Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Biodiversity Wiki? The Encyclopedia of Life - an electronic page for every species or organism on Earth availalble everywhere by single access on command.

An excellent effort by many, not least TED. Design from Avenue A-Razorfish in just 3 weeks of pro bono work.

I really can't imagine having the confidence to contribute anything to this but I hope it grows very well. There are so many millions of species we don't know that it would be a great effort to get to know a few more!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Is your Business Card made from Illegally Logged Prime Rainforest? Mine is not - here's how I know

A massive amount of wood imported into countries such as the UK is illegally logged at source. There have been extensive investigations of this and it still goes on. Check out The Friends of the Earth's Good Wood Guide by Georgina Magin.

Making decisions about wood, paper and card you buy is very simple. Here is the recommended approach:
1. Reduce the amount you use to begin with
2. Buy 100% Post Consumer Recycled
3. Buy FSC certified products (this is the only accreditation universally accepted by environmental organizations - see the 2001 FERN Report entitled Behind the Logo - An environmental and social assessment of forest certification schemes.)

Step 1 saves you money, whereas step 2 and 3 will cost you a little more and the planet a little less.

I tried to buy 100% Post Consumer Recycled or FSC Business Cards last year for my company, User Experience Design Limited, and I couldn't find any from the regular vendors of custom busines cards. In the end I managed to source some appropriate card from Neenah and printed it myself at a Kinkos in Denver and cut them to size there too (a little unprofessionally)

I used 'Neenah Environment® PC100' a 100% Post Consumer & FSC Certified Recycled Paper and found it made very good business cards.

So, that takes care of business cards. What about the paper hanging out of your printer - is it freshly logged (illegally) from an indonesian national park?

OK, now I had better get back to buying carpet from my house. 100% Wool from the UK seems to be the best option, with Hessian/felt underlay...


Sustainable CHI - a new group

Sometimes things happen to remind me why I like working in usability. The people I meet are pretty like minded. Several have just started a 'Sustainable CHI" group. It's early days but it looks like a group of people starting to think about how to do our bit for the environment. As a total tree-hugging vegetarian green nut I totally approve.

For bonus points, if anyone can think of a GREAT JOB for me combining bottomless eco enthusiasm and 15 years of UXD skills, even if it's paid in lentils, do let me know.