The Lighter Shade of Green (And I Don’t Mean Chartreuse)

featured-brave-new-worldAs we approach the holidays and our year begins to wind down, I thought I’d have a little fun. I hope you enjoy my columns about world-changing websites such as change.org and green information on topics as varied as noise pollution, but I want to switch gears a little this month.

I think we all agree that there are still some needs to be met when it comes to marrying our business practices with environmental and social responsibility. We haven’t truly yet been able to reconcile sustainable goals with our business of pulling stuff from the ground, putting humans to work on that stuff to create more stuff, using the power-consuming stuff, and then disposing of that sometimes hazard stuff. So, this month, I want to share a few really fun and creative eco-inventions. My hope is that by lightening the mood a little, you might be inspired to think about solutions we could create in our industry. Feel free to smile and search your imagination for ways we could possibly improve the world. Because, as Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

Starting with paper and printing, here are some funny but really unique ideas. The prepeat printer is inkless, tonerless and lets you reuse the plastic printable paper over and over again. Or, how about a printer that uses pencil lead and eraser shavings to print and erase? Hard to take that one seriously… But if you’re looking for a solution to your mounds of office paper waste, why not make it into tomorrow’s toilet paper? (Might be a satisfying end to those annoying reports you are required to generate each month.)

What about unique lighting and alternative power? Starting with the really bizarre, you can power your iPod at the beach with this solar powered bikini!! How about a lamp that illuminates when you add a drop of blood? We might think twice about turning on unnecessary lighting! We’ve all heard about the dance floor that uses the kinetic energy of the crowd to power the lighting, but there are rocking chairs and personal power devices that are harnessing the same technology to generate electricity for our personal electronics. And we definitely can’t ignore the wave of outlet load management technologies such as Bert that are beginning to dominate the market.

The most creative inventors and creators have all agreed that we should always be curious and take notice of the things outside our daily business. Did you know it was not NASA who invented Velcro, but a Swiss man taking his dog for a walk and noticed how the burrs clung to each other with hooks? He was ridiculed for his “childish” idea… but guess who ended up with the last laugh when his material went to the moon?? I hope this month’s column had just enough humor and fun ideas to inspire a little childlike creativity in you. Some of the best advice I’ve heard when it comes to creating is to focus on the practical, useful, needed and beautiful. As you hopefully enjoy a few days off, let your imagination take hold and begin to think how we can use our technology in those ways. With that said, I wish you all a very, very happy holiday season.

Please enjoy some of these cool quotes about inventions and creation:

“Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void but out of chaos.”
― Mary Shelley

“Invention is by its very nature disruptive. If you want to be understood at all times, then don’t do anything new.”
― Jeff Bezos

“The progressive development of man is vitally dependent on invention. It is the most important product of his creative brain.”
― Nikola Tesla, My Inventions

“If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember that this whole thing was started with a dream and a mouse.”
― Walt Disney

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. ”
― Walt Disney