C&A debuts world’s first Cradle to Cradle Certified Gold T-shirts

May 12, 2017 by  
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A chain of clothing stories in Belgium has launched the world’s first Cradle to Cradle Certified Gold T-shirts . Available in two styles for women in up to 17 different colors, C&A’s tees mark the company’s first foray into apparel for the so-called “circular economy,” where products are designed to be reused or recycled rather than thrown away. The shirts, which comprise 100 percent organic cotton , represent what C&A calls a “positive ecological and social level never before seen for a fashion garment.” California’s Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Institute , which manages the certification mark, defines C2C Certified products as items that have been optimized for human and environmental health, material reutilization, renewable energy use, carbon management, water stewardship, and social justice. Ratings are based on four levels: Basic, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Related: First Cradle to Cradle Platinum certified product is reclaimed Bark House shingle C&A worked with McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry , the recently formed Fashion for Good initiative, and two India-based factories to develop the tees based on Cradle to Cradle Certified criteria. Both Cotton Blossom and Pratibha Syntex, C&A said, needed minimal improvement in those areas. “In nature, the ‘waste’ of one system becomes food for another,” Jay Bolus, president of certification services at MBDC, said in a statement. “The two new T-shirts illustrate the possibility by which we can transform what is currently a take-make-waste industry to one that is regenerative and closed loop to progress us toward a positive future. We worked closely with Cotton Blossom and Pratibha Syntex and throughout their supply chains to ensure the resulting apparel is not only attractive, accessible and affordable—but also a positive design.” C&A’s shirts, which will appear in stores in June, use only materials that have been deemed safe for cycling as biological nutrients, making them safe enough to compost at home at the end of their lives. Two additional styles, one for women and another for men, will debut in Brazil and Mexico in September. Related: Freitag announces that their 100% compostable denim is about to hit shelves “We are very proud to introduce our first Gold level Cradle to Cradle Certified T-shirts,” said You Nguyen, director of brands, womenswear collections, at C&A. “Taking inspiration from nature, these shirts were designed with their next life in mind. This means they can be reused recycled—or you can literally throw your shirts onto the compost pile.” Nguyen added, “We believe in fashion with a positive impact and are excited to provide our customers with stylish products and render sustainable fashion available at great value.” + C&A

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C&A debuts world’s first Cradle to Cradle Certified Gold T-shirts

Greenpeace releases first images of newly-discovered Amazon reef

February 6, 2017 by  
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  Feast your eyes on some of the first images ever made of a unique coral reef near Brazil that turned a lot of heads in the scientific community –  due to its diversity of new species – when it was first discovered in 2016. Sadly, these photos may be some of the last, as oil drilling nearby may damage the reef if it goes ahead. According to The Guardian , the first images of the reef were recently released by Greenpeace, after being taken off the coast of Brazil at a depth of 220 meters by the Greenpeace ship Esperanza. Discovered in in 2016, these are the first images of the 600 mile-long reef that scientists expect will reveal various new species as it is explored further. Spanning the mouth of the Amazon river , from French Guiana to Maranhao State in Brazil, scientists have already found more than 60 species of fish, spiny lobsters and stars in the reef. “This reef system is important for many reasons, including the fact that it has unique characteristics regarding use and availability of light,” Nils Asp, a researcher at the Federal University of Pará in Belém, Brazil, told The Guardian . “It has a huge potential for new species, and it is also important for the economic well-being of fishing communities along the Amazonian coastal zone.” But oil exploration is happening in the area and companies, including Total, BP and Petrobras could start drilling at any point, if they get permission from the Brazilian government. Greenpeace, unsurprisingly, is opposed to the drilling and plans to protect the reef. Related: Ancient city constructed on a coral reef remains the only one of its kind “We must defend the reef and the entire region at the mouth of the Amazon river basin from the corporate greed that puts profits ahead of the environment,” Greenpeace campaigner, Thiago Almeida told The Guardian . Via The Guardian Images via Greenpeace  

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Greenpeace releases first images of newly-discovered Amazon reef

Flexible Una Pavilion is designed to be super stable and easy to construct

January 24, 2017 by  
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All the elements of this multi-purpose pavilion in Brazil contribute to its structural stability and the ease of its construction. Brazilian architecture office Apiacás Arquitetos designed the Una Pavilion using standardized elements, achieving a high degree of programmatic flexibility. The pavilion is located in a residential condominium near São Paulo in Brazil. Surrounded by a lush rainforest with a running stream nearby, the building had to be elevated from the ground in order to avoid flooding. Metal connections were used to assemble the wooden elements, including large pivot doors that make up the facade. Related: Ecocentric cantilevered home was designed to conform to the sloping Brazilian landscape Interspersed wooden slats facilitate a visual connection to the forest, while protecting the interior from excessive sun and rainfall. The minimalist wood furniture follows the constructive logic based on simplicity. + Apiacás Arquitetos Via Plataforma Arquitectura Photos by Leonardo Finotti

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Flexible Una Pavilion is designed to be super stable and easy to construct

Modern Brazilian home treats neighboring mountain as an extension of its green patio

January 4, 2017 by  
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When designing a home in a country as verdant as Brazil , it’s important to retain a strong connection to nature. Obra Arquitetos does just that with LEnS House by creating an open design, unobstructed views of the beautiful Mantiqueira mountain range, and planting a suite of lush green plants throughout. The house provides a contemplative and reflective space for a couple. Organized around a small patio , it unfolds across different levels providing views of the central open space through curved glass . The building’s dialogue with nature intensifies with height. The outdoor experience starts with the views of the patio, which features a host of plant species. Related: Brazilian House Harnesses Natural Materials and Smart Design A staircase leads to a green roof , gradually opening up more expansive views of the surrounding landscape. + Obra Arquitetos Via Archdaily Photos by Nelson Kon

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Modern Brazilian home treats neighboring mountain as an extension of its green patio

Off-grid eco-retreats reconnect you to serene nature in Brazil

January 4, 2017 by  
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Couples looking for a romantic escape can unplug in comfort at these off-grid eco-cabins hidden away in the remote coastal mountains of Brazil. Surrounded by nature and captivating views, these solar-powered getaways are the latest installments of Minimod , a prefabricated modern home designed by MAPA Architects. Cozy and dreamy, these Minimod Catuçaba dwellings are the first of their kind in Brazil and are even available to rent on AirBnB. Located on the five-hectare estate of a former coffee plantation that dates back to 1840, the two Minimod Catuçaba cabins border the Serra do Mar State Park and overlook a verdant landscape of trees and mountains. The two 45-square-meter units are placed 1,000 meters apart and were built with different viewpoints and different layouts—one is cross-shaped while the other is rectangular. Both cabins were prefabricated offsite in a factory using cross-laminated timber and are equipped with solar panels and full-height glazing. “We invited Minimod to join the Fazenda Catuçaba community because we believe it is a revolutionary concept in Brazil, that shares in our vision of natural living,” write Casas de Catuçaba , the operators of the eco-cabins. “The Minimod is a primitive refuge with a modern twist. It´s not just a living space, it is an experience. It is a technological experience applied to the natural landscape, an invitation to live on the border between of the natural and the man-made. The Minimod incorporates a silencing system to enhance the experience between the inhabitant and the landscape.” Related: MAPA Architects’ Tiny MINIMOD House is a LED-Lit Prefab Home for Off-Grid Living Each cabin accommodates four and includes two beds, bathroom, kitchen, and living area with an indoor fireplace. Guests have access to trails through the woods that lead to a lake and floating deck, as well as an outdoor fire pit. The cabins are available to rent on AirBnB for $267 per night. + Minimod Catuçaba Via ArchDaily Images via Minimod Catuçaba and © Leonardo Finotti

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Tesla extends free charging at Supercharger stations

January 4, 2017 by  
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As of two weeks from now, there will be no more free lunch for Tesla car buyers, as the company will be cutting off free access to its Supercharger network of charging stations as of January 15, 2017. Engadget reports that this is actually somewhat of a reprieve for Tesla customers, as the cutoff was initially supposed to be January 1, 2017. According to Engadget , Tesla announced this change was coming a few months ago, telling customers they were soon going to have to pay for their own electricity. Given the recent announcement, potential buyers have just a short period in which to get unlimited free electricity for their Tesla car, which amounts to a huge bonus for anyone buying before January 15. Cars bought after that date will be limited to just 400 kilowatt hours of free power per year, and owners will have to pay for the rest. According to Tesla, that’s roughly enough power to drive for about 1,000 miles. Related: Tesla’s next Supercharger could charge electric cars in mere seconds Tesla says charging beyond that amount will be available at an additional fee, the amount of which has yet to be announced. They have said it “won’t be too expensive” and will cost drivers “less than the price of filling up a comparable gas car.” So if you’re thinking about a Tesla, now could be the time to buy. This announcement comes shortly after CEO Elon Musk hinted that a new generation of Superchargers could charge a Model S in just seconds. Near the end of December 2016, Musk hinted in a tweet that the Supercharger V3 would have an ouput of at least 350 kilowatts, or more than double the output of the current Superchargers in Tesla’s network. Via Engadget Images via Tesla Motors, Joseph Thornton and Steve Jurvetson , Flickr Creative Commons

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Zika is no longer an international public health emergency, says WHO

November 22, 2016 by  
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The World Health Organization (WHO) declared on Friday that Zika virus is no longer a global public health emergency . The mosquito-borne illness, which has also proven to be sexually transmitted, causes a severe birth defect called microcephaly and thousands of cases have been reported in South and Central America. Although WHO is downgrading the severity of the Zika threat, the agency also warned the virus is not going away. With this update, the WHO ends the warning originally issued in February 2016 , which identified Zika as an international public health emergency. That acknowledgment came after Zika cases were reported in Central America, following ongoing large outbreaks in Brazil and Colombia throughout 2015. As the end of mosquito season draws near in many parts of the world, WHO recognizes a reduction in transmission. However, when the weather warms again and the Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes that carry Zika begin reproducing faster in the spring, the Zika cases could increase once more. Related: Brazil unleashes millions of genetically modified mosquitoes to combat Zika The WHO “should be prepared to re-examine the decision if, in fact, we have a resurgence of Zika in South America as we enter into the summer months of January and February in the Southern Hemisphere,” according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Despite the WHO declaration, health agencies need to continue research and efforts to control the virus. “It remains crucially important that pregnant women avoid traveling to areas with local transmission of Zika, because of the devastating complications that can occur in fetuses that become infected during pregnancy,” said the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a statement. Via NYT Images via Wikipedia and  PAHO/Flickr

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Zika is no longer an international public health emergency, says WHO

Brazilian official murdered as war against environmental activists heats up

November 3, 2016 by  
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In Brazil, the public murder of a government official in Pará state has sparked renewed fear, as the war against stewards of the endangered Amazon rages on. Luiz Alberto Araújo, environment secretary on the city council of Altamira, was killed October 13 after being shot multiple times while sitting in his car in front of his home. His wife and two stepchildren were also in the car, but left unharmed, sending a clear message that Araújo’s death was the only objective of the attack. In his government role, Araújo battled against the growing problem of deforestation in Brazil and the repercussions from the recently built Belo Monte hydroelectric dam. His work earned him numerous death threats, and the official had recently moved from a similar role in another city to avoid danger. Now, in the weeks after his murder, many are calling for the government to step up its protections for environmental activists fighting against illegal logging and mining, as well as a host of humanitarian offenses, which have become common in Pará, one of Brazil’s poorest states. Related: Amazon dam opposed by local tribes halted by Brazilian environmental agency “The killing of Luiz Alberto Araújo marks a new low in the war waged against environmentalists in the Brazilian Amazon,” said Billy Kyte, campaign leader at the NGO Global Witness. “It sends a message that no one is untouchable.” The Guardian reports that over 150 environmental activists have been killed in Brazil since 2012, but most were activists. Araújo’s murder marks the first time a government official has been targeted in the backlash against environmental protections that seeks to put an end to the destruction. Via The Guardian Images via Shutterstock and Eletronotre

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Brazilian official murdered as war against environmental activists heats up

Ecocentric cantilevered home was designed to conform to the sloping Brazilian landscape

August 26, 2016 by  
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The architecture firm created a design that would require minimal, if any, grading of the land for building. To address the existing slope, the home was envisioned in multiple levels, with an elevated volume on concrete columns holding the main living space. The home’s overall footprint takes on a T-shape reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright that wraps around a serene pool and patio, which can be spotted from almost every room in the house. Related: CASA22 in Brazil is a light-filled interactive home for a family of 10 Steering clear of major land grading is not the only eco-friendly feature of this beautiful home. The residence has a rainwater collection system as well as natural ventilation and lighting throughout. It relies on solar energy for heat and was constructed with double exterior walls that contain air chambers, insulating the interior and regulating temperatures. Double-glazed windows offer another boost to the home’s energy efficiency. + Basso Engenharia Via Design Milk Images via Marcelo Donadussi

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Ecocentric cantilevered home was designed to conform to the sloping Brazilian landscape

Yacht-inspired Olympic pavilion by Henning Larsen brings Danish culture to Rio

August 10, 2016 by  
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Located on the famous Ipanema Beach, the 3229-square-foot pavilion hosts a bar, press room, and an exhibition area where visitors can learn about Danish companies and products. A white sail cloth is stretch over aluminium masts that form a large interior space. The upper corners of the structure point upwards to reference Rio’s mountaintops, as well as the iconic project of Brazil’s most famous architect, Oscar Niemeyer . Related: Renovated Siemens Headquarters in Munich now consumes 90% less energy and 75% less water At night, the structure is lit by red-colored LEDs , which, when viewed from above, reveal the outline of the Danish flag in the cross-shaped piece of clear acrylic set into the faceted roof. Denmark is the only country to feature a dedicated pavilion space at the Games. The pavilion will stay open to the public until 21 August 2016, the final day of the Rio Olympics. + Henning Larsen Architects Via Dezeen Photos by Pedro Kok

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Yacht-inspired Olympic pavilion by Henning Larsen brings Danish culture to Rio

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