May Mobility co-founder, Alisyn Malek, on first- and last-mile solutions

November 16, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Autonomous, electric and shared vehicles — also known as the three revolutions — are supposed to be the future. And  Alisyn Malek,  co-founder and COO of May Mobility, is embracing it, having created a self-driving and electric shuttle service that focuses specifically on first and last mile solutions.

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May Mobility co-founder, Alisyn Malek, on first- and last-mile solutions

5 tips for beautiful, sustainable Thanksgiving decor

November 16, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

November marks the season of Thanksgiving . With Halloween decor packed up and Christmas trimmings still in totes, it’s time to focus on unveiling the essence of Thanksgiving in your home. Shelves of decor line the store aisles, but many of those options contribute to the destruction of our environment. By making some small, conscientious decisions, you can reduce transport emissions, eliminate plastic consumption and give used items new life while giving your home the holiday flair you envision. While pulling together the look for your Thanksgiving decor, keep sustainability in mind with these tips. Emphasize natural elements The truly wonderful thing about the fall months is the abundance of natural materials you can find and use in your autumn decor. Skip the retail purchases and head outside for organic finds nearby. Curve those grapevines into a circle, and use this as a base for a fall wreath. Adorn it with the colorful red berries that dot the landscape this time of year, and embellish the wreath further with dried leaves or flowers, pine cones or nuts. You could even glue on small apples or pumpkins. Related: How to host Thanksgiving dinner in a tiny home or small apartment Similarly, the same materials can be used to create centerpieces for your Thanksgiving table or as seasonal decorations for your coffee table. Lay out pine boughs and top them with colorful gourds. Grab those still-firm pumpkins, carve them into a bowl and stuff them with fresh greenery. Use clear glassware, jars, vases or water pitchers to hold pine cones, leaves, berries, nuts or colorful rocks. Fresh citrus or apples make a gorgeous centerpiece when placed in simple clear or white bowls. Make a statement by placing a votive candle inside a carved-out mini pumpkin or apple. Set bottles around the house, and fill them with fresh-cut lavender, rosemary or mint. Surround that centerpiece with a eucalyptus ring. Your mantle is another perfect place to add some visual appeal. Thread together orange and red leaves to make a swag, and add small pumpkins painted different colors. Also, remember that Thanksgiving is represented by the colors and products of fall, so take advantage of hay bales, corn stalks and gourds to decorate your front porch. Avoid plastic Anyone who’s spent more than a few minutes considering steps toward sustainability knows that plastic is petroleum-based, which causes problems for the environment — and plastic never goes away. If you decide to purchase decor for your home, look for materials that are eco-friendly and will give you the gift of longevity, resulting in less waste. Find a wrought-iron turkey or hunt down ceramic pumpkins. Buy glass platters and real fabric tablecloths instead of the single-use versions. Upcycle With very little effort, you can find decor that allows you to reuse something that’s already been produced rather than buying new. For example, take those mounting canning jars and etch them with festive designs. Alternately, you could decoupage them with leaves. Fill with orange candles and display them on your mantle or table. Look around your house for a bucket or rusted watering can, and dress it up with bundles of wheat or corn stalks. Hit up the local thrift shop for table runners, used decor and themed dishware. While upcycling might involve plastic items and is not always a zero-waste initiative, the more life we can give to existing products, the less production pollution and post-consumer waste we will have — a win-win for the environment. Get crafty The long, dark evenings of fall are the perfect time to get crafty. Take the kids for a nature walk and collect acorns, leaves, twigs and other natural elements. Once you return home, glue the materials onto fall-colored paper, forming letters on each sheet to spell out, “Give Thanks,” or something similar. Punch holes in the top corners of each paper and thread yarn or rope through them to create a banner for your wall. Crafting can also overlap with upcycling. For example, paint a wine bottle, add a twist of twine to the top and embellish with words. Make a few and group them together. The kids can use toilet paper or paper towel rolls to make hanging turkey decor, place markers or napkin rings. Related: Six yummy, organic pumpkin recipes you can make for Thanksgiving! Turn food into edible art Most people associate Thanksgiving with food, and many would agree that food can be art. Why not give your edibles dual purpose by designing munchable masterpieces? Start with that cornucopia you’re dying to put out and fill it with candy, grapes, apples, pears, satsumas, chocolate, pretzels, bread or nuts. You can carve a watermelon into a boat or basket and fill it with fruit. Head over to Pinterest, and look for ideas that will transform your veggie tray into a turkey pattern. Don’t forget about dessert — make some cookie turkeys or cut out a leaf pattern from your upper pie crust. Remember that the goal is to express the spirit of the season, which is gratitude. Nothing shows gratitude for your home and yard more than using natural elements. Hosting a sustainable Thanksgiving also shows gratitude for the planet and those you love that live on it. Images via Shutterstock

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5 tips for beautiful, sustainable Thanksgiving decor

A dull, 26-year-old Airstream becomes a bright, cozy home on wheels

November 16, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

While they were dating, travel-loving couple Nate and Taylor Lavender bonded over their shared dream of tiny home living. Years after they met, the ambitious duo decided to bring that dream to fruition by converting a 1992 Airstream into a bohemian, light-filled home on wheels, renamed Augustine the Airstream . Today, the couple, along with their incredibly cute dog Summit, are enjoying the freedom of life on the road. The couple did most of the renovation work themselves , starting with the exterior. Airstreams are known for their shiny aluminum cladding, but Augustine’s nearly-30-year-old exterior had a dull, weathered appearance. To restore its luster, the Lavenders used two rounds of paint stripper before buffing and polishing it back to its shiny gleam. Related: A 1972 Airstream becomes a bright, 198-square-foot home for a family of four Renovating the Airstream ‘s interior, which was pretty shabby, was also quite an arduous task. Stripping the interior to the bone, the couple began to create a new layout that would work best for their lifestyle. They both work from home, so it was essential to create a work space and plenty of storage to keep the interior clutter-free. The couple decided to keep the interior’s color palette neutral with just hints of color. They painted the walls white and installed lightweight, peel-and-stick vinyl plank flooring. To make the most of the compact space, Nate custom-built most of the furniture, including the booth table in the kitchen, the side table next to the sofa, a shelving unit and the bed frame. The best part of the tiny home is the kitchen, which was completely redone to create a simple and clean aesthetic. From there, Nate and Taylor added fun texture with a pressed tin backsplash and hanging plants. The couple also installed a working/dining cubical that faces the kitchen. A beautiful tabletop made out of reclaimed wood pulls double duty as a dining table and work space. A comfortable loveseat was placed in the living room, book-ended by a side table and shelving unit. The dark wood on the tables, along with colorful pillows and a pendant light, give the space a welcoming, bohemian feel. A free-standing fireplace creates a warm and cozy atmosphere during frigid winters. + Augustine the Airstream Via Dwell Images via Nate and Taylor Lavender

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A dull, 26-year-old Airstream becomes a bright, cozy home on wheels

The circular economy of the water cycle

November 16, 2018 by  
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A new collaboration seeks to combine circular principles with water management best practices.

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The circular economy of the water cycle

Episode 149: ‘Thoughtful’ carbon policy, Home Depot thinks circular, Royal Caribbean floats new energy strategy

November 16, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Plus, what’s the difference between energy efficiency and energy productivity? The Climate Group recharges its EP100 campaign.

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Episode 149: ‘Thoughtful’ carbon policy, Home Depot thinks circular, Royal Caribbean floats new energy strategy

Sustainable finance ideals thrive in Asia

November 16, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

From Malaysia to Australia, more investors are funding renewable energy, sustainable supply chains and other efforts to future-proof economies against climate change.

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Sustainable finance ideals thrive in Asia

Is your business wasting money on waste?

November 16, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Excess product poses a material risk to your company and to the planet. Here’s how to recover those losses.

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Is your business wasting money on waste?

In the business of wasting nothing

November 16, 2018 by  
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Matthew Hollis, founder and CEO of waste management software firm Elytus, talks about the cultural side of trash.

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In the business of wasting nothing

A remote, off-grid cabin is elevated off the forest floor with log columns

November 15, 2018 by  
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Panama-based architect Jose Isturaín (JiA) has built a beautiful tiny cabin tucked into a remote, mountainous area in Panama. With the help of local builders as well as his own family, Isturaín constructed Cabin 192 atop pine columns to elevate the glass-enclosed structure off the landscape to reduce its environmental impact . Located in Altos del María, a mountainous region about two hours outside of Panama City, the cabin is the first structure of what will eventually be a family retreat consisting of a main house and three individual cabins. Tucked deep into a wooded forest, the idyllic area offers a serene respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. Related: A cluster of wooden cabins create a serene weekend retreat in Norway Working with local builders, as well as his family and friends, Isturaín envisioned a cabin that would “transmit the peace and tranquility that simplicity offers, an elementary architecture.” Accordingly, he decided to forgo any type of ostentatious design, instead opting for an off-grid cabin  that would put preserving the natural landscape at the forefront of the project. The cabin’s frame was built from  reclaimed pine wood beams and columns felled on site. Pine trees are not native to the area, so the decision was made to use this wood for the cabins and a perimeter fence. The team reforested the surrounding area with native species that would help provide shade to the home and improve the local environment. Using the basics of tropical architecture, Isturaín designed the tiny cabin to not only be off-grid, but also resilient to the local climate . Raising the main living space off the ground certainly helped to preserve the natural landscape underneath. But by elevating the home off of the natural soil, it also helped keep the tropical humidity at bay. The roof is covered with a slanted metal mooring structure that juts out substantially over the cabin’s perimeter, a strategic feature that will help cool the interior space during the hot and humid summer months. The ground floor of the  cabin is actually an open, 226-square-foot space with no walls, just pine columns that mark the perimeter. The covered, open-air living area has a small kitchenette, dining table and ample seating, the perfect space for family gatherings. The bedroom and bathroom are located on the upper floor, which is a very compact 387 square feet. Large floor-to-ceiling windows illuminate the space with natural light . Facing out over the surrounding forest, large sliding doors open completely, further connecting the structure with its forested surroundings. + JiA Via Archdaily Photography by Alfredo Martiz and Nadine Sam via JiA

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A remote, off-grid cabin is elevated off the forest floor with log columns

The Nogal House saves energy with smart site-specific design

November 15, 2018 by  
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Mexican architecture practice BGP Arquitectura recently completed the Nogal House, a contemporary dwelling in San Pedro Garza García, Mexico that’s shaped by its environment in more ways than one. Named Nogal after the existing type of walnut trees on site, the building features a curved and asymmetrical layout informed by the locations of the trees and site preservation goals. The residence also adopts passive solar principles to minimize its energy footprint and uses insulated double glazing throughout. Spanning an area of 670 square meters over three floors, the Nogal House stretches east to west on a triangular site. Nature plays a central role in the design of the home, with its curvaceous, organic forms and natural materials palette . The boundary between indoor-outdoor living is blurred through full-height glazing and use of steel, rattan and wood-based furnishings, designed by the architects to match the colors and textures in the gardens. Multiple timber patios built around the walnut trees extend the living space to the outdoors. “The entrance to the house is through the middle level, where living, dining room and kitchen are located besides a home theater that, by opening and closing doors, could be an independent extra room for the house,” explained the architects of the layout. “A double-height space connects this level with the upper library, studio and pool area with a grill. In the ground level, in touch with the patios, are the bedrooms and the family room, in a more intimate atmosphere.” Related: Zigzagging green terraces make up a luxury residential block in Mexico City In addition to strengthening the dwelling’s connection with the outdoors, the operable walls of glass also flood the interiors with natural light to minimize dependence on artificial lighting while allowing for natural ventilation. Windows were minimized on the south facade to further reduce HVAC requirements. The home is also partly buried into the ground to take advantage of thermal mass ventilation and equipped with low-maintenance landscaping, low-flow fixtures and low-energy appliances. + BGP Arquitectura Photography by The Raws via BGP Arquitectura

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The Nogal House saves energy with smart site-specific design

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