This pinecone-inspired gazebo is a playground for kids and adults alike

May 2, 2018 by  
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This nature-inspired mobile gazebo is a place where both kids and adults can play. Czech designers Atelier SAD designed the structure, named “Altán Šiška,” as a small building with pinecone-like scales that facilitate natural ventilation and double as drawing boards for kids to express their artistic sides. The building was crafted from 109 waterproof scales made of plywood . The boards are coated with a glaze to make them more durable. They are joined by galvanized joints, creating a structure that is strong and sustainable. The structure’s scales are deliberately spaced for ventilation. The gazebo is perfect for taking a classroom outdoors, practicing yoga or enjoying a campfire. Related: Atelier SAD’s Modular Port X Home Can Pop Up on Land or Water! “It is on the cutting edge of architecture and design, and can even serve as a meditation space ,” said designer and owner of Altán Šiška, David Karásek. “During the design process, we were aiming to smash boundaries and move forward. The Pinecone project was a big challenge for us because it was more than just a one-dimensional product,” the designers said. The building can be placed anywhere — from a backyard, to a park, to school campuses — in one day. + Atelier SAD Via Archdaily

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This pinecone-inspired gazebo is a playground for kids and adults alike

Hawaii is about to ban reef-killing chemical sunscreens

May 2, 2018 by  
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Hawaii lawmakers just approved a ban on coral reef-killing chemical sunscreens. If the governor signs the bill, the state will be the first in the nation – and the world – to outlaw the products. Chemical sunscreens that contain oxybenzone and octinoxate have been shown to alter the DNA of young coral so that it isn’t able to develop properly. Yesterday, state lawmakers passed a bill that would ban sunscreens that contain oxybenzone and octinoxate. In addition to harming coral reefs, there is some evidence that these chemicals pose a danger to humans by acting as endocrine disruptors and potentially damaging human DNA. Related: Three-fourths of sunscreens don’t work as they claim and may contain harmful chemicals Opponents to the ban say that Hawaii, which already has a high incidence of skin cancer, will experience an increase in skin cancer rates. The ban won’t include prescription sunscreens that contain those ingredients, nor does it include sunscreens with physical sun blockers like zinc, so protection options will still be available. If signed into law, the ban will take effect on Jan. 1, 2021. Via Huffington Post Images via Channey and Deposit Photos

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Hawaii is about to ban reef-killing chemical sunscreens

Electricity-free, foot-powered washing machine is slated for release this summer

April 11, 2018 by  
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The Drumi, from product design company Yirego , is a washing machine powered by your feet — no electricity necessary. The device uses six to 12 liters of water per load, and can wash almost five pounds of clothes in around five minutes. Inhabitat first covered the little washing machine in 2015, and we checked in with Yirego to hear how they’ve improved the product, slated for release this summer. Yirego designed an environmentally friendly washing machine powered by you. And after more than 10,000 hours of product development, the Drumi is in production, and the company is aiming to release it in the summer of 2018. As they progressed past the early stages of design , they made a few key changes to improve the washing machine. Related: The zero-electricity Gentlewasher does the laundry in five minutes flat One change is the carrying handle. Users only need one hand to transport the machine, as opposed to holding both sides with the earlier model. The handle doubles as a lock, keeping the lid in place as a user peddles. The production model is now shorter than the earlier model; Yirego lowered the machine’s center of gravity to boost stability and durability. Also, they addressed peoples’ concerns that a dirty machine would impact their skin and laundry by enabling users to remove the drum out of the new Drumi for easy cleaning. Yirego said they’ve filed patents for these technologies. The washing machine is aimed at people living off the grid , in small urban apartments, or in mobile homes , to name a few. It can be utilized for small loads containing clothing like activewear or delicates. About five minutes is all it takes to clean clothes in the Drumi: around two minutes to wash, two to rinse, and 30 seconds to spin dry. You can pre-order the machine, which costs $299, in silver or green on the Yirego website . + Yirego Images courtesy of Yirego

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Electricity-free, foot-powered washing machine is slated for release this summer

7 beautifully designed tiny homes that fit big families

April 11, 2018 by  
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Who says you can’t live in a tiny house with a family? These pint-sized homes prove it’s possible to live comfortably in fewer square feet, even with children. If you never considered small-space living with kids , these well-designed tiny homes  will seriously tempt you to ditch the traditional house for a more minimalist lifestyle. 232-square-foot home fits a family of four plus their Great Dane Macy Miller of MiniMotives started building her tiny home before she knew she’d be sharing it with a family. During the process she met her partner, James, who helped her complete the house. They’ve since welcomed two children — plus a Great Dane! — and expanded the home from its initial size of 196 square feet to 232 square feet with the addition of a bedroom.  Reclaimed wood counter tops, a composting toilet  and radiant floor heating are among the sustainable features of this cozy space. Couple adapts their tiny home to welcome a baby Samantha and Robert Garlow of SHEDsistence designed and built their own 204-square-foot tiny home to live in with their cat — and then they welcomed a baby . They adapted the space to make it child-friendly with features like a loft crib and net. So far they’ve enjoyed living in their tiny house with a baby, and the small space makes it easy for the couple to keep an eye on her. Family of six lives in an airy, converted school bus Four kids? No problem. Gabriel and Debbie Mayes of The Mayes Team transformed a 2000 Thomas High Top school bus into a 250-square-foot haven. They wanted to avoid a shotgun house feel, so they designed an L-shaped kitchen to create a natural barrier between the living area and bedrooms. Big windows fill the bus with natural light . Related: Amazing camper van maximizes space with clever boat design tricks Family of four builds a salvaged tiny home for $12,000 Karl and Hari Berzins of the Tiny House Family needed to save money, so they got creative with their tiny home. For only $12,000, they constructed a 320-square-foot house using salvaged , overstock or leftover building materials . The home incorporates a kitchen sink from a neighbor; oak from a demolished home; lights and fabric from the family’s former restaurant; and insulation, windows, flooring, framing material and their stove on Craigslist . Converted light-filled bus is home to a family of five Brandon and Ashley Trebitowski of Trebventure downsized from 2,100 square feet to 240 square feet — with three kids. They converted a Blue Bird bus into a bright mobile home that boasts an open floor plan and homemade furniture. Plenty of windows fill the home with natural light, affording it a spacious feel. Camper converted into dreamy California abode for a family of five High rent prices in California prompted Dino and Ashley Petrone of Arrows and Bow to seek out an alternative residence. They decided to convert a Cougar Keystone camper into a 180-square-foot tiny home for their family. After gutting the interior, they spent $3,000 on storage solutions to avoid clutter, a custom-cut IKEA desktop and decorations from discount stores and garage sales. 10 people could sleep inside this tiny home Ready to launch into your own tiny living adventure? If you’re hesitant to build a tiny home, there are several options, such as the Traveler XL from Escape Traveler , a 344-square-foot tiny house that can sleep as many as 10 people (provided that some of those people are children!). It’s off-grid -ready, with features like composting toilets, solar panels  and battery storage . Images via The Mayes Team, © Macy Miller/MiniMotives , courtesy of Samantha and Robert Garlow/SHED tiny house , Tiny House Family , Trebventure , courtesy of Arrows and Bow, and Escape Traveler

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7 beautifully designed tiny homes that fit big families

MINI just unveiled an amazing all-electric model of their iconic car

March 28, 2018 by  
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MINI just unveiled a blast from the past with a modern twist: the classic MINI Electric. This unique all-electric car signals their commitment to zero emissions technology. In a statement , MINI said, “The spontaneous power of its electric motor provides a new dimension to the unmistakable go-kart feeling that helped propel the British small car in its original form to worldwide popularity.” The one-off classic MINI Electric hearkens back to the brand’s historic car – and it’s drumming up excitement for a fully electric production vehicle set to debut next year. The vehicle is a bright red “carefully restored example of the classic MINI Cooper ,” enhanced with yellow MINI Electric logos and a contrasting white roof. Technical specifications are scant – but the vehicle is equipped with a single electric motor, according to Carscoops . Related: MINI re-envisions the Cooper hatchback as an EV “The classic MINI Electric is the result of an imaginary journey through time, where the story of the classic model is extended by a consecutive chapter,” the company said. “The original from the second half of the 20th century becomes a sympathetic ambassador for environmental awareness and a form of sustainable mobility whose future has just begun.” Electrek pointed out that MINI has unveiled three working electric concepts without bringing one to production and it’s about time they did so — they’ve been laboring on EV MINIs for around 10 years now. They produced around 600 examples of 2008’s MINI E, which helped pave the way for the BMW i3 . The company’s production EV is being developed right now, MINI said, and is “based on the MINI 3 Door.” It will go into production in 2019 at their Oxford plant. The unveiling will coincide with the 60th anniversary of their classic car. + MINI Via Carscoops and Electrek Images via MINI

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MINI just unveiled an amazing all-electric model of their iconic car

Sealtech fabric can heal itself with just a touch

October 2, 2016 by  
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Who hasn’t destroyed a backpack with one rip, puncture and tear after another? Herschel Supply Co is putting a stop to all that with Sealtech: a fabric that can heal itself with just a touch.

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Sealtech fabric can heal itself with just a touch

FDA bans antibacterial soaps, saying they do more harm than good

September 10, 2016 by  
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The FDA announced a ban on antibacterial soaps after finding that it is no safer – and can be worse – than regular old soap. A number of ingredients typically found in antibacterial soaps (like triclosan) will be removed from shelves within the year.

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FDA bans antibacterial soaps, saying they do more harm than good

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