Pretoria, the capital of South Africa, is also home to my mother, my step father and my younger brother.
It is always a beautiful city but these days, with the Jacaranda trees in full bloom, the streets are almost glowing in light purple.
The Jacarandas have a full monopoly in the streets of Brooklyn, Pretoria (yup, my mama lives in Brooklyn) and the effect is quite dazzling.
Wish I was there.
Being up on the 28th floor in midtown you get to see some interesting things, the winds up here carry all sort of stuff and yesterday they were carrying ghosts.
well, kind of. Somebody down around 30th street was making big foam ghosts (looked like the kind of foam you get from putting dish-washing soap in a washing machine) that were flying up and down by the buildings around me. When the first one (and the only one that got so close) was near my window I was too busy trying to figure out what it was and I didn’t take a picture. In fact I was almost convinced by a co-worker (aka red neck Ames) that it was Styrofoam, but I knew they were ghosts and made sure my eyes stayed open for the next ones that will come.
When they finally did I was ready.
Sunday’s weather was so perfect for hiking, the sun was out all day but it wasn’t too hot, we also had an early start so it was still a bit cold but through the crisp cold air the colors almost looks brighter. I think they were.
The colors of Autumn are incredible and they never last long enough. I’m so happy I got the chance to take a full day to soak it in and be mesmerized by natures wonders.
Stacks of colored construction paper at the mom and pop copy/fax center on the corner. Bk,Ny.
Pretty? Yes. But sustainable? No.
Yesterday I met Liz Conover, a designer for Design & Source, a global packaging design company based out of New York. From bags, to displays, to containers, to boxes, D&S will custom make anything you need to creatively package your wares. Retailers today have a myriad of options when deciding to step in line with a design firm. What D&S sells that no one else can is their superior sustainability. From their 100% windpowered headquarters in the city, to their Best Green Business Award from The New York Enterprise Report, they not only talk the talk, but walk the walk.
What I am most impressed with is their commitment to the rather new paper source TerraSkin. TerraSkin is a paper made without the use of trees or water. Yes, really. A huge, brilliant leap forward in being better friends with our ecosystem, and towards maintaining what we have left of it.
How do you make paper with no trees or water? You use stone. Powder to be exact. For instance, when a counter top is made, and a hole is cut out for the sink, the powder created from grinding out that space is what comprises 75% of the paper. The other 25% is a non toxic resin. Even nicer, is that there are more than eco advantages to TerraSkin. It is more durable than regular paper, less ink is needed to make quality prints, and images are crisper, as there is no bleeding like regular paper. Click here for an interesting side by side comparison.
To put a cherry on top, when this paper is left out in the sun for 3-9 months, it degrades back into its mineral powder form. There is virtually no footprint to its production and use, and on top of that, it is easily recycled.
There is no catch. Only opportunity. So spread the word.
For the last month or so I have been talking to Wendy Bounds of WSJ, who was testing different composters and was writing a story about her experiance.
Composting is one of the easiest ways to reduce waste, organic waste is easily turned into nutritious soil that can be added to the earth to fertilize and enrich it, and many cities are starting to mandate composting, or at least the separation of organic waste from the rest of the trash.
One of the units tested for the story was the ECOmposter, designed by Itzak Aviram (my father) and sold by the company I work for. This unit is the same composter I use at home and it’s probably one of the best in the market today in terms of design and ease of use.
The story is out today, in print and online, another little check mark .
Thanks to my sister, Naomi Freidman, I came across this incredible bird tea bag earlier today, designed by Nathalia Ponomareva. As a tea (and origami) lover, I can’t wait for this to hit the stores.