As global warming is at the top of the agenda, worldleaders are askedto act immediately, from forced recycling to carbon offsetting and celebrities launching a 10-year campaign to make environmentally friendly living fashionable.
Are these efforts really improving the environment? What is eco-friendly living? When we live in a period where the worst climate disaster is about to happen, how can we live the ultimate green lifestyle?
Extreme Green Guerrillas, Michiko Nitta‘s graduation project at RCA, Design Interactions, brings the current green lifestyle to the extreme. Her “manifesto” looks at 3 important areas of our daily life: communication, food and death.
The extreme guerilla adepts form a network of amateur self-sustaining people who have shortened their lifespan to sustain the ultimate green lifestyle. Whilst going to extreme lengths to protect the environment, they try to enjoy a decadent quality of life by utilizing urban waste and biosystem. This consists of embracing emerging technology to develop the ultimate green solution.
They try to avoid being tied to big corporations and using electronic devices to send emails and sms. E.G.G. are also against conventional posting service, as it leaves a great CO2 footprint. Instead, they resort to A.M.S., the “Animal Messaging Service”. Michiko discovered that many animals have already been tagged by scientists, to follow migrations for example. The RFID tags would be hacked and used by the guerilla to carry messages around. Of course not all animals are very reliable and swift. The herring gets eaten very easily so sending a message via herring will be priced very low; the blackpoll warbler is extremely lazy, he flies only 3 hours per day so they are cheap ones as well. Now pigeons and whales do their job more seriously and way faster so using them is more pricey.
The designer had a look at food and the mistakes we make in our quest to be eco-friendly, confusing being healthy or buying fair trade products with green activity. We want to eat organic steak but only the “noble” parts, not the head of the pig, nor offals which means wasting quality meat. So what would an extreme green food be like?
EGG breakfast: 0kg emission
Extreme green guerrilla’s food has to be resourced from existing materials within the local area. A solution is to embrace the roadkill diet but that is not really appealing, is it?
Pigeon + Quail = Piguail
A solution might be to modify the urban vermin, such as pigeons and rats and cross it with animals whose meat is a delicacy. One example is an animal called Piguail, which is hybrid of Pigeon (vermin) and Quail (gourmet). Or the Rattit, half rat, half rabbit. They would survive in urban areas like vermins but they would be yummy like a rabbit (can’t believe i’m writing these lines, i’m a vegetarian.)
Rat + Rabbit = Rattit
Michiko consulted with a scientist and it seems that rabbit and rat come from the same family and have very similar bone structures. Creating a piguail would be much more tricky as the quail belongs to the phaesant family, not the pigeon one. Besides you cannot control the way an hybrid animal might look like, or taste like.
While looking at death she founds that the Earth is too crowded for sustainability, therefore premature death is the ultimate gesture practiced by the extreme green guerrilla.
When a member of EGG becomes twenty years old, his/her ears are pierced with a euthanasing earring, as a part of the ceremony E.G.G.s celebrate when this person reaches adulthood. The earring will be permanent and contains muscle relaxant and a lethal drug.
Throughout their life the inner core of the earring rotates day by day. On their 40th birthday, the muscle relaxant and lethal drug are released through a hypodermic needle, leading to peaceful death. By promoting a young death, extreme green guerrillas can sustain the ultimate green life. If you know your life will last only forty years, how would you plan it?
Michiko’s point is not to say that this is the future she wants. Her role is more to provoke in a witty way, have people question their lifestyle and get the debate on green issues going.