Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Solar Bombshell Bikini 2011

July, 19th 2011. Hi guys, sorry i have been a bit away from the Blog but recently the wedding and other plans have taken advantage of my time and energies. Seriously, you would not believe the amount of bureaucracy needed for a wedding between two people from different countries!
So, Summer time!!! Even if here in Ireland we can't yet appreciate a season with that name yet, here are some eco advices, above all if you are somewhere with sun and...no battery charger for your ipods!

American designer Andrew Schneider has used conductive thread to sew photo-voltaic panels together in a Solar Bikini that allows you to charge your favorite gadgets while getting a nice tan.
30-year-old Schneider says ‘I use 40 individual paper-thin flexible, photo-voltaic panels for each bikini. I sew them together over a normal bikini using soft-conductive thread,’ adding that it takes him around 80 hours to painstakingly sew the panels. Every swimsuit is made to measure and costs as much as a conventional designer bikini, $200.
The Solar Bikini allows its wearer to connect any modern gadget via the USB ports sewn into the fabric, meaning you’ll never run out of juice at  the beach, ever again. ‘Anything that you can power or charge through a USB connection you can power and charge using the solar bikini, assuming of course you’re out and about under the sun.’ This ingenious yet fashionable garment doesn’t take away the pleasure of going into the water, all wearers have to do is unplug their gadgets before going in and making sure the USB ports are dry before reconnecting them.

Nice idea uh? A bit ridiculous in my opinion but hey, we're getting there and thumbs up for the creativity!

Some more news for the ones interested...I have collaborated for this Season's special Abroad 2011 issue of Standard Magazine, a fantastic american magazine on design, sustainability, quirky and interesting stuff and fantastic trips! Have a look! 

Hope I will now get back to the Blog more often, promise! -40 days to the Big Day!!!


Find the original article here.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Fake Plastic Trees? Maybe, but at least they're full of solar leaves!

April 6th, 2011. Nature always provides inspiration in many ways to man and the manner in which a leaf uses the sun for photosynthesis has been mimicked by Dr. Daniel Nocera of MIT. Many people have tried to do this and there are other research projects which are ongoing, but this one has succeeded. This artificial solar leaf can actually provide enough low cost energy to power a home for one day.
Earlier projects used very expensive and rare metals so were not viable for commercial use. This new solar leaf, which is actually like a small playing card, made of silicon and electronics, uses nickel and cobalt catalysts to hydrogen and oxygen ten times more than a natural leaf.
It is simple to use and merely has to be put in a gallon of water in the sunlight. The resulting energy is stored in a fuel cell which can be near the house or on top of it. The prototype was able to work continuously for 45 hours.
The ramifications for this are enormous. Electricity is in short supply all over the world and there are many places which don’t have electricity at all. Whether it is villages in rural areas in Africa or Asia or other off grid places, or even on the battlefield, or during natural disasters, this solar leaf can provide energy without power lines all over the place. For the environmentally friendly, this is another boost to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and reduce power costs.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


April, 5th 2011. I am sorry for the little delay in posts recently but I have been working 24/7 on a project for a design competition! Wish me good luck! I will go back to florence for few days for some wedding preparations and I am already tasting the drinks with my old friends and the toasts with the family! So, just to get in the mood, here is a news that is quite interesting, above all for those countries around the Mediterranean Sea where you can go out of a bar with your drink, but rigorously in a plastic cup. 
Plastic and Styrofoam are not environmentally friendly and paper cups and glasses are usually too flimsy. 
To fill in the gap, Biopac came up with its biodegradable range of tumblers with different capacities.
These are made of polylactic acid which comes from cornstarch. The best part is that they are fully compostable, so you don’t have to worry about polluting the environment or toxic landfills.
Available in small and big sizes, the smaller ones can be used for cold drinks and other beverages and the larger ones can be used for beer. In UK they are the first to carry the CE mark. They meet the high European standards for environmentally friendly products. If you want them branded, and you are buying them in bulk, the company will do it for you.
So, if every pub/bar would use these material, there would be so much less plastic around the street and in our landfills.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pepsi goes ecofriendly?

March, 23rd 2011. If you think of the number of beverage bottles which people buy and then throw (or sometimes give for recycling) the quantities are huge. PET is not at all eco-friendly because it is a form of plastic and polyester. Though it can be recycled it is still not biodegradable. For the first time a biodegradable PET bottle is now available thanks to PepsiCo.
This bottle is made from natural and renewable sources like switch grass, pine bark and corn husks. In the future, it may be sourced from potato and orange peels, oat hulls and other agricultural waste products. It not only looks and feels like PET, but its molecular structure is also similar.
“PepsiCo is in a unique position, as one of the world’s largest food and beverage businesses, to ultimately source agricultural byproducts from our foods business to manufacture a more environmentally-preferable bottle for our beverages business,” said PepsiCo Chairman and CEO, Indra Nooyi.
As PET bottles account for 30 percent of the total PET production goes into the manufacture of bottles, this new development could have a significant environmental impact. Earlier PepsiCo was responsible for packaging its Frito-Lay snacks in fully compostable bags. These bottles should be in the market sometime next year. Meanwhile Pepsi’s rival, Coca Cola has also announced that is testing plant based PET bottles.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The GREEN Wall of China.

March, 21st 2011 - Happy Spring!!

BEIJING - The Great Wall is no longer enough. Today, only a forest can save the capital of China. But not just a regular forest: against the desert you need the widest forest in Asia. It is an unprecedented mission, at the limits of possibilities between nature and man. In any other country in the world governments would have moved the capital.
As it happened in Kazakhstan. Billions in savings and less uncertainty (Because of the desert getting too close, the Government transferred its capital from Almaty to Astana in December 1997)
But China is a different world today and constantly needs historical challenges and then Beijing is Beijing. It is an ancient and eternal city, the symbol of the country, driven by 23 million people.Because of this no Chinese was surprised yesterday by reading on the "People's Daily" that the Government has launched an action destined to make history in the world: the mission is to plant 300 million trees in the region of Hebei, north and west of the capital along the border with Inner Mongolia, to stop the advance of sand from the Gobi Desert. 

The titanic action was named "Green Great Wall" and aims to grow a new forest of 250.000 square kilometers. The dunes as high as two hundred meters, are advancing 20 meters per year, a rate three times the average of the previous century. Since 1990, sand, cement and drought have destroyed 135,000 Kmsq of forests. The tree-bomb, therefore, does not aim only to protect the Forbidden City by the storms of the desert: it will be detonated even against climate change and air poisoning. 

It's good news for everyone knowing that Beijing chose nature to rebuild a shattered equilibrium, in the name of economic growth at any cost. It remains to prove that the State Forest will resist though. Scientists are cautious. The 3.000 members of Chinese Parliament appear rather optimistic. To the point of approving with a natural applause the announcement of the premier Wen Jiabao: € 7 billion to re-forest the northern front of the nation. 

Birch and Aspen, along with Beech and Fir, are just the beginning of the last battle of Beijing. 

To ensure the initial watering of plants in the coming years, 24 rivers will also be diverted rivers, from the Yellow River. 

The facts, moreover, left no alternative. 

Even in China, the climate over the past decade, has deviated from the cyclicality of the past. 

The interior and northern counties, including the Tibetan highlands and Manchuria, are afflicted by catastrophic droughts. Annual precipitation since 2001, fell by 37%. In the Beijing area the windy days increased from an average of 136 to 178 a year. The capital, in 2010, was affected by 56 sandstorms. Costs and economic losses are incalculable. A study by the Academy of Sciences has revealed that 5 million people of the municipality are at direct risk within the next five years. Sand, fine particles and coal emissions used for industrial heating mix a deadly cocktail. The agricultural belt surrounding Beijing in the last five years reduced by 12% and 400 million eco-refugees live in the nation. They are the farmers that left the land made dry by sand and poisons, dangerously crowded now in metropolis. 

Zheng Guoguang, head of the meteorological state office said "Half a century of madness has produced irreversible changes. Deforestation and desertification of cultivated areas are the most dangerous immediate effect. Where trees stop growing, the water stops running. Beijing is threatened by the desert, but first it is likely to die of thirst. " The population of the capital is mobilized. The Peking mayor urged every resident to buy and plant a tree along the route of the Great Wall, which runs a few kilometers from the outskirts. 

Everyone can grow their favorite plant, fruit trees included: the first part of this new forest will be called "Forest of the Millennium." The communist authorities hope that the moisture generated from the forest, pushing the sand to the Mongolian and Russian deserts, will induce the formation of clouds and rain. The 90% of the ancient imperial springs is close to extinction, the Ming lakes are reduced to quartz beaches and Peking Citizens fear of quickly moving and concentrate on the coast east of Tianjin. Unless an artificial forest in the cradle of deforestation in Asia, comes back and saves the new capital of the planet.

Read the Article in Italian.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St.Patrick's Day (Paddy's Day) 2011

March 17th 2011. Here we are, even this year we can start the Irish celebrations for Paddy's Day!!
It's 11am so we are all starting to get ready to go into town for the parade and into pubs straight after!

Here are the events in town (Dublin): St. Patrick 2011.

Let's see how this year we can make Paddy's Day a bit greener!

1-Get into town with the Bus, DART, LUAS or Train. It's the best way, green, eco-friendly, you can drink as much as you want. I personally prefer the train today because the traffic will be crazy to get into town!
If you really want to drive, go Carsharing, but remember, one of you have to be sober!
Taxis are still good, but hey, wanna compare €15 to €1.80 for a ride home?

2- Drink Organic Beer! There are few pubs in town that serve it.

3-Eat Green! This Restaurant in town is famous for its Organic and Free Range Menu. The Farm Restaurant.

Then in the end, remember to keep it as green as possible! Wear green but also act green!! Use as less plastic as possible (thank God pints come in glass) and ENJOY YOUR DAY!

HAPPY PADDY'S DAY 2011!!! woo hoo!!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Global Service Jam Dublin 2011

March, 14th 2011. We did it!! The 48 hours Worldwide Service Design Challenge has been a fantastic success!!!
Just to sum up for the one that didn't read one of the last posts (terrible!): from Friday March 11th 2011, Dublin was one of the over 40 cities around the world that participated to the Global Service Jam 2011.

People interested in design, service and customer experience met all over the globe in a spirit of experimentation, co-operation and friendly competition to develop brand new services inspired by a shared theme, (SUPER) HEROES in just 48 hours. The event was linked all over the world by real time video streaming, tweets and facebook. 

In Dublin we were divided in two teams and each team developed a project following the theme. My team, Souper-KIT, has created a new service called "communiKIT". 

Focusing on the research of "who is your local superhero" and with a lot of brainstorming, interviews and LOADS of post-it, we have come out with this idea to connect people in apartment blocks and possibly local communities.

In fact nowadays with technology we have thousands of friends all over the world with Facebook etc. but we might not know our neighbors that could come and help us in the moment of need.

The experience has been fantastic and made us learn new research and service design tools. A big Thank you to all the supervisors, Re, Conor, Lynsey and all the others!!!

Here our project: communiKIT