Seaweed Girl explores seaweed as an eco-textile for sustainable fashion

September 1, 2020 by  
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Sustainable fashion is on the rise, with materials from plastic water bottles to vegan apple leather becoming more and more common in the industry every day. Recent design graduate Jasmine Linington is taking sustainable fashion a step further with a new couture collection that uses seaweed-derived textiles. The eco-friendly and thoughtful clothing displays the versatility of this ocean resource through seaweed fibers, dyes and embellishments. “Having fallen in love with seaweed for its utter beauty and endless visual inspiration, whether that be for its colour, texture or composition, it was this initial capture that began the journey into my ‘ Seaweed Girl ’ project,” Linington said. “I have since spent the last few years exploring ways in which I can incorporate this alternative, highly sustainable material into my practice in a way that showcases its beauty, but also its environmental benefits.” Related: Surprising ways seaweed benefits the environment After learning that seaweed and microalgae make up about 90% of plant life on the planet, Linington became motivated to find innovative ways to use seaweed in fashion. Seaweed and microalgae are highly sustainable, especially because they are some of the fastest growing organisms on Earth. The inventive artist hand-harvests seaweed from the southeastern coast of Scotland to create the pieces. Linington develops the plants into beads and sequins for embellishments with a resin made from the byproducts of the harvesting process. For the fabrics , seaweed and eucalyptus cellulose combine to create SeaCell fibers. Seaweed is also used in the dying process to color the fabrics. These processes mean that everything in the collection is carbon-neutral and biodegradable. Linington’s project is ongoing. Next, the artist will be working on a line of textile wall hangings and artwork inspired by the seaweed collection as well as a small range of luxury interior accessories. + Jasmine Linington Via Dezeen Images via Jasmine Linington

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Seaweed Girl explores seaweed as an eco-textile for sustainable fashion

This DIY algae kit is an easy science experiment for kids

July 28, 2020 by  
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BioBombola is a DIY algae kit specially designed to teach kids how to grow their own domestic garden of spirulina – a sustainable source of plant-based proteins. The project is the brainchild of ecoLogicStudio’s Claudia Pasquero and Marco Poletto, who wanted to create a fun and educational way to keep their children occupied during the shutdown in London. In addition to cultivating the nutritious blue-green algae, the kit also helps to absorb the same amount of carbon dioxide as two young trees and provides the home with the same amount of oxygen as seven common indoor plants. Perhaps best of all, BioBombola allows children and adults alike to interact with nature from the comfort of their own homes. Related: Eos Bioreactor uses AI and algae to combat climate change The two researchers got the idea after creating an algae-growing and air pollution data collection project with their children, who were already participating in a home-school program. After their experiment has finished, the idea for the mini algae harvesting kit was born. Each kit comes with a nutrients bag, a 15-liter starting batch of living photosynthetic spirulina cells, an air piping system, a pump to keep the medium afloat, a customized photobioreactor and a 1-meter-tall, lab-grade glass container. Not only does the bubbling of the small air pump keep the precious algae constantly stirred and oxygenated, it also creates a soft, calming sound similar to a fish tank. The fresh, cultivated spirulina can be harvested several times a week and collects up to 7 grams of product per day (the daily recommended supplement intake for a family of four, according to the inventors) to be used in food and drinks. The harvesting process is simple and suitable for children, as well. While it is recommended to install the kit in a sunny spot or near a grow lamp, the photobioreactor can adapt to almost any environment. + EcoLogicStudio Photography by NAARO via EcoLogicStudio

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Isaac Burrough unveils solar-powered luxury yacht concept

July 28, 2020 by  
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New Zealand-based practice Isaac Burrough Design has proposed a new luxury yacht concept designed to maximize both energy efficiency and enjoyment out on the high seas. Named Kiwa after one of the divine guardians of the ocean in Maori legend, the proposed 110-meter motor yacht combines an elegant, aerodynamic hull with solar-powered technology. The boat would also include an array of amenities, from expansive lounge areas on the main deck to an elevated hot tub on the sun deck. The Kiwa is designed to accommodate 14 guests along with two staff members and a crew of 27 people. At 110 meters in length, the luxury yacht concept would be large enough for multiple deck areas as well as 175 square meters of storage space. The designers claim that the narrow, low volume-to-length hull coupled with the hybrid drivetrain powered with 200 meters of solar panels would enable the yacht to enter an electric-only mode for pollution-free and noise-free sailing. Related: Hinckley unveils the world’s first fully electric luxury yacht “The intention for Kiwa was to design a yacht that is both modern and elegant,” Burrough said. “Her sleek silhouette combined with curvaceous surfaces give grace despite her exploration capabilities. A yacht that will look sophisticated whether cruising the Mediterranean or the Arctic.”  Designed for indoor/outdoor living and panoramic views, the Kiwa features a large and versatile main deck with sliding doors and lounge areas terraced to the swim platform. Just off of the main deck is a cantilevered glass-bottom pool. Inbuilt sun pads are placed on the lower deck, while an upper sun deck would host a hot tub that is elevated for prime views of the sea. The spa area has the “best view on board” and includes semi-submerged pools to give guests views both above and below the water. The boat also has space for a helicopter pad. + Isaac Burrough Design Images via Isaac Burrough Design

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Isaac Burrough unveils solar-powered luxury yacht concept

Scientists discover algae species that may affect coral reefs

July 17, 2020 by  
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A new species of alga found in Hawaii is emerging as a potential threat to coral reefs. Researchers from the University of Hawaii conducted a study establishing that the red algae have been growing on the island for several years now. First spotted in 2016, the species has spread rapidly throughout the island. Published in the journal  PLOS ONE , the study revealed that a thick layer of red algae has been spreading in Hawaii . A group of scientists first spotted the species during a mission to monitor ocean life in 2016. At the time, only small patches of red algae existed on the island. When the scientists returned to the same spot four years later, they found that the algae had grown into a thick layer. According to the researchers, mat-like layers of algae cover vast groups of corals in the island’s Pearl and Hermes Atoll. This development proves especially concerning given how coral reefs usually thrive in such remote areas. The presence of this new species could threaten coral reefs on the island. Coral reefs need sunlight and space to survive, both of which are hampered by the layers of algae. According to Dr. Alison Sherwood, the study’s lead researcher, this algae issue is unprecedented. “Something like this has never been seen in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands before. This is extremely alarming to see an alga like this come in and take over so quickly and have these impacts,” Sherwood said. The scientists who discovered the red alga named it Chondria Tumulosa. Considered a “nuisance species,” Chondria Tumulosa’s rate of spread could endanger marine life . Although the algae’s exact cause is unknown, researchers list unusual water chemistry and the absence of natural algae consumers as potential factors. Researchers are now working to determine Chondria Tumulosa’s characteristics and its possible effects on marine life. + PLOS ONE Via NY Times Image via Ed Bierman

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Eos Bioreactor uses AI and algae to combat climate change

July 3, 2020 by  
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A new artificial intelligence invention by Hypergiant Industries could prove to be the solution to the world’s carbon dioxide problem. The company is launching the second generation Eos Bioreactor, currently still a prototype, that can be used to absorb excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and give out oxygen. Besides its ability to reduce environmental pollution, the new AI-based bioreactor also improves health. The excessive presence of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has led to a steady rise in the average global temperatures over the years. A National Geographic report states that ocean levels will rise by up to 2.3 feet by 2050 due to melting glaciers. This is just one of many problems that are brought about by excessive carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Terrestrial radiation, which is supposed to be absorbed by the ozone layer, is also retained in the atmosphere. This leads to the greenhouse effect, where the globe is overheated. Related: New map exposes secrets of Antarctica’s green snow The Eos Bioreactor seeks to reduce the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to address climate change. Traditionally, the world relies on forests to absorb excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and produce more oxygen. However, deforestation in major forests across the world has greatly affected the effectiveness of this approach. For instance, deforestation of Amazon increased by 34% in 2019. Such challenges make it unrealistic for the world to continue relying solely on forests to combat climate change. Technology like the Eos Bioreactor could help address these issues. According to the manufacturer, the AI-based technology is more effective because each boosted algae bioreactor is 400 times faster in capturing carbon dioxide than trees in the same unit area. Simply put, a single 3-foot by 3-foot bioreactor can absorb the equivalence of the carbon dioxide captured by an acre of forested land. Besides absorbing carbon dioxide, the bioreactor also monitors airflow, bio-density, pH, type of light and harvest cycles. Because it can be used in a home or office setting, the Eos Bioreactor can completely monitor and purify the quality of the air you breath. Why use the Eos Bioreactor According to the CDC, climate change has an effect on human health . Climate change disrupts the quality of natural air, resulting in respiratory and cardiovascular complications. Extreme weather changes can lead to serious cardiovascular injuries and even death. The effects of climate change can also contribute to stress in food production and lead to malnutrition. According to Hypergiant Industries, Eos Bioreactor technology can help reduce such effects. How the Eos Bioreactor works Algae require high levels of carbon dioxide to thrive. The bioreactor provides the right environment to grow algae, which can consume most of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. However, the system is much more complex than that. Besides exposing algae to the atmosphere for carbon dioxide absorption, the system uses artificial intelligence to control the lighting, airflow, temperature and other factors of the environment. Such factors facilitate the accelerated rate of carbon dioxide absorption and processing. The bioreactor works in 5 key processes: Air intake: The air intake absorbs open air in a room or can be connected to a building exhaust. Once absorbed, the air is bubbled into the bioreactor tank, where it combines with algae. Growing algae : For the algae to grow, it needs carbon dioxide and light. Once carbon dioxide has been pumped into the bioreactor tank, the algae have to be exposed to light. The algae and water are pumped through tubes to maximize exposure to light. They mix with carbon dioxide in the bioreactor tank for the process to commence. Biomass accretion : Once the algae and carbon dioxide are mixed, the algae consume carbon dioxide to produce biomass. The biomass is harvested to create fuel, oils and high-protein foods and fertilizer. Harvesting and separation: The Eos Bioreactor uses AI to control the harvesting process. The harvesting system allows the reactor to retain the maximum amount of algae to suck up carbon dioxide. Clean air exhaust: Once the system uses carbon dioxide to produce biomass, it also consumes all the impurities in the air. As a result, 60% to 90% of the carbon dioxide input is consumed. The resulting oxygen-rich, clean air is released to the environment. The shape and appearance of the bioreactor The Eos Bioreactor measures 3-feet-by-3-feet-by-7-feet and is designed to fit in small spaces, including offices and homes. The bioreactor has options for solar power connections, which will make it usable in remote regions. The power used in running the system is minimal, and the waste produced can be utilized for other purposes. About Hypergiant Industries Hypergiant Industries is a company that focuses on providing solutions to current humanitarian challenges. One of the biggest challenges that humans face today is climate change. The development of the AI-powered bioreactor is one of many projects spearheaded by the company. Hypergiant Industries is working on several environment-focused products and solutions for clients including governments and Fortune 500. + Hypergiant Industries Images via Hypergiant Industries

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Native Shoes’ Bloom collection is made of repurposed algae

May 18, 2020 by  
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Many conventional shoes are made with materials sourced from petroleum, but conscientious companies, like Native Shoes, have been rethinking that choice, digging for solutions in using readily available and eco-friendly materials instead. For Native Shoes, turning to algae , which naturally occurs in lakes and rivers, presented a benefit that is two-fold. Algae take oxygen from the water, and if oxygen levels deplete too much, they can kill off fish and become toxic to humans. Although algae often serve as food for aquatic life, removing some algae from the water makes it safer for the entire ecosystem. But then what do you do with all of this excess algae that has been removed? Native Shoes’ Bloom collection is made using “Rise by Bloom” technology that repurposes the algae, transforming it into a high-performance material for the shoes. The company stated, “The innovative manufacturing process cleans up to 80L of water and 50 square meters of air per pair, resulting in cleaner lakes and rivers , healthier air and featherlight footwear.” Related: Algae Lamps are a work of art and natural shade in one The newest line builds on Native Shoes’ classic Jefferson model, with designs for women and children in new colors to welcome spring and warmer weather. The collection also includes the new Audrey Bloom, a classic, feminine flat; the Jefferson Bloom Child features a slip-on, slip-off kids’ shoe . The Jefferson Bloom is priced at $45, the Audrey Bloom is $55 and the Jefferson Bloom Child starts at $40. Native Shoes’ mission is to fuse innovation with sustainability to create comfortable, durable shoes that leave a small footprint on the planet. According to Native Shoes, the company hopes to find alternative uses for all of its products by 2023 in a goal to “Live Lightly.” As such, it has created initiatives such as the Native Shoes Remix Project, which recycles the shoes into playground equipment for local kids in Vancouver. Native Shoes is also experimenting with 3D printing and more plant-based designs. + Native Shoes Images via Native Shoes

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Native Shoes’ Bloom collection is made of repurposed algae

Project Lunark to test a prototype moon habitat powered by solar

April 30, 2020 by  
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“What does it take to live on the moon?” That was the question put forward by Sebastian Aristotelis and Karl-Johan Sørensen, the founders of SAGA Space Architects and the analog astronauts behind Lunark , a prototype moon habitat. Designed in collaboration with scientists, engineers and polar experts, Lunark will be tested over three months in northern Greenland as part of the first Arctic-simulated moon mission. In addition to its resilience to extreme temperatures, the habitat will be engineered for a zero-waste ecosystem and will draw power from solar panels. Currently in the research and prototyping stages, Lunark is scheduled for construction in Denmark over the summer of 2020. The expedition is expected to start in the fall of the same year, when Aristotelis and Sørensen will live in the prototype moon habitat for three months to carry out scientific experiments and evaluate the structural design. All of their research and analyses will be compiled in research papers and presented in a TV documentary. Related: SOM unveils designs for first-ever human settlement on the moon “The ultimate goal is to develop the best future moon habitat,” the duo said. “The experiment will develop and test a radically different moon habitat where architecture helps to counteract monotony, claustrophobia and psychological stress.” The designers have chosen northern Greenland as their testing grounds — and are looking at locations near Thule Air Base — because of the island’s extreme climate, remoteness, barren landscape and absence of normal circadian rhythms.  Inspired by origami, the Lunark habitat will be built from reinforced folding panels to allow for a unique expanding design that saves space during transport and expands by 560% by volume upon final installation. The exterior must be engineered to withstand temperatures of -40 degrees Celsius, wind speeds of 90 kilometers per hour and even polar bear attacks. Solar panels will be installed around the perimeter. In contrast to the tank-like exterior, the interior will attempt to follow the principles of hygge and will be equipped with systems that promote a zero-waste lifestyle. An algae reactor will be placed in the core of the habitat and provide highly nutritious food. + SAGA Space Architects Images via SAGA Space Architects

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Project Lunark to test a prototype moon habitat powered by solar

This biodegradable T-shirt is made from trees and algae

September 9, 2019 by  
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When it comes to your typical t-shirt, most people think of cotton, or perhaps a synthetic blend. But they probably don’t think about the all-natural Vollebak tee, made from wood and algae. The Vollebak Plant and Algae T-Shirt is an example of clothing that is produced with a vision for the end of the product life cycle when the shirt can be thrown in a landfill where it will biodegrade within a few months.  Beginning at the source, the Algae T uses eucalyptus, spruce, and beech wood from sustainably-harvested forested that are certified by both the Forestry Sustainability Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). The wood is converted into pulp and then thread, and then fabric. Related: SAOLA offers sustainable sneakers sourced from algae and recycled plastic Beginning at the source, the Algae T uses eucalyptus, spruce, and beech wood from sustainably-harvested forested that are certified by both the Forestry Sustainability Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). The wood is converted into pulp and then thread, and then fabric. Separately, the algae is grown in bioreactors. To process the algae, water and algae are pressed through a filter, separating out a pasty component of the algae. The paste is then placed in the sun until it dries into a powder. Mixed with a water binder, the dried algae powder becomes ink used on the front of the tee. The natural components of the algae ink mean it varies in depth of color from one shirt to the next and changes color with washings.  Because the ingredients are all natural , the Algae t-shirt can be composted after consumer use. The materials will break down organically, much faster than cotton and other materials, without adding chemicals to the soil and water. “The only thing different about this t shirt is that it grew in soil and water, and that’s where it’s designed to end up too. All you need to do is remember to compost it at the end of its life. Here it will biodegrade with them, turn into soil, and help new plants to grow,” explains Vollebak co-founder, Steve Tidball. We say that’s a much better way to think about fast fashion. <big>+ Vollebak</big> Via Core 77 <em>Images via Vollebak </em> 

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This biodegradable T-shirt is made from trees and algae

Prefab houseboat in Prague features a spacious rooftop lounge

September 9, 2019 by  
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Normally, Czech Republic-based firm Freedomky stays busy building charming, energy-efficient, tiny cabins. But when the team was approached by a client looking to “live freely” on the water, the designers used the same space- and energy-saving techniques they use frequently to build Freedomky No. 59, a prefab houseboat with a flexible interior design that can be used as a work space or vacation home. Designed in collaboration with architectural studio Atelier Št?pán , the Freedomky houseboat was directly created with the client’s love of adventure in mind. As a fan of the company’s cabin designs, the client, who spent time in various glamping locations across Europe, wanted the architects to design something that would allow him to set up a home in Prague. The man wanted to be close to the center of the city without feeling the congestion of the highly trafficked area. Hence, the design team and the client decided to take it to the water. Related: A solar-powered houseboat designed for the water-loving adventurer The houseboat is a prefabricated structure comprised of two modules placed on a custom steel pontoon. The two separate units were joined together at a shipyard 25 miles north of Prague . Once the prefab construction was complete, the individual pieces were towed by boat to the home’s final installation site in the district of Smíchov in Prague. The journey took 18 hours, with the housing components passing under 14 bridges, including the famous Charles Bridge. Made with the same materials as Freedomky’s cabins, the boat’s exterior walls are crafted from eco-friendly wood or wooden components. Because of the humid environment, the designers replaced the larch facade normally used on their cabins with durable cement fiber boards. Working within the company motto of “free art of living everywhere,” the Freedomky team went to work designing a floating home with a breathtaking interior customized to the owner’s needs. The main objective was to create a flexible space, where the houseboat could be used as an office, an upscale living area or a weekend stay for guests. The interior of the houseboat is bright and airy, with modern furnishings that are flexible in their uses. The dining table can also be used as a work center, for example. The walls throughout the boat are painted a bright white, and the interior benefits from the natural light that pours in from the sliding glass doors and plentiful windows. At the owner’s request, there is a large rooftop terrace , which can be planted with vegetation. + Freedomky Via Dwell Photography by Lukas Pelech via Freedomky

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Prefab houseboat in Prague features a spacious rooftop lounge

Curvaceous algae-covered towers proposed for Hangzhou

May 11, 2018 by  
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Paris-based studio XTU Architects recently unveiled designs for a futuristic high-rise in Hangzhou that blends sustainable technologies into an organic, sculptural design. Cloaked in a “bio facade” of micro algae -covered panels, the curvaceous towers can produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide. Dubbed French Dream Towers, the mixed-use complex would also incorporate rainwater harvesting, a greenhouse, and an aquaponics system. Currently under review, French Dream Towers comprises four buildings clustered around a central water body. The towers feature sloped facades that give the project its organic shape and help facilitate rainwater collection . The mixed-use complex includes a French Tech Hub with offices and co-working spaces; an Art Center comprising galleries, artist residences, and market space; a hotel with wellness facilities; and a luxury restaurant with French fusion cuisine and a bar. Related: Incredible Algae Dome absorbs sun and CO2 to produce superfood and oxygen “The culture of micro-algae on the building facade is a process developed by XTU for several years,” said the architects of their patent-pending micro-algae panels. “It allows the symbiosis: the bio facade uses the thermal building to regulate the culture temperature of algae and at the same time these facades allow a much better insulation of buildings.” + XTU Architects Via Dezeen Images via XTU Architects

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