Eco-Friendly Alternative to Coffins

Project designers, Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel have constructed a biodegradable, organic capsule as an alternative to a coffin called, “The Capsula Mundi.” The purpose of the project is a conceptually and physically beautiful one; it is to reunite the deceased body back with nature and life. After the deceased is buried in a fetal position inside the pod, a tree seed or tree will be planted above the capsule. Within time the body’s nutrients will nurture the ground, causing a tree to grow from the remains. 

Instead of harming the environment by chopping down trees for wooden coffins and burying them, the project’s aim is to promote green cemeteries adorned with trees, you can chose. Originally conceived in Italy, the project is a working theory at the moment because Italian law forbids this type of burial. The goal is to comfort loved ones with a majestic body of nature they can visit. “A cemetery will no longer be full of tombstones and will become a sacred forest.”

View the process below. 

The client will choose the tree. 

The deceased person will be buried in a fetal position inside the pod.

Their bodies will transform into nutrients for a tree to grow. 

This will create a green cemetery.

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When I was working on Before I Grow Up, my original intention was for it to be an environmental piece but the composition didn’t work out so I redrew it in this version.

Months ago I was walking down the street after it had just rained and saw the reflection of the city in the puddles. The way it glimmered looked like fresh paint and made me wonder what it would be like to repaint the reflection of a city. What would I change? What would the future generations wish we had changed?

In other news, I’ll be at Fanime this May 22-25 in the San Jose Convention Center. As usual, I’ll be in the Artist Alley (table 623) with prints :) I hope to see you there!

Plantable Coffee Cups Embedded With Seeds Grow Into Trees When Thrown Away!

It’s no secret that we have a HUGE trash problem around the world. One eco-friendly company from California is striving to make a difference with the coolest invention for caffeine lovers ever! Reduce. Reuse. Grow., a startup company based out of San Louis Obispo, invented the world’s first plantable coffee cup. When planted the seeds embedded within the cup grow in the ground, sprouting life out of what was once a worthless old coffee cup.

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This Giant Wind Wall Sucks Carbon Dioxide Out of the Air

By turning the CO2 into fuel, it recycles environmental pollutants.​

Carbon Engineering has an ambitious plan to take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and turn it into fuel. The company is aiming the facility at areas where reforestation isn’t an option, such as deserts.

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Meet 3 of President Obama’s Newest National Monuments

In his State of the Union address this year, President Obama said that he planned to use his authority to create more protected lands. Last month, he did just that.

Using his powers under the 1906 Antiquities Act, which grants presidents broad authority to protect historic or ecologically significant sites without congressional approval, Obama has now created 16 national monuments. Designating the country’s newest national monuments, Obama declared that protecting places of natural beauty and historic significance is a truly American ideal.

One of the country’s most popular whitewater rafting areas, a utopian village that saw the birth of the labor rights movement, and a jungle in Hawaii that held World War II prisoners all became national monuments.

Browns Canyon National Monument

The Browns Canyon National Monument in Colorado (seen above) preserves one of the country’s most popular whitewater rivers and the 21,500-acre wilderness that encompasses it. Browns Canyon includes much of the upper Arkansas River Valley and the rugged granite cliffs, colorful rock outcroppings and dramatic mountain vistas.

This stretch of the Arkansas River is one of the most popular whitewater destinations in the country, bringing in around 100,000 visitors each year, and Browns Canyon is at the heart of that. The new monument lies about two and a half hours west of Denver in Central Colorado; Salida is the closest town.

“Conservation is a truly American ideal,” Obama said. “The naturalists and industrialists and politicians who dreamt up our system of public lands and waters did so in the hope that by keeping these places, these special places in trust, places of incomparable beauty, places where our history was written, then future generations would value those places the same way as we do.”

I can’t wait to visit!

Pullman National Monument

Obama also used the powers of the presidency to designate the Pullman National Monument, a 203-acre site on the South Side of Chicago, Obama’s hometown.

The Pullman designation honors the neighborhood built by industrialist George Pullman in the 19th century for workers to manufacture luxurious railroad sleeping cars. While the company employed a mostly white workforce to manufacture railroad passenger cars, it also hired former slaves to serve as porters, waiters and maids on its iconic sleeping cars.

In fact, the railroad industry was one of the largest employers of African-Americans in the United States by the early 1900s. Pullman workers played a major role in the rise of the black middle class but when a recession hit, Pullman slashed wages. As workers suffered, they joined the American Railway Union organized by Eugene Debs, and in 1894, called a strike that ended up affecting more than 250,000 workers in 27 states.

Half a century later, the Pullman Porters, under the leadership of A. Philip Randolph, formed the first African-American labor union, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. Randolph went on to become a leader in the Civil Rights Movement.

Obama began his career as a community organizer nearby and said returning to designate the monument “brings back a lot of good memories.”

Honouliuli National Monument

For his third new monument, Obama chose the site of a World War II internment camp in Hawaii for Japanese-American citizens and prisoners of war, to be known as Honouliuli National Monument.

Located on Oahu Island, this former World War II Japanese-American internment camp highlights the devastating consequences of wartime suspension of civil rights. It was soon after Japanese air force strikes on Pearl Harbor that government officials began to selectively round up Japanese-Americans throughout the islands.

An estimated 400 civilian internees and 4,000 prisoners of war were incarcerated in the camp during its five years of operation. The deep gulch was dubbed Jigoku-Dani (Hell Valley) by many internees because of the hot and miserable conditions.

Some Republicans Don’t Like It

Of course, some Republicans have complained that Obama has abused his authority, especially in regard to the Colorado site, the largest in size by far among the three new monuments.

Obama should “cut it out,” said Representative Ken Buck, from Colorado. “He is not king. No more acting like King Barack.”

Representative. Doug Lamborn, also from Colorado, called the move a “top-down, big-government land grab by the president that disenfranchises the concerned citizens in the Browns Canyon region.”

Really? It’s hard to fathom why anyone would disagree with preserving beautiful lands, unless perhaps they know they can’t exploit those lands for their own financial gain?

Outdoors and wildlife groups, by contrast, are thrilled about the Browns Canyon designation, saying it will allow future generations to enjoy its spectacular landscapes, world-class whitewater rafting, hunting and fishing.

And President Obama is building a fine legacy for himself as an environmentalist.

10 Small Things You Can Do Today To Save Our Planet

Happy #EarthDay! Make sure your children, grandchildren & great-grandchildren (and so on) get to experience our beautiful forests and oceans. Take care of our home.

  1. Buy one great, sustainable water bottle and refill that with tap water every time. Stop buying plastic water bottles in the store.
  2. Divide your waste (paper, plastic, glass, and other). This makes recycling easier and makes sure less waste ends up on landfills.
  3. Don’t throw your rubbish on the ground. Put it in your pocket or hold it until you see a bin. It’s really not that hard.
  4. Plant some bee friendly plants in your garden or on your balcony! (Here are some: [x])
  5. Ride a bike, walk, or take public transport rather than driving everywhere.
  6. Take your own reusable bag to the grocery store and stop taking (free) plastic bags. The plastic bags you do still have, re-use!
  7. Get a clothes rack to dry your clothes by the air. More sustainable and it makes your clothes last longer.
  8. Take shorter showers. Every two minutes you save on your shower can conserve more than ten gallons of water.
  9. Put on some extra layers of clothing rather than turning up the heat.
  10. Think before you print. You really don’t need as many things on paper as you think you do.