Thanks for reading the Happy Eco News Weekly Top 5 newsletter. This week we have 10 questions with Dillon Forte, a renowned tattoo artist and founder of Forte Tattoo Tech – a line of biodegradable tattoo supplies. We also have stories on trash being turned into natural gas, the closing hole of the ozone, the reappearance of a bird that hasn’t been seen in 172 years, what’s behind a climate-neutral product label, and how carbon dioxide is being turned into stone.

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10 Questions with Dillon Forte, Artist and Founder, Forte Tattoo Tech

Guest Post By: Dillon Forte

World-renowned artist, Dillon Forte, is known for his contemporary style of Sacred Geometry in tattooing. Forte believes in viewing the body as a whole, creating harmonious designs to flow seamlessly with the skin. His other notable ventures include photography, painting, fashion/tech design, murals, gallery exhibitions and his product line Forte Tattoo Tech, which is his recently announced line of biodegradable tattoo supplies.

How did you get into tattoo as a form of artistic expression? 

I was always drawing as a kid, and during my teenage years, got into skateboarding and hanging around downtown. A tattoo shop happened to be by the skate shop I hung around, and one thing led to another. As they say, you’re a product of your environment, right? My interest in tattoos as an art kept growing until I took an apprenticeship up in Berkley, CA. That opportunity led to me starting my own studio and business.

What inspired you to create eco-friendly tattoo supplies? What was the crystallizing moment when you decided to make a change?

For years I had this nagging feeling and growing guilt around throwing away certain products that tattoo artists like myself around the globe use during the process. From plastics to ink cups, some of this stuff ends up in landfills for years without decomposing quickly. Most of these items are terrible for the planet, and if I was to help make a difference, we could at least start with the tattoo industry. I think the decision to act on it happened when I was overseas a couple years back at a tattoo convention. I was in a beautiful place filled with nature, and then I step into this convention where all these tattoo products are sold that could eventually end up tainting the beauty of this planet… [read more]

Top 5 Week Happy Eco News

  1. Turning Trash to Natural Gas: Utilities Fight for Their Future Amid Climate Change

Each day more than 12 million pounds of garbage is dumped, spread, compacted and finally covered with a layer of dirt at the Klickitat County landfill owned by Republic Services. It sits on a plateau above the Columbia River in southern Washington. Credit: Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times ROOSEVELT, Washington—Two trains each day pull into this tiny hamlet tucked deep within the Columbia River Gorge. They carry more than 12 million pounds of garbage that is transferred to a fleet of trucks, which crawl up a cliff-side road full of hairpin turns to the top of an arid plateau. There, an armada of excavators, bulldozers and compactors spread, crush and bury this trash. Now, this giant landfill is the source of pipeline-quality natural gas—enough for some 19,000 homes to operate furnaces, stoves and water heaters each day. This is the same stuff produced elsewhere in North America by fracking. But here it is generated from the decay—deep underground—of food scraps, dog poop, yard clippings, paper and other organic materials mixed in with the trash. We deliver climate news to your inbox like nobody else. Every day or once a week, our original stories and digest of the web’s… [read more]

  1. The Ozone Hole: Closing the Gap

In the 1980s, scientists began to realize that ozone-depleting chemicals, such as chlorofluorocarbon (CFCs), were creating a thin spot—a hole—in the ozone layer over Antarctica. Through an international effort to decrease the use of CFCs, the ozone layer is starting to mend, and scientists believe it should mostly recover by the middle of the 21st century. This series of satellite images shows the ozone hole on the day of its maximum depth from 1979 through 2018… [read more]

3. Mystery bird not seen in 172 years makes surprise reappearance in Borneo forest

The black-browed babbler was recently sighted in Indonesia’s South Kalimantan province, on the island of Borneo, after being lost to science for 172 years. There is only one specimen of the species, collected sometime between 1843 and 1848. While little is known about the species, researchers are concerned that it might already be threatened with extinction. Three years ago, Panji Gusti Akbar was flipping through the pages of Birds of the Indonesian Archipelago when he came across a photo of a bird with brown wings and a black stripe across its brow, appropriately named the black-browed babbler ( Malacocincla perspicillata ). On the map beside the bird, there was a question mark, indicating that no one knew where the species lived. In fact, this bird hadn’t been sighted for the past 172 years. “I just had some sort of feeling that, ‘it must be nice to be the one who finds it,’ but just forgot about it,” Akbar, an ornithologist who works at the tourism company Birdpacker Indonesia, told Mongabay. The rediscovered black-browed babbler. Image by Muhammad Suranto and Muhammad Rizky Fauzan. Then, in October 2020, Akbar received a message from a colleague on WhatsApp with a picture of… [read more]

  1. ‘Climate Neutral’ products are now a thing. What’s behind the label?

Every eco-conscious consumer has felt the frustration of trying to make the least climate-ruining decisions. Nothing you buy is really good for the planet — every new purchase carries a carbon cost. So many factors go into determining the environmental and social impact of everything on your shopping list that even the smallest choices can become agonizing. How are you to know whether cotton really is better than polyester ? Whether local or organic food is preferable? Whether GMO means anything at all ? A mind-boggling array of factors can inform every decision, so for reassurance, people often turn to trusted brands and recognizable — or at least understandable —labels. Climate Neutral Certified combines those two things in a verified seal of approval indicating that a product comes from a company taking responsibility for the carbon emissions of its entire supply chain. The idea, according to CEO Austin Whitman, is to make those headache-inducing decisions a little easier — and provide clear, simple actions for folks who want to tread more lightly on the planet. The nonprofit wants to do for a whole array of products what Fair Trade has done for coffee and LEED has done for buildings… [read more]

  1. Air-to-rock: This Icelandic facility is turning CO2 into stone

More firms are now investing in carbon capture technology. To battle climate change, firms are experimenting with new technological solutions, including ‘direct air capture’ of emissions. In Iceland, Carbfix is collaborating with Climeworks to build a site which collects carbon dioxide from the air and turns it into stone deep underground. While this could be effective in reducing climate change, concerns have been raised about the expensive cost of the operation. On a barren hillside in southwest Iceland, workers are installing huge fans to suck carbon dioxide from the air and turn it to stone deep below ground, in a radical – but expensive – way to fight global warming. Engineering fixes for climate change are gaining attention and investments in 2021 as companies such as Microsoft and leaders from China, the United States and the European Union work on long-term plans to achieve “net zero” emissions goals. Elon Musk, chief of Tesla Inc and a billionaire entrepreneur, said in January he would give a $100 million prize for the best “technology for capturing carbon”. Swiss firm Climeworks , which is building the Icelandic site with Carbfix , a unit of Reykjavik Energy, says every technological fix is needed… [read more]

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