5kits zhao

big ideas.


Our blog is a library of resources and ideas found by us or shared with us by our friends and client network. It’s a collection of articles, radio stories, infographics and videos that relate to our work and broaden our thinking: our favorite content from the internet and beyond. Original commentary gives insight into our process and poses questions about the world inside and outside of the studio.


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The US Forest Service has developed an app to help cities quantify the value of their trees. Landscape lovers know that they’re good for climbing, picnicking and napping under, contemplating, watching bud and bloom, and leaning against. But now planners and environmentalists are assigning dollar values to trees and other natural resources to tally up […]

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The Zero Waste craze is catching! The latest issue of San Francisco magazine has published Bea Johnson’s five “R’s” of reducing personal garbage output that refresh the old “recycle, reduce, reuse” mantra. Johnson is a Mill Valley resident who wrote a book about how her family  strives for a low waste lifestyle, using mason jars […]

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It’s about labor, environment, obesity, air quality, climate change… Oh yes, and happiness. In his recent note in the Opinion blog of the NYTimes, Marc Bittman points out the real importance of the Slow Food movement. Counter to the suspicion that caring about food is a pastime for elites, Bittman talks with Slow Food’s founder […]

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The Devil’s Slide Tunnel opened this morning in time for commuters traveling between Pacifica and Half Moon Bay. For those on feet, hooves or bikes, the former path of Scenic Route 1 will be transformed into a trail with breathtaking views of soaring cliffs with crashing surf below. Please mind the edge! “After the tunnel […]

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Hi everyone, I’m writing because I just joined an important campaign to stop the tar sands in Canada–and I want you to join me. It only takes a minute to sign the petition: www.350.org/take-a-stand If you haven’t heard of the tar sands, they’re a massive operation that many people call the most environmentally destructive project […]

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Add it to your daily vocabulary, hash-tag it, say it loud and get it stuck in everyone’s heads: “systematic causation”. We need to start talking clearly if we’re going to fix this. “Global warming systemically caused the huge and ferocious Hurricane Sandy. And consequently, it systemically caused all the loss of life, material damage, and […]

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Carrotmob has partnered with the green-minded multinational Unilever. “We want to scale it to factories and big policies”, says Carrotmob’s Founder Brent Schulkin. Read more on GreenBiz.

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In typical California fashion, solar energy companies are finding a way to bring us the very essence of our Golden State in a the form of affordable electrical power. They’ve figured out how to lease the hardware so that we can enjoy cheaper home electricity today without a huge capital outlay. I love the quote […]

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Many of us watched the Sun with awe (and hopefully with protective glasses) to witness a dazzling solar eclipse, and last Tuesday, to see little Venus skirting her way between us and our favorite star. The Californian’s described in this article have also been feeling the Sun’s warmth in terms of their wallets and bank […]

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…Quantify it! That’s not how the song lyric goes, and it’s not a given for most of us to think about happiness as a measurable, tractable metric like our heart rate or a nation’s Gross Domestic Product. But now happiness is something that social scientists and economists are looking to measure and record. The latest […]

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