Author Archives | neonweeknd

Cardboard Bicycle

Cardboard is no longer only used for building forts in your basement.

Izhar Gafni has engineered a cardboard bicycle called the Alfa from mostly cardboard and 100% recycled materials. The Alfa weighs 20lbs, but can sustain the weight of 485lbs, well hey now that’s a heck of a deal (said in Tommy Boy-Chris Farley voice). The cost is astonishing as well with each unit ranging from $9 – $12 and a mere $5 for children’s bikes. The pedal system is relatively maintenance free due to the unique belt-driven system Gafni created.

Gafni was initially told that his design goals were impossible. This didn’t deter his drive and after 3 years of design, numerous patents and focused determination he proved the naysayers wrong, BAM. This just goes to show that we have not hit the ceiling on innovation; if it can be imagined, it can be created. Gafni is currently working on raising funds to put the Alfa into production, so keep your sights on this project and get your hands on one as soon as they hit the streets.



TED Talks | Sir Ken Robinson, Bring on The Learning Revolution

We don’t utilize our talents.  We are in a human resource crisis.  We need to revolutionize.

These statements are echoed in Sir Ken Robinson’s newest TED Talks speech on how a linear education model has created a mechanical workforce.  The linear narrative of the past must be changed.  Passion should drive talents, not process.  Those who have a real passion for what they do absolutely LOVE it and the sad reality is that these people are the minority.

CHALLENGE:  Ask yourself if you are truly doing what you love and ask people you interact with on a daily basis that same question. This is step 1.

We have been taught to start here and go there, but one person’s path is not another’s and that path should not be manufactured, but ORGANIC.  The mold is difficult to change and innovation is hard, but through this adjustment and separation from conformity organic growth can be realized.

Ken believes we are fraught with a “tyranny of common sense”, where we think that if something has not been done before, then it cannot be done. We must construct our own path with passion and drive for a learning revolution where we locate talents that excite our spirits.

Step 2: look deep within and determine your real passions in life.  What excites you?

Let’s disenthrall ourselves with this obsession of linearity and push forward for a more unique and meaningful future.

Check out Ken’s brilliant speech HERE.

Bikes Belong | Pedal Power

The Bikes Belong Coalition fights and advocates for pedals everywhere.  The organization was formed in 1999 and focuses its mass energy on four key areas: Promoting Bicycling – National Partnerships – Community Grants – Federal Policy & Funding.  The organizations nonprofit arm, Bikes Belong Foundation, displays a primary focus for bicycle safety and youngsters programs.

Being cyclists ourselves, we love the support for the cycling community.  Not only does Bikes Belong promote and advocate for bicyclists, but is helping aide the environmental movement.  The effects are countless, from air quality to safer streets, the Bikes Belong Coalition is steering us into a better tomorrow.

Check out their projects HERE.

SmartDeco | furniture revolution

Made in the USA – 100% recycled – Affordable – Eco-Friendly = Cardboard Furniture!

No, this is not a misprint. Yes, the furniture is durable and strong (holds up to 400 lbs).  No, it is not expensive (products range from $32 – $51).  Yes, SmartDeco is creating a revolution of bada** cardboard engineered products (cue super loud cool explosion noise).

The idea evolved from endless wasted weekends searching for overpriced, overweight, complicated furniture products that even ultra-buff dudes couldn’t move (no offense to buff dudes).  The SmartDeco team has engineered their products with both functionality and longevity in mind.  No tools are needed to assemble the products and they will be shipped directly to your doorstep.

The creators of SmartDeco have a real passion for creating with a conscious.  We are looking forward to what’s next from these innovationists.

Check out their products HERE.  Enter “smartliving” for a 10% discount at checkout.


The White Roof Project | Paint = Environmental Change

White is the new COOL color.  The White Roof Project is making it cool by using white paint to help make systematic and environmental change happen one roof at a time.

The White Roof Project paints the roofs of buildings using a reflective paint to help combat global energy issues.  The white paint reflects up to 85% of sunlight and helps people save money on electric bills, reduce smog, and relive stress on power grids.  They also partner with various nonprofits, community groups, and housing associations on a block-by-block mission in an effort to coat 5 percent of all roofs each year.

The originators of this project have done their research and by painting “5 percent of rooftops per year worldwide, we would be finished by 2030. This would save us 24 billion metric tons in CO2.”  This level of salvage of CO2 would be equivalent to all emitted in 2010, thus similar to “turning the world off for an entire year.”

Check out their Paint the Town White event held in New York City on October 19th.  Open bar from 7:00-10:00 (BAM) if you fancy.  Find out more about this event and all the initiatives the White Roof Project is apart of to help reduce CO2 emissions at

Conserve fossil fuel based resources.  Reduce your carbon footprint.  Help to save the ecosystem that we all play in.

Ashoka | enabling change

Established in 1980, Ashoka works to aid the development of a better tomorrow.  The organization supports a network of social entrepreneurs, innovationists and anyone whom aims to create and inspire real systemic change.

They focus on 3 critical areas of change:

1)      Individuals: They invest and assist in the formation of social start-ups that have tangible social impacts.

2)      Groups:  They enable and coordinate resources in efforts to create the most serious level of impact and followers.

3)      Sectors: They make the connections that must be made at the high-level of financing, academics, infrastructure, and business relationships.

Ashoka has vowed to assist and create a world of change-agents. To learn more about their projects and ways to get involved click HERE.

Change is possible, aid the transformation that will shape tomorrow.

NAU | meaningful design

Portland based urban+outdoor apparel brand NAU, is redefining the clothing industry with smart design entrenched with REAL eco-friendly outreach initiatives.

The brand creates with this ethos in mind: “to redesign fashion and to redefine business so that each become a powerful force for change.  One small step towards unf***ing the world.” BOOM!

NAU is soaked in an authentic passion for creating sustainable products.  They donate 2% of each sale to one of their partners for change (see list below), only use certified organic cotton, purchase carbon offsets, use FSC –certified shipping materials, integrate highly recycled products into garments, and utilize natural and renewable fibers among many other eco-vative processes.

NAU’s aspirations are nothing short of extraordinary admiration.  We look forward to seeing what this brand is capable of.

Partners for Change: Ashoka, Bikes Belong, Ecotrust, Breakthrough Institute, and Mercy Corps.

Learn more about NAU’s beautiful designs and outreach initiatives HERE..

EcoCradle | mushroom packaging

Growing packaging from mushrooms, huh?

The ecovative innovators at EcoCradle GROW eco-friendly packaging from a fungal network called mycelium, no big deal or anything.  In 5-7 days the mycelium self assembles around agricultural bi-products and is then treated with heat to stop the growth and finally, it can be contoured to any imaginable shape needed.

The product has virtually no environmental impact, is renewable and is 100% biodegradable.  Using inedible crop waste vs. fuel/food crops is groundbreaking, and follows the company’s healthy ecosystem mindset in efforts for a greener tomorrow.  The production of this product is done with expensing little energy and get be simply thrown away, recycled or composted.

Ship wine, ship action figures, ship priceless Steven Seagal movies, just THINK before you ship.

Check out their talks at TED video above and read more about their story HERE!

ETHNOTEK | “one bag, many stories…”

Culture.  Awareness.  Everyday Functionality.

The ETHNOTEK® tribe has a real passion for spreading awareness and creating real systemic change and they do so through the medium of day-packs, messenger bags, and commuter bags. The collection offers customizable bags that have removable front panel designs, dubbed THREADS. Each handmade design has been carefully selected and purchased directly from the artisan or craft village where they originated.

The ETHNOTEK® tribe aspires to not only put together a high-quality product, but to be a conduit for keeping a craft and culture alive.  The demand for handcrafted artisanal designs is a steadily declining industry.  ETHNOTEK® aims to curb this reality and is fighting back against the implementation of factory labor and machine replacement.

Let’s rage against the machine and support tradition by supporting ETHNOTEK®.

They are in release mode of their new commuter bag called the Wayu Pack.  Check it out and read their story HERE!

Publish | 2econd Chance Clothing

cut, sew, stitch, reuse.

The imaginators at Publish bring the issue of WASTE to the design table.  Millions of pounds of textiles goes unused every year and Publish has created a clothing line by re-purposing these unwanted fabrics.  The project has been coined, “2econd Chance”, and this is just the beginning.  This effort goes beyond creating awareness in the clothier industry, but focuses on the bigger picture of creating a better community for tomorrow.  Change is dominated by small actions and we need to create ripples before generating waves.

The Publish team envisions and creates classic collections that “aspire to refine daily life by delivering premium, timeless products and ideas that transcend the realms of art and fashion”.  These are the eloquent words directly from Publish’s mission and direction statements, too well said to recreate.

Lets create a better “today for tomorrow”.

Read further and check out their collection at!


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