Interview: The Handmade Tree Chair

This article is part of The GOOD (and ReadyMade) Guide to Slowing Down, from GOOD Issue 18. Read more of the guide here. Peter Cook...

This article is part of The GOOD (and ReadyMade) Guide to Slowing Down, from GOOD Issue 18. Read more of the guide here.Peter Cook and Becky Northey, Australians, wanted to see if it was possible to grow a chair. So they tried. Then they tried growing other things-mirror frames, tables, tree people-and the results are what they call Pooktres.Why a tree chair? We started exploring the possibility of "I wonder if I can grow a chair" in 1987. So we began playing with Pete's original concept of creating with trees.How long does it take to make a Pooktre? From one to 10 growing seasons, depending on the design.How many parts are there? Either one tree or small groupings of trees.What is the hardest part about making one? Getting the design and framework right, understanding your tree's reactions. The more gradual the shaping of the tree the better.How many did you make? We have about 70 different art projects on the go.Why are your chairs better than mass-produced ones you can get at a store? Creating with living trees is the way of the future. Once there is a method that other people can replicate, trees will be viewed differently, therefore transforming the world.Can you share a few words of wisdom about the benefits of doing things the slow way? Many people believe tree-shaping takes far too long, but that is not how tree-shaping should be viewed. Rather, think of it like this: The time you spend shaping a tree is captured by the tree, and then amplified over time. Twenty, 30, 50, or maybe a few hundred years from now, people will be able to see and enjoy a tree that you shaped. Why not leave a gift for the future?LEARN MORE: To see the chair and other tree creations, visit pooktre.comIllustration by Tim Lahan
via Douglas Muth / Flickr

Sin City is doing something good for its less fortunate citizens as well as those who've broken the law this month. The city of Las Vegas, Nevada will drop any parking ticket fines for those who make a donation to a local food bank.

A parking ticket can cost up to $100 in Las Vegas but the whole thing can be forgiven by bringing in non-perishable food items of equal or greater value to the Parking Services Offices at 500 S. Main Street through December 16.

The program is designed to help the less fortunate during the holidays.

Keep Reading Show less

For more than 20 years. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has served the citizens of Maine in the U.S. Senate. For most of that time, she has enjoyed a hard-fought reputation as a moderate Republican who methodically builds bridges and consensus in an era of political polarization. To millions of political observers, she exemplified the best of post-partisan leadership, finding a "third way" through the static of ideological tribalism.

However, all of that has changed since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Voters in Maine, particularly those who lean left, have run out of patience with Collins and her seeming refusal to stand up to Trump. That frustration peaked with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Keep Reading Show less
via / Flickr and Dimitri Rodriguez / Flickr

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign looks to be getting a huge big shot in the arm after it's faced some difficulties over the past few weeks.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading voice in the Democratic parties progressive, Democratic Socialist wing, is expected to endorse Sanders' campaign at the "Bernie's Back" rally in Queens, New York this Saturday.

Fellow member of "the Squad," Ilhan Omar, endorsed him on Wednesday.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by HAL9001 on Unsplash

The U.K. is trying to reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, but aviation may become the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.K. by that same year. A new study commissioned by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and conducted at the Imperial College London says that in order for the U.K. to reach its target, aviation can only see a 25% increase, and they've got a very specific recommendation on how to fix it: Curb frequent flyer programs.

Currently, air travel accounts for 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, however that number is projected to increase for several reasons. There's a growing demand for air travel, yet it's harder to decarbonize aviation. Electric cars are becoming more common. Electric planes, not so much. If things keep on going the way they are, flights in the U.K. should increase by 50%.

Nearly every airline in the world has a frequent flyer program. The programs offer perks, including free flights, if customers get a certain amount of points. According to the study, 70% of all flights from the U.K. are taken by 15% of the population, with many people taking additional (and arguably unnecessary) flights to "maintain their privileged traveler status."

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet