New Zealand

Xena joins Greenpeace

Article: Xena joins Greenpeace

Count Xena: Warrior Princess among your guilty pleasures? Got a thing for leather armor mini-dresses and overdubbed battle wails? Miss that smack-you-over-the-head sexual tension between Xena and Gabrielle? Hey, who doesn’t? But since the show’s been off the air for over a decade, actress Lucy Lawless has time on her hands – and is dedicating at least some of it to environmental activism in her native New Zealand.

Green tech finds, 10/20/11

Article: Green tech finds, 10/20/11

Underground skyscrapers, smart windows and more problems with natural gas drilling: Your green tech finds for the week.

Charge your car with your phone: Well, not exactly, but a new app developed by IBM and Swiss utility EKZ allows for better management of when your electric vehicle is charged and what sources of energy are used to charge it. Find out more in the video above. (via @greeneconpost)

The grain silo hotel: While not as green as it could be (because the structures used were built for the project), Silo Stay, a nine-unit New Zealand hotel built from grain silos…

Green tech finds, 9/15/11

Article: Green tech finds, 9/15/11

Pig poop, coconuts, and seaweed: all the stuff of good green tech finds this week.

An affordable, fast and tip-proof electric motorcycle: Lit Motors CEO Daniel Kim claims all of those qualities come together in the C-1 concept, which could be available as early as 2013. Check it out in the video above. (via GreenTech Pastures)

Using shipping containers to house prisoners: green or inhumane?

Article: Using shipping containers to house prisoners: green or inhumane?

Shipping containers have become a hot form of prefabricated building material: they’re cheap, plentiful, and ready for retrofitting. Their modular nature provides lots of opportunities for creativity, and architects have used them for both homes and larger buildings.

All of these reasons have played into Adelaide, Australia’s decision to experiment with shipping containers as prison cells. But a number of state legislators and activists are crying foul, claiming that the plan is inhumane. Civil libertarian George Mancini told The Advertiser that he sees the plan as representative of short-term thinking on corrections: “I would have thought the future of prisons involves the rehabilitation of prisoners… There needs to be a focus on rehabilitation and reasonable conditions, not just cheap housing but effective housing.”

Vimeo of the Week: Water & Rocks

Article: Vimeo of the Week: Water & Rocks

Water & Rocks, New Zealand from Metron on Vimeo. When posting my favorite Vimeo video of the week round these parts I find myself returning to moving, ethereal short films focusing on natural beauty. This week’s choice, Water & Rocks, is one of those types. As I have two friends in New Zealand now I…

CFL vs. incandescent: can you tell the difference?

Article: CFL vs. incandescent: can you tell the difference?

I’ve heard just about every excuse out there for not switching from incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs): they cost more; they look funny; they’re a hazard because they contain mercury. It’s pretty easy to rebut these arguments, but another common complaint — the quality of the light — was an issue for quite some time. Not so anymore… and New Zealand’s Electricity Commission now has data to support that claim.

Bleeding billboards

Article: Bleeding billboards

These eye-catching PSA billboard in New Zealand bleed when it rains to remind drivers to be more careful on the roads during rainy conditions. It’s an innovative campaign for sure, but I can’t help but wonder whether such a provocative ad might cause drivers to not pay attention to the road in front of them…

Environmentally unfriendly monoliths

Article: Environmentally unfriendly monoliths

New Zealand artist Peter Robinson’s latest sculptures in his series “Polymer Monoliths” currently on display at the Institute of Modern Art plays with polystyrene. A non-biodegradable thermo-plastic, it cushions our electronic goods in transit and pollutes our foreshores. In Robinson’s work, it is also a sculptural material of infinite possibility—lightweight yet massive, able to fill…