The Mountain tiny home comes with a skylit cedar shower

January 19, 2021 by  
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Designed and built by CoMak Tiny Homes in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, this tiny home on wheels packs a ton of cool features into a pretty small package. Apart from sustainable elements like a composting toilet and lightweight steel siding, The Mountain tiny home also boasts beautiful French doors, shiplap walls, a touchless kitchen sink faucet, and — our favorite feature — a bright, skylit cedar shower. Cody Makarevitz of CoMak Tiny Homes wanted to explore the idea of a tiny house that is cheaper and more mobile than standard tiny homes. “With the way the industry seems to be going, mansion tinys with not so tiny prices, I wanted to get back to the roots of the movement and make something a little more financially digestible for someone who doesn’t want to break the bank,” he told Inhabitat. “I also wanted to make a nice, high-quality product and livable at that size. This was the result.” Related: This tiny home on wheels features a cool laundry chute From the brick overlay under the kitchen island to the distressed barn wood beams on the ceiling, this home has plenty of thoughtful, stylish touches. The kitchen also has live edge walnut countertops, waterproof vinyl flooring and an on-demand hot water heater. Many of the materials used in the project were salvaged from other projects. On the other side of the tiny home, you’ll find a bathroom with Delta shower hardware, a Nature’s Head composting toilet (though it is also plumbed for standard toilet capabilities) and a cedar shower complete with 3-foot-by-3-foot skylight; you might just feel like you’re showering outside. Although The Mountain tiny home is built on a custom 13-foot-by-8-foot trailer frame, the shower bump and the front porch overhang bring the length to 18 feet. The downstairs square footage is just over 100 square feet with another 50 square feet in the loft. A 12-foot telescoping ladder leads to the loft , which has room for a king-sized bed and includes another tempered, double-pane skylight. + Tiny Estates Images via Cody Makarevitz

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The Mountain tiny home comes with a skylit cedar shower

Upstart Hazel finds cachet for innovative sachets that extend produce shelf life

November 25, 2020 by  
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Upstart Hazel finds cachet for innovative sachets that extend produce shelf life Jesse Klein Wed, 11/25/2020 – 01:30 In 2017, Hazel Technologies was a plucky young startup with enough scientific success to raise $800,000 in seed funding and score a $600,000 development grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In late 2020, the company is finding early commercial success in its mission to decrease food waste through its innovative packaging. Hazel creates packaging inserts, or satchels, that release ethylene inhibitors and other natural chemicals to slow down the ripening process of many fruits and vegetables. In the past three years, the company has expanded its product line from inserts for tropical fruits such as guava, starfruit and avocado to specialized ones for berries, grapes, plums, broccoli and others. Now, Hazel is in the process of developing commercial pilots in the meat and other protein aisles. Hazel CEO Aidan Mouat said the technology is flexible enough to be optimized for a specific customer’s crop and location while also powerful enough to delay ripening by five to 10 days for many fruits and vegetables.  “We have one production line in which we make the necessary technical adjustments on a crop-by-crop and sometimes even on a country-by-country basis to achieve the end result that we’re aiming for,” Mouat said. “In a way, we’re trying to standardize the shelf life using a single unifying technology platform.”  If you tell any retailer, ‘Hey, I can give you two to three days of added time to sell through fruits,’ that’s a game-changer. The key is Hazel’s time-release technology, according to the company. Hazel’s satchels contain 1-methylocyclopronene (MPC) inhibitors to slow down ripening. But in many fruits such as avocados, the ethylene receptors are replaced every 24 hours, so a one-shot application doesn’t work. The packets treat the fruit over time to continually put the receptors to sleep and slow down ripening.   Hazel said its technology’s ease of use sets it apart from approaches offered other competitors. While coating technologies such as those made by Apeel Sciences have to be applied to each fruit, Hazel’s customers simply toss the baggies in the boxes with the produce, noted the company’s early customers.  “The customer shouldn’t have to interact with the technology,” said Patrick Cortes, senior director of business development at Mission Produce, one of Hazel’s clients. “If they do, we’ve lost. Educating the consumer on interacting with a technology that’s extending shelf life is going to be pushing water up the hill.” Hazel’s new products are breaking barriers in new categories. Grapes, which don’t ripen once picked, weren’t thought to be affected by MPC inhibitors. But Hazel’s customer Oppy, a grower/shipper of berries, grapes, apples and pears from Chile and Peru, saw a profound effect on an often overlooked but important area: the grape’s stems. “The stems arrive much greener and hydrated. Much less dry. And we also see less shrivel on the grapes themselves,” said Garland Perkins, senior manager of insights and innovation at Oppy . “If [a retailer] sees grapes that look like they have a dry stem, they’re going to reject them.” Those rejections usually end up in the trash. Hazel also helped Oppy with the Italian Gold Kiwi. Shipped the traditional way, the fruit was arriving with very low pressure — indicating a riper fruit, meaning the retailer had to sell the fruit quickly. According to Perkins, after applying Hazel, the fruits started coming in with higher pressures, giving grocery stores more flexibility about how long to keep them on their shelves.  “A lot of times with sustainability, it needs to make sense from a business perspective,” she said. “In a lot of cases, no one can make sustainable efforts that aren’t also very good on the bottom line.” Hazel promises an improved product and customer experience, fewer rejections from retailers, a higher-quality product that can be priced higher and less waste along the way. But if less produce is going bad and more is lasting longer, there’s an inherent dichotomy at play for suppliers that could eat into their profits. The longer their fruit lasts, the less consumers and retailers need to buy. “There’s an old adage in produce that one of the best sales tools you have is the dumpster,” Cortes said. “That’s an archaic way of looking at it. Because while that’s the easy way, I think the better way is to give customers a better and more positive experience. That’s going to drive more demand.” And decrease food waste.  Mission Produce consistently has been able to extend the shelf life of a ripe fruit by two to three days with Hazel, Cortes said. Bill Purewal, founder of PureFresh, and Christopher Gonzalez, vice president of sales at WP Produce, also report extended shelf lives of their produce by 20 to 30 percent after using Hazel. The extensions have allowed both companies to ship to farther away destinations such as the East Coast, and allowing some operations to think about shipping to Europe and Asia. I think the industry became very critically aware that it needs more technologies like ours, not just that are sustainable and enhance shelf life but are operationally flexible … “If you tell any retailer, ‘Hey, I can give you two to three days of added time to sell through fruits,’ that’s a game-changer,” Cortes said. 2020 wasn’t a normal year for anyone, especially retailers. Growers and shippers such as PureFresh needed innovative ways to help adjust to the massive changes in demand caused by the pandemic.  “We were worried we would pack all this fruit and it [would] not be able to go anywhere,” Purewal said. “It would just sit in our cold storage because we didn’t know what the demand was going to be lighter.”  At the start of the pandemic, fruit was moving very slowly through the supply chain, he said. So Purewal decided to spend a little more money on a technology such as Hazel to elongate shelf life and protect the fruit against the pandemic’s supply-chain disruption.   That investment also has long-term implications. Mouat insists climate change was a much bigger threat to the produce industry than the pandemic this year. According to him, for example, the U.S. plum crop was one-tenth the volume compared to last year due to warmer temperatures and wildfires.  “We’re here to help,” he said. “I think the industry became very critically aware that it needs more technologies like ours, not just that are sustainable and enhance shelf life but are operationally flexible, because trying to constrain operations to fit certain types of packing motifs or certain types of distribution motifs is going to become more challenging as things continue to change.” Pull Quote If you tell any retailer, ‘Hey, I can give you two to three days of added time to sell through fruits,’ that’s a game-changer. I think the industry became very critically aware that it needs more technologies like ours, not just that are sustainable and enhance shelf life but are operationally flexible … Topics Food & Agriculture Food Waste Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Hazel’s small packages release natural chemicals to slow the ripening process of many fruits./ Courtesy of Hazel

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Upstart Hazel finds cachet for innovative sachets that extend produce shelf life

7 Ways to Spend Black Friday (That Don’t Involve Shopping)

November 24, 2020 by  
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This Black Friday, stay away from the frenzy of the stores and spend time doing something a little more productive than shopping. The post 7 Ways to Spend Black Friday (That Don’t Involve Shopping) appeared first on Earth 911.

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7 Ways to Spend Black Friday (That Don’t Involve Shopping)

100 pilot whales rescued after mass stranding in Sri Lanka

November 6, 2020 by  
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When more than 100 pilot whales washed up on a Sri Lankan beach, heroic volunteers spent all night helping these marine mammals get past the waves and safely back to sea. They managed to save at least 100 whales, although five died at the scene. The short-finned pilot whales landed in Panadura, a town about 20 miles from Colombo, the nation’s capital. Local fishermen first noticed the beached whales in the early afternoon of November 2. “They first appeared as a dark patch in the horizon and kept on moving toward the shore like a giant wave,” said fisherman Upul Ranjith, as reported in Mongabay . But as volunteers tried to push the whales back into the water, the animals continued to wash back up on the beach. Related: Record number of pilot whales get stranded, die in Tasmania The reason the whales beached themselves is still undetermined. Pilot whales are known for extremely sociable, pack behavior. When one strays too close to shore, others may follow. It’s possible that a joint naval exercise involving India, Japan, Australia and the U.S. might have disrupted the whales’ sonar. Short-finned pilot whales measure about 12 to 18 feet in length and are especially prone to beaching en masse. Twenty-eight people from the local coast guard station and dozens of local volunteers worked together in the whale rescue operation. The COVID-19 lockdown complicated matters, as participants had to get special curfew passes. “Rescuing these animals is not just about rolling them out to sea again,” marine mammal expert Asha de Vos told Mongabay. “It’s a little more complicated than that as it is important to refloat the animals as soon as possible and guide them back to deeper waters to prevent them getting pushed back to the shore.” De Vos likened the whales’ efforts to get past waves and return to open sea as being stuck on a treadmill for hours. Personal watercraft owners saved the day. They were enlisted to tow the animals out to sea — a dangerous proposition both for the whales and the rescuers. The entire mission took about 16 hours, but the ending was — for the most part — a happy one. Via Mongabay Image via Bernhard Stärck

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100 pilot whales rescued after mass stranding in Sri Lanka

Farmstead is making the world greener with groceries

November 6, 2020 by  
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COVID-19 made the world painfully aware that simply doing normal things, like going to the grocery store, can be dangerous. Grocery delivery can be safer and, for some customers, greener than typical grocery shopping. One green option, Farmstead, offers free delivery in an attempt to change the shopping game. Its model, technology and vision for the future differ from other online grocer services. Beginning to launch services in Charlotte, Farmstead will introduce the very first online service to offer fresh, high-quality groceries delivered to customers for free. While Farmstead makes waves in North Carolina , the company actually started on the other side of the country. In San Francisco, Farmstead began with a different business model than many other online grocers. Farmstead created warehouses geared toward delivery, not shopping. This delivery-centric model focuses not just on making things easier for customers but also on solving a world problem. The Farmstead business model includes plans to reduce food waste and to provide fresh, affordable food to a wide group of customers. The company wants to provide food with no markups and no stockouts. Farmstead provides selections from national brands as well as local brands. AI technology helps Farmstead change the way groceries are purchased and how food moves throughout the country. The company’s goal is to make high-quality local food available to everyone. Farmstead hopes to soon be available everywhere, from North Carolina to California . The service offers multiple ways for consumers to save money. Customers who buy the same products multiple times will get a 5% discount on those items. There’s no monthly fee and no delivery charge. Customers can even request same-day service when they place a grocery order. The grocery-buying AI system will help you purchase only what you need. This helps reduce food waste, which helps everyone build a greener, healthier world. + Farmstead Images via Farmstead, Pexels and Pixabay

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Great Books for the Summer

August 5, 2020 by  
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With summer upon us, warm weather and a little more … The post Great Books for the Summer appeared first on Earth 911.

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Atmospheric carbon dioxide at highest level in 3 million years

February 27, 2020 by  
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Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are now at the highest level they’ve been since the Pilocene Era, 3 million years ago, when giant camels roamed arid land above the Arctic Circle. According to a new National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA ) report, in 2018, the global average carbon dioxide amount reached a record high of 407.4 parts per million (ppm). NOAA points a finger directly at humans, noting that the atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased about 100 times faster annually over the past 60 years than from previous natural increases. “Carbon dioxide concentrations are rising mostly because of the fossil fuels that people are burning for energy,” the report said. “Fossil fuels like coal and oil contain carbon that plants pulled out of the atmosphere through photosynthesis over the span of many millions of years; we are returning that carbon to the atmosphere in just a few hundred years.” Related: Pacific Ocean’s elevated acidity is dissolving Dungeness crabs’ shells Globally, atmospheric carbon dioxide increased about 0.6 ppm per year in the 1960s. In the last 10 years, this figure has been about 2.3 ppm per year, the study said. Carbon dioxide absorbs and radiates heat more than other major atmospheric components, such as oxygen or nitrogen. The NOAA report likens greenhouse gases to bricks in a fireplace that continue to release heat after the fire goes out. This warming effect is necessary to keep Earth’s temperature above freezing — up to a point. But once the level gets out of balance, these greenhouse gas “bricks” trap too much heat and make the Earth’s average temperature continue to rise. Carbon dioxide also dissolves into the oceans , where it reacts with water molecules to produce carbonic acid and lower pH levels. Since the Industrial Revolution began in the late 18th century, the ocean’s pH has dropped significantly, interfering with marine animals’ ability to fortify their shells and skeletons by extracting calcium from the water. “For millions of years, we haven’t had an atmosphere with a chemical composition as it is right now,” Martin Siegert, co-director of the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London, told NBC News . “We’ve done in a little more than 50 years what the Earth naturally took 10,000 years to do.” + NOAA Via EcoWatch and NBC News Image via Marcin Jozwiak

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Atmospheric carbon dioxide at highest level in 3 million years

This tiny home is afforded extra space thanks to a large deck

September 25, 2018 by  
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Barlo Smith and Shona Macpherson are putting a unique twist on the tiny house revolution. The Australian couple has spent the last 20 years in the carpentry world and recently put their expertise to the test building the first  tiny home for their company, Sowelo Tiny Houses. Smith and Macpherson’s new tiny house, called Sowelo, accommodates six people and features dual loft rooms (complete with skylights), a downstairs lounge and 26 square feet of outdoor deck space. According to New Atlas , the structure meets every legal housing standard in Australia . The tiny home is only 26 feet long, 8 feet wide and 14 feet high, but it feels quite spacious. Related: This gorgeous tiny home is perfect for entertaining guests For the couple, maximizing the amount of space and keeping everything environmentally friendly was the top goal in the design. The Sowelo tiny home is powered by solar energy and is made from FSC-certified plywood. The insulation is made out of recycled polyester, and the house is completely free of any volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in building materials such as glues and paints. The couple tested the model in a range of climates in Australia, including the sweltering heat and bitter cold. So far, the home has stood up to whatever Mother Nature can throw its way. It also features an outdoor deck that substantially increases the size of the home. Not only does the deck provide more space for entertaining guests, but it also boasts a grow-wall feature complete with its own watering setup. Inside, the Sowelo house includes a living room, two sleeping lofts , a kitchen and a sweet little reading nook. The kitchen has a stainless steel oven, gas stove, fridge and sink. The home also features a pull-out dining table and plenty of storage space. Following the success of this first model, the couple are selling the Sowelo units for about $87,000. If you need a little more space, additional modules are available starting at $22,000 apiece. + Sowelo Tiny Houses Images via Sowelo Tiny Houses

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This tiny home is afforded extra space thanks to a large deck

State of emergency in effect as Hurricane Lane barrels toward Hawaiian coastline

August 23, 2018 by  
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Hurricane Lane is swiftly moving along its course toward Hawaii, where a hurricane warning is in effect for Maui and the Big Island. A hurricane watch has also been issued for Kauai and Oahu. According to the National Weather Service , the storm has now been downgraded to a Category 4 hurricane and is expected to make contact with the state later today. Related: After three months, Kilauea eruptions might be over The NWS reported that “the center of Lane will track dangerously close to the Hawaiian Islands from Thursday through Saturday.” In addition, the organization noted that, “regardless of the exact track of the storm center, life-threatening impacts are likely over some areas as this strong hurricane makes its closest approach.” Despite the storm’s demotion from a Category 5 to a Category 4, many locals are comparing Hurricane Lane to the devastating Hurricane Iniki, which hit Hawaii in 1992. Governor David Ige signed an emergency proclamation on Tuesday in case Hawaii needs relief for “disaster damages, losses and suffering.” In a news release from the Governor’s office , Ige said, “Hurricane Lane is not a well-behaved hurricane. I’ve not seen such dramatic changes in the forecast track as I’ve seen with this storm. I urge our residents and visitors to take this threat seriously and prepare for a significant impact.” Related: The Eye of the Storm dome home can withstand hurricanes — and it’s officially on the market Residents have already “rushed to stores to stock up on bottled water, ramen, toilet paper and other supplies,” according to an Associated Press report. With maximum sustained winds of 155 mph and rainfall accumulations of between 10-15 inches, the storm is expected to cause flash-flooding and landslides in Hawaii. In addition, the NWS has reported the possibility of “large and potentially damaging surf.” As the hurricane continues to approach the Hawaiian coastline, many residents are hoping Lane will show a little more mercy than 1992’s Iniki, which killed six people and caused $1.8 billion worth of damage. Numerous government buildings have closed as the state’s residents prepare for the storm. Via NPR Image via Shutterstock

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State of emergency in effect as Hurricane Lane barrels toward Hawaiian coastline

This award-winning map gives a more accurate view of the world

November 6, 2016 by  
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Most of us never realize it, but it turns out that transforming a three-dimensional globe into a flat, rectangular map results in some serious inaccuracies. Depending on where the map focuses, some countries and continents may appear much larger or smaller relative to other landmasses than they actually are. It’s a problem that’s vexed cartographers for centuries, but a new map featured in Japanese textbooks has made things just a little more accurate.

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This award-winning map gives a more accurate view of the world

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