Thursday, March 21, 2013

PIttsburgh Mayor Puts "Green" Money Where His Mouth Is

"Mayor Luke" of Pittsburgh, as he is called by both his friends and enemies, was the youngest mayor ever elected in the city's history, and one of the few nationwide in 2006 at age 26. He survived a special election, a re-election, a divorce, a series of alleged girlfriends and enough controversy to last a life time. Is it any wonder after snatching his hat out of the mayoral race in March of 2013 that he's now grazing in the calm of "greener" pastures?  No, you can't kick a man when he's up. 

Seen Green salutes Mayor Ravenstahl's "Edible Gardens" Program and his plans to "plant 10-15 edible gardens in targeted 'food deserts' throughout the City that can harvest 2,000 pounds of fresh produce for 200 families in low income neighborhoods."

It all part of the Mayor's Serve Pittsburgh Program in conjunction with the Department of Public Works fueled by a $100,00 grant from the Bloomberg Philanthropies. Here's to hoping it all works. To learn more or apply, click here.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

2013 Global Warming Rate Equal To 11,300 Years Ago

Researchers are warning us again, but are we not listening again? According to recent CNN reports, the last time temperatures rose at this rate was11,300 years back. Apparently 1901-1909 were the coldest decades, and we've been on the rise ever since. This ironically neatly coincides with the invention of the "motorwagon"  by Karl Benz. in 1885, who sold 25 cars in 5 years, mostly in France. Add to that Henry Ford's efforts in 1908 with the creation of an affordable modern car that sold 10,000 it's first year and you begin to see an obvious pattern. Steel-making and industry surely didn't help. One century later, we're being told 2000-2009 were some of the hottest years, and it appears were in crisis inventing catch-up technology to manage a monster of our own creation.

Said CNN, "A century is a very short period of time for such a spike. If not for man-made influences, the Earth would be in a very cold phase right now and getting even colder, according the joint study by Oregon State University and Harvard University. Climatologist Shaun Marcott was the lead author of the report on its results." His main concerns center around our ability to adapt globally and our inability to accept needed change.

While Marcott didn't want to comment on what the would might look like in the next century, CNN reports his hopes that we can "pull out of it." 
Tokyo born artist, Naoko Ito's work speaks to the salvage heart. Here, she "preserves" nature in mason jars. Ito currently lives and works in New York. This piece is from her Urban Nature series which she has been expanding since its inception in 2008. Her credits include exhibitions in New York and the far east: The Shirey,  Soho20 Chelsea Gallery, Perry Rubenstein Gallery, The affordable Art Fair, and the Yasashii Yokan Gallery in Tokyo, Japan.

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Future of Coca Cola Is Green

From the days of "Things go better with Coke," to today's "Live Positively," the Coca Cola marketing train has never run out of ideas. Enter Kent Muhtar, son of a Turkish diplomat, and you have yet another spokesman in the soft drink's iconic PR wheel. Muhtar is the current Chief Officer of Coca Cola, but he titles himself, "Chief Sustainability Officer." 

Even while the company battles accusations from detractors, who think their product has entirely too much sugar and contributes to childhood obesity, Muhtar and his team have diplomatically moved past these complaints by offering people something they can hang their eco hats on: A broad ranging sustainability program that's integrated throughout the company's entire business plan.
Said Muhtar in a Forbes interview: "The [original plan] didn't have the right metrics around it. Sustainability was just a warm and fuzzy word in our corporate social responsibility report, and part of compliance. We also didn't have proper alignment with our bottling partners." 

Now Cola Cola is making constructive changes that have even their harshest critics blinking in disbelief. Some of their bolder plans involve returning as much water to the earth as they take out or becoming "water neutral"; reducing their carbon footprint by 5%, and the introduction of a "plantbottle" which is 30% plant material and 100% recyclable. Ideally, this should make the global manufacturing of their over 3,000 products a bit more palatable to John Q. Public.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Pittsburgh's Tech, Art, Eco Fest Returns for 2013

"Never perfect...Just Beautiful" is the caption for GA/GI Fest. Each year, a mixture of the quirkiest, emerging and off-beat art, eco and tech ideas get a chance to be seen and heard during April's edition of First Fridays on Penn Avenue, an art crawl known as "Unblurred." This year it's on April 5th and 6th so mark those calendars! For more info from the blog, click here.