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My Generation: Marissa gets Greek

Where did you study abroad?

Ioannina, Greece

What do you think was the most exciting thing about this Ioannina, Greece?

The most exciting thing for me was probably the cultural differences between the people who lived in Ioannina and the people I’m used to in America.

 Part of my school work there was to do interviews with the locals and interact with the interviewees and my Greek teachers on a daily basis which was a very different and exciting experience. The travelling I did in Greece was also very exciting. I was able to see so much history and learned a lot about the Greek culture. It was very cool.

Was there anything related to environmental awareness or sustainability worth sharing?

It was just interesting to see what kinds of things are most important to people in other cultures. At the time I was in Greece there was a lot of controversy regarding the countries financial situation which was a huge concern for many people living in Greece. Situations like this take precedent over many less pressing daily problems such as environmental awareness, which most people were not interested in whatsoever in Greece. I talked to one of my teachers about environmental awareness in Greece and he explained to me that people feel they have more important things to think about, like providing food for their families, especially in a time of a financial crisis in the country.

Is there one thing that you do in your daily life that can be attributed to sustainability?

I ride the bus often, recycle/compost, am aware of my energy consumption inside the home, and am pursuing sustainable building/design as my career.

Why do you think Sustainability or environmental awareness is so important to our generation?

I think that our generation is responsible for getting the ball rolling on environmental awareness because with the technology and knowledge available to us today we have no excuse to ignore the impacts we are making on the environment and we should try to do as much as we can to make a positive change for future generations.

What degree, have you received or are currently seeking?

I graduated from the University of Washington with a major in Community, Environment and Planning and focuses on Urban Planning and Environmental Studies. I want to work in sustainable building and design doing home interiors, hopefully starting my own company someday. My dream would be to have a show on HGTV.

If you could travel to one place in the world where would it be, and why?

Ireland, my family is Irish and I’ve always wanted to go.

If you could be one animal in the world what would it be?

I would be a loon because they can swim and fly.

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Milwaukee Art Museum // Custom Photos

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Photography ~ Conner K

My Generation: Ty says “Bonjour” to Montpellier

Where did you study abroad?

“Montpellier, France in the southern French region, Languedoc-Roussillon”

What do you think is the coolest, most stimulating, most exciting thing about Montpellier France?

“I was there during the summer, and the Mediterranean Coast of France is beautiful, the weather, the people, the culture, the food and the history. The region has such a rich history and culture to learn about and enjoy.”

As for sustainability, anything worth sharing?


“There are bicycles to rent as a sort of alternative transport sharing system. They’re cheap and have racks of bicycles all around the city where you can drop a few Euros and rent it for a few hours or the day. There is also an electric tram system with two lines in service and two being constructed.”

What do you do to live a more sustainable way of life?

“I try to recycle as much as possible and use as many reusable products as possible to eliminate needless waste such as cloth grocery bags and water filters instead of bottled water. I also compost organic waste products.”

Why do you think Sustainability is so important to our generation?

“With a global community constantly growing and the even steeper increase of resource consumption and waste production, it is important that we become as mindful and responsible as possible with every resource we have for future generations and the global environment.”

What degree are currently seeking?

“I have received my bachelors in Psychology and will be attending law school in the fall.”

Where else would you be interested in visiting?

“Mali, because it’s a French speaking country and the home to the music group Amadoe et Mariam.”

If you could be one animal in the world what would it be?

“Snow leopard”

Local 360 Seattle // Going for the Bon Bons!

This is my favorite restaurant @ the moment! The majority of the food is sourced within 360 miles, and it is delicious. Katrina and I went to this place for happy hour the other week, and we were immediately hooked. I have not tried the entire menu yet but I intend to! Their lunch and dinner menu looks equally impressive and no where lacking in things to taste, scarf, and drink. We are headed back here for breakfast this week, a review will follow.

“What is sustainable? To us, it means relying on and investing in our immediate community and geological placement. It means utilizing our resources in an efficient and renewable manner that we find closest to us. It means dedicating ourselves to ensuring the health of our neighbors and loved ones by using the freshest, most naturally grown sources.”

* Peanut Butter Bon Bons // me: Gooey in the middle crunchy on the outside…messy but good!

kw: smooth & sticky, sweet…peanut butter is my favorite!

* Mini Mac & Cheese // me: Best Mac & Cheese I’ve had in a long time…home style.

kw: Delicious and creamy, cheesy…it was okay.

*Pulled Pork sandwich with slaw // me: Smokey with BBQ flavor, slaw adds a crunch to the sandwich…good.

kw: The pork was flavorful and tender…just the way I like it.


My Generation: Interview with Maxim Home Town Hottie Aja Dang

“So Aja, what school did you attend and what field of work would you ultimately like to end up in?”

“I received my BA in marketing from University of San Francisco and am currently working towards my MA in broadcast journalism at the Annenberg School of Journalism at USC. My ultimate goal is to have my own travel show, which will explore the various cultural, dating and religious aspects of each city or country. Traveling is a passion of mine and I hope to give people a more in-depth look at different cultures other than our own. I also think that when people see the natural beauty the world has to offer, they will want to stop destroying it by making a conscious effort to save our environment and natural resources.”

What is it like running around conducting interviews for Neon Tommy covering stories from, Celebrity filled events to Sustainability planned initiatives? What was it like to be in Campus Girls and Maxim?

“Working for Neon Tommy has been a very eye opening experience. I have covered topics ranging from California politics, sustainability initiatives, red carpet events and the LAUSD. I recently started a weekly column called Blacklisted, which explores the most bizarre stories in popular culture. Conducting interviews continues to be a nerve wracking experience, especially with topics I am not too familiar with, but doing research before hand and preparing questions ahead of time always makes the interviews go as smoothly as possible. Covering red carpet events is not as glamorous as one might think! There is a lot of down time and normally you only have a couple of minutes with celebrities and have to try to hold their interest. The most fascinating topics, to me, are always the ones dealing with sustainability and the environment. People are very passionate about the issue, which makes for a more engaging story.”

“Being in Campus Girls was a great experience. As I previously said, I love to travel, and being able to shoot a swimsuit calendar in the Virgin Islands was quite the treat. The locals are so kind, it reminded me of being back home in Hawaii. Being a semi-finalist in Maxim’s Hometown Hotties has been a great experience so far. It’s never fun having to compete for votes against 99 other beautiful women, but I feel that I have unique characteristics, which will take me all the way to the top 10!”

CLICK to Vote

 You have covered a few stories related to Sustainability in the Los Angeles area, why do you think sustainability is so important to our generation?

“Sustainability is very important for our generation because we simply don’t have any other choices. We are using non-renewable resources at an alarming rate and although people are aware of this I don’t think they fully grasp the gravity of the situation. Although there are initiatives in place to help decrease global warming and increase awareness of sustainable options, the government can only do so much. The responsibility is on the community.”

Los Angeles is known to have some of the worst air pollution in the country, what is the city doing to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly?

“The city is doing quite a bit to help alleviate the air pollution in LA. The Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority (LAMTA) is the first major transit authority to run its entire fleet completely off of natural gas. This reduces carbon emissions by 300,000 pounds a day and cuts smog forming chemicals by 90 percent. The city also passed a new master bike plan, which boasts 1,680 miles of interconnected bike ways all over the city. Along with increased driver awareness and safer cycling roads, the plan pledges to add 200 miles to the path every five years. Both of these initiatives are helping to reduce gas emissions from cars and trucks by giving the community healthier and greener transportation options. The LA County Board of Supervisors also passed the plastic bag ban last year but I haven’t really seen that being enacted or reinforced.”


Would you say that the attitude to being more environmentally conscious is picking up in LA?                     

“I can’t really tell whether or not LA is becoming more environmentally conscious. I know that there are various environmental groups trying to set the stage for a greener city, but I don’t think most of the people can be bothered with worrying about the issue. Although air pollution is a major issue in the city, I think that LA is too much of a driving city for people to want to get out of their cars and use different means of transportation. It is just more convenient for everyone to drive. There are cities, like San Francisco, that are extremely conscious about the environment, and while I hope LA will get there one day, the city is definitely not there yet.”

Is there one thing that you do in your daily life that can be attributed to sustainability?

“There are many things I do in my daily life to help this situation. Only using natural sunlight during the day and turning off lights in rooms I am not in at night is a simple way to not only save energy, but to decrease your electricity bill. I try to walk every where, which unfortunately is hard to do in LA, but I am going to buy a bike soon so I can go to the grocery store or gym without having to jump into my car. And instead of buying Tupperware, I keep the containers I get from ordering out or grocery shopping so I don’t have to dirty the landfills with more plastic. Everything from using reusable tote bags, to carrying around a stainless steel water bottle helps.”

If you could travel to one place in the world where would it be, and why?
“I would love to go to Greece or Croatia. Culture, food and ocean-what more could a girl want on a vacation?”


If you could be one animal in the world what would it be? 

“I would be a dolphin because they are super smart and really graceful.”

Make sure to vote for Aja in Maxim’s Hometown Hottie contest! You can see more of Aja here and the awesome stories she covers for Neon Tommy!

NY Highline Park // Inhabitat & TIME MAGAZINE

Check out New York’s Highline Park via Inhabitat and TIME Magazine, interviews and reviews.

We Flashy // Clothing for the Modern Bicyclist

We Flashy was started by two NYU students, Alex Vessels and Mindy Tchieu, as their final project in a Wearable Technologies design class. The purpose of the We Flashy project was to make universal clothing more modern, reflective, versatile, and most importantly, visible  for bikers and pedestrians.  Their idea was simple and genius, “…we wanted something we’d actually wear. So, we decided to try and incorporate reflective materials into things we wear everyday.”

We Flashy items are great because, while flashy and reflective at night, they can be seamlessly worn during the day, at work or at home, unnoticed. This is perfect for the urban dweller and nighttime bicycling enthusiast.

The brand is just starting to “oil its gears”. Since the design was conceptualized in the classroom, Alex and Mindy sought funding assistance from Kickstarter.com, one of the largest funding platforms for creative projects online. They have raised $9,494, well over their stated goal of $6,500. The unique thing about Kickstarter.com is that each project must receive their intended funding goal by a specified date, to receive any of the funds at all. Since We Flashy has accrued more than 146% in funding, their project will go live  this Friday, June 3, @ 3:46pm!

I just made my pledge. You have three days left to make yours and get the limited edition Nautical stripped Sweatshirt (the coolest piece they have in their collection thus far, in my opinion), PLEDGE HERE at kickstarter.com


DEDON // cool Outside Furniture

DEDON brings the epitome of “cool” to outside furniture.

“At DEDON, outdoor living is our reason for being. So it should come as little surprise how seriously we take our commitment to the environment…

Developed 20 years ago this year, the original DEDON Fiber is a model of environmental friendliness. It’s sustainably produced, 100 percent recyclable and completely non-toxic (it can be used in children’s toys or to wrap food). It doesn’t pollute groundwater or harm the ozone layer. And remarkably, it’s not finished – the research lab at our fiber production facility in Lüneburg is continually seeking ways to make it even more environmentally sound. Each time they succeed, we raise the environmental standard for our entire industry just that much higher.

And the same is true at our manufacturing facilities on Cebu island in the Philippines. Here too, we control the entire manufacturing process. And here too, we systematically approach each phase of production with the aim of continually improving  environmental performance. Among our most notable achievements so far is the zero waste we generate across the entire DEDON supply chain. “Every scrap of waste created during production is recycled,” explains Hervé Lampert, a passionate advocate of the environment. “Every leftover strip of fiber, every off-cut of aluminum is segregated, sold off or otherwise reintroduced to the system. Even the aluminum shavings from the cutting blade are recycled.”

URBIO

Check out URBIO the urban vertical garden!

My Generation: Vasilies and Athens

Where did you study abroad, live, or have lived?

Athens, Greece

Was there anything related to environmental awareness or sustainability worth sharing?

The Metro was great, underground subway, fast, reliable, cheap along with the above ground tram which was, informative and interactive. I took part in a research project that measured the UV rays, among other things during peak sun hours of the day, as an awareness to the public.

Is there one thing that you do in your daily life that can be attributed to sustainability?

I would ride my bike, take the public transportation, and go to the local food markets.

Why do you think Sustainability or environmental awareness is so important to our generation?

Sustainability is important for our generation because we need to work hard at restoring what our elders have successfully destroyed.

What degree, have you received or are currently seeking, or what field of work are you looking to jump into?

I am receiving a bachelors in arts with the University of Washington’s College of the Built Environments, under their urban planning department, titled “Community Environment Planning”.

If you could travel to one place in the world where would it be, and why?

I would travel to Ios, an Cyclades island in the Mediterranean, Greece. Why? I was born in Athens, but the real greece, lifestyle, climate, topography, food, etc. lies in IOS. There is a cliff overlooking the bay and the endless blue Mediterranean waters, a hammock, and a gentle breeze. here, I could die.

If you could be one animal in the world what would it be? 

I would be the Great White Shark.