This jewelry is made with upcycled gold from Dell computers

January 19, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Did you know that there’s gold and silver in your computer? These precious metals end up in landfills when people don’t recycle their laptops and other electronics. According to Dell , American consumers trash $60 million in silver and gold every year just by not recycling smartphones. The technology company teamed up with actress and designer Nikki Reed to turn that e-waste into something stunning: jewelry . Globally, recycling rates for e-waste are under 15 percent, according to Dell. They aimed to take action, and along with mining their recycling stream for materials, they got creative and reached out to Reed. Now she’s transforming materials from old motherboards into a 14 to 18 carat gold jewelry line called The Circular Collection with her company BaYou with Love . Related: Marcela Godoy Turns E-Waste Into Unique and Beautiful Necklaces The jewelry is created in Los Angeles , with the mission of reflecting “a beautiful world in which we continuously reuse resources and strive for zero waste ,” according to the BaYou with Love website . The collection includes rings, earrings, and cuff links. Gemstones like opals and diamonds the company says are ethically sourced complete a few of the pieces. The collection ranges in price from the Gold Ball Ring at $78 to the Cufflinks at $348. Dell said in their statement, “We believe one reason recycling rates for e-waste are so low is that people do not recognize how valuable their electronics still are even if they don’t work.” The jewelry line is one attempt to highlight that value. The company also aims to make it easier for people to recycle by teaming up with Goodwill for Dell Reconnect : you can drop off old computer equipment from any brand at one of the around 2,000 participating Goodwill stores in North America for Dell to refurbish or recycle. You can find a location here . Reed started BaYou with Love with Freedom of Animals founder Morgan Mogle. They offer clothing, home, and beauty products created with sustainably sourced and recycled materials in the United States. + BaYou with Love + Dell Reconnect Via Dell and BaYou with Love Images via BaYou with Love

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This jewelry is made with upcycled gold from Dell computers

Melbourne architects turn an old terrace house into a gorgeous light-filled home

January 17, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Melbourne-based Ben Callery Architects converted a compact terrace house with limited square footage into a contemporary, light-filled home by going upwards and outwards. The renovation introduced a large rooftop deck, and natural light floods the interior, providing a strong connection with the outdoors. The Beyond House also takes advantage of a number of sustainable features including passive heating and cooling, solar power , water harvesting, and repurposed materials. The old row home was previously cramped in between two walls with little light, but by bringing the home design upwards, the architects were able to outfit the top level with a gorgeous open-air deck that allows the homeowners to enjoy a private outdoor space. Although adding this indoor/outdoor connection to the home was imperative to the renovation, the owners were also focused on creating a strong sustainability portfolio for their new home. Related: Low-impact Abbotsford Eco House uses recycled materials wherever possible in Melbourne “The owners are serious about sustainability and wanted the new addition to be naturally comfortable, using the sun for heating, breezes for cooling, water harvesting, solar power, recycled materials (even re-using the old kitchen),” the architects said. “We looked beyond the site constraints and beyond the typical spatial boundaries within a terrace house’s rooms and levels.” The strong connection to the outdoors continues throughout the interior, which was outfitted with strategically placed windows to bring in as much natural light to the living space as possible. In fact, every room in the house has a floor-to-ceiling glass door that provides optimal light, further fusing the indoor with the outdoor. + Ben Callery Architects Via Freshome Photography by Peter Bennetts via Ben Callery Architects

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Melbourne architects turn an old terrace house into a gorgeous light-filled home

How to Safely Recycle Unwanted or Unusable Ammunition

January 16, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Eco Tech, Recycle

Whether it’s old, corroding ammunition, or rounds that wouldn’t fire … The post How to Safely Recycle Unwanted or Unusable Ammunition appeared first on Earth911.com.

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How to Safely Recycle Unwanted or Unusable Ammunition

Gorgeous live/work home in Melbourne is built with recycled materials

January 15, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Austin Maynard Architects completed their latest project, a 12-month build that’s stunning, playful, and eco-friendly. Commissioned by a couple that works from home, the Kiah House is a live/work extension in North Fitzroy, Melbourne that comprises a master bedroom and a treehouse-like office stacked on top. The beautiful home draws inspiration from Japanese and Buddhist influences to create a modern sanctuary that embraces outdoor living and contemporary art. The Kiah House was constructed as an extension to an original 1927 Victorian-era house and to meet the clients’ desires for “a sanctuary” with a “strong and positive vibe.” The original weatherboard home was renovated with a new spacious kitchen and dining area that spills out to an outdoor deck. Two bedrooms, a lounge, and a bathroom are also located in the original cottage. The master bedroom en suite is placed in the extension’s ground floor and is screened with operable louvers from street view. “At Kiah House we were charged with the task of creating spaces, both private and shared, that spill out into the garden and yet adaptable enough to create solitude and privacy when needed,” wrote the architects. “The master bedroom ‘haven’ has a dedicated Buddhist prayer space and opens up to the garden and ponds via sliding double-glazed glass panels blurring the lines between inside and outside. The towering lemon scented gum tree is enclosed by a small deck area, a place for the owners to “sit and meditate”.” The bedroom roof is also covered in plants and edible vegetation that can be seen from the second-story office, which also overlooks the gum tree canopy. A colorful mural called ‘Awakened Flow’ by artist Seb Humphreys of Order 55 was painted on the office’s spotted gum cladding. Related: Swanky laneway house in Melbourne is built from recycled red brick The renovation of the home and the addition of an extension were completed with sustainability in mind. Timber salvaged and recycled from the CSR sugar mills in nearby Yarraville is used throughout the kitchen, while the red clay bricks that line the bathroom were all reclaimed and hand-cleaned from demolition sites around Victoria. The home is optimized for natural light, passive solar gain, and natural ventilation. All windows are double-glazed and high performance insulation is used throughout. Collected roof water is reused for irrigation and to flush toilets. A solar array has also been installed on the roof. + Austin Maynard Architects

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Gorgeous live/work home in Melbourne is built with recycled materials

6 places where soil-less farming is revolutionizing how we grow food

January 12, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green, Recycle

If it seems like “ hydroponics ” is everywhere, that’s because it is. Hydroponic farming is one efficient way to grow fruits and vegetables in small spaces without the use of soil. Instead of dirt, plants grow down into water to which farmers have added the necessary nutrients for plant growth. These are then absorbed, along with water, through a plant’s roots. Light is provided either by the sun or specially designed grow lights, with many sustainable systems powered from renewable energy sources. Aquaponic farming, also known as “ aquaponics ,” incorporates fish into the soil-less system, using the closed-loop nutrient cycle from fish digestion to their advantage. Some systems even feed nutrients to plants through the air! From water-less deserts to the sun-less underground, soil-less farming is offering new possibilities to feed an increasingly urban, growing global population in a more Earth-friendly way. 1. Stores With consumers increasingly conscious of their environmental impact, many stores have realized that going green is good for business. Big-box store Target began a series of trials in spring 2017 in which vertical, hydroponic gardens were installed in various Target locations to provide customers with the freshest possible produce. In collaboration with MIT Media Lab and Ideo, Target designed a system that is capable of growing leafy greens and herbs with minimal water usage. The company hopes to someday branch out into other crops, such as potatoes, zucchini and beets. MIT may even offer Target use of rare heirloom tomato seeds for its project. Meanwhile, IKEA has teamed up with Denmark-based SPACE10 to design high-tech hydroponics systems in-stores and in homes. 2. Deserts In preparation for a future dominated by climate change, in which oil becomes a lesser part of the world’s energy diet, Saudi Arabia has taken several major steps to build a more sustainable system in its challenging desert region. One such move is the rethinking of many traditional farming practices, especially focused on reducing water usage. A farm in the town of Jeddah uses neither water nor soil, rooting plants in mid-air while providing their nutrients through a mist. Designed by AeroFarms , the system is the first aeroponic farm in the Middle East and hopes to someday acquire all its water needs through capturing humidity in the air. Related: The future of food: how dry farming could save the world If a desert farm chooses to go hydroponic, there are ways to grow without draining freshwater supplies. In arid South Australia, SunDrops Farms grows 15% of the country’s tomato crop through a solar-powered hydroponic system. To eliminate the use of precious freshwater, SunDrops sources its water from the nearby saltwater gulf, which is then desalinated through the reflected heat of the sun. In a very different kind of desert, soil-less farming helps growers from the Arctic to Antarctica make the most of a short growing season. 3. Cities As the global population becomes more urban, cities are investing in more local food production systems that offer economic development opportunities and reduce a city’s carbon footprint. In a warehouse on the Near East Side of Indianapolis, Farm 360 are growing vegetables on a hydroponic system that is exclusively powered by renewable energy and uses 90 percent less water than traditional farming methods. The harvest is sold in local grocery stores while the farm supports dozens of living-wage jobs to residents of the neighborhood. In even the most isolated urban areas, soil-less farming finds a home. With its ability to receive vital supplies and support a functioning economy severely restricted by the Israeli blockade, Gaza has stepped out onto the rooftops to grow its own food. Beginning in 2010, a United Nations-funded urban agriculture program equipped over 200 female-headed households with fish tanks, equipment, and supplies to build and maintain an aquaponics growing system. This initial spark has encouraged others to create their own and to teach others of this valuable skill. 4. The Underground Farming without soil can often take place beneath the soil. In Paris, Cycloponics  runs La Caverne, a unique urban farm that grows mushrooms and vegetables in an underground, formerly abandoned parking garage . The farm’s hydroponics system uses special grow lights to ensure the vegetables have what they need to survive. The mushrooms grow in a special medium and, through their respiration, provide valuable CO2 for the plants to thrive. La Caverne may have found inspiration from Growing Underground , London’s first underground farm . On 2.5 acres of unused World War II-era tunnels, Growing Underground produces pea shoots, several varieties of radish, mustard, cilantro, Red Amaranth, celery, parsley, and arugula. Related: 7 agricultural innovations that could save the world Honorable mention: shipping container farms. Although these may be mobilized on the surface, they may as well be underground due to the closed roof of most shipping containers. The solar-powered hydroponicsLA-based Local Roots  can grow the same amount of vegetables, at cost parity, with 99 percent less water than traditional farming. 5. On the Water Some soil-less growing operations take it a step further, leaving the ground behind entirely and opting for a farm floating on water. Barcelona-based design group  Forward Thinking Architecture  has proposed a progressive solution to the decreasing availability of arable land by creating floating, solar-powered farms . Using modules that measure 200 meters by 350 meters, Forward Thinking’s design allows for expansion and custom configuration of farms. Each module has three levels: a desalinization and aquaculture level at the bottom, then a hydroponic farming level, topped off by a level of solar panels and rainwater collection. The company estimates that each module would produce 8,152 tons of vegetables a year and 1,703 tons of fish annually. Related: NexLoop unveils water management system inspired by spiders, fungi, bees and plants Greenwave takes an alternative approach to soil-less, floating farming by combining the cultivation of shellfish and seaweed , both profitable crops that also help to clean the aquatic environment and absorb greenhouse gases. The farm requires little external input, pulls carbon dioxide from the air and water, and consumes excess nitrogen that could otherwise result in algal blooms and dead zones. 6. Your Home Yes, you too could get in on the soil-less action. Whether you prefer to DIY or you’d rather something more straightforward , there are options for every style . Lead image via Depositphotos , others via MIT OpenAg , Sundrop Farms , Esther Boston ,  Cycloponics , GreenWave , and Urban Leaf

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6 places where soil-less farming is revolutionizing how we grow food

Tiny homes made of concrete pipes could be the next big thing in micro housing

January 10, 2018 by  
Filed under Green, Recycle

The micro-housing trend has really taken off over the last decade, and a new age of tiny urban homes is now upon us. Created by James Law Cybertecture , the Opod Tube House is made from a repurposed concrete pipe and designed as an affordable home for young people who struggle with housing costs in the world’s major cities. Unveiled recently in Hong Kong, the tiny tube houses are created out of repurposed concrete water pipes that measure a little over eight feet in diameter. The tubes are designed to accommodate one or two people and come with approximately 1000 square feet of living space. The interiors are equipped with the standard amenities, including a living room with a bench that converts into a bed, a mini-fridge, a bathroom, a shower and plenty of storage space for clothes and personal items. Related: Totally Tubular TubeHotel In Mexico Offers Up Accommodations In Recycled Concrete Pipes According to the architect behind the design, James Law, the inspiration behind the tiny tube homes is practical, both for young people looking for homes as well as city governments trying to provide affordable options. Although the structures are far from being lightweight at 22 tons apiece, they require little in terms of installation and can be easily secured to one another, which reduces installation costs. The tubes are easily stacked and can be installed in any small unused spaces commonly found in cities. The architect envisions entire tube communities installed in alleyways, under bridges, etc. Law explained in an interview with Curbed , that the concept is feasible for any urban environment , “Sometimes there’s some land left over between buildings which are rather narrow so it’s not easy to build a new building. We could put some OPods in there and utilize that land.” + Opod Tube Housing + James Law Cybertecture Via Apartment Therapy Images via Opod Tube Housing Facebook

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Tiny homes made of concrete pipes could be the next big thing in micro housing

Smart Home targets affordability and eco-friendly design in Australia

January 10, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Green Sheep Collective aimed to create an affordable and highly energy efficient home with the design of Smart Home, a renovation and extension in Melbourne , Australia. Built for approximately $200 per square foot, the home is by no means a low-cost home but the price is impressive given the inclusion of high-level environmentally sustainable principles and components. In contrast to Melbourne’s many McMansions, the Smart Home is a site-specific compact home that boasts low to zero emissions, recycled materials, and connection to the outdoors. Smart Home is an expansion and renovation of a two-bedroom single-fronted Victorian cottage in inner Melbourne. Passive solar design principles guided the design and the home’s openings and room layout are optimized for natural light and ventilation. Recycled materials were used wherever possible as was ethically sourced materials like the radially sawn timbers and Flexo recycled rubber flooring. Water saving impacts were addressed with EcoVerta water saving units. Careful design and clever storage solutions with built-in furniture created 20% more usable indoor space within the 140-square-foot addition. Related: Beautiful Northcote Solar Home shows off modern energy-efficient family living “This project faced a number of critical challenges that had to be overcome in order to meet these sustainability and design targets,” wrote the architects. “The constraints included overshadowing, poor orientation, and a small 7.5 metre wide east-west block built close to the boundary. The existing home was dark and leaky with a lean-to at the rear.” The architects demolished the lean-to and added a mezzanine . “Our response creates interesting volumes for architectural beauty, and minimises idle space by ensuring the floor plan is utilised to its full capacity through clever storage solutions and split level living. The single storey addition includes open plan living, dining and kitchen opening via large openable glazed doors to an outdoor deck.” + Green Sheep Collective Images by Shae Parker McCashen

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Smart Home targets affordability and eco-friendly design in Australia

Who’s Googling Environmental Terms?

January 9, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Recycle

Washingtonians wonder the most about how to recycle, Texans are … The post Who’s Googling Environmental Terms? appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Who’s Googling Environmental Terms?

Starbucks to start charging for disposable cups

January 9, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Green, Recycle

2.5 billion disposable coffee cups are tossed away every single year in the United Kingdom, according to Member of Parliament (MP) Mary Creagh , and Starbucks is planning a new initiative to see if they can persuade drinkers to switch to reusable cups . In 20 to 25 central London locations, they’ll charge five British pennies for a disposable cup and then donate the resulting funds to the Hubbub Foundation for a behavior change study. Will a 5-pence (p) charge convince Londoners to drink their Starbucks in reusable cups? The coffee chain hopes to find out with a three-month-long trial commencing in February. In a statement , they detailed their efforts to influence coffee drinkers to make the change, from implementing a 10p incentive in 1998 to a 50p discount in 2016, but say a mere 1.8 percent of their customers are using reusable cups. Related: This giant Cup Monster wants Starbucks to use recyclable cups It seems they have a motivation to try something new. MPs want a 25p latte levy – and a total ban on disposable cups by 2023 if they aren’t all getting recycled . Starbucks’ disposable cup isn’t easily recyclable due to a thin layer of plastic to help keep a beverage hot. Creagh, chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, said the UK’s 2.5 billion thrown-away disposable cups could circle the Earth five and a half times, saying, “Almost none are recycled and half a million a day are littered. Coffee cup producers and distributors have not taken action to rectify this and the government has sat on its hands.” Starbucks said they’d boost efforts to ensure customers drinking coffee in their shops are offered a ceramic option, as well as reminding customers about the 25p discount for using a reusable cup with in-store marketing. The 5p charge money will go towards a study to help the chain better understand how they can encourage people to choose reusable cups. Via the BBC , Starbucks , and Inc. Images via Depositphotos ( 1 , 2 )

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Starbucks to start charging for disposable cups

Low-impact Abbotsford Eco House uses recycled materials wherever possible in Melbourne

January 9, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Recycled and reclaimed materials are fitted throughout the Abbotsford Eco House, a sustainable residence that earned a 7.5+ Green Star rating for its energy-efficient features. Design and planning company First Angle completed the home for a client seeking a sustainable low-impact home in Melbourne. In addition to recycled construction material, the designers also turn to recycling in other parts of structure from recaptured heat to recycled rainwater and treated gray water. The Abbotsford Eco House was built largely from materials sourced from the original home on site as well as reclaimed materials taken from local second-hand shops. To minimize energy usage, First Angle placed the residence on a north-east orientation for optimized cross ventilation and solar access for natural heating. Concrete mass stone-clad walls and polished concrete floors throughout the home capture heat during the day and dissipate it at night. Hydronic heating installed in the insulated concrete floor slab complements the natural heating. The designers also take advantage of the stack effect to naturally cool the home in summer. Related: Beautiful Northcote Solar Home shows off modern energy-efficient family living High-performance woolen thermal insulation and double-glazed windows help lock in internal temperatures. Harvested rainwater is reused for flushing toilets and irrigation. A treatment system filters and recycles gray water throughout the home. The interior decorating also echoes the eco-friendly ethos with some of the pieces also salvaged and repaired. + First Angle Photos by Catherine Bailey

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Low-impact Abbotsford Eco House uses recycled materials wherever possible in Melbourne

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