Cleaning up the garbage patch

It looks like the young inventor Boyan Slat has improved his incredible design to efficiently extract plastic from the Pacific gyre. The project goes into action next year. And if all goes as planned, the enormous pile of plastic floating in the Pacific Ocean will be reduced by 50% in 5 years.

Considering the Great Pacific Garbage Patch covers such a huge area, that is simply amazing.

Pollution-free solution to our energy needs?

I’ve often wondered what’s been happening with the idea of harnessing the powerful, predictable movement of the oceans’ tides to create electricity.

It seems obvious, but then you’d have to look at how to actually do it, and how to keep it all maintained and functioning. Machinery below the waterline is subject to everything from electrolysis to corrosion to barnacles. Just keeping a boat hull working decently requires a lot of maintenance. What about a giant generator?

Well it looks like somebody’s figuring it out. And to maintain this thing, you bring it up the surface, clean it off, and then lower it back down. At least that’s what seems to be happening in this video.

Sure hope this works! It could be part of the solution to global warming.

(Thanks, Eric!)

Beyond Cradle to Cradle: The Upcycle and the Future of Sustainable Design

When I get busy, sometimes the blog suffers. Luckily, our client Be Green Packaging has put up a great, informative post about William McDonough and Michael Braungart’s new book “The Upcycle”.

They contend that companies can and should go beyond Zero Emissions and actually develop processes that improve the environment. And they present examples of some who are doing just that!

Read more here:

Going Beyond Cradle to Cradle: The Upcycle and the Future of Sustainable Design.

Artificial intelligence on your wall

Nest Intelligent ThermostatHave you seen the new Nest Learning Thermostat? Designed by some of the guys who brought us the iPod, it’s a simple, smart and beautiful way to control your environment and save energy. It learns as  you use it. You can set it remotely with your smart phone.

Clearly it’s another step toward the robot hive taking over our homes and our lives. Ah, well, that’s a small price to pay for coolness, right? And, dammit, the thing is gorgeous.

Bike It! Day in Santa Monica

Bike It! Day logoDon’t you just love it when an idea you helped promote builds into something wonderful? Me, too!

A couple of years ago strategic marketing guru, organisational whiz and fellow parent Richard McKinnon asked me to create a brand identity for Bike It! Day. He was working with student activists Charlotte Biren and Jenna Perlman to create more awareness of bike-riding, and to try to make it cool again. It looks like they succeeded admirably.

From a single school, the program has grown to encompass the entire Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, with 3,300 participants. And Biren and Perlman received a Commendation from the Office of the President (yes, THAT president), honoring their achievement at a national level.

I’m thrilled our little contribution added some visibillity. But it’s amazing what kids can do when they have a vision and a champion.

Streetsblog Los Angeles » Best Practices: Bike It! Day in Santa Monica.

(Note to self: Don’t let WordPress add “recommended links” without checking them! Amusingly, “Office of the President” linked to The President of the Philippines before I fixed it manually. Sorry for any confusion, peeps.)

Be Green celebrates new domestic manufacturing plant

When clients of ours are recognized for making a difference in the world, it’s a real pleasure to share the news. On Thursday, Be Green Packaging hosted South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley at their new manufacturing facility in Ridgeland, South Carolina. The plant creates 175 new jobs in Jasper County (which, like most places in the U.S., can definitely use them). And it shows once again how green technology is leading the way in getting the country back to work.

Nikki Haley welcomes Be GreenBe Green makes sustainable packaging from easily renewable plant materials. Originally sold to food packagers like Whole Foods, this year they expanded their business to mass-market consumer packaging. Their new Gillette Fusion ProGlide trays garnered a Diamond Award at the 23rd Annual DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation.

As regular freePress readers know, FreeAssociates designed Be Green’s new website which their CEO told me recently “positions us perfectly….the Web site helped carry the day.”

Great companies strive to change the world in some way. They stand for something, and they let their customers know what that is. We believe creative communication supports that goal, and we do everything we can to differentiate Qelpour clients, help them find their authentic voice, put forward their strengths, and inspire their customers to connect with them.

So when our clients shine the way Be Green does…well, it’s a wonderful feeling to let you all know about it.

Toss your Prius. Get a Puffin!

Here’s the latest personal transporter from NASA. Forget jetpacks. This thing might actually work. According to, they haven’t scheduled the first manned flight, but “NASA plans to finish a one-third size demonstrator by March and see how well it transitions from cruising to hovering.” It’s all-electric, cruises at 140 mph and looks almost as dorky as a Segway. But it flies, so who cares?

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