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The Though Kitchen - Dedicated to Stirring the Pot

Archive for December, 2008

What Do you Want to Change In The World?

Posted by admin | December 24th, 2008 | Filed under Uncategorized

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Change is a word that has been central to the thinking and doing at Nau. That’s why I was surprised that I didn’t know about change.org until a recent email landed in my inbox. Founded in 2005 and launched in 2007, it’s a social entrepreneurship venture attempting to inform and empower movements for social change. Imagine a social network where you can learn about causes, connect with like minded people and nonprofits, and take action.

The email I received was drawing my attention to their “Ideas For Change In America” campaign which is soliciting ideas for how the Obama administration should change America. To date the highest rated idea, with 4198 votes, is “Legalize the Medicinal and Recreational Use of Marijuana.” As my colleague Hal said, “under these circumstances, why not?” Number two, with 2414 votes, is “Appoint Secretary of Peace and Non-Violence.”

President elect Barack Obama said “I will open the doors of government and ask you to be involved in your own democracy again.” The top 10 ideas will be presented to the Obama Administration on Inauguration Day, followed by a national campaign to advance each idea in Congress. “Submit Your Ideas” on how to change America and vote for your favorites.

Gifts of Change

Posted by Josie | December 12th, 2008 | Filed under Uncategorized

toms-shoes_650.jpgWith funding for non-profits freezing up in the chilly economy, we’re helping our customers give Gifts of Change. From now through December 15th we’re donating 10% of every sale”up from our usual 2%”to our Partners For Change.

Here are a few more companies giving back in creative ways. Feel free to add to the list, I still have Christmas shopping left to do!

1. GOOD Magazine  – Entire subscription cost goes directly to a non-profit organization that you choose
2. Tom’s Shoes – For every pair of shoe’s you buy, Tom’s gives one pair of shoes to a child in need (See photo above)
3. Horny Toad  – Donate used clothing to your favorite charity and get 30% off your next purchase

Spread The Warmth

Posted by admin | December 3rd, 2008 | Filed under Uncategorized

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We like to applaud people who engage their communities in positive ways. In this case it’s our sister company Horny Toad .

We all know that times are tough for many Americans. In the spirit of trying to effect change, Horny Toad wants to spread the warmth by banding their community together to help those who need it. The clothes taking up space in the back of your closet could keep someone warm this winter. Horny Toad is asking you to dig deep and give them a new home by donating to an organization that can get them to people in need.

By giving your used clothes to a charity of your choice, you get 30% off new Horny Toad clothing ” either online on their website (use code spreadthewarmth at checkout) or at a participating retailer (mention spread the warmth at point of purchase).

If you want to give a shout out about where you donated and how good it feels to give, do so here or leave a comment below.

So What About Those Objects In Your life?

Posted by admin | December 1st, 2008 | Filed under Uncategorized

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In the early days of conversation about Nau, long before we officially opened for business, we talked about the idea of living a “considered” life. We thought about it as it related to our own lives. We also thought about it as it related to our business and, more specifically, our product. The idea was to consider every detail of our product in the context of our overarching design philosophy. We said we wanted our product to be beautiful, perform in the functional sense of the word, and be as sustainable as possible. As part of that aspiration we wanted our product to be multifunctional and durable, physically and aesthetically, so that in the end you’d have to buy less of it. Not business as usual but what we believed to be the way of the future.

The recent financial crisis has caused us to return to this conversation. In fact, I suspect it’s a conversation that is being repeated elsewhere. We seem to be re-thinking the notion of consumption and, in some instances, our relationship to the material world.

That’s why I was so struck when I read Bruce Sterling recent essay The Last Viridian Note . In it he reflects on his own personal relationship to goods and services (mostly goods) and how that relationship has been revolutionized since he wrote his seminal manifesto Viridian Design in 2000. In his most recent writing he asks the question:

“What is “sustainability? Sustainable practices navigate successfully through time and space, while others crack up and vanish. So basically, the sustainable is about time ” time and space. You need to re-think your relationship to material possessions in terms of things that occupy your time. The things that are physically closest to you. Time and space.”

He goes on to say that possessions should be divided into four distinct categories:

-Beautiful things.
-Emotionally important things.
-Tools, devices and appliances that efficiently perform a useful function.
-Everything else.

Sterling argues that anything in the “everything else” category should be documented in a digital image bank and then removed from “your time and space.” Although they may belong to you, they don’t belong with you. He goes on to say “Their blissful absence from your life makes new time and space for something better for you ” and for the changed world you want to live to see.”

It’s a provocative read from a person who has demonstrated the ability to see the future. I highly recommend creating some time and space (in this case about five minutes) to The Last Viridian Note .