OFS furniture is eco-driven from tree to delivery

September 17, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Based out of Huntingburg, IN, with multiple showrooms around the country, furniture manufacturer OFS sets the bar high for sustainable production, protecting the environment and setting an example for other companies.  Not only has OFS earned WELL Platinum certification for its home office, but it takes its environmentally-conscious stance so seriously that it named its sustainability program. Called Common Grounds, in honor of the idea that finding common ground is the basis for meaningful change, the program focuses on greening every step of the business cycle. Related:  Heirloom Design provides furniture that may never see a landfill The process began in the 1950s with the foresight of OFS’ leaders at the time, Phyllis and Bob Menke. Upon noticing the effects of poor forest management in southern Indiana, they established the Indiana Nature Conservancy. This allowed them to acquire land damaged by over-foresting practices. Replanting and maintenance of the forest led to the current 7,100 acres held and monitored by OFS and the Menke family. The land is part of the American Tree Farm program and is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified.  Jarod Brames, Director of Sustainability for OFS says, “By prioritizing sustainability initiatives, we’re investing in our future. Our company’s leadership has always taken responsibility for the planet, dating all the way back to our inception — well before many others started this focus. It’s something we continue to take very seriously.” OFS is also partnered with One Tree Planted, a nonprofit organization dedicated to global reforestation. Through this association, OFS plants 60,000 trees annually, enough to counterbalance the company’s annual emissions over the lifespan of the  trees . The trees are planted in areas that are actively managed, which helps ensure increased survival rates and lost-tree replacements in a responsible way. The company also places an earth-friendly focus on packaging, using biodegradable foam that keeps furniture safe during shipping, yet reduces to 5% of its size once the unpacking is complete. To keep factory  waste  low, all excess wood chips are saved and stored to use for heat during the winter months. To further control the sustainable aspects of production and delivery, the OFS trucking company called Styline Logistics delivers all OFS furniture products. The company reports, “It has been part of the EPA’s Smartway program for over 17 years and utilizes bio-diesel in its operations.”  While OFS puts a notable emphasis on green production, it also provides a healthy work environment for employees with a central cafe that serves healthy  food  and a gathering space to build relationships.  Building on the belief that green products are the best option for consumers and the planet, OFS continues to meet the increasingly higher expectations within the industry. They achieve this by producing furniture with low emissions and relying on certified  natural materials  such as wood with FSC CoC certification, and BIFMA-level certified products, which is an industry-standard.  “At OFS, we’ve accomplished a lot when it comes to sustainability, but we also realize there’s so much more to do. Climate change is presenting some urgent challenges, and the pandemic has reinforced the importance of human health and well-being, especially in the built environment. As we look to the future, we’re aligning our efforts with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, beginning with Human Health and Well-Being, Responsible Consumption and Production, and Life on Land. These are areas where we can use our experience and unique position as a family-owned company to make the largest impact for our customers, colleagues and communities,” Brames says. For transparency in regards to chemicals in its products, OFS provides Health Product Declarations for the top dozen products in its lineup. However, it admits they are early in the game and promises to continue on its quest to remove harmful chemicals as it becomes aware of them. In addition to chemical content, the team emphasizes long-lasting product design. It works towards ergonomic and durable furniture options that will be around for a long time.  Brames explains, “Our products are crafted to last. The quality materials we use allow our furniture to withstand years and years of use, while still looking and performing at its best. This keeps products out of landfills and reduces the amount of  wood  and other materials used.”  In addition to the WELL-certified buildings, multiple showrooms have earned LEED certification. An event center on-site, called Cool Springs, includes 600-acres dedicated to educating visitors about forest management, the importance of biodiversity and the lifecycle of OFS products, from forest to furniture.  “The act of planting a tree is powerful and symbolic. Trees grow slowly, so we like to think of it as a long-term investment in our future. We invite everyone who tours our Cool Springs retreat and hardwood forest to plant a tree and take part in helping our planet,” Brames finished. + OFS  Images via OFS

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OFS furniture is eco-driven from tree to delivery

Los Angeles County to begin phasing out oil and gas drilling

September 17, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

When people think of  Los Angeles , celebrities and fast cars probably come to mind before oil and gas drilling. But the county has a surprising number of active and abandoned wells. On Wednesday, Los Angeles County supervisors said no more drilling. As County Supervisor Janice Hahn put it, the plan is “a framework for how we transition from dirty  fossil fuels  to clean energy and make sure we bring our labor partners with us.” L.A. County currently has 1,046 active oil wells, 637 idle wells and 2,731 abandoned wells. The supervisors voted to start a program that will make sure the wells are properly closed and the land cleaned up. The county will also expand a task force to help fossil fuel workers transition to another kind of employment. Related: Big Oil is in big trouble as courts, shareholders demand accountability “The goal is to provide direction to county departments to begin addressing the variety of issues, environmental and climate impacts created by these active and inactive  oil  and gas wells,” said Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, as reported by EcoWatch. Mitchell’s district includes Inglewood Oil Field, one of the country’s largest urban oil fields. Owned by Sentinel Peak Resources, Inglewood covers 1,000 acres and contains more than half the gas and oil wells found in L.A. County’s unincorporated area. In the last decade, Inglewood produced between 2.5 million and 3.1 million barrels of oil per year. Closing Inglewood Oil Field will probably delight many locals and help them breathe deeply again. Residents of nearby Ladera Heights, Baldwin Hills and View Park have been complaining of bad smells and worrying about the oil field’s impact on their  health  for years. Some have seen oil bubbling up in sidewalk cracks. “There are tens of thousands of people who live in very close proximity to oil wells, 73% of whom are people of color,” said Mitchell. “So, for me, it really is an  equity issue .” Via EcoWatch Lead image via Pixabay

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Los Angeles County to begin phasing out oil and gas drilling

Fix-It Guy: Washer Won’t Spin — Easy Fixes

September 17, 2021 by  
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Over 30 years as an appliance repair technician, the repair I’ve seen the most is… The post Fix-It Guy: Washer Won’t Spin — Easy Fixes appeared first on Earth911.

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Fix-It Guy: Washer Won’t Spin — Easy Fixes

Earth911 Inspiration: Forests Are the Lungs of Our Land

September 17, 2021 by  
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This week’s quotation is from Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd president of the United States: “A… The post Earth911 Inspiration: Forests Are the Lungs of Our Land appeared first on Earth911.

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Earth911 Inspiration: Forests Are the Lungs of Our Land

Big money flows into long-duration energy storage

September 17, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Long-duration energy storage is the linchpin technology that will let the economy run off of intermittent renewable energy sources and backup power after grid disruptions. 

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Big money flows into long-duration energy storage

Pitch in on National Public Lands Day, September 25

September 17, 2021 by  
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Volunteers will gather rakes, shovels, and trash bags to help improve U.S. public lands for… The post Pitch in on National Public Lands Day, September 25 appeared first on Earth911.

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Pitch in on National Public Lands Day, September 25

The world is failing to limit global warming

September 16, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

A newly released assessment by Climate Action Tracker (CAT) shows that nearly every nation has failed to meet a major climate goal. The goal in question is to keep global warming from rising 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, as per the Paris Agreement. The report, released on Wednesday, showed only one country’s actions to be compatible with meeting this goal. According to the new CAT rating system, “Only one country – a developing country – The Gambia scored an overall 1.5 degree compatibility.” While every other country varies in how close it is to meeting this climate target, most had their actions deemed “highly or critically insufficient” by the report. CAT’s analysis reviewed policies in 36 countries, plus the European Union. Related: G7 leaders commit to curb climate change, but fall short on coal “Almost all developed countries need to further strengthen their targets to reduce emissions as fast as possible, to implement national policies to meet them, and to support more developing countries to make the transition,” the assessment explained. Behind The Gambia, there are only seven nations deemed “almost sufficient” by the report. These countries include Costa Rica , Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, Nepal, Nigeria and the U.K. On the opposite end of the rating system, Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Thailand were all found to be “critically insufficient” in their attempts toward achieving 1.5 degree Celsius goal compatibility. While these findings are troubling for many environmentalists, German climate activist Luisa Neubauer emphasizes that “this study shouldn’t be a moment of pity.” Instead, Neubauer says, “the adequate answer to this study would be drastic climate action.” The CAT assessment details several areas of improvement needed to meet climate goals. Suggested improvements include scaling up renewable energy developments and canceling coal and pipeline construction projects. But change must come quickly. As the assessment points out, “The most important target date is 2030, by which time global emissions must be cut by 50%, and governments are nowhere near this. We estimate that with current actions global emissions will be at roughly today’s level in 2030, we would be emitting twice as much as required for the 1.5°C limit.” + Climate Action Tracker Via EcoWatch Images via Pixabay and Climate Action Tracker

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The world is failing to limit global warming

Explore Minetta Lane, a green townhouse with a climbing wall

September 16, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Kushner Studios has completed a major renovation of a century-old townhouse in Minetta Lane, Greenwich Village. Glorious expansive living spaces look out onto New York’s skyline through a woven steel and foliage facade. The towering home even has its own  climbing wall! With over 4,800 square feet of interior space and 1,200 square feet of outdoor and roof space, this extensive home at Minetta Lane in Manhattan offers five bedrooms, multiple living spaces, four bathrooms, a jacuzzi, and a gym. Its 83-foot tall rock climbing wall is the tallest east of Reno, Nevada. Related: Extraordinary treehouse is a climber’s dream with its own indoor climbing wall Kushner Studios took on the $2.7 million renovation intending to leave the historical shell intact and create a new interior and vertical extension. The original streetscape was preserved. “The crossing tree limbs forming Gothic archways fronting the Minetta Street, inspired the defining narrative structure played out in the building’s newly inserted facade. The playful steel facade is covered in Ivy adding a green wall terminus to the street as an homage to the past and a vision of public good will,” a project statement explains. Interior designer Robert Isabell previously owned the townhouse and created as much streetside greenery as possible, lending the building its name as the Salad House. Evoking rural landscapes, the huge stacked chord woodpile in the triple-height living room has been harvested by hand from the owner’s property upstate and can keep the inhabitants warm via a total of nine woodburning fireplaces. This alternative heat source is in addition to the incorporation of solar panels.  Natural finishes and materials are abundant throughout the five-story home, from the floorings in wood and rope to the rustic stairs and built-in storage in naturally varied timbers . The home’s smaller service areas work to serve the adjacent larger served spaces. The bedrooms, for example, have secondary work or office spaces alongside them. A mid-level convertible open space demarcates the original home from the additional floors added.  The roof features cooking and entertaining space plus thrilling views of the city. The rock climbing wall is situated in the rear courtyard and provides a surreal urban sports experience.  Construction took a total of seven years, from May 2012 to January 2020. + Kushner Studios Images via Kushner Studios

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Explore Minetta Lane, a green townhouse with a climbing wall

Join International Coastal Cleanup — Work With Others or on Your Own

September 16, 2021 by  
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More than 8 million tons of plastic end up in the oceans every year, polluting… The post Join International Coastal Cleanup — Work With Others or on Your Own appeared first on Earth911.

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Join International Coastal Cleanup — Work With Others or on Your Own

Mulch 101: Mulching Your Soil for a Healthy Garden

September 16, 2021 by  
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Mulch is any material you use to cover bare soil in a landscape. But mulching… The post Mulch 101: Mulching Your Soil for a Healthy Garden appeared first on Earth911.

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Mulch 101: Mulching Your Soil for a Healthy Garden

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