Happy Earth Day! Steel yourself against the onslaught of complimentary canvas tote bags and focus on the year’s top ten examples of sustainable architecture and green design solutions, as selected by the American Institute of Architects and its Committee on the Environment. The winners include eye-poppingly eco-friendly buildings from San Francisco to Saudi Arabia, but we’re partial to Kroon Hall (at right) in nearby New Haven. Designed by Hopkins Architects and Centerbrook Architects & Planners, the 69,000 square-foot building is the new energy-efficient home of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
Here at UnBeige HQ, we celebrate Earth Day everyday with the help of sustainable Saltines—built-to-last crackers that artist Herbert Hoover has cast in pewter. Hoover has just redesigned the packaging for all of his covetable creations (including shiny Oreos, wishbones, and ice cream sandwiches), which now come tucked inside recycled paper that contains 30% post-consumer content and brown boxes that don’t use bleach or paper whiteneners. He’s also phasing out plastic inner wrappers, giving you one more reason to choose a pewter fortune cookie over the real thing.
Save some paper and some cash by opting for the new iPad version of Phaidon’s legendary Design Classics. Originally published as a hefty three-volume set, the collection features 999 of the most innovative, beautiful, and influential products created in the last 200 years, from early-1800s Chinese bonsai scissors to the sleek line of brunch equipment (kettle, coffee maker, and toaster) designed by Jasper Morrison for Rowenta. Those who pop for the $19.99 iPad app version should be prepared for a meta moment upon discovering one of the more recent entries: the iPod.