TAG: Communities

Juice Box Wants Energy For All

Juice Box Wants Energy For All

Juice Box is a concept design that was created last year by Artefact. This year the design has achieved an award winning status, and has gained some impressively popular sponsors. Juice Box operates as an open energy system. Energy can be collected from various sources, then stored and routed to where it can be used. This allows people to charge and power up devices, as well as lighting and electrical necessities, even in distant and isolated areas. The system offers a sustainable way for off the map locations to receive electrical power. Developed for a project that concentrated on parts of… read more

One Step At A Time

Finding Our Feet

Certain words and phrases have become catch-cries for the green movement. “Action for sustainability”, “social change”, “environmental advocacy” – all are examples of language that needs to find solid ground in a world of proliferated rhetoric. As environmental communicators and sustainability educators, how can “walk the talk”? How can we do good work that moves beyond lip-service? How can we target measureable action for sustainability, meaningful social change and environmental advocacy with political and economic efficacy? The short answer is there is no short answer. What there are, however, are a series of questions we can ask ourselves as we… read more

The Magical Painted Architecture Of Richard Haas

The Magical Painted Architecture Of Richard Haas

Richard Haas is an artist known for his painted renditions of buildings and ornate architectural details. His work is on everything from skyscrapers, building facades, interiors, drawings and canvas, and his ability to create illusion and art is to be marveled at. The technique that he employs is called trompe l’oeil, which means tricks the eye in French. His painted optical illusions are beyond impressive. He can completely change the look of plain walls, concrete and brick buildings into unbelievably realistic works of art. His painted details include visual feats like buildings that when looked at one way appear to… read more

Equality Inspired Public Designs

Equality Inspired Public Designs

Art exhibits and design statement pieces can be aesthetically appealing as well as carry significant messages. Whether through visual installations or exterior building features, showing a commitment to social equality can be displayed in several ways. One public art project called Under the Baobab was created by Pirate Technics. Their rendition of the African baobab tree and its symbolization formed soft, yet colorful pieces that were done for the community. Initially developed for London’s Festival of the World, local design students helped construct the visual, and it has also been used by storefronts to display their fabrics. The baobab tree, which is… read more

Food Justice Facts

Food Justice Facts

Many neighborhoods don’t have access to healthy fresh foods, causing people to have to go out of their area to find better choices. Some that don’t have travel access or the means to commute have to rely on what is available and affordable. There are widespread food vacuums that exist, and communities in the midst of one don’t have whole foods stores, supermarkets and garden fresh farmer’s markets. Another thing they often don’t have is the necessary nutrients essential for health and development. Though these areas are globally widespread, there is a common factor that seems to exist in many… read more

The Depave Movement Battles Concrete Landscapes

Depave is a movement with a mission. The drive to replace excess concrete to green up city spaces has inspired and fueled their crusade. Located in Portland, Oregon, the nonprofit organization attempts to enrich existing dull pavement plots and to promote more aesthetically pleasing spaces. Their idea is that living in the city does not have to mean giving up green areas. It is against human nature to be constantly disconnected with outdoor surroundings, and bringing life back into urban spaces that are overabundant with concrete backdrops is a valuable way to put unused, stark sections of land to work. With… read more

The Value Of Volunteering – For Everyone Involved

Value Of Volunteering

Volunteering transcends assisting your community. It enriches the fabric of your life and others. The experiences you gain through volunteering could end up as skills on a resume or make you aware of current issues being faced by your city. Through volunteering, on your own or as part of a team, you learn different strategies for problem solving, improving your ability to think creatively. It also exposes you to people and places you may never have thought to interact with inside your community. This interaction may give you stronger communication skills. If you are new to an area, it is… read more

ToughStuff Solar Lighting Helps Communities

ToughStuff Solar Lighting Helps Communities

There are many companies that produce solar lighting in order to assist those who have no electricity. Some of these are non-profits and a number operate as for-profit organizations. Some may question which one is a better option in providing humanitarian assistance. Non-profit operations normally are established in order to serve a social need, and usually receive charitable donations, government funding and tax deductions; however this is not to say that they are in business without the goal of turning a profit. Much of the generated profit though is in turn put back into the needs of the organization. For-profits… read more

What is The EarthBench Movement?

The Earthbench

Some of the most effective movements stem from a simple concept. The EarthBench is no exception. Using empty plastic bottles and soft, inorganic trash, waste is used as a building material for community gathering spaces. The EarthBench is part of the “Peace on Earthbench Movement” (POEM), a non-profit organization conceived by Brennan Blazer Bird, an ecological educator from the San Francisco Bay area. To make an EarthBench, discarded plastic bottles are filled as snug as possible with soft trash, including plastic bags and fast food wrappers, using a stick to compress each layer of trash firmly towards the bottom. Once… read more

Waste Management Issues

Sewer problems in Africa

Most rural areas in Swaziland are underdeveloped such that sewer pipes and infrastructure are not accessible to many residents. The consequence is that many communities use pit latrines. Using a pit latrine is less than pleasant because they cannot be flushed and they have a life span which means a new pit must be dug after a couple of years. The lack of proper sewer infrastructure poses numerous environmental problems for rural communities. Firstly, rural communities develop in close proximity to water sources for purposes of farming and subsistence, which means latrines are close to water sources. Secondly, to avoid… read more