Dead Standing Up

For those of my readers who are unaware, the Big G (Google) provides a search engine to browse various patents that have been filed with the patent office. This magical tool led me to THIS patent application. Just read the first page to get an idea of what its all about.

Now some might say this is not really a resting position, or this somehow goes against one religious practice or another. These are valid claims and they should be taken into account. But with the soaring cost of funerals, news reports of cemeteries reusing burial spots without family consent and the enormous environmental benefits. This does seem a very logical and simple solution.

Marketing Lesson: This is one of those marketing conundrums where the company has an exciting new product but the incumbent product/practice seems too big to break.

Company needs to have large reputable clients before it shoots for quantity sales. Also it needs a whole division dedicated to educating consumers about the product.

Seem the idea is catching on as Australia got its first vertical cemetery in 2009.

Buy Vertical Burial T-Shirt’s Here.

Until next time,



carbon footprint 2.0

A picture is worth a thousand words, the first image is my new carbon footprint and the second is the old one (difference of about 9 weeks, click on the images to see a zoomed version.)

So what is the difference, here are the numbers.

  • Planets required to support my lifestyle – dropped from 3.2 to 3.1
  • Global acres needed to support my lifestyle – dropped from 14.2 to 13.9
  • Tonnes of Carbon Dioxide generated – dropped from 15.3 to 11.9

These are small drops with the biggest difference coming in carbon dioxide production. The footprint breakdown also lost a significant portion of the pie in housing footprint, my suspicions are this is because of better recycling habits.

My problem with this method: this site does a really good job of measuring few things one might do to reduce their footprint. Other steps like refusing plastic, using environmentally friendly products are not measured. One may make the argument that these steps are so small that they do not have an impact on my carbon footprint. My response would be that this measurement tool is meant to be another way to encourage people to change their ways and if my day to day efforts (no matter how small) are not being measured than it might fail to positively encourage users.

If i had done everything i did the same as last 9 weeks except take the sustainability class i would be very inclined to think that my efforts made no difference. Hopefully this will change in the future as better metrics are created along with more robust technology to support them.

In the meanwhile my efforts to be more green and stay green continue on, and hopefully i will do this again in about 9-12 weeks time. I look forward to comments and suggestions, especially if you know of other ways to measure carbon footprint.

until next time


update: here is where you can take the test yourself thank you @econow for pointing that out.


its all about the automobile

I spent a considerable amount of this weekend researching information for a Management project on the Chinese Auto industry. This got me curious on what is being done to reduce the impact we have on the environment through our cars.

As one many imagine there is enormous amount of information present around the interwebs and in our own backyards on reducing auto pollution. Here are 3 ranging from most common to most unique.

10 tips to reduce your auto pollution – these are the basics, with tips ranging from driving only when necessary, to keeping you car well tuned and good pressure in your tires. This list may be obvious but is still a good read. [read]

Amsterdam’s City Cargo – This service which recently finished a pilot program recently went in full operation. The basic premise of the service is that it uses the existing mass transit network of Amsterdam to bring cargo into the city and then uses its own fleet of trucks to complete the short hop and get the goods to the customers doorstep. [read]


the many flavors of green

Quarter is almost coming to an end and as always i am struggling to summarize the vastness of all the information i have learnt. The sustainability goals are coming along pretty well before we get into details here is something i came across the web today.

Uptil now i just knew the terms “green” or “grey.” Each signifying friend or enemy of the planet respectively. Today i ran across an article on the web that talks about different types of green. I have tried to create one line summaries on all of them and you an always read the original post here.

There are 3 types of green based on the philosophy of the people that follow them, obviously there are many variations in each and crossovers.

Bright Green: People who believe that for green to be successful it also has to be profitable and care about overall well being of humanity.

Light Green: People that encourage change on an individual level will result in a global result.

Dark Green: People that promote the idea that we need to step away from consumerism and maybe even modern conviniences.

What type of Green are you? I currently fall somewhere under light and bright green.


influencing for a greener tomorrow

Hey all, i mentioned in my last post i will try to influence one person every week to start (make a change) in one daily activity for a sustainable tomorrow. As i have learnt in the last couple of weeks influencing others to do something is not an easy task.

To help me with this challenge i turned to my marketing classes for help. Now there is a lot one could say about persuasion and influence. Case in point the Persuaders documentary on PBS (click the PBS logo to watch.) A simple google search on persuasion or influence will also reveal a lot of information like the pyramid shown here.

As for me i decided to choose an approach taught to me by my sales professor Dr. T.J. Olney. He uses Influence: Science and Practice (1993) by Robert B. Cialdini (Harper-Collins ISBN 0-673-46751-1) to layout six basic principles that can be used to influence others.

  • Reciprocation
  • Commitment / Consistency
  • Social Proof
  • Liking
  • Authority
  • Scarcity

I have been using a combination of the last four for 3 days now and have successfully motivated one friend to stop purchasing drinks packaged in plastic. This is also my goal and she has agreed to mirror me.


the risk of inaction and saving the oceans

Before we get to the post few house keeping items:

  • Updates have been missing lately because i like to do decent amount of research before i post something and lately time has been a precious commodity.
  • I am always looking for topic suggestions, so have your say in the comments
  • If you are learning/know conjoint research method and want to chat get in touch with me. i am still learning but always looking for a new perspective.

This like the past couple of weeks has been a good week on keeping up with my goals. The week did have its own set of problems but before we get into all that here lets talk about our oceans.

On February 10th Dr. Robert Ballard was  interviewed on The Colbert Report. Dr. Ballard is most famous for finding the Titanic but he says his most important work has been discovering some very unique Bio-Spheres under the ocean surface.

Here are a few things he shares:

  • Water (a.k.a. oceans) form 72% of our planet and most of it still remains unexplored.
  • We have been reaching for the heavens with missions to mars and beyond but we have little to no idea of our own backyard.
  • NASA’s budget from one fiscal cycle is sufficient to fund NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) for 1200 years. Now that’s a staggering statistic.

the toxic life

Its the end of week 4 and this week brought a rather startling realization. Before we jump into my week here are there 3 stories that made the interwebs a little more sustainable.

Bill of RightsThe makers bill of rights – the good people at released a bill of rights to safeguard consumer interest. A very interesting side effect of this bill is that it encourages REUSE a very important concept in the sustainable movement. This bill of rights shows the synergy that exists in our environment. (click on the graphic to view full resolution)

Urban Farming – Cuba is the biggest urban farming country in the world, with 90% of produce being grown in cities. The idea of urban farming has been around for a long time now, with successful implementation of the technique visible through out Asia and Europe. It is still rather rare in America, in my small attempt to encourage urban farming take a look at this brief article and picture (farming in a bank vault in Japan), click here and be inspired.