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Waste not: Weigh your Waste

In the 2009 conference paper ” Weigh your waste: a sustainable way to reduce waste,” authors  Alex A. Gartland and Paulina Piasek present an interactive waste disposal device, which helps users recycle and/or reduce waste in the home or work environment. The system they propose is made up of a digital scale that is embedded inside a large wheelie-style trash receptacle, along with a

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Thought for food: The Lambent Shopping Trolley Handle

lam·bent/ˈlambənt/ Adjective: 1. (of light or fire) Glowing, gleaming, or flickering with a soft radiance. 2. (of wit, humor, etc.) Lightly brilliant. Synonyms: sparkling – shining from Dictionary.com The fine folks from the UK-based Change Project have again developed an interesting tool to help us in the pursuit of healthier, more sustainable lives. The same group that brought us the

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UbiGreen: Eco-feeback on the go.

On average, the largest contributor to an individual’s CO2 emissions is personal transportation. In Canada, this represents more than 26 % of Canada’s total green house gas emissions. In the paper “UbiGreen: Investigating a Mobile Tool for Tracking and Supporting Green Transportation Habits” by Jon Froehlich, Tawanna Dillahunt, Predrag Klasnja, Jennifer Mankoff, Sunny Consolvo, Beverly Harrison, James A. Landay, the authors present the design, development

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Power Agent: Playing mission possible

Here is another eco-feedback tool developed by the fine folks of Sweden’s experimental Interactive Institute (the people behind the Power Aware Cord). In the paper  “Evaluation of a pervasive game for domestic energy engagement among teenagers,” authors Anton Gustafsson and Magnus Bång present a mobile phone game called Power Agent, which targets teenagers and their families. The game is designed to

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Art + Technology = Happy Spinning Trees

Tiffany Holmes is a media artist and an Associate Professor of Art and Technology at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and as part of her doctoral thesis she developed and deployed an eco-feedback tool for the workplace.  With the piece 7000 oaks and counting (2006-2009) Holmes looks to answer the question “Can creative visualizations of real time energy

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Tidy Street: The word on the street about energy use

I know what you’ve been thinking: isn’t it ironic that so many eco-feedback tools designed to decrease energy use, also consume energy? Well, not given the actual definition of the term “ironic,” but it is  interesting to note that our reliance on electricity in computer-based feedback leads to minor amounts of electricity being consumed in the pursuit of a

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“Save energy or the bear gets it”

Anyone who has spent anytime considering environmental messaging will have noticed that the polar bear frequently being used as a symbol of the impact of global warming on the animal kingdom. Perhaps it’s no surprise then that eco-feedback designers might be interested in leveraging the concern that many people seem to have for the iconic giant white bear

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Infotropism: a plant-based approach to eco-feedback

In the paper “Infotropism: Living and Robotic Plants as Interactive Displays” the interdisciplinary team of David Holstius, John Kembel, Amy Hurst, Peng-Hui Wan, Jodi Forlizzi, present a living and robotic plant display as a tool to increase recycling. At the root of the process was the desire to use “living plants to convey information about human activity”  (p.2). This is an excellent opportunity for

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Power Aware Cord: making obvious the “power” in power bars.

The Power Aware Cord is a magnificent project by Anton Gustafsson and Magnus Gyllenswärd, part of the Static! team from Sweden’s experimental Interactive Institute. The piece works in much the same way as any other power bar, but has the added (glorious) feature of “a dynamic visualization along the cord where the current use of electricity is represented through glowing pulses, flow, and intensity

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EcoIsland: The global warming game!

In “EcoIsland: A system for persuading users to reduce C02 Emissions,” Chihiro Takayama at Master’s student at  Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan and Vili Lehdonvirta a PhD student at Helsinki Institute for Information Technology, Finland present a persuasive computer-based system aimed at helping families to shift their habits towards sustainability, with the aim of decreasing CO2 emissions.  The EcoIsland project

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