Archives for January 2010

“Put an ashtray on that electric bike and you got a deal.”

Urban Mover UM44 USPRITE Commuting BikeOk, maybe I’m a little old school but the new electric bikes coming out are pretty cush. But maybe that’s it. By being so forgiving, they’ll motivate us to ride bikes more and change our pattern of multiple short driving trips. I’ve been sold on [but not dedicated to] riding a bike to run errands for a year now. The dread of certain hills coupled with our dreary weather in the Northwest is a definite deterrent. The weather won’t change but climbing hills with a full load of groceries could be aided with the use of an electric bicycle. And for others just getting back into biking, knowing you have a power assist option of an electric motor might be the last bit of incentive you need to start riding again. The electric motor is there; over time, you’ll probably rely on it less and less.

Yahoo! Green has a nice breakdown of the electric bike models available by type (all-terrain, off-road, tandem, cruiser etc.) and they list the price and range of some of the models. Pricing starts at $499 for the Currie Technologies Ezip Trailz and go to $13,995 for the Optibike OB1. Optibike will only build 24 OB1’s this year – so get your orders in soon!

Besides the Jubbling, another factor that will drive wider acceptance of electric bikes is the future use of quick-charge, light weight lithium-ion batteries. Think of quick-charge lithium ion batteries as “sponges” rather than a tank you have to fill and you’ll get the idea. One source told us the re-charge rate for future lithium-ion based electric bikes could be as short as 5 minutes.

Currie Technologies Izip TricruiserIf I were to purchase an electric bike today, the model I’d choose would be Currie Technologies Izip Tricruiser. It has a range of 30-35 miles and has a cool basket on the back for carrying groceries or anything you’d want to lug around. Maybe even a small child although I wouldn’t recommend it (the added weight will reduce your range). The Izip Tricruiser can also attain a speed of 15 mph with the electric motor and I’ll need all of it when I’m being chased, laughed at, and harassed by a group of pot smoking teenagers for riding a 3 wheeler.

But then again, I’m old school. I have to suffer a little to pursue my Jubbling so I won’t be buying an electric bike soon. If you are on the fence about biking again and you want to ease yourself back into it, take a look at the electric bike models available. They don’t look like bikes with a lawn mower engine anymore. The power assist motor and battery pack are nicely hidden but the Jubbling will be obvious.

Here are some links to manufacturers of electric bikes:

Jubbling And The Apple iPad

Jubbling’s hope for the Apple iPad is that it does for printed materials what Apple has done for music. That is change the way we consume books, magazines and newspapers and change the way we shop for them.Apple iPad with iBook Software Colorful childrens’ books, novels and even college textbooks could be offered for download on the new Apple iPad without peeling away the color and layout you’d find in the original. And you can do all of this on the Apple iPad without sacrificing the “page turning” appeal of books thanks to its touch sensitive display. The pages turn like a book on the Apple iPad so you’ll never have to lick your finger again.

Full Color Jubbling
The Apple iPad has a 9.7″ full-color display. A feature that appeals to publishers and customers alike and separates it from Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader and Barnes & Noble’s nook. But for us, it’s all about the Jubbling. A 1.5 lbs tablet, free of PVC plastic and brominated flame retardants, that will store everything you’d ever want to read and reduce the amount you have to recycle.

Old School vs New School
There is some opposition to e-readers like the Apple iPad because of the amount of energy it takes to build, its included battery and limited product life-cycle. But it’s a tired argument and could only be justified by a paper salesman like Dwight Schrute of Dunder Mifflin. You only have to imagine the Apple iPad sitting next to the pile of books, newspapers and magazines that you would normally read in a year to see that there’s a definite footprint difference.

Book Sharing?
A nice future feature would have Apple developing a way for iPad users to share the books they download; maybe add a small licensing and transfer fee so that it would equate to buying a used book. This service would apply to all books and magazines. They can keep the DRM features [for now] and limit the transfers to other iPad users. Without a sharing feature, the $12.99 – $14.99 book download fee might slow the iPad’s acceptance rate.

The Apple iPad Is For More Than Just Books
The iBook/ePub feature is just one facet of the new Apple iPad. It is also a digital media player. You can still download and watch movies, listen to music and run applications you get from the iTunes store. Even the apps downloaded for the iPhone/iTouch work on the iPad. The iPad’s price starts at around $499 and it has a 10 hour battery life. We think the best way to look at the Apple iPad is as an investment in Jubbling. An investment that allows you to consume less so you can recycle less. A definite pre-emptive Jubbling.

For more information on the Apple iPad, go to http://www.apple.com/ipad/

Related articles:
Cambridge news: Eco-friendly councillors eye up Apple’s latest gizmo
Gizmodo: A Peek at Apple’s Plans to Re-invent Textbooks
Fast Company: Quiz: Are These Comments About the 2001 iPod or 2010 iPad?

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Coke’s New PlantBottle

Coca Cola Unveils New PlantBottleJust in time for the winter Olympics in Vancouver, Coke is releasing its new “PlantBottle” which is comprised of 30% plant based materials (sugar cane) and 70% petroleum based. After testing the new PlantBottle last month in Copenhagen and in other select markets, Coke now plans on packaging all of its products in the new PlantBottle by the end of 2010. In addition to changing to renewable materials, Coke’s new plastic bottles create 25% less carbon during the manufacturing process. This according to a Coke commissioned study performed by the London Imperial College.

The Clean Air Council estimates that 21.9 billion plastic bottles are thrown out every year. So will the new PlantBottle make a difference? I’m sure slightly because Coca Cola is responsible for producing over 2 billion plastic bottles per year. We have to remember that this is just a start and one can hope that the new packaging and accompanying advertising campaign will encourage drinkers of Coke products to recycle their bottles more than they have been.

It would be easy for Jubbling to bash Coke and label this whole thing as greenwashing but it is a step in the right direction and should be encouraged. Now, if Coca Cola could only get the sugar cane used in manufacturing the bottles to somehow leach into the product… then they might have something people would want to drink more of.

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Nike Moves Away From Carbon Offsets To Sustainable Business Model

Nike Trash Talk Shoe - Steve NashBeaverton, OR : January 22, 2010 – Nike released it’s Corporate Responsibility (CR) report and it almost looks like Jerry Maguire wrote it. The CR outlines their goals for the future and one of its highlights is Nike’s focus on Sustainable Business and Innovation (SB&I) . Basically, Nike wants to be a big zero; zero waste in the supply chain and intelligently designed products that can be continuously reused in future Nike apparel and shoes. It follows a “closed loop” idea and it couldn’t be more Jubbling.

The days of excusing increased production and consumption with carbon offsets are over for Nike and now, they’re focused on growing as a business while reducing their need for virgin rubber and other scarcer raw materials. It defies logic to increase production while reducing their energy needs and use of raw materials. But with success, Nike will share/license their ideas and technologies so other companies can get a jumpstart on their own sustainable processes.

In the 1990’s, Nike became the face of exploiting cheap labor with little hands building big shoes and they took their lumps for that. Even into the 2000’s, Nike was focused on managing the risk and social impact associated with their overseas factories and they’ve made improvements. Now, they are taking their entire company in a new direction to innovate and develop more sustainable products. It’s as if the whole company went Jerry Maguire on us. Little did they know but they had us at ‘we’re moving away from carbon offsets.’

For more information on Nike’s plan:
Nike Corporate Responsibility Strategy – CFO Don Blair on Sustainability

Nike Outlines Global Strategy for Creating a More Sustainable Business


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Pico Projectors Are Picolicious…Or Is It Jubblingicious?

“This is for Allah. And it’s goin’ way out there, sucka.”
Ahmad Abdul Rahim
Bad News Bears (1976)

Maybe overselling a technology like Pico projectors is not a good idea. However, pushing the Jubbling may be the best way to see Pico projectors get traction in the marketplace. Pico projectors have been commercially available since 2006 and were designed to be a super-portable presentation tool and typically weigh in around 5 or 6 ounces. Lit by an LED lamp, these front-pocket worthy devices connect to computers, DVD players, cellphones/pda’s and will project a 36″ – 60″+ diagonal image on any light colored surface without the need for a dedicated power source. That’s because they can run off of a battery for up to 4 hours depending on the model. The Jubbling is obvious – limited hardware, low power needs – now here are some tips for making your audience buy into a Pico based presentation:

  • Lower your audience’s brightness expectation – After Ahmad Abdul Rahim made his statement, he laid down a bunt. For a Pico Projector based presentation with brightness in the range of 10 to 30 lumens, it would make more sense to threaten a bunt so you can deliver a single.
  • Not a computer projector – Whatever you do, please do not hook a Pico projector up to a desktop or laptop computer to drive your presentation. The Pico models available now will connect but at a resolution not seen on a computer since 1993.
  • Leverage the technology – Make a statement like “Excuse me while I whip my Pico out”, and then reach in your front pocket and do just that. Your audience will be wincing at first but will then look in awe at your Pico projector and how small it is.
  • Present to smaller groups – Staying with the ‘small’ theme, keep your presentation short and to the point and present to smaller groups of 25 or less. Pico projectors are fanless so you don’t have to compete with the noise of a typical projector based presentation.
  • Emphasize the Jubbling – Pair your Pico projector with a cellphone and you’ll be full-on Jubbling. No outlet needed. That is when you point to the Jubbling t-shirt you’re wearing and tell your audience that it’s a website dedicated to making better choices. To get them to visit the site, tell your audience that the estimated lamp life of a Pico Projector 20,000 hours (10x lamp life for standard projector).

Microvision SHOWWX Laser Pico Projector

Microvision Laser Pico Projector

The fun you can have with a Pico projector doesn’t end there. At home, Pico projectors are great for watching movies on any wall, ceiling or shirtless person with a wide, pale back. I’ve had the best luck watching movies with a DLP Technology based Pico projector (Optoma PK-101 or Optoma PK-102) and choosing a model with a built-in speaker is a definite must.

Already, Pico projector technology can be found in cellphones and digital cameras and soon, you’ll be able to buy handheld gaming devices and portable DVD players with integrated Pico projectors. In addition to DLP driven Pico projectors, you can also find LCOS and laser driven models that are also Jubbling.

Try before you buy and forget about what you’ve seen in normal presentation projectors. Pico’s are not going to be for everyone so a 30 day MBG will give you some time to test and adapt your presentation to your new projector. And don’t forget to emphasize the Jubbling.

Some Pico projector models to look at:

  1. Optoma PK-102 Pico Pocket Projector
  2. 3M MPro150 PocketProjector
  3. WowWee Cinemin Swivel Pico Projector
  4. Microvision SHOWWX Pico Projector
  5. Aiptek PocketCinema V10 and T10 Pico Projectors
  6. AAXA P2 Pico Projector
  7. Samsung MBP200 Pico Projector – Coming soon!
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Timberland Earthkeepers: These Boots Were Made For Marketing Green

Timberland Earthkeepers logoIf you were to watch a music video featuring Nancy Sinatra’s 1966 song “These Boots Were Made For Walking” you would likely see her wearing white, knee-high patent leather boots. That’s not very earth friendly by today’s standards considering the natural resources needed to raise cattle and then tan their hides. In contrast, today’s hip-hop videos may feature someone wearing Timberland’s brand of leather construction boots to accessorize their look. Marketing has always been about image and successful brands know that consumers buy into the image before they buy into their products.

Timberland has another reason to boast about their marketing prowess via their Earthkeepers boots debuted in 2007. The New Hampshire-based Timberland has not only introduced a wholesome and Jubblingly thoughtful shoe but also a whole new way of marketing it. A quick online search of the Earthkeepers boots reveals, not one, but THREE entire sites dedicated to explaining the benefits of less global impact through a simple choice in shoes. Jubbling is exactly that – making an impact through personal choices. Timberland says it this way:

“Every day, we examine decisions and actions both large and small to ensure we are doing our part for the planet. We have a passionate belief in the potential that one voice, one action can make a difference.”

http://www.earthkeeper.com/Gear/Earthkeepers-2-dot-0

http://earthkeepers.timberland.com/index_ek_us.html

http://www.timberland.com/corp/index.jsp?page=csr_your_footprint

Earthkeeper Boots from TimberlandTheir sites are not the only innovation. They have incorporated a labeling system that looks and reads like a food nutrition label. Customers can read about the percentage of organic material content or the quality of the tannery used in leather production.

Here are some label highlights from the box of Mens’ Earthkeeper brown boots I got from Macy’s (thanks Nan):

  1. 100% Recycled material in shoebox
  2. 74.4% PVC-free
  3. 3.4% Eco-conscious materials
  4. 6.6% Renewable energy used in production
  5. 600,000 trees planted in 2006

Last summer Timberland announced their new Earthkeepers 2.0 boot with a clever twist – they can be fully dismantled and recycled into new shoes when your ride on the shoe leather express is done. Timberland provides links for purchase through their Earthkeeper 2.0 website.

It’s refreshing to see so much thought go into so many aspects of a simple thing like shoes.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvgeO2j5dok&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

Related Articles:

  • April 9, 2010Timberland’s Emissions Drop 36 Percent, Organic Cotton Use Jumps
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