Replate is a great iniative started in America. It encourages people to leave their leftovers on top of garbage bins for hungry people. It's a great idea given the amount of waste and the number of people forced to search bins for food. It injects just a tiny bit of dignity and kindness into that equation. It's not enough of course, but it is individual action that can lighten our cities and create a sense of community - in much the same way as street art does. There are many cities around the world that don't have the lovely clean shelves on top of their bins where replated food can be left. Replate's suggestion is to leave the food beside the bin. So spread the word. They have downloadable posters on their site.
Pooh to Christmas shopping! We all end up buying useless stuff, that stuffs up the world, for people with too much stuff. This Christmas, do your shopping and a make a difference. Buy ethical, quirky and inexpensive gifts through Oxfam, Greenpeace or Amnesty. I just bought my mum a duck for $20. A duck gives families in Asia rich eggs, environmentally friendly fertiliser and pest control in their fields. My mum doesn't get an actual duck, she gets a cute card explaining that the money I would have spent on useless stuff for here, has instead helped Oxfam's agriculture campaign. Greenpeace has lesser known but equally quirky Christmas gifts. You can save a tree for just $30. Alternativley, for $25 or less, you can buy pollution goggles for Santa (apparently milk and cookies are very last year), floaties for your cat (to keep puss safe from rising sea levels) or fund a deckhand for one day on board a Greenpeace ship.
This troll was sculpted some time ago by four Seattle area artists -- Steve Badanes, Will Martin, Donna Walter and Ross Whitehead. He lives under a bridge in Seattle and was inspired by the folktale Three Billy Goats Gruff. The Freemont Troll is holding a Volkswagen beetle that apparently originally contained a time capsule of Elvis memorabilia. It's since been removed to keep it safe from vandals. Sadly, a mentally-ill man shot a bus driver and then himself on the troll's bridge in 1998, sending the bus over the edge of the bridge and onto a nearby apartment building. The troll become a memorial for those killed -- so he's clearly nicer than the troll in the Three Billy Goats Gruff.
Americans proved today that they aren't completely insane (if you are American -- you guys really had us all wondering there). I have to say, I'm nicely surprised. America isn't an insular political wasteland full of intolerant non-voters afterall. They can even vote for a muslim who's name sounds like "Osama". Well done America! These images from an interesting blog called Freewayblogger demonstrate that many Americans have been unimpressed by their government's lame foreign policies for quite some time. I'll be curious to see what signs we see on Freewayblogger under Obama's leadership.
There has been some concern that the polls predicting the outcome of US elections may be inaccurate. One reason for concern is that the percentage by which Obama is predicted to win is so hugely disparate between polls. Thankfully, the gum election initiative has settled the debate with street art. Obama will win because the chewing gum says so.
Ok this isn't terribly ethical but gee it's a cute gift idea. I guess I could stretch it and say that this gift will encourage your car-free, pedal-powered pal to ... keep being car-free and pedal-powered.
It's a decorated bike bell. Aw. You can get them here.