Friday, July 30, 2010

The Life of Can


A little like the Werner short about the life of a plastic bag, this one is about the life of the aluminum can directed by a student at Duke University. Watching the can get thrown into the garbage and it shedding a tear was one of the saddest moments in an eco ad, but it all leads to a great punchline at the end that made us think of recycling in a whole new light.

Take 30 seconds and check it out here!

---Viv

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Cafe Habana, which has only in recent years opened an outpost as a "eco-eatery", has now expanded to Malibu! Though we have yet to go to the new branch, we can say the Haban Outpost in Fort Greene is worth a visit. Not only is the food delicious (and you won't have to wait for an hour like you do at the Prince Street original), the Outpost has some very cool eco-friendly characteristics.


Giant solar panels creates energy to run the restaurant and rainwater is collected for flushing toilets. A fiber optic chandelier lights up the inside by bringing in sunlight from atop the roof, and the garbage bins are separated into compost, recyclables, and trash (like at Whole Foods!).


The best part, though, has got to be those smoothie bikes - a blender powered by bicycling. For a $1 less than regular price, you can literally make your own smoothie by hopping onto the bike and cycling to blend the ingredients in front of your eyes. Food always tastes better when you have to work for it, and this task sounds like it could be fun! Check out ABC 7's coverage of the bikes and Cafe Habana's green owner, Sean Meenan below.




All images were taken from Cafe Habana.

--- Viv

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

DYE DIY!

John's revived Loomstate tees and his daughter.

You've worn your Loomstate tee to death and it's finally achieved that perfect worn-in comfort where the tee fits exactly how you wanted it to, and you never want to take it off. And worn-in it looks - after so many wears and washes, the color's fading a little. A Loomstate friend and fan, and a designer for Quality Peoples, John didn't want to let go of his perfectly worn-in Loomstate tees, so he dyed them, giving them a vibrant new look! Lucky him, he lives in Hawaii where the rays are out all the time, but all it took was "a bit of purple dye and some sun". You could even try it with natural dye and color sealant, like Audrey did for our Rivera Dresses.

Have fun!

---Viv

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Plastiki Epic Journey Complete!

The Plastiki. Image from Time Magazine.

The Plastiki, a catamaran made of 12,500 recycled plastic bottles, having traveled four months 8,000 miles from Sausalito, CA, finally completed its journey when it arrived in Sydney harbor yesterday. Led by environmentalist and expedition leader David de Rothschild, this epic voyage aimed to raise awareness of the costs and consequences of plastic waste, and the giant Pacific garbage patch.


With better technology than available at the time of Thor Heyerdahl's 1947 Kon-Tiki expedition, which inspired the name Plastiki, they broadcasted updates through Twitter, FacebookYouTube, and their blog. They gave media interviews while on board, and their official filmmaker even witnessed his child's birth via Skype! Living in cramped quarters and eating food grown in the on-board garden, they overcame storms, high seas, and numerous challenges to get to Sydney. 

A photo from The Plastiki.

The boat will be open to the public on Sunday, August 1, at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney's Darling Harbour. Get updates on their Facebook page on the event. Visit their website, check out photos from their expedition, and pledge to stop using plastic bottles, plastic bags, styrofoam, or all three!

Here's a great quote from de Rothschild from the National Geographic article that got us thinking:

"The story that has been told to us about plastic is that it's cheap, it's valueless, it's non-toxic, it's easy to use, and don't worry about throwing it out because we can just make some more," said de Rothschild.

"The reality is it's not cheap, it's not non-toxic, it's not valueless. It's valuable, it uses a lot of resources.... We need to start taking a serious look at the way we produce and design every product we use in our lives."


Via Surfrider Foundation, Time Magazine, and National Geographic.


--- Viv

Monday, July 26, 2010

Wearable Greens



We're clearly big on wearing green (organic cotton!), but we never thought we could wear actual greenery. Icelandic industrial/interior designer Hafsteinn Juliusson has created a line of "growing jewelry" featuring live moss embedded in silver rings and necklaces, an "experiment in drawing nature toward man". Provided that you water it every 5 weeks and freeze it when not wearing, the moss could stay green for 8 to 12 months. Definitely unusual and eye-catching, this line is available now at HAF by Hafsteinn Juliusson.



Images from HAF. Via GreenMuze.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Window Farms



Another way to get fresh produce in your home! We love farmer's markets and local urban farms, but wouldn't it be great to be able to make a salad from plants growing in your own apartment, even if it's the size of a closet? All you need is a 4' x 6' window and a kit from Window Farms to start growing vegetables and herbs. Vertically placed and hydroponic, these mini farms are made of grocery store bought water bottles that are usually dumped in the recycling bins, small space-friendly, and high yield. The most recently improved version could grow up to 32 plants with 1 air pump!



The newest version of the Window Farm setup.


The Window Farms Project is actually a non-profit that aims to empower urbanites to grow their own food and to create a platform for discussions to lead to more sustainable city-living. Electricity would be need for the air pump and bulbs, and we wonder how much energy this would use since they'll have to be plugged in at all times. It looks like it's worth a try though, so take a look at the different kits they offer or read more about this venture. If you start now, you can be having fresh salads every week in the fall!


All images taken from Window Farms.

--- Viv



Thursday, July 22, 2010

Phospherescence




Hisham Bharoocha, talented artist and musician (and a friend of Loomstate - he was the drum leader for our 40 Drummers for 40th Earth Day event back in April), is also now the Creative Director of new sunglasses line Phospherescence. Being a man of "general downtown New York ubiquity" as Esquire says, Hisham pulled together a few friends, including Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth, No Age, United Bamboo, Erin Wasson, Zero + Maria Cornejo, and Opening Ceremony to create a one-of-a-kind collection. 



See who's behind these designs at Esquire. We can't wait for next Spring when these are available in stores!


--- Viv


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sun In The City



100 million times smaller than the real sun, this one, an awesome art installation called "Solar Equation" by Mexican artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, recently overlooked Melbourne's Federation Square for The Light in Winter Festival. This 14 meter wide helium-filled balloon is suspended in the air, and reflects projections generated by live mathematical equations, creating animations that never repeat themselves and imitating the turbulence seen on the surface of the Sun. Using an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, people can disturb the animations in real time and choose different types of visualizations. 



Being in Australia, the installation immediately brings to mind pertinent discussions of UV radiation and global warming. We can feel the heat just looking at the images, and, like the sun, it's hauntingly beautiful.

Images from GreenMuze. Read more and watch the video at the artist's site.

--- Viv

Monday, July 19, 2010

Whole Foods & Organic Labeling



Whole Foods may be able to jump start an industry move to better, more accurate product labeling. According to the NYT, to be in effect as of June 1, 2011, Whole Foods's new policy requires all health and beauty products labeled as organic to be certified by either the Agriculture Department’s National Organic Program, which sets standards for food, or NSF International, a nonprofit based in Ann Arbor, Mich., that issues its own certification mark.

From renewable energy and carbon offsets to food and health products, green claims are often misleading or fraudulent. That "all-natural" cream you purchased might actually have harmful chemicals or you find out the "beyond organic" shampoo you've been using isn't organic at all. The green industry needs more transparency, regulations, and accountability so consumers are getting exactly what is being claimed. This policy could be the first of many changes to industry standards. We say, good job, Whole Foods, for finally doing something!

Read the NYT's article here.

--- Viv

Decoding Recycling Symbols



Have you ever looked at objects you're disposing of for a recycling symbol, then think "What does this mean again?" This is where The Daily Green's guide comes in. Not just the typical guide categorizing typical items for each group, the article also includes how likely each group is to be picked up by your local recycling companies, what they'll be recycled into, and the material's properties.

This could be useful the next time you're looking at the bottom of your deli-bought beverage.

---Viv

Friday, July 16, 2010

Portable Pools?

Rendering from the NYT article.

As we scoured the news in our daily morning routine, we came across this article. For the first three Saturdays in August, The Bloomberg Administration will be placing three giant portable pools on the east side of Park Avenue between 40th & 41st Avenue. We say giant - they are each 8 feet wide by 22 feet long, and 5 1/2 feet at its deepest, and they're refurnished dumpsters. A five-foot wide rubber-covered metal deck will surround the pools, and portable showers, toilets, and changing cabanas will also be available. Crunch, the fitness gym chain, will be donating lifeguard services.


Image from Macro Sea, the company behind the pools.

What about hygiene, you say? Will there be that urine-revealing chemical? These portable pools will be trucked in then filled with water for swimming. Nowhere in the diagram does it show a drainage function, and the Times' article talks about locking them up and moved to the curb with water inside when they reopen the street. We'll just have to see for ourselves, but in any case, this event definitely makes our list of Things That Happen Only In New York. 

The pools are open from 7am to 1pm on the first three Saturdays of August. 



--- Viv

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Build A Better 'Burb

Open Source Suburbs

Looking to start discussions on how to efficiently develop suburban areas, the Build a Better Burb competition has asked the public to submit ideas on how to best use vacant spaces on Long Island. 23 finalists out of 200 submissions have been selected by a jury, and each is available for your perusal here.

Upcycling 2.0

From creating shared commercial spaces and green incentives to zoning modifications and new transit systems, these proposals are brimming with ideas that could improve both urban sprawls and city centers alike. Though the winning design won't be made into reality, it's a place to start thinking about the potential of unused spaces. Browse the gallery of ideas and vote for your favorite!

Images from Build A Better Burb.

--- Viv

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Our Summer Beach Playlist

Beach.

Oh, the beach. Whether you're surfing, playing beach volleyball, or just lying in the sun, a fun playlist will make it that much better. Here are some fresh tracks we're bopping to on the sand:
Free MP3 download at NME.

Blaster by Dominique Young Unique.
Listen here via Pitchfork.


--- Viv | Music compiled by Caroline Kelso.

Brand Spankin' New Parks


The brand new Brooklyn Bridge Park at Pier 6 is not fully completed yet, but it's now open, located at the end of Atlantic Avenue. Looking out at lower Manhattan and the New York Harbor, the park features a 30' wide promenade, a "swing valley" with long rope swings, a "slide mountain", a water-play area, and a climbing structure. This playground wonderland makes us wish we were kids (slide mountain!). Not to mention the water taxi that goes between this park and Governor's Island, where more fun awaits.


Just north of Pier 6 is Pier 1, where Syfy will be putting on short films and classic and/or cult movies at sunset every Thursday until September 2nd. This week's feature film is Monsters vs. Aliens, but the rest are skewing more adult (The Big Lebowski, Brokeback Mountain, Rear Window). See the full schedule here, leave the kids at home, and watch the sun set on the Manhattan skyline with The Dude.


--- Viv

Friday, July 9, 2010

Bloom!


Cinders Gallery in Williamsburg will be opening up a new show this Saturday called Temple of Bloom. An installation with paintings, drawings, sculptures, murals, and collages, Temple of Bloom will explore places of worship, rituals, sacred objects, and shrines, and bring together a community of artists, performers, and musicians. This exhibit features art from Hisham Akira Bharoocha, the drum leader who brought the 40 drummers together for the Loomstate Earth Day event, and many others.


The opening is this Saturday from 7 to 10pm. This will be a fun one!

See details here.


--- Viv

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Oil Spill - 5 Simple Ways to Help

Tar balls sitting on the beach in Perdido Key, Fla. Taken on 7/2/10, via The Huffington Post.

There are many lists of ways to help with the Gulf Coast oil spill out there, but this is an issue we feel so strongly about that we wanted to create our own list by compiling information from multiple sources we trust. Though the images can leave a terrible taste in our mouths, they're a reminder (especially to those of us removed from the affected areas) that the aftermath of the spill is only worsening, and to motivate us to act now. 

1) Stay informed.
- Join NYT's Gulf Coast Oil Spill News Facebook Page and get news updates with their feed.
- Check out Surfrider Foundation and partners' Oil Spill Tracker and see what's happening where.
- Take a look at interactive mapping functions and informational diagrams at CNN and NYT.

Oily waves come ashore in Orange Beach, Ala.. Taken on 6/30/10, via The Huffington Post.

2) Voice your opinions.
- Oceana urges us to write our senators about offshore drilling.
- Send a message to your senators about passing energy legislation to prevent future oil spills through NRDC.
- Find your lawmakers at www.congress.org and write them yourself. Planet Green has great tips to keep in mind when writing your letter.

A dead turtle floats on a pool of oil in Barataria Bay off the coast of Louisiana. 
Taken 6/7/10, via The Huffington Post.

3) Make a donation.
NRDC's Gulf Coast Recovery Fund goes directly to help the people, wildlife, and areas affected by the spill.
- National Wildlife Rescue's Wildlife Emergency Fund allows them to track and report impacts of the spill, and support wildlife rescue and rehabilitation efforts.
- Matter of Trust is taking donations of hair and fur from salons to make oil-absorbing booms, and monetary donations. They're also looking for volunteers to help make the booms.
- National Audubon is working to help birds already affected by the oil, protect unharmed wildlife, and restore the Gulf Coast ecosystem in the long run.

4) Report affected areas and wildlife.
- Submit a report through the Oil Spill Tracker.
- Report to Deepwater Horizon Response - call (866) 448-5816 to report an oiled shoreline and (866) 557-1401 for oiled wildlife.


5) Spread the word! his is a long term problem, and it'll need ongoing attention and assistance. With all the social outlets available at our fingertips, it's easier than ever to connect with your family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and even acquaintances on this issue, and offer them ways to help.


We would love to hear from you other solutions and ways to make this unfortunate event better!


---vs

Women on Waves!


The California Surf Museum is now showing the Women On Waves exhibition. The show traces 300 years of female surfing history, from Hawaiian surfing Queens to recent women's pro tour champions. With a collection of womens surfwear, the show celebrates how women have contributed to this sport and how these changes reflect women's achievements in greater society.

Watch this funny video from the 1930's on surfing and stop by if you're in Oceanside!



See more information on The California Surf Museum here.


---Viv

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

This Weekend in NY Fun

El Guincho's album, Alegranza.

Wed, 7/7 Tonight!
Nortec Collective Presents: Bostich and Fussible, El Guincho and Anita Tijoux
7pm

Phosphorescent and Dawes

Thurs, 7/8
Phosphorescent and Dawes
Doors at 6pm

Fri, 7/9
Bear in Heaven, Zola Jesus, DJ Mike Wolf
Southstreet Seaport
6pm

Celebrate Brooklyn - Latin Music Series: Ozomatli, Fidel Nadal, Toy Selectah
Prospect Park Bandshell
8pm

Sat, 7/10
The Beach at Governors Island
8pm

World Cup Match for Third Place
2:30pm EST

The Roots

Sun, 7/11
Prospect Park Bandshell
4pm
World Cup Finals!
2:30pm EST


---vs

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Music From Six Continents!



Tired of your summer playlist already? Well, here are some new treats for your ears! Our friends at Fader Magazine have teamed up with Nike Sportswear to bring us a collection of sounds from six continents (excluding Antartica...) for their "Pitch Perfect" program (which we think is celebrating the World Cup since each mixtape graphic features a soccer ball with animals).

Listen to the first volume, the South America mix, and work your way to the sixth, Africa. You can also download them via iTunes for free. We promise they'll freshen up your playlist!


---vs

Solar Powered Bags!



The ELLE Portable Light Project charity auction started yesterday and is running through July 15th. Bid on nine one-of-a-kind bags by designers, including our own at Loomstate, exclusively for ELLE. Each one is a messenger or tote bag outfitted with a small flexible solar panel, an HBLED light, a rechargeable battery pack, and a USB port.

100% of the proceeds benefit the Portable Light Project, a non-profit initiative that provides solar textile kits to give power (literally) to the world's poorest people who don't have access to electricity.

Click here to bid now!

---vs

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Red, White, Blue & Green!

The Daily Green's Bulgur Bean Burgers.

Just because it's Fourth of July and you absolutely need to grill out doesn't mean that it can't be done with the least environmental impact possible. 

We can:
- Serve less meats. Buy local and grass-fed when possible.
- Buy local and organic produce. Grilled seasonal vegetables are delicious and won't weigh us down in hot weather.
- Only have reusable kitchenware. Mark glasses with color stirrers, straws, or even stickers on the bottoms, so guests can easily recognize theirs. This reduces the number of glasses used, which means less dishes to wash and less water usage!
- Have plenty of reusable towels on hand for cleaning messes.
- Serve organic beer and wine, and have a designated bin for bottles and cans.

The Daily Green has a few suggestions for more eco-friendly grills and some delicious  vegetarian  recipes, and Planet Green has a list of tips to make a greener barbecue. We at Loomstate recommend making your own non-alcoholic beverages so you know exactly what you're drinking.



Here's a new spin on the good ol' lemonade:

5 organic lemons squeezed for about a cup of lemon juice
1/2 cup of raw honey (more to taste)
5 cups of water
3-4 leaves of organic mint leaves

Heat about 1 cup of water in a small pan for 15 seconds so it's warm enough to melt the honey. Stir in honey until melted and mixed in. 

In a large bowl or pitcher, pour in the honey water mix with the lemon juice. Throw in the mint leaves and use the mixing spoon (a wooden one works well) and mash the leaves. Fill the rest with water and put in the fridge. Put in ice right before serving and enjoy!

Raw honey naturally has a herbal, minty character to it, and by adding mint leaves, this recipe will feel cooler than a regular lemonade, so you'll need less ice and refrigeration time. To add another twist to this, we sometimes throw in some raspberries and mash them up with the mint.


Happy Fourth of July!


---viv