The ColorUp LED table lamp, with a built-in color picker, might be the first household light you’ll want to bring everywhere – to parties, on vacation etc. etc. What a cool application of energy saving LED technology. [G]
Graham Hill’s article “Living With Less. A Lot Less.” in the NY Times is an inspiring read. Mr. Hill, serial entrepreneur and founder of Treehugger.com, got rich early and had filled 5500 sq. ft of living space in two cities with stuff and then decided to simplify his life and belongings into a 420 sq. ft studio. From the NY Times:
“I LIVE in a 420-square-foot studio. I sleep in a bed that folds down from the wall. I have six dress shirts. I have 10 shallow bowls that I use for salads and main dishes. When people come over for dinner, I pull out my extendable dining room table. I don’t have a single CD or DVD and I have 10 percent of the books I once did.”
If you get a chance, read the full article and see if it inspires you to downsize your life.
Our household of five doesn’t live all that large but I can not wait to downsize the inside of our house and our outside lives. What’s holding us back? Unlike Graham Hill and like many families, it’s our elem/teen/tweenage kids that might suffer from the drastic change of downsizing while they’re still in school. Now on the day my youngest heads to college, our house will be abuzz because everything will go. Not storage – instead we’ll donate, give away and sell what we can because we’ll never live larger. T-minus 8 years and counting! [NY Times]
Fair Companies’ lastest post, “Tinkerers’ workshop: slow furniture recrafted from trash,” is about Pablo Fernandez and his efforts to recraft stuff people throw out into useful products at his Reborn Recraft Atelier in Barcelona. Pablo points out in the video that he can not find as many useful things to work with on the streets in his native Columbia as he can in Barcelona. In his shop, he has drinking glasses made from bottles, pallets turned into wine racks / glass holders and much more. [*faircompanies]
The whole childish “you go first” between the US and China on carbon taxes might be coming to an end soon. According to a report in China’s state-run Xinhua news website, taxing carbon emissions is on the agenda for the Ministry of Finance (MOF). From Xinhua:
“The [Chinese] government will collect the environmental protection tax instead of pollutant discharge fees, as well as levy a tax on carbon dioxide emissions, Jia Chen, head of the ministry’s tax policy division, wrote in an article published on the MOF’s website.
It will be the local taxation authority, rather than the environmental protection department, that will collect the taxes.
The government is also looking into the possibility of taxing energy-intensive products such as batteries, as well as luxury goods such as aircraft that are not used for public transportation, according to Jia.
To conserve natural resources, the government will push forward resource tax reforms by taxing coal based on prices instead of sales volume, as well as raising coal taxes. A resource tax will also be levied on water.”
As consumers of $400 billion worth of Chinese goods (2011), the US deserves an assist for China’s pollution problem. I never quite understood how carbon tax opposing US politicians could pass so much blame on China for their lack of pollution controls when our consumption of their goods is driving it. At least the Inhofes, Rubios and Bachmanns will still have India to blame and do the “you go first” carbon tax dance with. [Mother Jones]