The Botanic Gardens

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As we’ve mentioned, Owen and I just got back from the East Coast. The first leg of our trip was spent in Washington DC and the second half in New York.

If you are going to DC, I definitely recommend checking out The United States Botanic Garden. It’s steps from the Capitol, and we were planning on visiting that, the outdoor gardens and the Library of Congress buildings, but it was raining absurdly hard, so we ended up spending all our time in the conservatory. Thankfully, there are tons of beautiful plants and flowers to see even without visiting the outside gardens. I know it is a bit simple to write a post that essentially boils down to “flowers are pretty,” but the Botanic Gardens were really lovely, the orchids are formally so interesting to look at and it is a great place to spend an hour or so on a rainy afternoon. Plus, since so many artists and designers draw inspiration from nature, it offers a great opportunity to get exposure to plants you wouldn’t normally see.

For some information of the history of the Botanic Gardens, click here.

Water water every steer.

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Happy Earth Day folks (though we hope that by April 2009 you’re thinking of the Earth more than one day a year)! I’ve been thinking a lot about how difficult it is to reframe one’s thinking into ecoefficient decision making. I for one am a fan of infographics for this.

Good Magazine has an infographic comparing the water consumption involved in various things you might do in your day that clearly shows something that few of us consider. While using a low-flow showerhead may save a dozen gallons a day, opting out of a pound of beef saves 1500 gallons.

The experts don’t want to be preachy about it, but jeez. First Michael Pollan showed us how inefficient an example of sunlight-calorie rationing meat was, and now this? Less beef, people. Many more people eating somewhat less beef, please, for the future?

Also, folks at Good? Nice infographic. You had me at 1500 green drops.
Meat is Murder Water.

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via Kottke.

Science + Art

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Artist Michael Bartalos has teamed up with the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco for a special project that brings together two of my favorite things: science and art. His current project is an ongoing piece called The Long View, wherein he will create sculptures using recyclable goods found in Antarctica. He’ll document his progress on the Academy of Sciences blog, as well as on his own website. I, as a lover of found-object art with a purpose, am excited to see something that promotes sustainability awareness with flair.

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