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The Earth Awards Launches a Global Search for Sustainable Innovations

From May 3rd to May 10th, submissions are open for the 2010 Earth Awards—an opportunity for innovative designers to win between $10,000 and $50,000. Awards will be handed out at a ceremony in London on September 16th, 2010.

Submissions will be judged by an illustrious panel that includes Yves Behar, Richard Branson, David DeRothschild, Bill McKibben, and TreeHugger Founder Graham Hill.

Designs must fit into one of six categories—Built Environment, Fashion, Products, Systems, Future and Social Justice—and will be judged on achievability,

scalability, measurablility, usefulness, originality, ecological value.

For more information, visit theearthawards.org

The Earth Awards Launches a Global Search for Sustainable Innovations : TreeHugger.

Green web awards: upwards, onwards

I’ve been invited to be one of the judges on the Green Web Awards, alongside Caroline Lucas, Green Party MEP, Adam Vaughan of The Guardian, Ed Gillespie of Futerra. Bonnie Alter of Treehugger and others. The Green Web awards were launched last year by Nigel Berman of nigelsecostore.com, so it’s a chance to figure out how much has changed in those 12 months.

Please get nominating.

Last year the standout winner for me was Freecycle, which won the Favourite Online Community award. It’s easy to forget what a quiet revolution that has been working on so many levels – building community, recycling tonnes of goods and  saving landfill.

By adding a Best Greenwash category the Awards also ensure that they get great national publicity. Last year Mattel’s range of Eco-Friendly Barbies sashayed straight into the top spot.

But 2008 seems a long way away.  Blogs themselves have lost some of their shininess in the intervening months. This is partly because the ADD-style attention span of the web has already moved on to social media, but I’m not sure if blogs themselves have grown as successfully as they should. While independent sites like DeSmogBlog are still lynchpins, and sites like Treehugger remain central, those of the major campaigning NGOs like Greenpeaceand WWF are looking sadly corporate and staid, as if their copy is part of a greater PR machine, rather than exuding the passionate intelligence that so many people who work for them have.

To acknowledge the shifting emphasis there’s a new category Social Media Hero. It’ll be interesting to see how that plays out. I do follow people like @revkin@sustainblog and@adamvaughan_uk, but I’m not sure the environment movement yet has its own Stephen Fry. Take a look at Mashable’s list of 75 green tweets and see how many you would really want in your Twitter window every day.

On the plus side, sites like Naresh Ramchandani and Andy Hobsbawm’s Do The Green Thinghave a real elegant simplicity to them and have proved continued to prove that the web is a brilliant tool for behaviour change.

But as these projects integrate with the social web, I suspect we’re on the verge of harnessing something quite spectacular. RSA Projects like Design Behaviour and The Social Brain tell us again and again we behave better when we act together.

We perceive it’s hard for us to lower our energy use on our own, but when we start comparing our use with our friends and neighbour’s, we suddenly start finding new ways forward.PriceWaterhouseCooper’s Carbon Bigfoot app on Facebook is one great new tool which does exactly that. Pachube is another fantastic mash up of technologies to create a live online community energy use comparison site.

I’m sure you have your own favourites.

I’d be particularly interested in seeing nominations for sites that aim at reaching the “other half” who are the least engaged in environmental issues.

And of course should anybody want to nominate and vote for us…

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology

Eco-Artist Catherine Pears Puts a Green Twist on her Mardi Gras Float : TreeHugger

 

 

 

Artist Catherine Pears certainly sees the benefit of recycling, but to her, the most obvious way to be green is to reduce and reuse. She reuses everything and when she was commissioned to build a float for this years Mardi Gras, she carried those practices over into designing the float. See how she turned what some would consider trash into a stunning Mardi Gras float.

 

via Eco-Artist Catherine Pears Puts a Green Twist on her Mardi Gras Float : TreeHugger.

Chicago’s Columbia College Hosts Challenging Environmental Art Show : TreeHugger

 

 

 

Challenging visions of sustainability, or rather the lack of it, are currently on show at the A+D Gallery at Columbia College in Chicago. Part environmental art exhibition, part cutting edge design show, works include photos by Edward Burtynsky contrasting with melting wax lamps (pictured above) by young German designers. The multimedia approach taken by the show’s curators broadens the debate about consumption patterns and industrial production and pollution. Click over for more images…

 

via Chicago’s Columbia College Hosts Challenging Environmental Art Show : TreeHugger.

Environmental Working Group Study Shines Light on Best and Worst CFLs : TreeHugger

Want to make the switch to energy efficient, long-lasting Compact Fluorescent Lamps CFLs but dont know which brand is best for you and the environment? The Environmental Working Group has the answers youre looking for.

The EWG just released a study listing the top earth-friendly CFLs on the market. Lighten Up in 09 features the top brands and where to buy them, what to do when a bulb breaks CFLs contain mercury, and annual savings on energy and utility expenses. Seven bulbs with the lowest mercury content and the best longevity—lasting 8,000 to 15,000 hours the EnergyStar standard is 6,000 hours—got top honors in the study. The cream of the crop?

via Environmental Working Group Study Shines Light on Best and Worst CFLs : TreeHugger.

Nature and Art in San Diego

 

Human/Nature: Artists Respond to a Changing Planet is organized by the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD), in partnership with the international conservation organization Rare.

This picture is of Xu Bing, an artist i particularly like. But here is some more information from the exhibition website:

Human/Nature is a pioneering artist residency and collaborative exhibition project that, for the first time on this scale, uses contemporary art to investigate the relationships between fragile natural environments and the human communities that depend upon them. This collaborative multi-year exhibition project sent eight leading artists to eight UNESCO World Heritage sites around the globe to create new work informed and inspired by their experiences in these diverse cultural and natural regions. The exhibition features new commissioned, site-specific works by Mark Dion, Ann Hamilton, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, Marcos Ramírez ERRE, Rigo 23, Dario Robleto, Diana Thater, and Xu Bing created in response to their travels to these threatened sites.

MCASD David C. Copley Director Hugh M. Davies remarked, “This dynamic group of groundbreaking contemporary artists continually creates thoughtful works that push the boundaries of what art is. For Human/Nature, the artists are producing engaging works that prompt viewers to question their relationships to the world in which we live.”

The artists each traveled to a World Heritage site of their choice and completed two or more mini-residencies, creating works based on their experiences. Through a wide range of works that cross all media, Human/Nature encourages global support for the protection of cultural and biological diversity and provokes new questions regarding conservation, cultural understanding, and artistic inspiration.

“If we are going to effect change, it must be a concerted effort between people in the arts, in the sciences, and people working directly towards a better future for our planet. This is where Human/Nature positions itself as a model for change: artists working together with the communities and individuals most concerned with the fate of these World Heritage sites. These collaborations create hope for the future,” stated Jacquelynn Baas, director emeritus of BAM/PFA.

“Some of the world’s most remote developing areas contain the highest levels of natural resources—the forests, species, and waterways that provide global life support and whose loss will impact all of our futures,” said Brett Jenks, president and CEO of Rare. “One of our biggest challenges is bringing the natural and cultural riches of these faraway communities to life for audiences here in the U.S., so we are grateful to the artists in this exhibition and to the museums who are making this possible. I look forward to expanding the dialogue with new audiences on the future of our planet.”

Check out the article on Tree Hugger by clicking here.