Why the shift toward renewable energy is not enough

October 12, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

“The right change for the wrong reasons brings no guarantees,” writes ecologist Alejandro Frid.

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Why the shift toward renewable energy is not enough

Zaha Hadid Architects completes futuristic, energy-saving airport in Beijing

October 11, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

China has officially opened the Beijing Daxing International Airport, a futuristic transit hub designed by Zaha Hadid Architects with the world’s biggest terminal spanning 700,000 square meters. Seamlessly integrated into the city’s expanding transportation network, the new airport is defined by dramatic sweeping curves, an abundance of interior daylighting and energy-saving systems that include photovoltaic panels and a rainwater harvesting system. The Beijing Daxing Airport is expected to accommodate 72 million travelers by 2025 and is planned for further expansion to serve up to 100 million passengers and 4 million tons of cargo annually. Located 46 kilometers south of Beijing’s city center in the Daxing District, the Beijing Daxing International Airport was created to alleviate congestion at the capital’s existing airport. The airport offers direct connections to Beijing — including a 20-minute express train — as well as to the national high-speed rail network and local train services for easy access to nearby regions such as Tianjin and the Hebei Province. The terminal features a compact, radial design to support a maximum number of aircraft and minimize distances from the center of the building. Related: MAD unveils an energy-saving, snowflake-shaped terminal for Harbin Airport “Recently assigned the airport code ‘PKX’ by the International Air Transport Association, Beijing Daxing sets a new standard in air transport services, serving the region’s growing population within a compact and efficient passenger terminal that is adaptable for future growth,” reads the architects’ press release. “Echoing principles within traditional Chinese architecture that organize interconnected spaces around a central courtyard, the terminal’s design guides all passengers seamlessly through the relevant departure, arrival or transfer zones toward the grand courtyard at its center — a multi-layered meeting space at the heart of the terminal.” Zaha Hadid Architects’ iconic, flowing lines are brought to life inside the airport, which features a vaulted roof fitted with linear skylights that flood the interior with natural light. To reduce energy demands, photovoltaic panels were installed to provide a minimum capacity of at least 10 MW. A composite ground-source heat pump system provides supplemental power to the centralized heating system with waste heat recovery. The airport also includes a rainwater collection and water management system that naturally purifies up to 2.8 million cubic meters of water in new wetlands, lakes and streams. + Zaha Hadid Architects Photography by Hufton+Crow via Zaha Hadid Architects

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Zaha Hadid Architects completes futuristic, energy-saving airport in Beijing

Archstorming announces winning proposals for a school made of recycled plastic in Mexico

October 11, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Architectural competitions platform Archstorming recently presented the winners of its “Tulum Plastic School” competition that sought proposals for a school built of plastic for the NGO’s MOM I’M FINE Project and Los Amigos de la Esquina in Tulum, Mexico. From 230 submissions, an international jury selected three winning projects that draw attention to the problem of plastic waste in Mexico and found imaginative ways to reuse common plastic objects. First prize was awarded to Daniel Garcia and William Smith from Harvard University. The duo used the international plastic pallet as the building block for their proposed school . Instead of melting down plastic and reforming the material, the designers took advantage of the stability of pallets to create the school’s exterior walls and its very steep roof. The transparent, recyclable and corrugated plastic facade not only allows light into the school, but it also protects the school from the elements and can glow like a beacon when illuminated at night. Related: Passive solar school in Indonesia celebrates the natural landscape Malaysian designer David Nee Zhi Kang was awarded second place for his proposal of a school scaled and designed for children. The multifunctional school could also be opened up for community use. Rather than use processed plastic materials, the conceptual building is constructed from common plastic waste materials, such as recycled plastic bottles, and assembled with simple tools without the need of heavy machinery. The vision is for a building that can inspire the residents of Tulum to adopt similar recycling and building practices. In third place, Argentinian designers Iván Elías Barczuk, Matías Raúl Falero, Agustín Flamig and Adrián Eduardo Mendez proposed a modular design to reduce waste and for quick assembly with non-specialized labor. Each modular panel would be built from recycled, shredded-plastic liners and reconstituted wood. To further reduce the environmental footprint, the school can be equipped with vertical gardens, a rainwater collection system and photovoltaic panels. “The result of this contest shows that there are new, very attractive ways of designing a school using recycled plastic and that it is possible to introduce this material into architecture,” Archstorming said. + Tulum Plastic School Images via Archstorming

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Archstorming announces winning proposals for a school made of recycled plastic in Mexico

This furniture collection is made from repurposed military parachutes

October 11, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Innovative design firms Layer and RÆBURN  are known for creating stunning items out of repurposed materials . Now, the two firms have teamed up again to create the Canopy Collection, a series of chairs and screens made out of former military parachutes. The Canopy Collection is a series of six low-slung rocking chairs. Welded steel frames create the base, which is then covered in repurposed old military parachutes and aircraft brake parachutes. The textiles are secured to and tautly stretched over the frame with a combination of concealed zips and different textile techniques. The armrests are wrapped with extra material for added comfort. Related: RÆBURN upcycles North Face tents into one-of-a-kind bags The parachute fabric, which is made from ultra-thin ripstop nylon material, is incredibly durable and makes perfect sense to be used in everyday furnishings . In addition to the chairs, the collection also includes a reconfigurable screen with three panels that would make for an eye-catching centerpiece in any home. According to the designers, “The Canopy Collection uses the strict geometry of the steel frames as a base on which to experiment with innovative and forward-thinking recycled parachute upholstery.” Both studios are well-known for their dedication in creating responsible, sustainable products, especially when it comes to using undervalued or discarded materials. Earlier this year, RÆBURN made headlines for its collaboration with North Face to reconfigure old tents into unique bags. The Canopy Collection, which was launched to coincide with the recent London Design Festival 2019, is an innovative way to show the world that modern furnishings can also be sustainable . This is not the first time that the design studios have worked together, and hopefully it will not be the last. + Raeburn Design + Layer Design Via Dezeen Images via Layer Design

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This furniture collection is made from repurposed military parachutes

Infographic: Eco-Friendly Stain Removers

October 11, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco

Staining your clothes can be frustrating — especially if they’re … The post Infographic: Eco-Friendly Stain Removers appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Infographic: Eco-Friendly Stain Removers

Earth911 Inspiration: Langston Hughes

October 11, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco

Playwright and poet Langston Hughes reminds us to see the … The post Earth911 Inspiration: Langston Hughes appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Earth911 Inspiration: Langston Hughes

Rammed-earth walls make up a beautiful retreat hidden in the Zhejiang mountains

October 10, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Hidden in the misty mountains of Zhejiang , a new eco-sensitive resort made from local materials entices visitors with spectacular views and laid-back charms. International architecture firm kooo architects designed the Retreat Village, which comprises a cluster of luxury suites, for their client Hangzhou Origin Villa Hotel & Resort in the Dashan Village in Zhejiang, China. Taking inspiration from the local vernacular, the architects used local materials and techniques, such as rammed-earth construction, to create a resort that blends into its surroundings. Completed over the course of two years, the new Retreat Village is located on a remote, rural mountain. Although most of the original village architecture was built from rammed earth walls using local soils, the architects decided to only use rammed earth for a portion of the new construction so as to keep the interior from feeling too dark and constrained. The earthen walls are complemented by a natural material palette of bamboo, red bricks, stone and carbonized wood. To reduce site impact, the architects used locally produced as well as recycled materials and carefully sited the buildings to follow the natural contours of the mountain. Each of the buildings point in different directions to preserve privacy and to maximize views. An indoor- outdoor living experience is also emphasized in the design. Moreover, the use of natural materials and careful siting help make the village disappear into the landscape. Related: MAD’s ethereal Yiwu Grand Theater will “float” on Zhejiang waters “There is no light coming from this lonely village’s surrounding at night, so one can feel sufficient brightness even with a minimum amount of lighting,” adds the firm. “We kept the lights that can illuminate the entire space uniformly, such as downlights, to the minimum, and used all-directional soft umbrella-like lights such as free-standing lamps and table lights throughout the space. These fixtures project soft arches of light and shadow, illuminating the seamless finish and rounded edges of the walls and ceilings. Wrapped with the warmth of light, the rooms feel more calming and comfortable.” + kooo architects Images by Keishin Horikoshi / SS

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Rammed-earth walls make up a beautiful retreat hidden in the Zhejiang mountains

Light your pumpkins the EEK-o-friendly way this Halloween

October 10, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

With spooky season upon us, consider illuminating your jack-o’-lanterns in an eco-friendly way. But what are some good light sources to place within or even near pumpkins? You, of course, want to avoid toxins from certain sources, so here are some of Inhabitat’s sustainable suggestions this autumn. Soy or beeswax candles Steer clear of paraffin, because it is a petroleum-based product that produces soot. Paraffin candles have also been known to release acetaldehyde, acrolein, benzene, formaldehyde, naphthalene and toluene — all of which are toxins . Instead, choose “cleaner” candles made either of soy or beeswax. These options are all-natural, burn at lower temperatures, and last longer — ensuring a healthier light to place within your carved pumpkins. Related: Time to put the flame out — scented candles can cause disease and poor air quality Flameless LED artificial lights LED lights can be in the form of tea lights, string lights, even bike lights — making them wonderful choices for your jack-o’-lanterns. They are, after all, more energy-efficient and have longer lifespans than other types of artificial lighting. They are also a safer choice for inside a pumpkin because they don’t emit much heat, thereby lowering the risk of fire. They can operate at a wide range of temperatures — whether hot or cold — without significant degradation. For these reasons, LED lights are safer and more budget-friendly for a sustainable Halloween. Solar lights Go green this year by utilizing your garden decor to fashion a solar-powered jack-o’-lantern. How does one solarize pumpkins? First, you’ll have to allow your solar garden lights to collect energy from the sun throughout the day. While your yard’s solar lights are soaking up the sun, that is when you can cut out the bottom of your carved pumpkins. Then, at night, you can place those jack-o-lanterns atop the now-glowing solar garden lights. Voila! Your yard will come alive with solarized jack-o’-lanterns to ghoulishly light up your Halloween night . So this Halloween, if the kids are asking why your pumpkins have bigger smiles, goofier faces or even epic expressions, you can explain that it is all because they are all lit up in EEK-o-friendlier ways. Via Chester Energy and Policy Image via David Menidrey

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Light your pumpkins the EEK-o-friendly way this Halloween

When in Rome, recycle more to earn free metro and bus travel tickets

October 10, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Rome’s Mayor Virginia Raggi recently unveiled an eco-friendly pilot initiative that is gaining popularity in the Eternal City. Called “Ricicli + Viaggi” (or the “Recycle + Travel” program), consumers who recycle empty plastic bottles earn credits toward free public transportation travel tickets. How does it work? Commuters who recycle empty plastic bottles via a designated compactor will then earn accrued credit-points, redeemable as free digital travel tickets. For a standard ticket, one must recycle 30 empty plastic bottles. That same standard ticket, which is good for one metro ride or 100 minutes on a Roman bus, costs about 1.50 euros. Related: Indonesia accepts plastic bottles in exchange for free bus rides The environmentally friendly campaign is widely appealing for good reasons. Empty plastic bottles no longer have to accumulate on Roman streets, and the travel tickets awarded are digital rather than paper. In other words, litter is minimized. Many Romans approve of this new way to save cash, and it couldn’t come at a more critical time. A 2017 study, conducted by consultancy group Expert Market, found that Italy ranked fourth among The Most Wasteful European Countries. The Eternal City has gained notoriety for its dysfunctional waste management. With only three major landfills — one that shut down in 2013 and the other two ravaged by frequent fires — Rome has since been spiraling into decline with refuse spewing all over the streets after years of neglect. Both tourists and residents have long complained about the garbage littering ancient monuments, the burgeoning vermin infestations and the lack of sanitation strategy as successive mayors from different parties have struggled unsuccessfully to resolve the Italian capital’s waste crisis. Prior to the trash-for-tickets program, recycling was patchy and very inefficient. “The situation has been quite disastrous,” president of environmental group Legambiente Stefano Ciafani said. “Rome has failed to create an efficient system for differentiated waste collection, as Milan has done, and it has not built the recycling plants that are fundamental for a city where three million people live.” But there has been a ray of hope ever since Raggi entered office in 2016 as the first female mayor in Roman history. While Raggi has had a stormy start battling deeply entrenched ways, this new pilot initiative of swapping plastic for transit credits is a step in a more positive, eco-friendly direction. Of course, with Ricicli + Viaggi still in its infancy, there are at present only three public transportation metro stations in Rome offering the recycling compactor machines. Despite that, more than 350,000 bottles have been recycled so far, and it is hoped the numbers will continue to rise. Raggi happily shared, “We are the first major European capital to present this innovation.” The Eternal City’s roll-out follows at the heels of similar programs already in place in both Beijing and Istanbul. + Ricicli + Viaggi Via BBC and Phys.org Image via Juan Enrique Gilardi

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When in Rome, recycle more to earn free metro and bus travel tickets

This 1973 Airstream could be yours for $68,900

October 10, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

A clean, modern design. Plentiful storage. An abundance of natural light. What more could you want in a tiny home on wheels? Renovated by DIY experts Nate and Taylor, from Augustine Along the Way, this 1973 Airstream has a new life as Mattox . Mattox is a 25-foot Airstream trailer with a gorgeous interior design featuring bamboo hardwood floors and plenty of plants. The ambitious duo put a ton of work into renovating the old Airstream , and now, the shiny little home can be yours for just $68,900. Inside and out, Mattox is a beautiful example of a DIY Airstream renovation. Starting with the trailer’s signature aluminum exterior, Taylor and Nate polished its formerly dull facade into a gleaming, mirrored finish. The Airstream even comes with a retractable rolling awning that provides a shaded, open-air place to dine or simply enjoy the fresh air just outside the front door. Related: A dull, 26-year-old Airstream becomes a bright, cozy home on wheels Although Mattox’s gleaming exterior is impressive, its interior design is what shines the brightest. The compact living space feels bright and open thanks to an abundance of windows and a fresh coat of white paint on the walls and ceiling. Contrasting nicely with the all-white background, beautiful and ultra-durable bamboo hardwood floors with eucalyptus backing run the length of the interior. Just across the front door, the kitchen sits at the middle of the Airstream. The kitchen includes everything one would need to create culinary masterpieces, including a two-burner stove and a new refrigerator. The Zellige tile backsplash adds an earthy touch. Facing the kitchen and beside the entrance is the lounge area, which comes complete with a custom, built-in couch with storage underneath. In fact, most of the furniture in the Airstream was custom-made to use every inch of space strategically . This includes the two-person, drop-down walnut dining table and small desk area complete with book storage. In the back of the classic trailer is a bedroom big enough for a full-sized bed. This space also fits in plenty of storage both underneath the bed and in a small closet near the entrance. For those adventurers out there who would like to take Mattox on the road, rest assured that the Airstream’s mechanical systems have also been completely renovated. New tires, brakes, bearings, propane hook-ups, fresh water hook-up and more will give you peace of mind while you are exploring. + Augustine Along the Way Via Tiny House Talk Images via Augustine Along the Way

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This 1973 Airstream could be yours for $68,900

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