Germany agreed to invest heavily in sustainable energy, wary of a similar disaster. In February of 2013, the dream became a reality as the small town of Feldheim (60km from Berlin) now runs off 100% sustainable energy.

Whilst the town is small in size (150 inhabitants), it is large in optimism. In 2010, all residents chipped €3,000 to build their own power grid. The end result? Residents now pay 30% less on their energy bills.

Not only are there more wind turbines than houses but also, a €1.7 million biogas facility was built in 2007 that converts pig manure and unused corn into energy. This lowers their heating costs by a further 10%. Do not let the small size of this town mislead you, this would be more than capable of pulling off at a larger scale. Feldheim have simply shown us what kind of a future we can have should all people believe in this goal.

India set to install 40,000 solar panels and save $1 million per year

Anantapur District solar power, India solar power, solar project India, solar panels, India renewable energy sources, clean energy, India carbon emissions

The southern Indian district, Anantapur, is set to link 40,000 solar panels to their power grid that will power street lighting and water pumping facilities. These will be spread over 10,000 acres of barren land and are set to reduce greenhouse emissions by 180,000 tons during their 25 year life span. They are also the first to use Abound Solar Cadmium Telluride, the new type of thin solar panel that are most cost effective to produce.

The total energy savings will amount to over $1 million every year, a worthy investment to say the least. The project itself will cost around $11 million, making the recovery cost to take around a decade.

New York Mayor signs green bill that addresses climate change into the law

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is trying to turn the Big Apple into a beautiful green Granny Smith Apple as his third term comes to a close. He recently signed 3 green bills that involve combatting climate change along with providing more green space and eco-education to the residents.

After Hurricane Sandy, one of these laws is understandably the production of a stormwater resistant plant. Another law involves the National Park’s having to redesign their layout to include as many diverse species as possible whilst also creating new green spaces. The mayor’s advises stressed that soil acts as a terrific sponge against stormwater. Finally, a renewable energy web-portal has been authorised.

It is unfortunate that it took a natural disaster to spark this environmental attention, however there will no doubt be an increase of ‘environmentalists’ now in NYC. Using Hurricane Sandy as motivation for a greener future is a good move. I’m sure all residents do not want a repeat and are willing to do what is necessary to confirm a brighter future.

I leave you with

10 easy ways to save money by going green
The best eco friendly food for vegetarians
The bed your children wanted for christmas

Video Game News : : Black Ops Two, Everywhere.

Black Ops 2 beats modern Warfare 3 sales

Wheelchair-Bound California Man Shot While Waiting in Line for "Call of Duty: Black Ops 2"

Black Ops 2 sold 7.2 million copies in 24 hours. Modern Warfare 3 reached a more modest figure of 6.5 million. Considering that $775 million was made in revenue during the first 5 days after MW3’s release, we can safely assume Black Ops 2 will surpass that.
Amazon recently stated that Black Ops 2 was the most pre-ordered game the site ever had……ok, OK, we get it Ed, this game is a big deal….still not convinced?
1 in 4 Black Ops 2 players called in sick on the release date. In a survey of 10,000 on ign.com, 1 in 4 players claimed they would skip work or school in order to get an entire days (proper) work done.

Man shot in queue during midnight launch

At around 1 am during the biggest midnight release of any video game, ever, a man was shot. He was a 20 year old male in a wheelchair. This occurred in Korea-town, California, in the middle of hundreds of people. The most shocking thing? They still haven’t caught the suspect….even though there must have been more eye-witnesses than you can kill with your new attack dogs score-streak. Supposedly, police are merely waiting for someone to come forward with any evidence. The 20 year old was shot in his abdomen and is recovering.
It’s lunatics like this that give video games a bad name. If you’re interested in the whole “violence in video games” topic, I will shamelessly self promote an old blog I wrote that goes into heavy detail on this subject.

Black Ops 2 PC surprise

The PC version was released on two discs, one online, one offline. Turns out that when customers went to install the second disc, they were actually installing Mass Effect Two. Each disc was correctly manufactured to look like the correct Black Ops disc….however, instead of loading the multiplayer, they all received a Mass Effect Two error. The funniest part? EA and Activision are massive competitors. This will be as close as they get to releasing a game together for the rest of the world……have we found our silver lining? World peace amongst video game companies?! OMG!


(Epic side note) Assassin’s Creed/Splinter Cell movies move closer to a release date"Splinter Cell" Movie One Step Closer to Being a Real Thing, Tom Hardy to Star as Sam FisherI wrote about the possibility of these two films being produced during the early summertime. Never in a million years did I think these movies would be made. Ubisoft Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Geoffroy Sardin announced that he hoped the Assassin’s Creed movie (starring Michael Fassbender) will hopefully be in theatres by the end of 2013! Ubisoft must have high hopes for the film industry considering Bane (Batman villain, Tom Hardy) has agreed to play the role of Sam Fisher in the Splinter Cell movie.
What’s your view on video game films? I doubt any of you would refuse a Zelda OOT movie? Goodness, I’ve attempted a joke there but now can only dream of what that would be like…..until then I’ll take solace with my Zelda text tone.

I leave you with

10 hilarious Black Ops 2 launch pictures.
The latest Black Ops 2 rap song that you HAVE to hear (Brysi).
5 outrageous custom classes for all your trolling needs.

Environmental News! USA ruining everything : 19th July 2012

USA – One of the least environmentally sustainable countries, in the world.

The following is from the introduction of the National Geographic Greendex 2012 article, “consumers in the large developing economies of Brazil, India and China have scored highest, while Canadians and Americans, with their relatively massive environmental footprints as individuals, have scored lowest.”
This greendex survey ranks countries around the world in terms of how environmentally sustainable they are. One thing you can be sure of is how the USA will still be delighted that they are more sustainable than Canada, “USA! USA! USA!”.
Not only that, but further studies from National Geographic have shown that the USA don’t even care about this, “only germans feel less guilty about their environmental inaction”. 

54% of USA is in drought. $50 billion to fix it. 

North America is currently experiencing the worst drought since the 1950’s. For the second month in a row, temperatures have reached record highs. This drought is not only causing death among humans (48 dead in 7 days in Washington DC) but is also causing problems for agriculture. Corn output had dropped rapidly, 7% in the last week. Recent wildfires in states such as Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming have displaced thousands of cows from federal rangelands which may not be fit for grazing for years.
With the price in food sure to rise over the next year Michael Swanson, agricultural economist at the largest commercial agriculture lender said, “It might be a $50 billion event for the economy as it blends into everything over the next four quarters.”

Thousands of baby leatherback turtles die in Trinidad.

leatherback-turtle-massacre

Heavy machinery have crushed thousands of baby turtles along the most dense nesting area for the leatherback turtle. Government work crews with bulldozers were redirecting the Grand Riviere, a river that was threatening a hotel where tourists from around the globe watch the huge endangered turtles lay their eggs. Conservationists who track the turtles said that the workers dug a large portion of the sand that did not effect the river.
Sherwin Reyz, a member of the Grand Riviere Environmental Organisation, estimated that as many as 20,000 eggs were crushed or consumed by the scores of vultures that descended upon the food that was now open to them.
“They had a very good meal. I was near tears,” said Reyz, who helped save hundreds of uninjured hatchlings dredged up by the heavy machinery. “It was a disgusting mess.”

Video game ‘Xeko’ raises awareness of endangered species.

Digital Game Xeko Raises Endangered Species Awareness Online

Winner of Creative Toy Game of the Year, Xeko is a collectable card game available on phones and social gaming consoles.
Donors, known as Xeko Backer Agents, can contribute the campaign in amounts that represent the need for action and awareness: $30 symbolizes that 30% of amphibian species are threatened, pledging $1300 denotes that less than 1,300 Bengal Tigers are known to exist.
To donate, click here.
Instead of imaginary creatures, Xeko cards feature real-world endangered animals from different conservation hotspots. This creates awareness and appreciation for these creatures and their homes.

Exchange trash for food. 

Residents of Mexico City are embracing a creative recycling program that is turning trash into food.

It could be the best deal, ever. A growing number of cities in Central and South America are offering ‘delicious recycling’.  Jundiai is a city in Brazil that has been offering this for 10 years. When residents bring in recyclables, they get vegetables from a local, public garden.
Mexico City have also adopted this idea by handing out fresh lettuce, pears, flowers, plants, tomatoes and cucumbers to people who hand in their recycling. In March of this year, the city handed out 3 tonnes of food.
This is genius way to motivate those people that need motivation to look after the planet. Whilst it’s a shame that people expect something in return, it seems like this idea can work.

I leave you with,
9 reasons to plant a tree
Incredible photos of the underground storm water system in Japan

Death Cab for Cutie, Codes and Keys remix album.

The Codes and Keys remix album gives fans an upgrade. New summer music made off old winter songs. 

   The new remix album is a grower. Chances are, if you like Death Cab, then you won’t be a huge fan of techno, dance or club-y music. When I came across this album in the store, I was immensely excited about hearing one of my favourite ever albums through a different beat. Suffice to say, I had already switched to the regular album before the 4th track. My immediate response was, “why would someone ruin such great songs!”

Upon 2nd, 3rd and 8th listen, i’ve come to the conclusion that this could be my new summer music. Don’t get me wrong, I strongly dislike techno music and all genres similar, but this album is different:

  • The beat’s are not that strong, it doesn’t feel like I could hear this in a rave or anything.
  • I do love the odd club song, are you telling me you don’t like Levels by Avicci?! Get outta town!

It’s hard to convey in words exactly what this music is. It’s like hearing your favourite songs, but with a faster tempo and a catchy beat. Think if this as an upgrade. You can listen to the original Codes and Keys album in autumn and winter, but this is a perfect blend for new summer tunes.

If you’re in need of new music for the summer and are a fan of indie or dance music I implore you to give this a listen. My two favourite tracks include this great running song and this slightly more ‘dance’ centred song (a remix of the slowest song on the original album, Un-obstructed Views).

That said, you could remain 100% indie and alternative by listening to Yeasayer’s remix of my favourite, Codes and Keys. Trust me, it’s brilliant, like the video.

The beauty of live music.

Image

Over the last year I have been lucky enough to see my 4 favourite bands. This has been possible mainly due to an iTunes app, Songkick. The app scans your iPhone/iPod’s music library and then presents you with dates and locations for every band in your library. It takes about 20 seconds. You can then search for a band, a venue, a date, anything.
This meant that it was immensely easy for me to find out when Sufjan Stevens, Bon Iver, Joshua Radin, Death Cab for Cutie, Coldplay, The Avett Brothers and City in Colour were playing. The app then gives you links to buying the cheapest tickets.
I have been to many gigs before but never this many in one year. The app makes it so easy to find tickets that I am constantly updating it each day to see which new bands have been added.
Finally, there are many nights when I am exhausted and i don’t feel like trekking into central London or driving all the way to Los Angeles from San Diego, but, there isn’t much in this world that rivals seeing your favourite band life. Let alone seeing all 4 of your favourite bands live in one year.
My closet is now filled with band T-shirts, jumpers, bags and almost a custom Avett Brothers Skateboard (seriously). Live music is something that everyone should experience on a regular basis. Songkick merely makes it easier for this to happen.

I leave you with links to videos I took from the bands I saw over the last year:

Death Cab, City in Colour, Bon Iver and Joshua Radin – here.
Death Cab’s Transatlanticism – here.
Sufjan Steven’s Vesuvius – here.  
Avett Brothers and Coldplay – here.