Posts Tagged ‘new systems/services’

Bike Repair Station & Spare Parts Vending Machine

Posted in Models by Kate Archdeacon on August 19th, 2011

From “Self-Service Bicycle Repair Station” by Joop de Boer:

Bike Fixtation is a DIY bicycle repair station recently launched to serve stranded bicycle riders in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area. The smart initiative offers self-service kiosks on an extended-hours basis for bicyclists. The place offers all equipment needed to get unlucky bicycle riders back on the track. You can buy a tube or patch kit, pump your tires for free, and make simple adjustments using supplied tools. Bike Fixtation is open for 365 days a year from six in the morning to midnight. The first shop has opened doors inside the uptown transit station in Minneapolis, a second shop is to be opened soon.

Read the full article by Joop de Boer.

Eco-Ideation Tool: Re-Thinking Product Design

Posted in Research, Tools by Kate Archdeacon on August 3rd, 2011

Source: Food Climate Research Network (FCRN)

Bocken N M P, Allwood J M, Willey A R and King J M H (2011). ‘Development of an eco-ideation tool to identify stepwise greenhouse gas emissions reduction options for consumer goods’ Journal of Cleaner Production 19 1279-1287


Pressure on consumer goods manufacturers to develop new products with significantly less environmental impact is growing, through increased consumer awareness of environmental issues and governments setting ambitious emissions reductions targets. A strategic response to this pressure is to prepare a portfolio of innovative product ideas to meet a range of future emissions reductions targets.However, although extensive work exists on ideation (the generation of novel product ideas) and ecodesign (design for reduced environmental impact), eco-ideation (generation of ideas that particularly aim to reduce environmental impacts) has had little attention.

The challenge of eco-ideation is to release the creativity of a broad range of employees, only few of whom may be familiar with the drivers of environmental impact. This paper proposes a novel tool to facilitate the generation of radical product and process ideas giving step-change reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The features of products and processes that drive greenhouse gas emissions across the product life cycle were characterized with a set of indicators. A simple visual tool was created to show these indicators on a sliding scale between best and worst imaginable performance. A leading question associated with each slider was designed to stimulate lower impact ideas.

The tool was iteratively refined and simplified through structured testing with individuals from across a range of roles and differing knowledge of environmental impacts. The final eco-ideation tool used 14 scales, with leading questions for each scale developed to stimulate idea generation. The tool’s effectiveness was evaluated through use in a series of 15 individual workshops and compared with the outcomes of an equal number of conventional 12-person group-brainstorming sessions.

The comparison suggests that using the simple tool generally leads to a wider range of more radical ideas than emerge from group brainstorming.

Read more about the Eco-Ideation paper here.

Local Harvest: Metasite for organic & local food

Posted in Models, Tools by Kate Archdeacon on July 26th, 2011

From the LocalHarvest website:

LocalHarvest is America’s #1 organic and local food website. We maintain a definitive and reliable “living” public nationwide directory of small farms, farmers markets, and other local food sources. Our search engine helps people find products from family farms, local sources of sustainably grown food, and encourages them to establish direct contact with small farms in their local area. Our online store helps small farms develop markets for some of their products beyond their local area.

The richness, variety, and flavor of our communities, food systems, and diets is in jeopardy. The exclusive focus on economic efficiency has brought us low prices and convenience through large supermarkets chains, agribusiness and factory farms, while taking away many other aspects of our food lives, like our personal relation with our food and with the people who produce it. More and more people are realizing this and actively working to turn the tide and to preserve a food industry based on family-owned, small scale businesses. They are our best guarantee against a world of styrofoam-like long-shelf-life tomatoes and diets dictated from corporate boardrooms. The Buy Local movement is quickly taking us beyond the promise of environmental responsibility that the organic movement delivered, and awakening the US to the importance of community, variety, humane treatment of farm animals, and social and environmental responsibility in regards to our food economy.

LocalHarvest was founded in 1998, and is now the number one informational resource for the Buy Local movement and the top place on the Internet where people find information on direct marketing family farms. We now have more than 20000 members, and are growing by about 20 new members every day. Through our servers, our website and those of our partners serve about three and a half million page views per month to the public interested in buying food from family farms. LocalHarvest is located in Santa Cruz, California, and was founded by Guillermo Payet, a software engineer and activist dedicated to generating positive social change through the Internet.

Ethical Consumer is setting up a similar resource in Melbourne, Australia, and is seeking local involvement. KA

One Revolution: Bike Delivery Service

Posted in Movements by Kate Archdeacon on July 15th, 2011

One Revolution LLC is a member owned bike delivery service located in Burlington, Vermont. One Revolution’s mission is to provide expedient bicycle pick-up, delivery, marketing, and promotional services for individuals, local businesses, and organizations. We provide a delivery and promotional model for our partners whom share a common vision of sustainable, environmentally friendly, delivery of Vermont products while exerting a positive influence on the well being of our community. We provide bike delivery services to include catering delivery, wholesale and retail delivery, grocery delivery, CSA (community-supported agriculture) shares, compost and recycling, document delivery and publication distribution.

  • CSA and Farm Produce Bike Delivery
    Have your CSA share delivered to your door by bicycle. We work with Burlington area CSA farms to make farm fresh produce easily accessible to everyone. One Revolution will deliver your weekly share by bike to your home or office every week allowing you more time to create amazing meals.
  • Catering Delivery
    Local restaurants have partnered with One Revolution to offer bike delivery of catered meals. View menus from these great Vermont Businesses, place your order, and let them know you’d like it delivered by bike!
  • Revolution Compost (Pilot Program)
    Weekly food waste pick-up (and finished compost product return) by bicycle. This is your chance to not only reduce the amount of waste being trucked to landfill, but to reduce the amount of fossil fuels that would otherwise be used to truck this waste to landfill or industrialized compost facilities. Revolution Compost uses bicycles to provide this year-round service and recycles your kitchen scraps into rich organic compost.


Collaborative Consumption: Infographic

Posted in Movements, Tools by Kate Archdeacon on July 13th, 2011

Source: Fast Company‘s Co.Design

Infographic by Collaborative

From “Infographic Of The Day: A Tour Guide To Collaborative Consumption” by Morgan Clendaniel:

You might own some tools that you never use, or perhaps you have a backyard that you just don’t have the time to do anything interesting with. Until recently, those pieces of property mostly served as nagging reminders that you didn’t have enough time to do everything you wanted to do. Today, they can look like revenue streams, not wastes of money.

Ideas about ownership of property are slowly starting to change in this country. The success of Zip Car and of bike sharing programs in a few major cities are the vanguard of a host of different “collaborative consumption” services and businesses that allow people to monetize their own unused resources, or to find ways to get goods and services without purchasing them. This infographic shows some of the stuff that might be lying around your house that are just profits waiting to happen — and all the start-ups trying to help you along.

This infographic was made by the venture fund Collaborative–which invests in collaborative consumption businesses–and the Startup America Partnership in order to help illustrate the economic benefits of this idea.

Read the full article by Morgan Clendaniel to find out more about specific start-ups, including Park At My House and TaskRabbit (where you can get paid to assemble other people’s IKEA furniture).

Support Systems: Rebuilding for Resilience

Posted in Models, Movements by Kate Archdeacon on June 30th, 2011

Source: The Fifth Estate

From “Resilience planning for wild weather and climate change” by Leon Gettler:

Queensland, the state of floods and cyclones that devastated property, has become Australia’s laboratory for sustainable building, for creating resilient homes, offices and structures in the face of climatic volatility. In a radical scheme, Grantham residents who had confronted a deadly mountain of water in the floods, have been invited to apply for land swaps to higher ground after the small southeast town was declared the first designated reconstruction area under the new Queensland Reconstruction Authority’s powers. The local council is working with reconstruction authority to create the land swaps.

Green Cross Australia, the non profit group working with developers, insurers and the Property Council of Australia to encourage sustainable thinking, plans to launch a Harden Up portal in August.

The scheme is a world first. Using social media, it aims to makes people aware of the history of the weather patterns in their region, helps prepare them to protect their homes, families and communities and encourages them to share their insights. People will be able to tap into the portal to assess the weather patterns in their suburb or town over the last 150 years, using data from the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO. They will be taken on interactive multimedia tours and encouraged to share their insights through a page on Facebook. The exercise is not only about creating awareness, it’s about empowering communities and giving them the know-how and information needed to create more resilient housing.

Green Cross Australia has also run Build It Back Green workshops that seek to reduce household greenhouse gas emissions, improve community resilience through good design and engagement, invest in green school infrastructure, invest in commercial, government and public buildings, invest in green infrastructure projects and develop solutions for low income residents that reduce energy, water and waste.

Significantly, the Build It Back Green model is now being used by 7000 Victorians whose homes were destroyed in the Black Saturday fires. It is also now being taken up by residents in Perth who faced the bushfires there in January.

Read the rest of this article by Leon Gettler on The Fifth Estate.

Transport Emissions: Behaviour Change More Important Than Technology or Efficiency

Posted in Models, Research by Kate Archdeacon on June 28th, 2011

Image: icedsoul photography .:teymur madjderey via flickr CC

From “Behaviour change, not technology, is key to cutting vehicle emissions” by Nadya Anscombe:

When it comes to reducing emission from light-duty vehicles (LDV), researchers in the US have shown that technology alone is not the solution. In a paper published in Environmental Research Letters (ERL), Jalel Sager and colleagues from the University of California show that to meet greenhouse-gas emission and climate-reduction goals for the year 2050, the way in which we use LDVs has to change.

Co-author Daniel Kammen told environmentalresearchweb: “Reducing LDV emissions is often thought of as a technological challenge, with efforts going into the development of more efficient cars or fuels that produce fewer greenhouse gases per unit energy. However, by decomposing transport-sector emissions into technological and behavioural drivers, we show that even significant technological advances will be insufficient to meet climate goals, unless the growth in LDV use slows or reverses.”

To quantify the carbon dioxide mitigation challenge for the transport sector, the researchers surveyed 2007 LDV usage and fuel economy in an economically diverse set of countries. They found that the large differences in per capita LDV greenhouse-gas emissions (range: ˜100–4000 kg of carbon dioxide equivalent per year) are principally explained by differing national per_capita LDV use (range: 300–13,000 vehicle kilometres travelled (VKT) per year), rather than to fleet average fuel-efficiency and carbon-intensity factors, which reflect the broadly similar car technology worldwide.

The researchers forecast that meeting greenhouse-gas targets through technology developments alone would require universal deployment of one or more of the following clusters: electric vehicles running on nearly zero-carbon electricity, cellulosic biofuel-powered vehicles achieving 300 miles per gallon (0.78 l per 100 km), or gasoline-fuelled vehicles achieving in excess of 1000 mpg (0.24 l per 100 km).

“These performance levels exceed even the most optimistic technology scenarios for the year 2050,” said Kammen. “This shows that reducing greenhouse gases emitted by LDVs is a behavioural issue, not a technological one.”

Kammen cites several success stories of cities that have relatively low greenhouse-gas emissions from LDVs because of relatively compact urban development. For example, citizens of Hong Kong, Seville, Turin, Valencia, Lisbon, Bologna, and Moscow use between 5,000 and 11,000 MJ per capita per year for travel through these relatively compact areas, with more than half of all trips taken by foot, bicycle or public transport. Meanwhile, in cities with higher personal vehicle use, such as Chicago, Houston, San Diego or Washington, inhabitants use 44,000 to 86,000 MJ per capita per year, with less than 16% of all journeys accomplished through non-motorized or public means.

As well as improved urban planning and public transport, the researchers say that pricing policies and parking and congestion fees have also been shown to influence travel behaviour. Steadily increasing fuel taxes have proven especially useful in many developed countries, for example Germany, in reducing VKT and encouraging automakers to increase fuel efficiency over time. They point out that “the US, with some of the lowest fuel taxes in the developed world, seems ripe for such a measure”.

“There are so many opportunities available to us to reduce our greenhouse gases from LDVs,” said Kammen. “The question is, can we implement them quickly enough?”

Read Nadya Anscombe’s article (and associated links) on Environmental Research Web.

Combining Local Shop Deliveries: Last Mile Freight Solution

Posted in Models by Kate Archdeacon on May 30th, 2011

Source: Springwise

From “Combined deliveries from small, local grocers“:

London-based Hubbub lets customers place online grocery orders with multiple local shops and receive a single, aggregated delivery to the door. Consumers in most parts of Highbury, Islington, Finsbury Park, Stoke Newington, Tufnell Park and Kentish Town begin by creating an account with Hubbub and then shopping online at their favorite greengrocers, butchers, fishmongers, bakers and more. Shopping can be conducted online shop by shop, or consumers can search for a particular product. Either way, prices are the same as those charged in the shops themselves, and consumers can even choose when their order will be delivered. When that time comes, Hubbub visits the shops in question, picks up the items ordered and delivers them in a single delivery to the consumer’s door. Delivery takes place only on weekdays, and it’s free on the consumer’s first order and for all orders over GBP 75. Otherwise, it costs GBP 3.50, regardless of the order’s size. With the eco-benefits of combined delivery runs and the (still) made here appeal of local sourcing — not to mention the compelling convenience involved — we’re betting there will be plenty more services like this to come.

Check out the original article on Springwise for links to other ideas like this one.


Information Technology Supporting Transparent Future Food Policy

Posted in Movements, Opinion, Tools by Kate Archdeacon on May 13th, 2011

Source: Projects To Finish Someday via Sustainable Cities Collective

From “Information Technology: Coming to a Food Policy Near You” by Mari Pierce-Quinonez:

There are currently dozens of smartphone and internet apps designed to bring good food to tech-savvy consumers. You can now type in your location, the type of food you want and immediately get both directions to the best restaurant to go and the story behind the food they’re serving.  If buying food in bulk to cook at home is more your thing, beta versions of a wholesale purchasing app is now available by invitation.  Or if you want to grow your own, there are applications to aid you in planning your garden, sites to find a yard if you don’t already have one, and mobile apps with maps to fruit-bearing trees on public property.  But the food system is more than foodies finding their next fix: the modern tech-movement goes beyond consumer-oriented apps.  Food advocates and academics are using technology to connect the food system dots and are making good food policy decisions easier.

In the past, federal policymakers kept track of their own program-specific data: how many acres of farmland they had preserved, the nutrition status of the US population, the amount of vitamin D available in a particular type of milk.  By moving everything online and opening this data up to everyone, all sorts of sophisticated policy recommendations can be made.  The USDA’s Food Environment Atlas was released last year to much fanfare for the interactive maps that could show the state of the national food system.  Much more exciting was the fact that this data was all available for download, and the site continues to act as a datahub for food policy advocates.  Advocates and technophiles are using this data to produce reports and visualizations that help rally support as they begin to mobilize around the 2012 farm bill.


Read the full article by Mari Pierce-Quinonez over on Projects To Finish Someday.

Mandela Market Place: Urban Food And Community Initiative in Oakland

Posted in Models by Kate Archdeacon on May 3rd, 2011

Source: Mandela Marketplace via this article on Sustainable Cities Collective

The WYSE Team delivers fresh food to the sales point at the local bottle shop.

Mandela Marketplace is a non-profit organization that works in partnership with local residents, family farmers, and community-based businesses to improve health, create wealth, and build assets through cooperative food enterprises in low income communities.  Mandela Marketplace uses a community-driven economic framework to improve health, create wealth and build assets in low-income communities. The organization evolved since 2001, first as a project of the Environmental Justice Institute – Tides Center, until incorporating in 2005 as a stand-alone 501c3 organization. Mandela Marketplace innovates the assessment, development, and application of a community food system economy that strengthens community health, integrity and identity through economic opportunity and empowerment for inner-city Oakland residents and businesses, and local family farms.

Projects Include:

  • Mandela Foods Cooperative: A worker- and community-owned retail grocery store and nutrition education center in West Oakland that addresses economic empowerment and community health. It offers fresh, affordable produce from local family farms, food preparation classes and healthy prepared foods, as well as profit sharing with the community through community-investment accounts.
  • West Oakland Youth Standing Empowered (WYSE): An afterschool program with a mission to teach leadership skills to youth and young adults. WYSE’s goal to advocate for healthy communities focuses on the built environment and food security through projects like: Healthy Neighborhood Stores Alliance, Burbank Garden, and WYSE Streets.
  • Healthy Neighborhood Stores Alliance (HNSA): An alliance between store owners, community members and Mandela MarketPlace that works to improve community physical and environmental health by not only improving the affordability and quality of produce in convenience stores, but also by improving the store environment and its relationship in the community.
  • Family Farmers: Mandela Foods and Mandela MarketPlace have a strong commitment to local, under-resourced and minority producers. We have long-term working relationships with farmers who use sustainable farming practices from Bakersfield, Fresno, Dinuba, Watsonville, Salinas, Gilroy, Livingston and Modesto. Our Produce Distribution Center supports small, local farms by establishing a local, alternative distribution network that passes on wholesale prices to networks of neighborhood stores and other community based businesses.
  • Senior Market Booths: Mandela Marketplace operates weekly fresh produce market booths at area Senior Centers and residential facilities. Seniors are able to purchase farm fresh produce and wholesome basic staples at affordable prices in a convenient, friendly, and helpful atmosphere.
  • Burbank Garden East Oakland: Early in 2009 we met a man by the name of Bill Richie, who worked for the city of Oakland. He had been left in charge of the sprawling Burbank Garden. Bill offered WYSE the opportunity to revitalize the garden and reconnect the school and community to the garden. Our goal is to renovate the garden and grow pesticide-free produce there. We plan to organize the community around self-sustainability by growing food locally with their own resources and those available through Mandela MarketPlace.
  • Building Blocks Collaborative: The Building Blocks Collaborative (BBC) is a partnership of multi-sector community organizations in Alameda County. We are developing a blueprint to improve community conditions in order to support the well-being of our children, starting from the earliest stages of life.
At the USSF2010, Mandela Marketplace’s Quinton Sankofa and James Berk of Mandela Foods Cooperative presented to a workshop hosted by called Pathways to Sustainable Self-Governance.  Check out these videos to find out more.