Tag: aluminum

Visual History of Christmas Trees

Visual History of Christmas Trees

Christmas Tree

Just in time for the holidays, this infographic tells all about the history of Christmas trees.  The blurb at the top tells about the beginning of the Christmas tree, and we’re given a code (via colored Christmas lights) as to whether each entry on the timeline is a landmark tree, the invention of a decoration, something about Christmas culture, or a fact about the tree industry.  Since this infographic is in a timeline format, it’s pretty hard to slap subheaders on the review, so we’ll just review some  of the facts.

The first decorated Christmas tree appeared in Latvia in 1600.  The first artificial tree, offered by Sears, Roebuck & Company, became available in 1883.  It cost $.50for 33 limbs and $1.00 for 55 limbs.

In 1901, President Theodore Roosevelt said that it was bad to cut down trees for decoration.  Lots of people wanted artificial trees after that.

In the 1910’s people used glass candle holders and candles to light their trees.  Electric lights already existed, but they were dangerous AND expensive.  Also in the 1910’s, over-harvesting led to shortages of evergreen trees, so tree farms started up in the 1920’s to meet demand.  Also in the 1920’s, feathered trees hit the market.  They were imported from Germany, and were available in miniature (2 inches tall) and full size (6 feet tall).

In 1923 they started decorating the National Christmas Tree.  A storm knocked it over in 2011 so a new tree was planted.

In the 1930’s, the Brush company manufactured the first bristle trees.  Also, in 1933, the tradition of the tree in Rockefeller Center started.  The tallest one of those ever was a 30 foot spruce that held the spot in 1999.

In the 1940’s, the West Coast decided they wanted some more Christmas spirit, so they came up with flocking kits that made your tree look like it was covered in snow.  Also in the 1940’s (1946, to be exact), bubble lights were invented.

In the 1950’s, aluminum trees came out as the first non-green artificial trees.  Also in the 1950’s, Disneyland’s Main Street got its 60 foot tall tree for the first time.  They used live trees until 2008, and then got eco friendly and started using artificial trees.  Also in the 1950’s we met the Grinch for the first time (1957).

The 1960’s brought is A Charlie Brown Christmas, and because of that movie’s negative portrayal of artificial Christmas trees, there was a decline in sales.  The power of the Peanuts.

In the 1970’s and 1980’s, plastic trees became available, offering a green alternative and seeing many, many sales.  In 1980, the largest tree ever was lit in Gubbio, Italy.  It was 650 meters tall, and used over 8.5 kilometers of cable.  In 1989, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation came out, and is still one of the best-loved holiday films of all time.

The 1990’s saw a rise in the use of artificial trees – 46% of home used them.  Fiber-optic trees were introduced in the 1990’s as well.

In 2000 US politicians debated as to whether or not to call Christmas trees Christmas trees.  Sales boomed, however, and by 2004 58% of home used artificial trees.  In 2007, over 17.4 million artificial trees were sold.  In 2001, the industry saw the introduction of the lifelike polyethylene trees that are still popular today.

“Today, artificial trees range from lifelike to glamorous, complete with spinning motors, multi-colored lights, and polyethylene plastics.”

Scorecard

Design:  A

Very attractive

Information:  A

Who knew?  Now we know the whole history of Christmas trees.

Source:  Christmas Tree Market

Green through the Ages Infographic

Green through the Ages Infographic

green-infographic

Ah, the color green. So many meanings. Many famous items and places in history and fiction revolve around the color green, so I can certainly understand the creator’s desire to make an infographic that examines this color in detail. The purpose of this graphic is to show how green has shaped our lives throughout history, and then tie that into recycling.  The interesting thing about the facts in this graphic is that, apparently, the first recycling efforts happened in 400 B.C.  I bet you were not aware of that one?

Several hundred years after that a fellow by the name of John Heywood suggested that the moon was made out of cheese, green cheese to be exact.  And the people in that day actually believed him.  A hodgepodge of other facts are also displayed in the graphic, such as the fact that 76% of Americans call themselves environmentalists according to a 1990 poll.  Here’s another statistic relevant to today: in 1979, Alan Freeman constructed the first solar powered car.  These days, electric cars like Tesla and the Chevy Volt are all the rage, so it’s interesting to see that 30 years ago, Americans were briefly enamored by the concept of a solar car.  It’s too bad it never got off the ground.

At the bottom of the graphic, San Diego State plugs its environmental efforts and then reminds people of its third annual green event (which happened at the end of August), Blue is the New Green: Water in the Built Environment.

Design: A-

This graphic does everything that a graphic should: it catches your eye right away and draws you in.  The chronological order of events is displayed in a way that flows, so the graphic is well-done. This is a very pleasant graphic to look at.

Content: C+

This graphic has some potential theme issues, meaning, it’s unclear what the specific theme of the graphic is. Is it about the color green? Is it about the environment? With a graphic title like “Green through the ages,” someone who sees the graphic at first glance might not have any idea. That’s a potential problem, and not one that the creator of this graphic should take lightly. But the problem runs deeper.  The green timeline stops after 1990.  Why?  1990 was 20 years ago.  Surely the history of green, especially as it relates to the environment, had some events occur over the past 20 years of note.  Didn’t it?

Overall, a nice effort on this graphic.

[source]

Conquest is a printing company with an environmentally friendly aim, choose green printing.

How Much Do We Really Recycle: Infographic

How Much Do We Really Recycle: Infographic

recylcing infographic

As this infographic confirms, we are, for lack of a better phrase, a “throw away” culture. That is, we do ridiculous things like dispose of seven and a half times our body weight each year. As expected, the above infographic makes a compelling case for recycling. It’s filled with tidbits that make you throw your hands up and say, “recycling is best!” That’s assuming you were on the fence of course. Most people know recycling is best; they just don’t do it out of laziness.

Some things about recycling you probably did not know but likely are not surprised by:
–Glass can be recycled over and over without ever losing its purity
–70% less energy is used to manufacture recycled paper
–The energy conserved from recycling one bottle can power a light bulb for one hour
–One recycled can of aluminum contains enough energy to power a Sony TV for three hours

Yes, there can be no argument. A world where more people recycle is the kind of world that most people should want to live in. I do have some issues with the “facts” presented at the bottom of the article though. The graphic claims that certain objects would take several thousand (or in some cases, several million) years to decompose. A Styrofoam cup, for instance, supposedly would not decompose until the year 7,500,000,000 A.D. Really? I have a hard time believing this. If you threw a Styrofoam cup in the woods, you’re telling me it would really take over a billion years for it to erode? I doubt that. What would happen in reality is that maggots and ants would eventually get on it, and it would begin to break down. When you combine the effects of animals with other elements of nature, such as rain and acid rain, the abstract theory that it would take billions of years for the cup to break down becomes even more implausible.

My basic philosophy is this: I’m all for recycling, but don’t try to scare me with inane claims about how long it takes for objects to decompose in a non-controlled, natural environment.

Infographics Scorecard

Design: B

The design meshes several elements well, and the bottom of the graphic is very aesthetically pleasing due to its use of objects.  Certain elements of the graphic are patchy though.  The “Total Individual Lifetime Disposal” circle is not necessarily easy to understand at first glance. It bogs down a bit. That portion of the graphic could have been handled better.

Content: B+

The content is well-presented, and for the most part, in an easy-to-understand way.  I would have awarded a higher grade, but as I explained earlier, I’m not buying the creator’s argument that it would take thousands and thousands of years for plastic jugs and glass bottles to decompose.  The Styrofoam cup theory makes even less sense when you factor in the temperature changes of the planet.  Think about how hot the planet will be in 7 billion years.

Overall, this graphic is very well-done but has some room for improvement.

This graphic was provided by the fine folks at recycle.co.uk

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