Getting a little tree transplant in cold, grey Washington, D.C. today.
Sadly, the new trees, without any leaves, look more dead than alive.
Sort of funny (-sad) how we pour infinite amounts of concrete and build up our cities, until there is little to no natural green spaces anymore (unless you go get yourself to the neighborhood park or run on weekends to burbs).
We call in the tree transplant folks to line that narrow strip around our sidewalks with a few trees and we call it a day.
Urban sprawl is leaving us with stoic concrete and steel, but very little natural warmth and beauty.
A few sad looking sapplings can’t make up for the lush forests and living landscape that we’re destroying. 😉
How many of you feel sort of disgusting every time you take out the trash with bottles and containers?
According to Earth911, only 27% of plastic and 25% of glass ends up getting recycled, with the majority ending up instead in landfills.
This is one reason that I really like the new eco.bottles made by Ecologic, a sustainable (i.e. green) packaging company.
The containers are made of two parts:
– The inner plastic pouch that holds the liquid and snaps into the second part. – The outer shell made of 100% recycled cardboard and newspaper (and in turn is 100% recycable again).
These containers result is a net 70% plastic reduction!
Yet, they have the same strength and functionality of plastic containers, with comparable results in drop, ship, and moisture tests.
And companies like, Seventh Generation, a leader in sustaibable cleaning, paper, and personal care products have signed on and is using eco.bottles, and they have seen sales increase 19% with it.
In a Bloomberg BusinessWeek (25 October 2012) article, the chief operating officer of The Winning Combination states: “The minute you look at it, you get it. This is a bottle that’s good for the planet.”
Like these eco.bottles, we need more of our decisions to be driven by what is good for us long-term, so this is not just a revolutionary green bottle, but perhaps a true sustainable evolution in our thinking and behaving all around.
So technology really does come to everything, eventually.
Check out Kohler’s new high-tech toilet, the Numi.
Aside from all sorts of automatic functions from opening the toilet (from up to 8 feet away), to raising the seat for men based on foot sensors, to even flushing with varying power level based on how long you’ve been doing your business, the Numi really performs as the “toilet of the future” as CNET calls it.
Using a touch-tablet remote (that magnetically docks to a wall panel):
– It washes (through an extending bidet with LED lights)
– It dries (with an built in air dryer and deodorizer)
– It cleans (the bowl with 2 modes–1.28 or 0.6 gallons of water for the eco-conscious, and it also cleanses the bidet head with water or a bath of UV light)
– It warms (by controls for seat temperature and blows warm air at your feet), and
– It entertains (with FM radio and speakers as well as integrates with your iPod/iPhones).
For $6,400 you get yourself a true throne with form and function fit for a gadget king.
(Credit Picture of Remote to Scott Stein/CNET and Credit Picture of Numi Side to Kohler)
Isn’t it every kids’ dream to own a car?And who can’t wait to take their first driving lessons?
The Wall Street Journal, 29 February 2008 reports that “Japan’s Young Won’t Rally Round the Car.”
“Since the peak in1990, Japanese car makers’ domestic sales have dropped 31% to nearly three million vehicles in 2007.”
Why is this happening?
The Internet—“Unlike their parents’ generation, which viewed cars as the passport to freedom and higher social status, the Internet-connected Japanese youths today look to cars with indifference…having grown up on with the internet, they no longer depend on a car for shopping, entertainment, and socializing and prefer to spend their money in other ways.”
Preference for electronics—“Young people can borrow their parents’ car and I think they’d rather spend their money on PCs and iPods than cars….trains will do for now.”
Green movement—“Many youths worldwide felt cars were unnecessary and even uncool because they pollute and cause congestion.”
Kids’ priorities are changing and with that car manufacturers are having to re-architect the way they design and sell cars.
How is the auto industry responding with new architectures?
New car designs for the Internet generation—these include smaller, eco-friendly vehicles; cars for hanging out together with convertible interior space designed to feel like a sports bar with large touch-screen displays that can be used by the group like; cars with rotating cabins “capable of driving sideways to easily slips into a parking space;” vehicles with “‘robotic agents’ shaped like a head with two eyes that s mounted on the dashboard abd provides driving directions in a soothing voice.”
New marketing for the computer-savvy—Drive date videos: “downloads filmed from a drivers perspective, the video lets a viewer go on a day drive with a young, female Japanese model as they drive together along scenic, congestion-free roads.”
The automobile is changing to meet new consumer demands: The cars’ purpose “isn’t to get from point A to point B, but is to provide a social space for the driver and passengers. It doesn’t convey status except the status of being together.”
A lesson for enterprise architects is that function certainly drives architecture. However, functional requirements change along with culture, and the architect needs to be ever vigilant is searching out and spotting new trends, so that the enterprise can be proactive in meeting user expectations. Further technical requirements change based on innovations, and these must be aligned with functional requirements to optimize EA solutions.
Pepsi knows and practices User-centric Enterprise Architecture. They plan, develop, and manage their business to meet end-user needs, and the CEO, India-born Indra Nooyi is the mastermind behind their approach.
In Fortune Magazine, 3 March 2008, the article “The Pepsi Challenge” describes how Ms. Nooyi has remade Pepsi into a totally user-driven, architecture astute, mega-food company that is firing on all cylinders.
Architecting with a global view—“her South Asian heritage gives her a wide-angle view on the world…Pepsi’s international business grew 22% last year, triple the rate of domestic sales, and now contributes 40% of total revenue ($39 billion last year).
Architecting wise acquisitions and divestitures—in 1997, seeing that “the fast-food market was saturated and the real estate a hard investment to maximize,” she spun off Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and KFC. In 1998, she championed the acquisition of Tropicana, the largest branded-juice producer, and the 2001 acquisition of Quaker Oats, maker of Gatorade.
Architecting the corporate culture—Ms. Nooyi is an expert in the art of persuasion and rallying the troops to her cause. “She can rouse an audience and rally them around something as mind-numbing as a new companywide software installation.” “She has created the motto—‘Performance With Purpose’” as a means of ‘herding the organization’ towards her vision.
Architecting through good people and demanding performance excellence—Ms. Nooyi relies on the expertise of her staff and has “broadened the power structure by doubling her executive team to 29.” Moreover, “she expects everyone around her to measure up.”
Architecting a healthy diet, green environment, and care for her people—“she…puts a positive spin on how she wants PepsiCo to do business…balancing the profit motive with making healthier snacks, striving for a net-zero impact on the environment, and taking care of your workforce.”For example, Pepsi got into healthy foods (such as bottled water, sports drinks, and teas) earlier than Coke and now “commands half the U.S. market share—about twice Coke’s share, according to Beverage Digest. Ms. Nooyi’s plan is continue shifting to healthy snacks (currently at 30% to 50% of the product portfolio).
What I find inspiring about Ms. Nooyi is that she is not only a strategic, big picture minded leader, but that she performs with the eloquence of a master architect that knows her users and their needs, strives to fulfill them, and doing so with an apparent conscience that dictates ethical behavior toward her people, the environment, and the health of her customers.