By Jake Reiner
Choices for Sustainable Lifestyles
Portable Solar Chargers
The Netherlands has brought us Van Gogh, Amsterdam coffee shops, Heineken, and now the Soldius Solar Charger for your iPod and cell phone. This pocket-size mini-charger weighs only 85 grams, comes with a USB adapter and will recharge an iPod in three hours with direct sunlight.
Soldius comes with a one-year warranty and is available on line at www/store.sundancesolar.com, along with a variety of portable solar chargers for all your off-grid needs.
Your friendly neighborhood dry cleaner is one of the most notorious urban pollutants. The sustainable option? Wear your suit when you shower! The Konaka Shower Clean business suit can be washed in the shower, dries itself without ironing and is ready to wear in the morning.
The suit’s secret lies in the special Merino wool developed by the eco-conscious crew at Australian Wool Innovation. And to get even more mileage out of the material, Konaka also takes back your old suits and recycles them into plastics for new cars.
Eco Weekend Getaway
Mt. Fuji Pica Village
For an easy eco-weekend getaway, the Pica Village at Yamanaka-ko is a sustainably designed mini-resort with cabins for rent near the lake and a delicious LOHAS café. The on-site Viva BeGood school hosts a variety of workshops dealing with natural lifestyles, music and cooking. Less than two hours from Tokyo, it's a great place for families or networking with like-minded souls.
Radio Head’s Low Carbon Tour
The widespread fame of Radio Head hasn’t literally gone to the heads of the band mates. Concerned about the carbon footprint of their concert tours, they are taking buses and trains instead of chartered flights while encouraging fans to use public transportation as well.
Also, according to bassist Colin Greenwood, they opt for sea freighting their gear whenever they can since, “It is 93 percent more efficient than air freighting,” he says. The band is also looking at ways to reduce food waste at shows and tries to play venues with solar power and easy access to trains.
In the high desert of Arizona, the future of human habitation is coming to life in a self-sufficient living laboratory, Arcosanti. Founded in 1970 by visionary Italian architect Paolo Soleri, the complex includes greenhouses, schools, businesses, creative studios and theaters. It will house 5,000 people when complete.
The design is based on the concept of arcology (architecture + ecology), whereby the architecture and the residents interact as organs would in a highly evolved being. Workshops are held for those looking to understand this alternative to urban sprawl. For visitors, the theater hosts world class acts, and rooms are available for tourists looking for an eco-stay on the way to the Grand Canyon.