Has green hydrogen’s time finally come?

April 10, 2020 by  
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Los Angeles is behind a two-phase, first-of-its-kind transformation that will turn a coal-fired power plant in Utah into one powered by green hydrogen by 2045.

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Has green hydrogen’s time finally come?

Dyper and TerraCycle make composting diapers accessible

April 10, 2020 by  
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Leaders from the two companies hope others will be inspired to do more to reuse or compost their products.

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Dyper and TerraCycle make composting diapers accessible

The case for exploring jute as an alternative to plastic

April 10, 2020 by  
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For starters, it’s a material that is readily available, biodegradable and affordable.

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The case for exploring jute as an alternative to plastic

Circular economy principles are alleviating COVID-19 shortages

April 10, 2020 by  
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With medical supplies and personal protection in short supply, hospitals and companies are embracing refurbishment and reuse.

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Circular economy principles are alleviating COVID-19 shortages

Can regenerative agriculture deliver on its promise?

April 10, 2020 by  
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Skeptics are sowing doubts about the carbon sequestration potential. The questions underscore the complexities of soil science.

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Can regenerative agriculture deliver on its promise?

What the world could look like after COVID-19

April 10, 2020 by  
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Will we be better prepared to respond to the climate emergency and other urgent sustainability challenges as a result of this experience?

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What the world could look like after COVID-19

Open-air Destination Crenshaw museum celebrates the heart of black Los Angeles

March 16, 2020 by  
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At the close of Black History Month, over 2,000 community members, business owners and artists gathered for the groundbreaking of Destination Crenshaw, an outdoor cultural experience to celebrate the heart of black Los Angeles. Designed by international architecture and design firm Perkins and Will , the beautification project will take on the appearance of an open-air, linear art museum that stretches 1.3 miles along Crenshaw Boulevard. In addition to streetscape transformations — including new public artworks, pocket parks and landscaping improvements — Destination Crenshaw also aims to use community-driven means to offset gentrification. Located along Crenshaw Boulevard from Leimert Boulevard to 60th Street, Destination Crenshaw will transform 1.3 miles of streetscape into an outdoor arts and culture experience with hundreds of new trees, 100 permanent and rotating art installations and 10 pocket parks . The project is organized into four distinct nodes that will serve as thematic design lenses. “Improvisation” at W. Slauson Avenue celebrates the community’s resourcefulness. “Firsts” at 54th Street honors past and present black pioneers, and “Dreams” at 50th Street highlights the community’s placemaking abilities. “Togetherness” at West Vernon Avenue focuses on the area’s significant cultural infrastructure, before culminating at Sankofa Park, an elevated outdoor plaza with views out onto Crenshaw Boulevard and beyond. Related: Energy-efficient affordable housing project opens in South LA “Our work on Destination Crenshaw has always centered on the theme ‘Grow Where You’re Planted,’ which is inspired by African giant star grass,” said Gabrielle Bullock, managing principal of the project. “Known to thrive in inhospitable environments, the grass reminds us of the history and resiliency of Black L.A., whose deep community roots have strengthened over the decades despite facing years of root shock.” Over 200 years of black history in Los Angeles will be documented, preserved and exhibited in the project. In the process, Destination Crenshaw will provide construction career opportunities for residents while supporting existing local businesses and regional artists. The 1.3-mile beautification project will run parallel to a section of Los Angeles Metro’s upcoming Crenshaw/LAX light rail line. + Perkins and Will + Destination Crenshaw Images via Perkins and Will

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Open-air Destination Crenshaw museum celebrates the heart of black Los Angeles

Perkins and Will designs modular, affordable housing for the homeless

December 4, 2019 by  
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In response to the homelessness crisis in Los Angeles, Perkins and Will’s Los Angeles studio has proposed DOME , a stackable, modular furniture system that would provide affordable and flexible interim housing for the homeless. The patent-pending design was created after months of research — including visits with community members, fabricators and operators — in the studio’s Innovation Incubator, which provides micro-grants and support to employee projects. Perkins and Will’s Los Angeles studio drew inspiration for the DOME project from L.A. Mayor Garcetti’s A Bridge Home initiative, a program to provide emergency homeless housing in the city. According to the firm, nearly 60,000 people are in need of adequate housing in Los Angeles on any given night, yet nearly three-quarters of those in need forgo the shelter system in favor of living independently in tents outdoors. To provide a lifeline to those individuals and to meet the city’s goal to create 1,500 new beds by 2020, Perkins and Will designed the DOME to not only meet the basic necessities of privacy and safety but to also provide for efficient storage and shipping, low installation costs and easy configurations. Related: LEED Platinum housing for the homeless takes over a formerly vacant L.A. lot Having tracked down a potential fabricator — Kansas City-based SHIELD — Perkins and Will estimates that each collapsible DOME unit would cost $4,749 and range from 42 to 55 square feet in size. Each unit would be equipped with all of its own essential furnishings, including an extra-long twin bed with room for storage underneath, a lockable wardrobe, partitions, an aisle light, an outlet and an optional kennel area that accommodates up to a 30-pound pet. Low-maintenance, solid surfaces would be used for the exterior shell and internal shelving, while birch plywood closet doors lend warmth to the interior. An optional fabric canopy could be added for additional privacy. The modular nature of the design would also give operators the flexibility to add or remove units as needed or to even combine units to accommodate couples or to create social spaces. “DOME could have been a utilitarian box, but this isn’t just about putting people in beds as quickly as possible, it’s about attention to detail and experience,” said Yan Krymsky, design director and principal at Perkins and Will’s Los Angeles studio. “We want it to feel residential, not institutional. It sends a message that people care.” A DOME prototype is currently on show at the Architecture and Design museum in Los Angeles; the firm hopes to get DOME into production as soon as possible. + DOME Images via Perkins & Will

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Perkins and Will designs modular, affordable housing for the homeless

Chic B&B in New South Wales is inside a shed made of upcycled materials

December 4, 2019 by  
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Australia was recently voted the destination of the year for 2020 . If you are thinking about going down under for a vacation, make sure to check out this beautiful B&B located in a shed in New South Wales. Made almost entirely from upcycled materials , The Shed is an old machinery shed that has been converted into a unique, eco-friendly accommodation. Guests to The Shed will take comfort in not only staying in a unique hotel but also one that has been crafted from reclaimed materials. Walking into the spacious living area through a set of vintage doors, guests will find that the building materials, such as reclaimed wood and timber ceiling beams, were left exposed. Related: These enchanting, off-grid cabins are handcrafted from salvaged materials The living space of the fun hotel consists of a large lounge area with vintage sofas centered around a fireplace. An open kitchen with a breakfast bar comes with all of the typical amenities. A family-style dining table provides a great place for everyone to gather around and eat or play games together. The Shed sleeps up to seven guests among its three bedrooms. Two of the bedrooms have spacious, king-sized beds, while the third room is home to bunk beds. The full bathroom has a free-standing bathtub, a walk-in shower, a sink and a toilet. There is also a half bathroom. Just over two hours away from the NSW capital , Sydney, the Shed is set on an idyllic plot of land with chickens and an herb garden. Visitors can enjoy dining al fresco in the outdoor dining area, which comes complete with a barbecue grill and a pizza oven. The location offers all types of activities for nature-lovers, including hiking and biking trails. + Glamping Hub Images via Glamping Hub

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Chic B&B in New South Wales is inside a shed made of upcycled materials

Sustainable holiday gift ideas for your friends

December 4, 2019 by  
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Help your friends start 2020 on the right foot with new ideas for ways to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Check out our guide below to give every friend on your list the gift of sustainability this holiday season. Cookbooks The modern cooking world is full of imaginative ways to lower your environmental footprint while producing delicious, unique dishes. Depending on what your gift recipient is into, you can choose from books about everything from zero-waste cooking and vegetarianism to vegan recipes and ethical cooking. Cooking with Scraps: Turn Your Peels, Cores, Rinds, and Stems into Delicious Meals takes those everyday items that are notorious for waste (coffee grinds, watermelon rinds and banana peels, just to name a few) and turns them into complete recipes. Headphones The stylish headphones from House of Marley are made from sustainable materials such as FSC-certified wood , stainless steel, recyclable aluminum and soft natural leather. The company offers both comfortable, over-the-ear options as well as smaller earbud sets. Not into the headphone idea? House of Marley also offers a line of eco-friendly turntables and Bluetooth speakers built from natural bamboo and organic cork. Best of all, the company’s biodegradable products don’t sacrifice sound quality. Learn more about House of Marley with our review for the 2019 Exodus headphones . Reusable bags It’s no secret that making the switch to reusable bags for shopping and groceries is one of the easiest ways to work toward living a zero-waste life. Plus, there are so many colors and designs to choose from, making it easier than ever to make this gift more personal. Go a step further and choose a multipurpose reusable bag, like this one from ROV that goes from wallet to tote bag in seconds. Related: How to easily make your own reusable produce bags Plant-based or reusable coffee pods Convenient coffee pods have become wildly popular among coffee-lovers. Unfortunately, most of these single-use pods end up in landfills or the ocean after being tossed in the trash. If you have a friend or family member who has already made the investment in a pricey machine designed to use pods, get them hooked on a brew that comes in eco-friendly packaging. You can find reusable metal pods and even compostable coffee capsules, like those from Volcano Coffee Works . Reusable straws set For those friends who just have to have a straw in their beverages, the gift of a reusable, pocket-sized straw could be life-changing. Reusable straws come in all shapes, sizes and materials, from stainless steel to silicone to bamboo. Just make sure to purchase one that comes with a handy carrying case and an accompanying brush to keep the straw clean. Heading to or hosting a holiday party? Blow everyone’s minds by bringing a box of biodegradable straws made out of hay . Skincare Many conscious consumers are making the switch to skincare and beauty products made from all-natural, organic and cruelty ingredients and packaged in reusable or recyclable materials. To get some inspiration, check out our reviews of the best beauty retailers from the 2019 Indie Beauty Expo in Los Angeles. Choose from natural sunscreens, reusable sheet masks, vegan hair products, items from charitable companies and more. Kombucha starter kit Introduce someone to the wonderful world of gut-benefiting probiotics with an at-home kombucha starter kit. For someone who is just starting out, a kit can be a good way of saving some money instead of buying the fancy, packaged bottles from the store. There are plenty of options for kombucha starter kits available online or in health food stores around the country, but some of the more popular kits include ones from GetKombucha and the Kombucha Shop . Wellness subscriptions For health nuts or wellness-focused friends, a health or wellness subscription might be just what the doctor ordered. You can easily get a gift certificate or class passes if they are already fans of a particular gym or studio, or choose a brand new subscription based on their particular interests. Pro tip: head to Groupon to see if there are any holiday deals on wellness subscriptions in the gift recipient’s area. For other wellness subscription ideas, CauseBox curates and delivers a selection of sustainable, eco-friendly and socially conscious products four times per year, and DailyBurn is an online workout video database with thousands of virtual exercise classes to choose from. Related: 14 apps to help you live a more sustainable lifestyle Plastic-free diffuser Using essential oil diffusers for aromatherapy is widely considered to be beneficial to physical and emotional health. Increased demand for these little machines means that there are quite a few cheaply made ones on the market, which might not achieve the desired results from your high-quality oils. Organic Aromas makes beautiful diffusers that use cool-mist technology with no heat, no water and no plastic. As an added bonus, these diffusers will look like pieces of art on the coffee table. Images via Heather Ford , Katherine Gallagher / Inhabitat, Sincerely Media , Volcano Coffee Works , Louise Burton , Ongchinonn , Megumi Nachev , Anupam Mahapatra , Anke Sundermeier and Mel Poole

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