Social, Economic, Enviromental Responsibility

Category: Design


Saw this on a design blog, Bless This Stuff and it’s an interesting idea.

It’s called the Mod Box, basically it’s an eco-friendly micro apartment. Small footprint, low energy consumption.

We seem to keep building larger and larger homes, but we’re in them less and less. While that is a serious problem in its own right, one way to simplify is something like the Mod Box. Especially if you’re rarely home, except to sleep and eat.

It looks similar to the homes built from freight carriers, which is another awesome idea (i think).


New Energy, Old Problems

If  you were to draw a rough line around the Saharan and Sub-Saharan region of Africa; you would have circled the renewable energy equivalent to the Middle East.

The sun that shines and the wind that blows across the dunes of the Saharan desert could power a large chunk of the world. On its own.

Or to put it into perspective:

That’s all that’s needed regarding solar panels.

Here’s where it gets a bit rough.

The record for the First World in Africa is spotty at best. That’s a lie: it’s down right atrocious.  For example, many of the ecological issues in Western Africa were a result of the intensive farming methods of the French Colonists. Think Sierra Leon and C’ote De Ivory.

We have the third world once again sitting on tremendous potential wealth and resources. I have a sneaking suspicion that our clean energy generated there will be tainted.

Bloomberg BusinessWeek had an article from the 16th of September that highlights this fact. Note that no quotes or thoughts from  African countries/leaders/anyone is mentioned. It’s as though those countries don’t really matter, and are merely in the way of everything.

My pride also wants to note that I was spouting of this idea over a year ago. FIRST!


To put it simply:

Save Gas

Save Money

Save The Environment

Ride A Motorcycle.

Added Bonus: You Look So COOL!!!

Seriously though, KZ440s and older CBs are fairly inexpensive, reliable and economic when it comes to fuel use.

Get On It

An Israeli scientist has just figured out how to make a battery that lasts for thousands hours and then reverts to non-toxic sand. Genius.

We’ve got technological breakthroughs in abundance. Now comes the hard part; transitioning from research to real life.

If we don’t demand that these new technologies be implemented, then it’s all for naught. What’s the point of having the technology we need to clean up and survive; if we’re never going to use it?

Engineering Marvels

To get a car to go 155mph it only takes “a pithily 270 horsepower.” To break the 250mph mark it takes an additional 730 horsepower.

Why on earth would I talk about horsepower and speed records on an environmental blog? Aren’t the two completely against each other? Sort of…

We’ve become obsessed with speed, and have broken engineering benchmark after engineering benchmark in our pursuit of speed. The Concorde, the F-22, land speed record vehicles, The Veyron, and others are modern miracles. Akin to the Pyramids of Machu Pichu, the Great Wall of China, and others.

We’ve broken the sound barrier in the air and on the land so often, it’s old hat.

Yet we start talking about averaging 30mpg in the city, and automakers begin to hem and haw and balk at the challenge…


We can build a car that can average 700+ mph on two runs over the Bonneville Salt Flats, but we can’t manage to squeeze a measly 30mpg city driving? 100mpg on the freeway is apparently so impossible that not even MIT students can manage it… Yet you talk about squeezing 1,000HP from a V-6 engine and it’s basically a bolt-on kit.

Where Have You Been?

Through a combination of fatigue, allergies, exhaustion, busy schedule, tiredness, and a job search: I’ve neglected the blog.

However, I’ve not neglected the idea of Conservance and I’ve come to a realization: there are others who are better at making t shirts than I am; so we’re going to forgo the actual production of t shirts, but keep designing.

Now, that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to produce anything.

Two big trash issues face America. Paper and plastic bags.

Here’s my thought, when several plastic bags are pressed and heated we end up getting a material similar to vinyl. What if that could be molded into something like this:

A kayak! Seriously!

Second idea: Press molding automotive and motorcycle body panels out of paper pulp and resin.

Make Something!

Instead of buying something, why not try and make it yourself.

Work Table, from Lowe's

Start small, maybe a few hanging shelves. Lowe’s releases a magazine every few months that has nothing but great ideas for home projects.

If you want to get really crazy: take the plans to a local hardware store instead of Lowes and purchase what you need there.

Then go home and start building.

Why do this? To remember that you have an impact in the world around you. You can make something beautiful and meaningful and lasting: if you choose to.

The next step is to understand that everything you do has an impact in the world around you.

Does Anyone Remember the EV1?

GM to Sell Chevy Volt for $41,000; Lease Terms Close to Leaf’s – BusinessWeek.

Chevy is rolling out another electric car. Except this time, it’s a plug-in hybrid. A supposed “jack of all trades” deal that combines the best of an electric car with the best of a gasoline engine.

Forgive me if I’m a bit skeptical. But allow me to explain.

To begin with, the car is being leased. GM’s failed electric car the EV1 was also leased. For some unknown reason, GM pulled all the leases of the EV1s in one fell swoop. What is to prevent this same thing from occurring?

Secondly, when automakers have tried to combine uses, they’ve failed miserably. The boat mobile, El Camino, and Lamborghini’s SUV come to mind.

Could a boat mobile go in the water? sure. Could an El Camino haul a load of lumber? Of course. Could the Lambo SUV go off road? Why not?

Except none of them could do it very well, and to make it worse, they were horrible cars to drive. There’s no room in an El Camino for passengers, boat mobiles are slow on the road, and a Lamborghini SUV? Come on.

Lastly, the former head of GM himself when asked about the EV1 said that the American Consumer isn’t going to pay more for a product that does less.

Yet how much is the Volt retailing for?

That’s right, about $15,000 more than the 2011 Camaro.

Stanford Researchers Developing Rocket-Powered Sewage Treatment System | Popular Science

Stanford Researchers Developing Rocket-Powered Sewage Treatment System | Popular Science.

A hot jet of gas would be an incredible source of energy, and easy to exploit.

Let’s see if this one stays only as a research experiment

Energy retrofits could save $41 billion a year | Green Tech – CNET News

Energy retrofits could save $41 billion a year | Green Tech – CNET News.

Ok. Here’s the skinny:

We need to create jobs. Specifically the higher tech jobs and our manufacturing and construction jobs as well. Environmentally friendly and sustainability technologies need highly skilled workers, blue and white collar.

So, we embark on a grand, government mandated retrofit. This creates jobs. Jobs fuel the economy. Pulling us out of a recession.

Secondly, we save $$$.

So we create jobs, drive the economy, make money, save money, and the planet is a better place.

And we aren’t doing this why?

%d bloggers like this: