green groups supporting anti-DRM

An interesting link from BoingBoing (the most linked to site on the internet) about green NGOs supporting anti-DRM (digital rights management) movements. As a lot of you know and as I’ve mentioned before, CDs produce an immense amount of waste, something like 1kg of CO2 for every one produced.  So in that sense, supporting downloading software and music instead of purchasing CDs has definite environmental benefits. Not only is the problem CDs, but new software that comes out, specifically Microsoft’s new Vista OS, requires a tremendous amount of processing power for essentially the same utilities.

Why is this a problem? Because most old computers absolutely can’t run Vista. If you want to have your computer up to date you have to trash your old one and buy a new computer. Obviously this causes a lot of e-waste to head to the dump and Microsoft has spent more than $500 Million on advertising Vista. That’s a lot of pressure on the average consumer to drop $1200 and update their computer. Greenpeace, the Green Party and Friends of the Earth have gotten on board and are supporting an anti-DRM petition. Creating open-sourced software that can be modified to run on inferior computers would help alleviate this problem, but there aren’t tons of easy solutions to this problem. People want faster, smarter computers but we shouldn’t be cattle-prodded into buying a new one.


from BoingBoing


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Filed under green, hack, waste

eat less meat – fight climate change

It’s pretty well known amongst environmental circles that meat production is an extremely energy intensive process. What I didn’t know was that global meat production releases more Green House Gases than all types of travel combined. This stat came from that recent UN report on Climate Change. What’s interesting about this is that many vegan/vegetarian NGOs are using this a platform for an advertising campaign. PETA is getting a guy to dress up in a chicken suit and drive around in a Hummer – poignant! However, Environmental NGOs aren’t jumping on this wagon. None interviewed by the NY Times were willing to make it a priority even though they all agree that meat production is an immensely GHG intensive industry. Carl Pope, the ED of the Sierra Club had this to say;

“We’ll encourage companies to make more efficient S.U.V.’s, and we’ll encourage consumers to buy them,” he said, “but we do not find lecturing people about personal consumption choices to be effective.”

Personally, I think that this is an issue that environmental groups should start supporting. Simply reducing one’s meat consumption would undoubtedly have a positive effect on fighting climate change and it’s better for you. The general populous just isn’t aware of the impact that meat production has. I love meat, but there’s nothing wrong, complicated or undelicious with having two or three vegetarian meals a week.

from The New York Times

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too cute

Nothing to write, just an exceptionally cute puppy from Cute Overload.

from Cute Overload! 🙂

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manta ray blimp bot

This is a rather super cool robot that mimics the ocean’s manta rays. I guess that makes this a sky manta, a perfectly awesome sounding pet. It’s filled with helium and is made by European robot manufacturing company Festo. Check out the lovely video of the sky manta in motion and you’ll want one for your own house. They need to make a much smaller version of this for regular indoor use. Even better they could make a giant wind resistant one that would fight Godzilla. Be sure to check out the video at either Festo or Gizmodo.

from Gizmodo

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pretty garbage

In Japan, you gotta separate your garbage, and put it out on different days. Plus, you’re not supposed to put it out the night before, otherwise the crows cause sh1t. It’s a bit of a pain, some places have up to 45 different recycling categories; that means you have to separate your garbage into 45 different piles. So anything that makes this tedious process more fun, I thoroughly applaud. Check out these enjoyable colour coordinated garbage bags from MAQ  which are available at a few Tokyu Hands and Lofts. They’ll run you around $3 for 10 45L bags.

from Pink Tentacle

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zombies and clouds

Not much of an uber-post today, two links from Neatorama. The clouds just look awesome, but the gallery of zombie action figures is an shout-out to the zombie walk that happened in Halifax yesterday. Didn’t see it, I just like anything that involves people dressing in costume.

zombie thor

from Neatorama

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running your car on chopsticks

That’s what Japan is trying to do, the country is looking at using these ubiquitous utensils for biofuel production. Each of Japan’s 127 million residents uses on average 200 pairs of chopsticks a year. That’s equal to 90,000 tons of wood a year. It’s nice that they’re finding use for this waste, but it’d be better if people just brought their own chopsticks in the first place. China is on that tone, looking to eliminate the 45 billion pairs of disposable chopsticks it uses every year. Read the whole article here.

If you don’t know a lot about biofuel production, almost any sort of waste product can be converted into fuel. Wooden chopsticks are relatively easy to convert (compared to say plastic waste) as it can converted to ethanol through pyrolysis. I could go on for several posts about the different types of biofuel production so this much information will have to suffice. If you’re facing a craving check out the wiki entry here.

from Japan Probe

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Filed under cars, green, news, waste