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The New Christmas Tree Economy

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A green shift is underway this holiday season. Sustainable evergreens are changing the way we buy Christmas trees.

Great piece in Design Observer from a couple months ago exploring the new economy of the Christmas tree, which is being redefined by growing environmental consciousness and recession frugality. Highlighting some of the tensions that exist in the Christmas ritual - pagan vs. Christian, natural vs. artifical - the essay goes on to underline some of the welcome trends in Christmas tree production......read more

Renovo Pandurance Road Bike

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Renovo's Bamboo commuter is perfect for bombing around the city...and for escaping ravenous pandas.

Portland’s Renovo Bikes is quietly building a reputation for their super functional, slick-looking wooden bike frames. The lightweight, smooth-riding Pandurance Road Bike, from the company’s Panda bamboo series, is made from, you guessed it, bamboo, one of our planet’s most sustainable woods. Renovo's Panda series is green with no apologies for performance. As a material for making......read more

Obama Vents in Copenhagen

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US President pulls no punches in speech to COP15 delegates.

At a speech given in Copenhagen earlier today, US President Barack Obama made no secret of his frustration with the lack of consensus at the climate summit. "I think our ability to take collective action is in doubt," he said, adding that it is "in our mutual interest to achieve a global accord in which we agree to steps, and to hold each other accountable for certain......read more

Ars Natura: Genesis

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In his inaugural SHFT post, Karl Burkart explains why the hell a renowned green-tech blogger is writing a column on art and nature.

This is the first in a series I’m writing for SHFT called Ars Natura: art in nature, nature in art. Though I typically blog abut media and technology I have become increasingly aware that the problems our civilization faces are not going to be solved by technological ingenuity alone. Yes I believe we can solve the energy problem and perhaps even find a way to deflate the planet’s overheated......read more

Happy Birthday Slow Food Movement

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International eco-gastronomic organization celebrates twenty years of fighting fast food.

Last week marked the 20th anniversary of the the international Slow Food Movement. Celebrants around the world took part in the first ever Terra Madre Day last Thursday, which marked two decades since the signing of the Slow Food Manifesto in Paris in 1989. The manifesto laid the groundwork for the eco-gastronomic, member-supported non-profit, which is intended to revitalize local food traditions......read more

Futuristic Forests

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O2 Treehouse builds geodesic domes in tree canopies, where not even Bucky Fuller imagined them. Talk about space-age sustainability.

Founded by future-focused architect Dustin Feider, O2 Treehouse designs and builds geodesic domes for leafy habitats. The company is guided by principles of sustainability; domes are hung in the canopy using a cable suspension system, so not a single hole is drilled in the host tree during installation; also, because the polygon design distributes stress evenly across the entire structure, the......read more

45rpm Goes Organic

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Revered Japanese label introduces organic winter collection to its North American offerings. More hot than warm.

With Dash, the all-organic winter collection from R by 45rpm, the Japanese brand gives lovingly detailed denim, sweaters, knitted caps, button-ups and totes the eco-treatment. Needless to say, organic clothing made in Japan brings a hefty price tag, so don’t be shocked when they ring in your purchase. ...read more

Ivory-Billed Woodpecker

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Cornell University's bird lab is offering big bucks as reward for sighting of ultra-rare-if-not-extinct ghostbird, last seen in 1964.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is offering a reward of $50,000 to the person who finds them an ivory-billed woodpecker. Officially listed as critically endangered, the ‘pecker hasn’t been seen for certain since 1964. ...read more

Will FarmVille save the world?

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Zynga’s massively successful Facebook game proves social media technology could have a major hand to play in the new digital economy.

Seeds of ChangeA few years ago I made a pronouncement on a social media panel that digital goods would redefine the way we do charitable giving online. Needless to say, there were snickers. After all, how could "throwing a beer" at someone or giving someone a "fluffy kitty" for their birthday really amount to anything, especially at a $1 price point? But now, thanks to Zynga,......read more

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