For the good

Celebratory Growth

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Continuing along the lines of last week’s post around spreading the garden bug, we came across these great seeds-as-confetti. In a sustainable cardboard package, adorable flower-shaped eco-confetti contains wildflower seeds. Just throw the colorful flowers in a plot that needs a little greening, and wildflowers will soon take root and grow.

Tiny Style

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A group of 10 dollhouses are now decorated better than most homes, thanks to some of LA’s best interior designers who donated their vision and design to raise money for the UCLA Mattel Children’s Discovery and Innovation Institute. The houses were auctioned off at the first annual Kaleidoscope Ball in LA, raising 1.8 million for the charity. Fashion designer Monique Lhuillier created a mini replica of her New York flagship boutique, complete with tiny racks with dresses, custom mirrors and tables and Waterford crystal chandeliers. Chris Barrett designed a contemporary beach house, including Bespoke furniture and a Noguchi coffee table.

Light of Parts

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Continuing inspiration from our “Re-” theme last week, is this lighting collaboration between Gothenburg studio Design Stories and recycling workshop Returhuset. All of the materials are sourced waste from factories around Gothenburg – the textile fabric was originally a sun shade, the cords came from a Belt Factory, and the wooden components came from a carpenter’s woodshop. The table lamp version also includes a stand made from bicycle spokes. A wonderful result of re-use.

Spreading Seeds

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Helping prove that gardens can thrive anywhere, a new company consisting of one motivated seed saver is here to assist city dweller’s gardens. Zach Pickens started saving seeds from the most successful plants he grew on his rooftop in Brooklyn, eventually honing a rough and tough group of seeds ready to weather NYC balconies and small space gardens. Pickens packages up the seeds in lovely silk-screen packets, with sturdy basil, beans, peppers, and marigolds ready to plant. For more thriving and unexpected gardens, check out GOOD’s list of Best Guerilla Gardens.

Bookshelf: What We’re (Re-)Reading

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Illustrator Kate Bingaman-Burt went through a time when she sketched out every single purchase she made, in an attempt to be more conscious of her spending and possibilities for re-use. Now we can all do the same with her guide, What Did I Buy Today?. We can also revisit the passionate relationship between painters Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, via Kahlo’s love letters to him in The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait.  Or, go exploring with The New Safari, a gorgeous glimpse into the African tradition of safari, and how it lives on through landscape, architecture, and interiors.

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Getting to Net Zero

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Often when a museum adds an addition or undergoes renovations, the result can end up as a larger, less energy efficient conglomerate than before. But with its new building, San Francisco’s Exploratorium is going even greener, making it the country’s largest net-zero museum. In its move to Piers 15 and 17 along the Embarcadero, the building itself will serve as an interactive exhibit, showing off its Bay water heating and cooling system, rainwater collection, and 1.3 megawatt solar system. In the spirit of the museum’s mission to create exploratory, interactive experiences, its redesign educates visitors on green, efficient design.

Trash to Treasure

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We love seeing ingenuity to re-route potential trash from landfills to fabulous projects. Using everyday drinking straws, Italian artist Francesca Pasquali creates beautiful wall-installation landscapes (shown above). And students at Newcastle University in England recently built a pop-up cafe, with walls and chairs made up of recycled cardboard and plastic bottles. In Amsterdam, architects used the unlikely and ubiquitous shipping tool – the pallet – to create a chic office space for a Dutch branding agency, complete with desks, dividing walls, risers and stairs, bringing character and interest to the white space.

Turning Soda into Water

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An incredible new filtered bottle can turn soda into drinkable, clean, fresh water. The Oko bottle uses NASA-derived filtration technology, with 3 levels of filters removing chlorine, odors, and harmful bacteria simply by squeezing the liquid through the cap. Electro-absorption traps bacteria, while silver ions then kill it on contact. Oko provides a chart of water cleanliness ratings for several countries, showing how useful the Oko could be for people without access to clean drinking water.

Old Jeans, New Rug

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Rugs take a beating, and more than other fabrics in the home, they can have imperfections that go unnoticed. So they make the perfect candidate for recycled textiles. Surprising fabrics make for beautiful rugs – like Nudie Jeans’ lovely blue-hued rugs made of old denim. Jeans are cleaned, shredded and hand-woven into the new creations in Turkey. And two Swedish designers started a project, “Re Rag Rug,” in which each month, they sew a new rug from a variety of discarded fabric materials – whether t-shirts, sweaters, towels, or blankets.

Theme Week: Re-_____ (Use,Tool, Purpose…)

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This week, in honor of the season of spring-cleaning and rejuvenation, we will be focusing the blog all around the refreshing ideas of re-evaluating, re-purposing, and re-using the things in our lives. The Re-_____ world is one of ingenuity and innovation, environmental-consciousness, and reviving old into new via previously unseen insights. It will echo Robert M. Pirsig’s idea that, often, “The pencil is mightier than the pen.” by illustrating examples of flexibility, revival  and ways in which new tools are being used to approach old ideas. Its inspiring and refreshing to see what we can do with what we already have.

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An engaging evening with @FastCompany Impact Council dinner. Thank you @stephaniemehta for sharing the wisdom of re… https://t.co/IduwoNzMya

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