Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Replate. Leaving leftovers for hungry people

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.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Today's Featured Artists: Ark

I just stumbled on the creations of Ark on the Oh Really Magazine site. This work is so detailed and beautiful. Don't just check out the street art, the drawings and paintings are fantastic.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Unique gift idea no. 3 - Gifts from Oxfam, Greenpeace and Amnesty

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.

Amnesty International has nice gifts, some without the quirky edge. My favourite is the "We know where you live" DVD, Amnesty's live comedy night hosted by Eddie Izzard for $20. Their UK shop features a fantastic range that includes fair trade, recycled and organic gifts. The badge is from their UK shop.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Today's featured artists: creators of the Freemont Troll

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.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

America gets a gold star for electing Obama

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.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Chewing gum polls settle debate: Obama will win

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.

Unique Christmas gift idea no. 2: bike bell

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.