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Links, Books, and Articles recommended by John

Isabel and Melati Wijsen in Forbes

Green School students on Forbes’ Most Inspiring Women list

Melati and Isabel of Bye Bye Plastic bags recently made it to Forbes’ Indonesia’s Most Inspiring Women. A huge achievement! The girls saw it firsthand in their favorite local beach, Seseh, which was, as Melati puts it, “swallowed up by garbage.” “When you’re at the beach sunbathing or going for a swim, you’re swimming with plastic, you’re sunbathing with plastic. There’s no escaping it,” says Melati. Those experiences led them, in April 2013, to start Bye Bye Plastic Bags, when they were just 10 and 12. The two girls attend the Bali Green School, which promotes environmentalism, so their campaign was in keeping with the school’s mission. “The question became ‘who’s going to do something about it?’ We thought ‘why don’t we do something about it? Why don’t we stand up for our island?’,’” Melati says. – See more at: http://forbesindonesia.com/berita-1303-isabel-and-melati-wijsen.html#sthash.MIq5t5XU.dpuf   Check out their whole story in their TED talk which has had over 1 million views to date:

The Food Babe

READ: The Food Babe’s blog

If you’re into what is going into your body via your food, you have to read Vani Hari’s the Food Babe blog.  Some of the most important work she is doing is around Monsanto and glysophate weed killer. A large body of peer reviewed research links glyphosate (which is sprayed on the majority of crops in this country) to cancer, reproductive problems, liver, kidney and skin cell damage, antibiotic-resistance, and more. The WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer has deemed it a probable carcinogen. One of the biggest sellers of glyphosate, Monsanto, has been colluding with the EPA to keep it on the market. It’s truly outrageous and I’m as angry as you are.   She also has great articles on the sugar wars and many of the ‘Big Food’ problems facing the food industry today. Her Investigations page is a great place to start. About Vani Hari  Vani Hari is a revolutionary food activist, a New York Times best selling author, and was named one of the “Most Influential People On The Internet” by …

War on sugar heats up

The war on sugar heats up

Huge amount of press these days on sugar and news about the way we’ve been sold a lie about the white stuff.  Will keep adding to this list as more comes out in the press about the ‘War on Sugar”. CNN: South Africa plans to fight obesity with a sugar tax (March 2017) In tackling sugar drink prices, South Africa follows in the footsteps of Mexico, France, Hungary and New York, which have pioneered the strategy. It plans to introduce a 20% tax on soft drinks that will come into force April 1, making South Africa, which has one of the highest rates of obesity on the continent, the first African country to adopt the measure. CNN: What happens to your brain when you give up sugar (March 2017) The connection between the nucleus accumbens and our prefrontal cortex dictates our motor movement, such as deciding whether or not to taking another bite of that delicious chocolate cake. The prefrontal cortex also activates hormones that tell our body: “Hey, this cake is really good. And I’m going …

Sugar is a drug

READ: Is sugar the world’s most popular drug?

This article came via Cynthia and it’s really and truly worth reading. It’s going to be bigger than the war on tobacco so let’s get ready. Sugar does induce the same responses in the region of the brain known as the “reward centre” as nicotine, cocaine, heroin and alcohol. Addiction researchers have come to believe that behaviours required for the survival of a species – specifically, eating and sex – are experienced as pleasurable in this part of the brain, and so we do them again and again. Sugar stimulates the release of the same neurotransmitters – dopamine in particular – through which the potent effects of these other drugs are mediated. Because the drugs work this way, humans have learned how to refine their essence into concentrated forms that heighten the rush. Coca leaves, for instance, are mildly stimulating when chewed, but powerfully addictive when refined into cocaine; even more so taken directly into the lungs when smoked as crack cocaine. Sugar, too, has been refined from its original form to heighten its rush …

John Hardy at MIT

The top 16 posts of 2016 on Green by John

I never thought Green by John would take off like this. Thank you to all the readers and have a happy 2017. Here are the top 16 most-read posts of 2016 on Green by John. From the bottom up:  NO 16: MEET: The NALU Team They saw something that wasn’t right, so they started a business to sell t-shirts to make it right. The story of the student-run social enterprise that is NALU made it to the 16 most read articles on Green by John for 2016. NO 15: Spearing garbage, talking trash The rule of the trash walk is simple, you have to keep walking, keep spearing and keep talking. NO 14: Back to school with the new Green School classrooms IBUKU designed and built  new classrooms for Green School. Take a look at the end result as the kids start using the spaces. NO 13: IBUKU goes to Hong Kong The end result of IBUKU’s design for TRi Restaurant came it at number 13 on the list. TRi is IBUKU’s first overseas project. NO 12: What if kids …

the future of education in Bali

READ: Is the future of education growing in Bali?

Renee Martyna writes about the Green School in her article on Momentum: Teachers are given leeway to plan activities that foster real-life learning, but also to have fun and inspire. The environment is tolerant, and even encouraging, of differences, allowing students to do their their best without being pitted against one another. At fifth-, eighth-, and 12th-grade graduations, for example, students are asked to give a TED-style presentation on a cause or idea that they truly care about. The school community attends in great numbers to support these kids, with tears, and deep shifts in community consciousness, not uncommon. Read the full article here.

Falling for Balinese bamboo furniture

READ: IBUKU’s furniture collection in the Financial Times

“Fast forward to 2016 and back in Bali’s verdant hinterland, local artisans are carefully bending this ultra-sustainable resource into fantastically undulating sculptures, sans splinters, under the design direction of Hardy’s equally talented daughter Elora. The former designer at Donna Karan returned home to Bali in 2010 to realise what she calls her father’s “big dreams made out of overgrown grass”. This summer, Elora launched the Ibuku furniture collection, an online catalogue of these natural, artful furnishings that already populate the monumental custom bamboo houses of Green Village, this talented family’s other bamboo-building venture.” Read the full article by Cynthia Rosenfeld in the How to Spend It section of the Financial Times.

WIRED Best Designers 2016

READ: The best designers you need to be watching right now (WIRED)

Honored to be named in this WIRED Design Issue article on the best designers. Thanks to Bjarke Ingels for the amazing mention of IBUKU and Elora and John Hardy. For WIRED’s Design Issue, we celebrate the creatives – from architects to user experience masters, fashion designers to rocket scientists – shaping the world right now. As part of our cover profile on the architecture star Bjarke Ingels, we asked him to nominate the individuals in their respective fields he is most excited about right now. From fiction writers to builders of bamboo schools, here are five designers shaping the WIRED world right now. Entire article over on the WIRED site.

Green Village by New Atlas

READ: Exploring Bali’s enchanting bamboo village with New Atlas

Great new article and photo essay from New Atlas on the houses of Green Village. Much of the village’s furniture and interior decorations are bespoke and crafted to emphasize the versatility and aesthetic appeal of bamboo. An intricate lampshade made up of 30 or 40 separate shoots hovering over the study on the Garden Villa’s top floor was the probably the most sophisticated example of this, but we were also impressed by thick bamboo columns fashioned into bar stools and parked alongside the kitchen’s island bench.