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Twestival

Millions of people are talking all day, every day on twitter. But what if all those people came together and actually did something? Enter Twestival, a global event organized through twitter taking place on February 12th. Over 100 cities have signed up for events, rounded up sponsors and put together guest lists. The goal of the event is to raise money and awareness to combat the 1.1 billion people who don’t tweet have clean water to drink. To find out more about the cause visit the charity: water group. Each city is asked to set a goal of at least $4,000 (the price to sponsor a water well in a development area). Check out this page to find out more information.

Clear Magazine

Another product to earn kudos for what it’s not (i.e. fattening or habit forming), Clear Magazine has become “100% tree-free” and is now being printed with YUPO synthetic paper. The Michigan-based design and fashion publication released its “fame underground” issue, including features on designers Arne Quinze and Martin Mariela and artist Kenji Yanobe, at Art Basel Miami Beach last month. A recently posted video with Clear‘s creative director Emin Kad explains that the paper is tear-proof and waterproof. Once purchased at fine newsstands worldwide, the issues can be put in recycling bins with other plastic items.

Valcucine: Eco Italian Furniture

Kitchen lighting and paneling may not be the first thing on the mind of many apartment dwellers, but one look at Valcucine‘s beautiful home design products may be enough to make you want to buy. (This being a buyer’s market and all.) Beyond the sliding glass doors and stainless steel workstations, the most impressive thing about the Italian kitchen furniture manufacturer is their commitment to the environment. “Ecosustainability,” the most popular tag on the ECOVALCUCINE blog, is described by the company as “satisfying the requirements of the present generations without jeopardising those of future ones.” Their site shows off not only stunning spaces but discusses the merits of water-based paint and kitchen safety for kids.

Rickshaw Bagworks

The team at San Francisco’s new Rickshaw Bagworks have taken a page from the Schoolhouse Rock hit “My Hero Zero” with a bag they’ve optimized to reduce wasted fabric. The ZERO shoulder bag is available in four sizes, each constructed from a single piece of material patterned in rectangles. The Timbuk2 alums who founded the company say that eliminating scraps brings the cost of their made-to-order bags down. At $40 to $70 for the different ZERO sizes, we have to agree that what’s good for the environment is also easier on the pocketbook. Since opening their factory in SF’s Dogpatch they’ve created messenger bags for attendees at this year’s TED and Social Capital Markets conferences. If minimizing a manufacturing supply chain footprint doesn’t sound very visual, that’s only because you haven’t checked out the eye candy on the Rickshaw Flickr stream.

Core77 x Greener Gadgets Contest

It’s that time of year again — and we don’t mean time for ol’ fatty to come sliding down your chimney. This is a time for a fresh dose of innovative, eco-friendly ideas; time for Core77′s annual Greener Gadgets Design Contest. The competition asks everyone from design students to established firms to create products that speak to pressing environmental issues by working to decrease our carbon footprint, use energy more efficiently, or improve upon social or educational development. If you think you’ve got a concept that you’re confident will impress, just read the How To Enter details and get it in before January 15, 2009. All of the best entries will be posted online for public voting and the finalists will be judged live at this years Greener Gadgets Conference on February 27th in New York. The first place winner takes home a $3000 prize and the two runners up take home a nice $1000 bounty. Last year’s winner was EnerJar, a DIY device that “measures the power draw of electrical appliances.” So that’s taken.

Care2

Can’t volunteer for hours a week? Don’t have a big chunk of change to give away to worthy causes? These limitations may have kept you from making the world a better place 10 years ago, but Care2 founder Randy Paynter and team are looking to limit barriers to involvement through their community’s upcoming cause-related campaigns.

Come mid-December the site will offer community news, group discussions, online petitions, and–not to fear–volunteer opportunities around women’s rights, animal welfare, the environment, and other topics that are front-of-mind. It’s all part of Paynter’s goal to empower everyday folks to get involved in progressive and consciousness-raising causes that are good on both the “me” and “we” front. The site, which has never advertised but has grown to nine million members through word of mouth among people interested in human rights and social welfare, will later be inviting individuals to create their own cause pages around personal passion points.

Gift Guide: Eco

What’s UR Bag: Read JS Review | Buy It ($15)
City-wide plastic bag bans are a perfect excuse to spend a small amount on nylon/lycra blend totes that give back.

Eco Emporia: Read JS Review | Buy It
We have Eco Emporia's products — made from discarded items including fire hose belts and rescued paper notebooks — to thank for introducing a reusable holiday tradition that extends beyond second-hand gift bags.

Blightster: Read JS Review | Buy It
Chilean artist Rodrigo Alonso has created a gift that keeps on giving with lamps made from reusable containers.

Tappening Bags: Read JS Review | Buy It ($50)
There's no reason that plastic water bottles and yogurt containers should live in landfills when they can have a second life as bags imploring your gift recipient to "Think Global, Drink Local."

Herb-n Art Toys: Read JS Review | Buy It ($9 – $60)
We know it’s fun to run out to the drugstore and get a friend a Chia-Pet as an “ironic” gift. Well, irony is dead. Get them an artistic alternative that can also grown microgreens out of its head.

Pangea Organics Holiday Gifts

Despite being one of Mother Nature’s most wondrous creations, human beings seem to spend a lot of time destroying her other gifts with irresponsible actions or products detrimental to the environment. It makes all too much sense that as part of the Earth, the products we use should be both beneficial to ourselves and to it. That’s the genius behind the products by Pangea Organics, our favorite eco-conscious maker of body and skincare items. Not only are their soaps and lotions lacking in harmful chemicals, but their molded fiber packaging comes with seeds embedded, so if you plant them they actually give back to the environment. This holiday season, Pangea has upped their ante as all of their holiday gift sets are lined with seeds for spruce trees. If the company achieves their sales goal 122,000 new spruce trees planted, it will be the environmental equivalent of not driving 30 million miles in one year. So your thoughtful gift of scented soap might actually end up being someone’s Christmas tree one day.

Global Warming Swimming Pool

Some say global warming is a real ecological travesty while others say it’s just the Lord’s way of rewarding us for getting rid of that pesky ozone layer that separated us from Heavens for far too long. Count the eco-conscious minds at HSBC in the former camp, as the banking stalwart recently commissioned the Mumbai-based branch of Ogilvy and Mather to help them increase awareness for this planetary problem. The result is a few stirring images of the New York City skyline underwater, created by the simple act of gluing an aerial photo of the city that never sleeps to the bottom of a swimming pool. The idea really brings the message home that no matter what your point of view, if the polar ice caps melt down too far, we’re sure to have tons of time to practice our breast stroke and develop gills in order to make our morning commute to work more efficient.

Via Neatorama

The Mini-E Field Trial

The thought of being a lab rat never held much appeal for us, but if you were to replace running on that wheel for endless hours with riding in an innovative new vehicle, we just might bite. The Mini-E is looking for a few good drivers to take their groundbreaking, 100% electric, zero emissions model for a spin. Did we say a few? We meant 500. The Mini-E Field Trial offers environmental enthusiasts and technology fanatics the chance to get a first hand experience in shaping the electric car revolution by taking a year long test drive of this lithium-ion battery powered subcompact. By agreeing to lease the car for one year, participants will play an integral role in the improvement of technology by answering key questions related to how these cars could better complement our day to day lives. If you have the pioneering spirit and want to be a part of automotive history, we recommend heading over to the MINI website and filling out an application now.

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