We were excited to discover this amazing new initiative called “The New Plastics Economy”. The initiative is led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with a broad group of leading companies, cities, philanthropists, policymakers, academics, students, NGOs, and citizens. We believe design will save the world from our current plastic problems and this exciting initiative is an extremely ambitious, three-year initiative to build momentum towards a plastics system that works. Applying the principles of the circular economy, it brings together key stakeholders to rethink and redesign the future of plastics, starting with packaging. They have recently launched this competition to find solutions so go get inspired go get involved!
I would say the ‘Beasley designs of the year’, held at the Design Museum, London, is one of the most important shows of the year. Timeout London says: ‘We never miss this show’ and well, neither do I. It’s a wonderful snapshot of the state of the world and the amazing solutions humans are capable of.
Now in its ninth year, Beazley Designs of the Year celebrates design that promotes or delivers change, enables access, extends design practice or captures the spirit of the year. It encompasses multiple disciplines from architecture, product design, graphic design, engineering, fashion and transport design.
I thought it would be a good idea to explore, in more detail, the stories behind some of our favourite designs, with a focus on the eco and environmental design solutions which excited us. There were quite a few that we believe will, or could have a fundamentally positive effect on our planet and therefore need promoting as much as possible. So over the next few months, we will go into a bit more depth into each of them so please stay tuned and sign up to the blog, so you make sure you don’t miss out.
This design is so exciting as they have created technology that can create clean energy, simply by moved about. This design truly has the power to transform the world.
The Witt is a device that creates electricity from motion, providing an alternative, sustainable and unlimited power supply. Proudly developed right here in the West country it has recently been patented with tests carried out at Southhampton University. This wonderful product works in extreme conditions; is corrosion resistant and magically converts all movement into harvestable energy.
Under the hood there is a 3D pendulum that drives a transmission system, converting any motion, however chaotic, slow, fast or erratic into a unidirectional rotation of a flywheel to produce electricity. No other energy harvesting system can capture this full spectrum.
The possibilities are endless as WITT could be used to power boats, buoys and anything floating on the sea where power is required from powering data-buoys, meteorological data gathering and subsea monitoring (RNLI and global survival company, Survitec, have already agreed to deploy the WITTs at sea). It can also provide power for personal use in a rucksack powering laptops and mobile phones for hikers and business people on the go. In the long term, it could also be used on a much larger scale to generate grid level wave power with the first 10-15W WITT units ready in 2017.
For us here at Ecotribo, this design wins hands down because it’s enabling an accelerated transition towards sustainable energy models. We see this device as having as big an effect of sustainable energy creation as the solar panel and wind turbines. Go check out their site at WITT-energy.com share the great news with friends as this is a major milestone for our sustainable future.
Designing with carefully selected up-cycled or recycled materials is at the forefront of my design ethos. The Ecotribo ‘Fire Cluster’ pendant lamps demonstrate the individual grain qualities of Oakwood and the unique qualities created by the ancient burnt wood technique of Shou-sugi-ban (Yakisugi 焼き杉) .
I’ve always been inspired by artists who dance on the cusp of creation and destruction. That wonderful place between life and death; ying and yang, it’s an edgy space I love to play in. The craft of making something beautiful & classic out of the world’s finest materials and then leaving mother nature to make her mark. Out of destruction a new beginning. I started burning my artworks many years ago because I loved this edgy aspect but have recently discovered it’s an ancient technique called Shou-sugi-ban Yakisugi 焼き杉. a Japanese technique that preserves wood by charring it with fire. The process involves charring the wood, cooling it, cleaning it, and finishing it with a natural oil. I love the wonderful unique colours and shapes that are created, reminiscent of the first lamps used somewhere in an ancient cave. Its final shape reminds me of some ancient tribal cave yet works beautifully in a modern home.
Production of acorns starts at the age of 20 to 50 years. Oaks produce more than 2000 acorns every year, but only one in 10 000 acorns will manage to develop into an oak tree. So it’s important we upcycle the wood if we can and make something beautiful to be enjoyed for years to come.
These lamps are hand crafted out of upcycled Oak beams on a wood lathe in Bristol, United Kingdom. Then finished, using a flame torch. Acclaimed for its exceedingly strong and durable qualities, Oak is a traditional hardwood generally associated with geometric forms. The ‘Fire Cluster’ lamp challenges this perception by demonstrating a unique combination of modern day technology, combined with this ancient technique, providing something completely unique and organic. The final pieces have then been oiled, polished, and then fitted with vintage brass fittings and dimmable LEDs. We don’t use plastic fittings, only the finest brass we can find, so it will last for generations.
For more information about the Ecotribo ‘Fire Cluster’ pendant lamps range and for any bespoke inquiries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Turning greenhouse gas into gasoline
MIT are working on a new catalyst which provides design principles for producing fuels from carbon dioxide emissions.
Read more about these exciting developments at: http://news.mit.edu/2016/greenhouse-gas-into-gasoline-1115
Love bees, nature and healthy living? My partner and I have started to move away from Olive Oils using the local British rapeseed oil for a variety of reasons. Here are 9 good reasons to use Rapeseed Oil over any other oil and where to get the best Rapeseed Oil in Britain helping our bees at the same time!
To be clear we are talking Cold-pressed rapeseed oil, sometimes labelled premium, virgin or extra-virgin which has many health benefits over other traditionally used oils.
1. The oil is celebrated for its health benefits as it has less unhealthy saturated fat than ALL other cooking oils and fats.
2. It is also high in mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats omega 3, 6 and 9.
That’s good for brains and may help you fight against cardiovascular disease.
3. It’s a rich source of vitamin E.
4. Cooking benefits – rapeseed oil can be used at high temperatures so no burning & smoking!
5. It’s great used cold as well, for salad dressings, sauces and marinades.
6. Great flavour that lets the others shine through! Rapeseed Oil has a very light and delicate flavour so you get the best from the flavours of other ingredients in your dishes
7. Baking – rapeseed oil is a great substitute for butter (we haven’t tried this yet but heard its can!
8. Great to cook with, on salads etc.
9. Its made in Britain so it’s supporting local sustainable businesses
10. Ok maxed out and can’t find another reason but here are some fantastic farmers who are supporting bee-friendly practices by not using neonicotinoid seed treatments on their land. Please try to support them as they try to keep a natural balance in farm ecosystems: visit http://www.rapeseedoilguide.com/
We celebrate beautiful design here at Ecotribo. Check out this elegant, functional table made with high quality components and materials. View the video and help support the kickstarter campaign here
Ecotribo are passionate about finding simple solutions to environmental problems. We believe that governments won’t save our planet but people like you and me implementing simple, well-designed, eco-friendly ideas into their lives. This is what we do, we conceive and implement ideas that make a positive difference to our environment. We are developing an exciting new product in the health and beauty sector that aims to massively reduce plastics in our environment. It could be huge and we want to get it right, so please be patient. In the meantime, we’ve been getting involved in another smaller, but beautifully simple and effective eco initiative – making bee highways and natural habitats in our neighbourhood.
Since the late 1990’s, beekeepers around the world have noticed the Bees decline. This has been caused by bee-killing pesticides used in industrial agriculture, parasites/pathogens, climate change and continuing urbanisation. To protect our bees and agriculture we all know we need to move away from destructive industrial agriculture towards ecological farming. You can help by talking to your MP and get your local council to stop using bee-harming pesticides in local parks, promote eco-farming and help create natural habitats for them in urban areas. That’s where we got involved!
The problem needs a multifaceted approach for sure. At Ecotribo we believe in finding solutions that everyone can do. Simple ideas that can have big solutions, so we got off our asses and decided to get involved…
Working with the local community and organisations such as TRESA here in Totterdown we have started building a Bee highway which we hope will continue to grow across the city of Bristol and the United Kingdom. Solutions don’t need to be complicated so anyone can get involved! By building these pallet planters and placing them across the city we are increasing the bees natural habitat and ensuring their survival.
We simply upcycled wooden pallets we found around the local hood and which were also kindly donated by our local woodyard people at Selco. You can find various instructables to help give you all the details and instructions to make your own planters and help us grow the bee highway not only here in Bristol but around the world. So if you love nature, bees and a bit of green, get involved and make your own! We would love to see your planters so please send us a link in the comments section or tweet us at http://twitter.com/ecotribolife