Archive for dirty hippies

Earth Day Musings from A Design Snob

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2009 by ekiester


I have to admit, I am totally not into anything ‘groovy’ or ‘hippie’. Dream catchers and twirly Indian skirts with jingly bell trims make me want to douse myself in expensive perfume (preferably a wicked, edgy one of MOR’s fragrances from and flee to the nearest glass encased sky ip61-edp-bottlescraper. I recently met a woman named Pam who hailed from an area in the Northwest US famous for it’s bohemian attitude, and I am a New Yorker, who has cynicism and snark running through her veins. Needless to say, she and I were like oil and water. (I’d like to think that I was an Italian olive oil in a vintage glass bottle, and perhaps she was pure, unfiltered river water poured into recycled plastic.) But we did find a common ground—we care about the Earth—it’s just that we see this eco movement from different perspectives.

cryingindian1jpgDon’t get me wrong—I, too, hate litter (hear that, Pam?) and I can’t even think about that 70s TV commercial starring the Native American who is standing in the garbage heap with a teardrop rolling down his cheek without choking up myself. But I am attracted to this movement when it’s taking on a modern, cool, visual perspective. In Tokyo, I saw these eco, recycled trash bags decorated with naïve little cartoonish flowers. They made me smile. They were cute and fun, and still eco conscious. I know that Native American guys tear would dry up instantly if he saw them, too.


In Cambodia, there’s this amazing NGO, Osmose, working with the local women who live on the Tonle Sap Lake, which happens to be getting choked by overgrowth of water hyacinths. While they sure look pretty, these waterborne flowers, the bummer is they’re killing off the sea life, which is in turn keeping the men in this floating village from fishing and earning a living. So they’ve figured out a way to pull up these stalks, dry them in the relentless heat of the noonday Cambodian sun, and weave them into the chicest, most divine floor mats, storage baskets, straight-out-of-the-most-expensive-spa-on-the-planet slippers and beautiful, oversized market totes (very, very South of France, actually).


This is eco without the ‘loving hands at home’ DIY mess normally associated (by me) of such things. But what’s truly “Earth Day” about the whole concept is that it’s about the Earth and ALL of its inhabitants—the fish, the people, the community’s future. It’s a total Earthy package without the guilt, without the doom and gloom, without the stinky patchouli oil. It’s happy, not hippie. Check it out on (Pam would approve.)

glass-water-bottleswebjpg On, I am obsessing over this glass water bottle and glass set, designed exactly to spec to look like one of those quart size plastic bottles of Evian and those dinky Dixie cups. It’s insanely, amazingly chic but eco at the same time. I think this would be a smart, get-on-board-with-the-rest-of-the-universe gift for a fellow cynic/design snob who thinks eco=ugly. (Pam, my birthday is coming up.).

bestow-091webjpg1For the picnics we’re all certain to have as summer nears (and of course, we won’t be using charcoal, as it is a pollutant), again offers an alternative to the groovy, woodsy, I-like-camping-and-not-showering-for-a-week picnicwear we are now seeing in recyclable bamboo. (Okay, I confess. I do kinda like camping now, and I did buy those plates made by Bambu at Whole Foods. But I like showers, too.) Anyway, designed to look like sterling silver, with it’s filagree patterns and heavy weight, this cutlery set is made from plastic, to be used again and again and stored away in a little picnic basket (from Osmose, maybe?) for your next romp on the pesticide free grass with tofu and foie gras. Just do me a favor and don’t use one of those hemp picnic blankets, okay? Sorry, Pam, but they’re hideous

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