About Green Thing
Green Thing has two mouths and three eyes, lives in South End Green in London and is aged 22 (which incidentally is the Scrabble score for 'global warming'). His favourite band is Green Day, his favourite author is Grahame Greene and his favourite movie is The Green Mile (or any film by Peter Greenaway). He's on a one-monster mission to inspire as many people as possible in as many countries as possible to do the Green Thing. Please join him @dothegreenthing and people in 205 countries/territories making a difference.
Latest Posts by Green Thing
Moving to one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world has had a profound effect on Brazilian designer Gabriel Comym, who produced this vibrant poster.
“Living in Amsterdam opened a new door of consciousness for me regarding the use of bikes as the main form of transport and how it affects our everyday life in different aspects, from practical and organisational levels to physical ones; the well-being and the joy of cycling everyday by the canals. No pollution, no traffic jams, no rush. The feeling that you are helping the planet and contributing with the purest fuel you have: your own energy.”
Poster above and credit for it made for Green Thing by Gabriel Comyn. The above energy bike by Gabriel Comym.
Whether you’re new in town, looking for a nice walk, a safe way to get to the pub or want to move house, picking a nice street is vital. But getting that information isn’t easy. Which is why Walkonomics, a UK-based start-up, has launched an app to help.
Walkonomics tells you how pedestrian-friendly a street is by giving it a 5 star rating for several categories; road safety, ease of crossing, pavement, hilliness, navigation, fear of crime and whether or not it is smart, beautiful, fun and relaxed.
The app currently covers every street in New York, San Francisco and over 600,000 streets in England.
Walkability is a huge thing these days as people are thinking more about the environment (walkable neighbourhoods can cut greenhouse emissions by up to 36%) and keeping a close eye on their bank balance (less driving, less petrol, more savings)
The app uses Open Data from over 600,000 street ratings from Walkonomics.com to calculate the walkability. It takes into account street widths, traffic levels, cleanliness, crime statistics, pedestrian accidents and even how many trees are on each street.
It’s a great tool for discovering a pleasant route to work, a Sunday afternoon stroll or the neighborhood of your new flat. And you can add your own reviews on your local streets to help widen the knowledge too.
(All images: Walkanomics)
What’s the best thing you can do with an old car? Make it into a bike.
That’s what Spanish creative agency Lola Madrid have been doing. By hunting through scrapyards and picking pieces off rusting cars they have managed to make beautiful, working bikes by recycling and hacking what they find.
Each handmade bike is unique as it depends on what they find. The frame comes from metal from the body of the car, the chain is a transmission belt, signals turn into reflectors and door handles become bike seat posts. Even the saddle and handlebars get a touch of automobile added to them by being covered in car seat fabric.
The end products, called Bicycled Bikes, will be available to buy. Or you could try making one yourself. Although we don’t recommend this unless you know your way around a workshop. And bikes.
P.S. Want to try your hand at bike-making? The Bicycle Academy in Somerset are the people to help you on your DIY way. Plus you’ll be helping Africans in need of bikes too. Bonus.
(Spotted on GOOD)
(Image: Carbon Trust)
Last week we tweeted a link for a site that lets you discover your own carbon footprint, something that many of you were keen to do. And then we discovered this guy. He decided to work out the carbon footprint from a year of his life down to the tiniest detail (including where his taxes where going).
(Image: Saul Griffith)
The results are fairly shocking considering he believes himself to be an environmentally minded person. Which makes us wonder, could we be doing more?
(Spotted on GOOD)
(All images: Oliver Ling)
Composting food waste when you live in a small flat with no garden and no balcony can be tricky. There’s the wormery route, but believe me, it isn’t always as easy as you think. And not all your guests will appreciate sharing your lounge with hundreds of wiggling pets.
Which is why Compo, the prototype composting bin from Oliver Ling, is so clever.
Sleek, well-designed and simple, the Compo sits in your kitchen inconspicuously, consuming your food waste and producing not only rich compost but biogas.
This gas is collected into bottles inside the Compo which are then collected (via a biogas powered truck of course) in exchange for money – about £8 per bottle.
Who knew your orange peel and stale bread was so useful?
(Spotted on The Rubbish Diet)
(All images: Woodbuds)
Sustainable design is all about creating something beautiful that will last, that works as well as its competitors and is made from renewable materials that don’t damage the earth.
And Woodbuds are a perfect example of this. They look beautiful, sound incredible and are hand-crafted from FSC certified, sustainable plantation hardwood and bio-plastic. And they have arrived just in time for Valentine’s Day. We’ve fallen head over heels for these smart wooden earphones.
Packaged completely in cardboard (that looks so cool we don’t actually want to chuck it in the recycling bin) and available in five colours, we predict these in-ear earphones will top our sustainable design list all year long.
What’s more, it’s not just the design that is sustainable, the two guys behind Woodbuds have made sure their company is just as good as their earphones. They plant a tree for every 100 products they sell, they are a proud member of 1% For The Planet (meaning they donate 1% of their sales to help more than 3000 environmental organisations) and with the motto ‘use less, care more’ they have placed themselves firmly in Green Thing’s heart forever.
With more products set to hit their shelves later this year, Woodbuds are definitely a company to keep your eye on.
With this wintery weather are you looking in that wardrobe thinking, well, what was I thinking? You wouldn’t be the first person not to have anything both fashionable and warm. Before you start contemplating how far past Christmas you can get away with festive knitwear, or before you hit the shops, consider DIY fashion and customisation.
You don’t need to have a degree in fashion design to give your old clothes a new lease of life. A needle and thread and a few cheap items from your local haberdashery should do the job. Here’s a bit of inspiration on how to turn your old clothes into new season fashion.
Embellishment – A great way to update a tired shirt, dress or pair of jeans is by embellishing with studs, beading or sequins. Studded and sequinned clothing will be big this year and this is something that we can easily create ourselves at home. Start small by adding embellishment to the neckline (or back pocket of jeans), or for a more eye catching look scatter evenly over the front of clothing.
Fabric off-cuts – Many fabric shops will sell off-cuts of fabric cheaply and this can be used to update old clothing that is perhaps less fashionable this season. For example, lace panels will camouflage garish colours or patterns. If your sewing skills fail you and you don’t mind taking risks, fabric dyes are easy to use and work well on cotton.
Another way to use fabric off-cuts, particularly for men, is to use patches of patterned fabric to update a plain cotton or denim shirt. Use this year’s Aztec print to add patches to the elbows and pocket, or even panels across the shoulders. This can be easily removed and replaced with new fabric next year.
Jewellery – If customising clothing isn’t for you, there are ways to avoid the pitfalls of buying on-trend clothing. Stick to a classic style that will transcend the seasons and keep your look current by adding key accessories or jewellery. To avoid buying into a throwaway trend, wearing timeless vintage jewellery adds a unique twist to a basic jeans and t-shirt combo. Plus when you’re bored with it you can sell it on – it’s win-win!
This is a guest post written by Sarah Leeds.
Today is the start of London Fashion Week. So when better to talk about ethical shopping. When it comes to buying clothes that are fashionable, sustainable, well-made and fit you perfectly, it can be a struggle to tick all the boxes. Especially if you’re trying to find out what a brands ethical policies are whilst trawling the high street.
Measure Up is an independent website dedicated to giving you all the details about your favourite fashion stores. If you want to know about workers rights, how much they get paid and the factories that these clothes are made in then the results are just a few clicks away.
Simple, free and completely honest. It’s the number one tool for any ethical fashionista.
We weren’t surprised to discover that ethical fashion brand People Tree came out tops. And rightly so. But how does your favourite shop measure up?
P.S. The best place to go for a guilt-free shopping spree is the charity shop. Or your mate’s wardrobe. Try swishing your way to a new outfit.