Green products join fight against climate change

Sugita Katyal, Reuters, October 16, 2009

SINGAPORE (Reuters Life!) - A radio made of wood. A bag crafted from recycled ring pulls from drink cans. And a stylish lamp made from old Vespa scooter parts.


A figment of some designer's imagination, right?


Wrong. They are actually amongst a range of eco-products showcased by social group Qi Global at Singapore's National Museum as part of its wider efforts to protect the planet. Qi says all the products are aimed at breaking the general perception that eco-products are inferior in quality and lacking in aesthetics .


But, more importantly, they're meant to save the world from the impact of climate change. Apart from the Vespa lamp and the radio of sustainably grown wood designed by Indonesian Singgih Kartono, the lineup of eco-carbon products includes sneakers made from left-over skin of fish for food, solar mobile chargers and tiny hydrogen- powered cars.

"Imagine that one day in the far distant future, perhaps sitting sipping wine on a beach while playing with our grandchildren, we'll tell them: 'Once upon a time we tackled something called global warming...'," said Mette Kristine Oustrup, one of the founders of Qi Global.

Describing them as 'good energy products' Oustrup said demand for low-carbon goods would increase as people compared them with 'bad energy' products which are made by child labor or which use toxins.


Of course, green products don't come cheap: the bags of recycled ring pulls start at S$199 while the wooden radios are between S$239 and S$359, and the Vespa lamp is priced at S$2,599. And if you want to step into a pair of fishy sneakers you have to fork out S$459.

The exhibition comes at a time when concerns about climate change are growing across the world.


Delegates from nearly 200 countries will meet in Copenhagen in December to try to agree on a broader climate pact to replace the U.N.'s Kyoto Protocol, whose first phase ends in 2012.


Scientists say that the world is on course to pump enough carbon dioxide into the air to raise global temperatures by at least 2 degrees Celsius in the next few decades, a level they say will lead to more chaotic weather, rising seas, melting glaciers, water shortages and falling crop yields.


"If we don't so something about the climate, the climate is going to do something about us," said John Hardy, a jewelry designer who has founded a green school in Bali and is associated with Qi Global's efforts.



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