In the west, we have an unspoken rules about houses, and it's which is this:
Your house is how you display your wealth. Its location, its size, its architectural grandeur and the things you put inside it should all reflect your economic value.
That's my theory anyway. It's operating on a deep level and, to a certain extent, it's fine. Your house should be a place for you to be yourself. But a small number of people are rethinking the concept of "home", and they're getting creative and green while doing it. They're finding new ways to create their homes and it's cool and exciting, and they're creating new maxims to live by:
Something very exciting happened to me last month. And that was that I was invited to give a guest lecture at the University of Sydney for a course studying consumer cultures. The topic of the week was fast fashion, and I did a 20-minute talk about the the history of fashion in western culture, and how it was that we came to the kind of fashion ecosystem we have today: take a look, and laugh at my blotchy, nervous skin.
Whatever opinions you might have about the World Cup or China's industrial reputation, I think we can all agree that investing in renewable energy like solar is an increasingly important strategy so that we don't, you know, die. Here's a little video I came across about Yingli, the World Cup's surprise sponsor:
Okay, so the title doesn't work so hot, but I had to shoehorn the only cultural reference to Budapest i could think of in here.
As the name of this post suggests, I'm in Budapest - arrived here about a week and a half ago to find grand and slightly crumbling architecture, a very wide river, incredible thermal baths and...
Loads and loads of it.
Last week, I got passed this excellent site - www.iFixit.com, which aims to give everyone the tools they need to fix anything they have - rather than recycling or buying new. The site is filled with guides to repairing every device in your house, from iPhones to toasters. Crowdsourced from users, each repair guide also comes with links to parts available for sale.
Repair, in their eyes, is a radical response to a consumerist society. Below is a copy of their manifesto which has a ring of libertarian/American right wing fanaticism/Anonymous to it, but also a solid green ethos that, overall, I rather like. I do think we need to be a bit more radical and a little less touchy-feely with getting the message out.
They're pretty keen to get this manifesto out there, so you're free to redistribute on your own website as long as you include a link back to them.
Being a woman means forking over much more money than dudes do in the course of a lifetime (this is a US-based rundown, it gives a pretty clear example of what I mean... just don't read the comments) and, unfortunately, putting a lot more waste out into the world. How?
I wrote a few weeks ago about a cool project I'd heard of called Snact. I was so excited by the idea that I got in touch with the brains behind the concept and asked them to write a guest post for the blog so I could shout about it a bit more, since food waste is a really important issue.
Ilana Taub, one half of the Snact team wrote this piece. If you're in London, look them up and buy yourself some snacts!
I love a bit of fish, and I am just as guilty as everyone else when it comes to not knowing my skipjack from my yellowfin. I believe this is a US-based organisation, but the basic message remains: we're over-fishing, but we can vote with our wallets.
I happened across this on Twitter via Chip Conley. Too right.