Luxury without Compromise

PURE Design is the art and science of living well.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Take up the challenge, British Petroleum. Here's your shot at redemption.


This is our challenge for you, BP. It is an opportunity not only to redeem yourself around the world, but also to lead your industry into the future with courage and strength. Make a commitment to develop hydrogen fuel cell infrastructure.  If you can put one hydrogen pump at every station, then hydrogen cars will become mainstream. It's a win/win situation for everyone, and in the long run it can only help with your bottom line because you will the front runner in the energy sector.  It's such a simple solution.

“There is nothing as powerful as an idea whose time has come.” (RB Fuller) 
The truth is we all depend upon fossil fuels, and in that sense we are all complicit in the terrible tragedy unfolding in the Gulf today.  Now is the time to take focused action and change our tack.  Many people are saying that there is nothing we can do about the crisis which is unfolding, but that is patently untrue.  We have all the power, both as consumers and as shareholders, to insist that our energy providers do the right thing.  It is not too late to make the fundamental changes necessary to move from a world run on gas and oil to a world powered by clean energy. 

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars
Honda Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars - perhaps a partnership?

Wouldn’t we all love to drive a car which doesn't need gas?  Who wouldn't prefer a car which burns only hydrogen (the most abundant element on Earth) and emits only water?  Hydrogen fuel cells require extensive infrastructure, (just as the petrochemical industry does today) and it will be a costly investment.  But it’ll be a great investment.  How progressive would BP be to take the plunge voluntarily by developing the infrastructure now?  It is inevitable. At some time in the none-too-distant future we will - by necessity- have to make the shift from petrochemical dependence to renewable energy, and hydrogen fuel cells will be part of the mix.  There is an opportunity in every difficulty, a silver lining of sorts. As the Dalai Lama said, "Under the greatest adversity there exists the greatest potential for doing good." This cloud has a platinum lining.  Let’s make the most of it. 

Riversimple_Urban_Car_40_1 Lease a hydrogen fuel cell car for $315/month?
The Riversimple open source hydrogen fuel cell car.

BP can do the right thing, and willingly go where the rest must follow, or they can go the way of the dinosaurs they harvest.  Either way, it is up to each and every one of us to make the best decisions we can, with every purchasing decision we make, because it is exactly those transactions which ARE the global economy.  There are so many small changes we can all make in a day, and there are a lot of important larger shifts which need to occur, too. Every building can have wind and solar power collection capabilities, and the capacity to feed the grid when it is creating more power than it is using.  We can take advantage of the tremendous technology available to us to reduce the need to commute as many miles as we do in a day, and we can support local, organic farming initiatives, too, to further reduce our dependence on petrochemicals.  That’s just the beginning, but it’s long overdue.   If the petrochemical industry doesn’t do the honourable thing by investing in the future voluntarily, then it is up to us as global citizens to insist on it by changing the way we spend our money.  The time has come.

Here is one for you Sir Richard Branson.....
Where will you put the Virgin logo on this Boeing's Cell Powered Airplane?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Celebrating Callum

Let me tell you a story about an exceptional young boy who is one of my PURE Inspirations. I met Callum when he was ten years old. He had just spent ten months undergoing radiation treatment when he came into my life. During his treatment, he created hundreds and hundreds of pieces of art as an outlet for his self expression. His family took twelve of their favourites, turned them into a calendar, and they used it to raise $60,000 for children with leukemia.

When I met him, he had just finished his radiation therapy, and was sharing a room with his two year old brother, so we decided to take an unfinished room in the basement of the house and turn it into a celebration of who he is. We made an unfinished closet into an ensuite bathroom, and the room itself became his personal sanctuary and art studio. I took several of his favourite pieces of art, photocopied them, and traced them onto fabric, cut them out, and took them to an embroiderer to embroider the pieces onto his bedding. He now has permanent keepsakes of his work framed on his wall, embroidered on his duvet cover, as well as on several of the throw pillows on the sofa.

He is alive and well and creating his art in Vancouver today, bless him.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Cast your vote at the Copenhagen Climate Talks

How can it be possible that Canada should drag her heels to the table at Copenhagen? As custodians of so much of the planet’s natural wealth, we ought to be the first ones there. We privileged members of the global village should lead by example, by choosing a balanced way of life. It would be easy to sit back and shake our heads at Stephen Harper and his government, but we elected him again; we gave him the mandate to go to Copenhagen armed with his embarrassing set of propositions.
We vote everyday with our wallets, and we vote with our actions. Our economy is nothing more, and nothing less, than the sum total of the decisions we all make every day.
Do you know that it really isn’t complicated to feed the grid? Wind and solar energy on small scales are viable alternatives which can make a significant difference to our petrochemical consumption right now. Clean energy will only replace petrochemical fuels, and their carbon emissions, when we decide individually and collectively that it is time to make it so. Then we set about doing it one step at a time. Turn off a light. Ride a bike. Buy local. Do it.