In-Ride Shopping Helps Uber Drivers Make Extra Cash

Rush hour is not anyone’s favorite time of the day, but from time to time, we inevitably find ourselves in the middle of it. However, 15-minute-turned-2-hour drives don’t always leave us prepared for hunger pangs and total boredom. Cargo, a startup that allows Uber drivers to sell a quirky mix of items mid-ride, is not only helping them make an extra buck, but also alleviates our traffic-induced hiccups.

Cargo partners with brands to put candy, protein bars, tampons, and condoms in a case that sits within reach of passengers. The case comes with a code unique to each driver, which passengers use to record what they took during the ride.

Drivers get a bit of extra money from Cargo for the things their passengers take, regardless of whether the riders made a purchase or just took something for free. Passengers can even tip their drivers through Cargo, too.

While the extra income earned from Cargo is nothing hair-raising, drivers are not charged for having a case of goodies in their car.

“Our mission is to help drivers earn more by providing the best ride experience possible,”

“For passengers, you never have to worry about your phone dying, riding hungover, or suffering through that snack-less midnight ride from the airport,”

Cargo is clearly going above and beyond simple customer care, and we couldn’t be more grateful!

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Plus-Size Model Shuts Down Fat-Shamer On Plane

In a society so diverse, body-shaming should be a thing of the past. Unfortunately it isn’t, and especially not for plus-size model Natalie Hage, who was fat-shamed by her seatmate on a flight to Los Angeles. The man had sent hateful text messages about her figure to a friend. However Natalie, who was clearly over it, refused to allow herself to be belittled and confronted the man.

In a photo she posted on Instagram, you can see a portion of the exchange, which starts with the friend saying, “Hopefully she didn’t have any Mexican food.” The man responds, “I think she ate a Mexican.”

Ouch. Netizens were quick to respond with support for Natalie, who blessed the Internet with a video of her conversation with the man.

Hage begins by introducing herself and calling him out for the text messages. He immediately denies it. Then he apologies, claiming he did it because he was drinking.

Hage responds with absolute bravado before exiting the plane.

“My body is none of your business, and you have no idea what I can or can’t do with it…don’t ever treat anyone like that again,” she says.

You go girl! If this man couldn’t get the picture, we’re at least hoping he learns that there is no correlation between alcohol and how you treat a person.

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Pet Insurance Is Now A Thing

Nowadays, pets are pampered more than ever before. From posh buggies to personalized raincoats, it wouldn’t be surprising if pet insurance soon became a reality. Well, luckily for pet owners in Silicon Valley, it is.

Lately, employee benefits have extended to pet insurance for dogs and cats as businesses look for more ways to attract and retain workers.

Rich Lang, senior vice president of human resources at VMware in Palo Alto, said offering pet insurance as an employee benefit aligns with the company’s core value of building community.

My Pet Protection offers plans from $40 to $66. But what exactly does it cover?

The price covers accidents, illnesses and preventive care such as vaccinations, flea medicine and wellness exams — but not preexisting conditions.

The cost of insurance almost pays for itself because of the coverage for monthly heartworm and flea medicine, and tests or shots.

As an avid animal enthusiast with an accident prone dog, I have definitely hopped on the bandwagon. Will you be signing your pet up for insurance?

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Smoggy China Gets Air-Purifying Bicycles

It’s time for China to kiss face masks goodbye, because ofo has just come up with an even better solution for the smog-infested country. Partnering up with TEZIGN, ofo has developed a high-tech bicycle that cycles and purifies air, soon to be available to 20 million people.

The bicycles work similarly to Roosegaarde’s Smog Free Tower by providing “a healthy and energy-friendly solution for urbanites, combatting both traffic congestion and pollution issues in the city.” Both the Smog Free Tower and the smog-free bicycles are part of Roosegaarde’s larger vision to fill cities with fresh air.

The project is currently being productized in China and the Netherlands. The eco-bike is not only a huge breakthrough in China’s air pollution problem–it is also reviving a centuries-old bicycle culture.

“Beijing used to be an iconic bicycle city. We want to bring back the bicycle as a cultural icon of China and as the next step towards smog free cities.”

Looks like China can now bid jars of air adieu.

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Walk Smart On These Power-Generating Streets

Society is becoming increasingly more sustainable each year, which means there are always new (and interesting!) methods of saving and producing energy. Most recently, Pavegen has heralded the world’s first energy-harvesting smart street, an innovation that could easily shake up the nation.

Pavegen installed a 107-square-foot array in Bird Street to harness and convert the power of footsteps into electricity, which will supply energy for lights and bird sounds in the area. Bluetooth Low-Energy transmitters are also part of this array, so that users can interact with the array via apps. People can see their steps on the energy-harvesting pavement translate into discounts, vouchers, and clean electricity.

The technology’s interactive feature will surely have shoppers making rounds on Bird Street.

Pavegen CEO Laurence Kemball-Cook said in a statement, “Being able to demonstrate how our technology can bring to life the retail shopping experience is a vital step for us. As retailers compete with online, technologies like ours make being in the busy high street more exciting and rewarding for people and brands alike.”

Bird Street also fashions Airlite air-purifying paint, making it one of the U.K.’s most trendy and sustainable avenues.

Technology never fails to amaze me.

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Meet The Toilet That Charges Your iPhone

Over the years, on-the-toilet entertainment has evolved from browsing tabloid magazines to swiping right on the latest smartphone. If you haven’t felt an impending sense of doom when forgetting to charge your phone means having to finish your business without any source of amusement, you are one of very few people. The LooWatt hopes to alleviate this problem with an eco-friendly toilet that also serves as a charging port.

Technology company LooWatt has developed a brand-new kind of toilet. For one, it doesn’t use any water; instead, it traps human waste in a biodegradable film, which is then sealed and transported to a central facility.  At that facility, the excrement is turned into electricity that can charge cellphones and into fertilizer that can help grow plants.

How exactly does the LooWatt work?

Step 1. Take a number one (or a number two, whatever). Step 2. Waste is collected in biodegradable bags, and transported to a central ‘digester’. Step 3. Decomposition creates biogas, which is siphoned off and stored. Step 4. Biogas is used to power a generator, cleanly creating electricity. Step 5. The electricity charges your smartphone.

That seems like one heck of a toilet! While the LooWatt is not yet commercially available, you might stumble upon it as a port-a-potty.

Anyone for a number two?

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Vancouver Busts Sale Of Cats And Dogs From Puppy Mills

It’s one small step for puppies and kittens and one giant leap for the animal kingdom! Once again, Canada has taken initiative–this time to ban the sale of puppy mill animals in pet stores. And you can bet I’m proud.

Put forward by City Councilmember Heather Deal, the motion to ban the sale of dog, cats, and rabbits in pet shops passed with a unanimous vote. Richmond and New Westminster have similar laws in effect.

Puppy mills engage in overbreeding for the sake of profit, often producing sick animals. Vancouver is now encouraging pet stores to partner with locals shelters to promote adoption.

Members of the Paws for Hope Animal Foundation, an animal welfare organization in Vancouver, had been protesting the sale of animals at this store for five years… The new legislation “sends a clear message to Vancouver residents and the rest of the world that city council believes in a humane community. A city that places animal welfare before profit.”

If you’ve now been inspired to hop on the adoption bandwagon, remember–you are picking out a friend for life!

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Could The Next Michelangelo Be Made Of Garbage?

While most trends come and go, it seems like trash art is here to stay. Not only is it encourage recycling, it’s great to look at! Last to join our brigade of trash artists is Lydia Ricci, who has collected scraps over thirty years.

These treasures are a crossroad of Ricci’s idiosyncratic upbringing and unorthodox perception of the world. She cuts up cardboard, trinkets, staples, and bits of plastic with a craft knife. Meticulously, she glues the pieces together to make tiny bricolage versions of regular items.

But where does all the rubbish come from? Ricci’s father is a hoarder, and has been since her mother’s passing. Ricci claims that her father’s hoarding is “sentimental”, which I assume drives her passion for crafting miniatures.

“I really get into a zone. It is a bit compulsive. I find the right scraps and start the see the object in a more abstract way and I really do not want to get out of that space until it is complete,”

If thirty years of hoarding inspired this artistic journey, perhaps it’s time to go through my closets.

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Hotel Goodies For The Homeless

I won’t lie–I’ve always been one to hoard hotel freebies to cut costs on my pricier toiletries. Ironically, most of what I throw into my suitcase ends up in cupboards unopened, only to be forgotten. Australian Katryna Robinson has made it her responsibility to make sure hotel toiletries are put to good use by donating them to the homeless.

Through the charity Every Little Bit Helps, items such as shampoos, toothbrushes and combs are donated by the public and companies and put together into kits in red bags.

The small-scale project did not waste any time contacting other shelters across Australia and has since donated nearly 20,000 kits. Robinson has also encountered people living in extreme conditions.

Domestic violence is one of the major causes of homelessness in Australia and Ms Robinson said many shelter clients were women fleeing danger.

“We’ve had people who were collecting for us, and one of those particular people actually found herself in a domestic violence situation,” she said.

The next time you shoot off on a vacation and decide to stuff your luggage with mini bottles of shampoo, think about who might need it more!

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Take A Walk With These Eco-Friendly Shoes

I’ll admit–while I’m all for recycled fashion, I am useless with a needle and thread. That being said, I am always on the hunt for sustainable pieces I can add to my wardrobe. As a huge fan of Clarks footwear, I was quick to jump on pre-orders for their new Vivobarefoot Ultra Blooms, which are made from biomass algae.

The soft, super-light running shoes use the same design as Vivobarefoot’s regular Ultra line. They’re flexible enough to scrunch up into a ball, with a thin white sole that’s topped by a perforated upper. They’re built for use on dry land and in rivers and oceans, where the Swiss-cheese holes flush water out.

Algae, which, in excess, damages marine habitats and reduces drinkable water supply, is a practical and affordable material for production.

Clark says the foam in each pair of Ultra Blooms will recycle 57 gallons of filtered water back into natural habitats while saving 40 party balloons worth of carbon dioxide by removing the excess algae from the environment.

According to Clarks, with the amount of algae available worldwide, billions of pairs of shoes can be easily manufactured.

Would you run a marathon in these shoes?

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