Earth911 Podcast, November 1, 2019: Baru Seeds, A Sustainable Peanut Alternative

November 1, 2019 by  
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Baru seeds are a sustainable superfood from the Brazilian Cerrado, … The post Earth911 Podcast, November 1, 2019: Baru Seeds, A Sustainable Peanut Alternative appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Earth911 Podcast, November 1, 2019: Baru Seeds, A Sustainable Peanut Alternative

Earth911 Inspiration: Ansel Adams on Our Reliance on Nature

November 1, 2019 by  
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Nature photographer Ansel Adams captured the beauty of the world … The post Earth911 Inspiration: Ansel Adams on Our Reliance on Nature appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Earth911 Inspiration: Ansel Adams on Our Reliance on Nature

A shipping container is recycled into a chic nature retreat in Brazil

September 2, 2019 by  
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When a client approached Bruno Zaitter with a request for a minimalist and sustainable getaway in Brazil’s Balsa Nova, the Brazilian architect and professor decided that cargotecture would be the perfect fit for the brief. Proving that less can be more, the architect upcycled a secondhand shipping container into a relatively compact 538-square-foot abode with a bedroom, bathroom, living and dining area, kitchen and an outdoor terrace. Most importantly, the structure, named the Purunã Refuge, immerses the client in nature with its large glazed walls that embrace panoramic views in all directions. Protected on the west side by a lush native forest, the Purunã Refuge is set at the foot of a geographical fault called Escarpa Denoviana and enjoys privacy, immersion in nature and views of the city skyline beyond. The project, completed in 2016, draws on Zaitter’s experience with recycling shipping containers into contemporary structures. As with its predecessors, the Purunã Refuge is elevated off the ground for reduced site impact. Related: A modern farmstay suite minimizes site impact in Brazil Raised 3 meters off the ground and accessible by outdoor stairs, the dwelling features a 12-meter-long container — comprising the sleeping area, a portion of the kitchen, the entrance and the bathroom with a soaking tub — that has been extended by two glass-enclosed volumes on either side. The larger of the two boxes houses the living and dining area as well as office space; the smaller box is a bump out of the kitchen that extends into the forest. Stretching northwest to southeast, the Purunã Refuge is accessed from the north side, which leads up to an outdoor terrace . “The project’s concept was to group the essential universes of human life — eating, sleeping, sanitizing, working and socializing — in a space of about 50 square meters with the greatest possible contact with the surrounding natural landscape,” Zaitter explained. “The biggest challenge was convincing people who still believe that large space equals comfortable space, and that small space is uncomfortable space. The refuge proved that less is more.” + Bruno Zaitter Photography by Sergio Mendonça Jr. via Bruno Zaitter

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A shipping container is recycled into a chic nature retreat in Brazil

Brazilian Biodiversity Information System is bringing Brazil’s biological diversity to the internet

March 18, 2019 by  
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As one of the most biologically diverse countries on Earth, Brazil is taking steps to consolidate all of the nation’s biodiversity data and information into one place to support scientific research , as well as decision-making and creation of eco-friendly public policy. In an effort to achieve those goals, the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovations and Communications (MCTIC) has created the Brazilian Biodiversity Information System (SiBBr), which is an online platform that gives free access to a collection of the largest amount of data and information on biodiversity in the South American nation. What is Megadiversity? In 1998, Conservation International made a list of 18 megadiverse countries, which meant that those nations harbored the majority of Earth’s species, as well as a large number of endemic species. The term megadiversity defines an area that features a significant amount of biodiversity . According to the UN’s Environment Program, Brazil is at the top of their list of the 18 most megadiverse countries in the world. With more than 120,000 species of invertebrates, 9,000 vertebrates and 4,000 plant species, Brazil hosts nearly 20 percent of Earth’s biological diversity. These natural assets can be a significant factor in Brazil’s future economic growth, but to avoid losing their biodiversity, the country wants to monitor conservation efforts and make sure their natural resources are sustainably used. Related: Biodiversity decline puts food supply at risk On average, “700 new animal species are discovered every year in Brazil,” says UN Environment. Considering how large Brazil is— as well as the numerous institutions researching the country’s biodiversity— putting all of that information in one easily-accessible place is a formidable challenge. “When the information is spread around different institutions, one is less able to find it, judge the quality of the data and understand how it can be used. Besides, the time needed to compile the data can make its use inefficient, as is the case in public policies,” explains Andrea Nunes, general coordinator of biomes of the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology , Innovations and Communications, and national director of the Brazilian Biodiversity Information System project. To illustrate her point, Nunes talked about Brazil’s special map that highlights the areas of the country that are a top priority for conservation and sustainable use. The map is a tool for public policy decision-making that takes two years to develop and is updated every four to five years. Nunes says that in terms of “territory dynamics and land use changes,” five years is a long time. However, SiBBr can change all of that. How SiBBr works Currently, the SiBBr gathers information and data from 230 Brazilian institutions, like state agencies, research centers, museums, and zoos. It has more than 15 million records about different species in the country published by those institutions. Researchers can use the database to find information on different species, as well as share their findings. Farmers can use the platform to calculate environmental compensation credits and get information about endangered animals and plants. There is also a way for Brazilian citizens to contribute their own information, like pictures and documentation on biodiversity in their area. There is also a tool called Biodiversity and Nutrition, which is a nutritional database of native Brazilian species. But, they aren’t just keeping all of this information to themselves. The SiBBr is also part of the Global Biodiversity Information Platform, which is “an international network and research infrastructure” that provides free biodiversity data from hundreds of institutions across the globe. Related: Cargill announces plan to reduce deforestation from cocoa This is the largest global initiative aiming to give people virtual access to free biological information, and it currently spans 60 countries and has more than 570 million species records. Conservation and sustainability is a top priority, and knowing Brazil’s biodiversity is key to achieving those goals. With SiBBr, anyone from government organizations to students and educators can access this vital information. According to their website, SiBBr is an accessible platform filled with tools to help with the “organization, publication, and consultation” of: Occurrences of species A catalog of species Ecological data Biodiversity projects The use of biodiversity Registration of the country’s biological collections The database continues to grow, and in the coming months SiBBr will switch to a new platform to make using the data even easier. BaMBa Connected to SiBBr is BaMBa, the Brazilian Marine Biodiversity database, which has the same goal for collecting data about the country’s marine life as SiBBr does for species on land. The information comes from sources like integrated, holistic studies and fish surveys which can be used for governmental policies related to the use and management of marine resources. Via U.N. Environment , SiBBr Images via Shutterstock

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Brazilian Biodiversity Information System is bringing Brazil’s biological diversity to the internet

A modern timber house in Indonesia celebrates mummified wood

March 18, 2019 by  
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When Bandung-based architectural studio Aaksen Responsible Aarchitecture was asked to renovate an old house in the West Java neighborhood of Kiaracondong in Indonesia, they made a surprising discovery. During the demolition process, the architects found that the wooden roof truss structure was in very good condition, despite its age, thanks to a culturally significant type of timber, a kind of Albizzia wood that’s been mummified to improve strength and durability. Described by the architects as a “local treasure,” the timber was not only preserved in the roof truss, but also becomes a defining element in the contemporary home, aptly named the Albizzia House. Completed in 2019, the Albizzia House spans an area of approximately 2,000 square feet across two floors. The existing timber house was partly demolished to allow for a reorganization of the layout and a structural expansion. Organized around a light-filled atrium housing the primarily living spaces, the home now includes three bedrooms, garden and terrace spaces, a reading room and a ground-floor prayer room. Natural light and ventilation is optimized in the renovated dwelling. One of the key changes to the house was the addition of timber cladding as a secondary skin to mitigate unwanted solar heat gain and privacy concerns. The vertical timber slats—and interior wooden furnishings—are a visual continuation of the Albizzia wood used as accents in the ceiling and reading room. The preserved wood in the existing building’s roof truss is also highlighted with the expansion of the truss into the new structure. Related: Green-roofed Hanging Villa is embedded into a lush jungle landscape Although Albizzia, a fast-growing and economical timber, is typically considered low-grade due to its weak and brittle qualities, local farmers in Ciamis, West Java, discovered long ago a method to improve upon the strength of the wood. In this “long-established technology,” the locally procured wood is buried under the paddy fields after the harvest season and the timber is then “mummified” in the compaction process, which, according to the architects, greatly increases the wood grade. + Aaksen Responsible Aarchitecture Via ArchDaily Images by KIE

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A modern timber house in Indonesia celebrates mummified wood

Minimalist tiny cabin is a secluded retreat in a Brazilian forest

January 30, 2019 by  
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São Paulo-based architect Silvia Acar Arquitetura has unveiled a minimalist tiny cabin tucked into a remote Brazilian forest. Elevated off the ground to reduce environmental impact, Chalet M is one-room cabin with a large glazed facade that connects its humble interior to it stunning surroundings. Located in the heavily forested region of São Lourenço da Serra, the incredible natural setting was the primary inspiration for the design. Wanting to create a refuge that would respectfully blend into the surroundings, the architect decided to create a minimal structure comprised of mainly wood, corrugated metal and glass. Related: One-room tiny cabin is a minimalist refuge deep in the Brazilian forest Although the setting is certainly idyllic, the remote location and rugged landscape provided quite a few challenges for construction. In this area, there is no room for large trucks to pass through. This meant that all building materials had to be lightweight and durable enough to be carried by hand. Accordingly, the entire construction process took place completely on site. Lightly elevated off the ground to reduce its impact on the environment , the tiny cabin is comprised of various thin sections of hardwood and panels of corrugated metal. The dark exterior is virtually camouflaged into the lush forestscape. At the heart of the refuge is the front facade, which is made up of sliding glass panels that open up to a wooden platform, the best place to take in the views of the mountains across the valley. On the interior, the walls are clad in a soothing plywood with thermoacoustic insulation. The simple furnishings, which include a small bed and custom cabinetry, were made out of the same plywood  for a cohesive, minimalist finish. + Silvia Acar Arquitetura Photography by André Scarpa via Silvia Acar Arquitetura

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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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Penguin swims 5,000 miles each year to visit the Brazilian man who saved his life

March 10, 2016 by  
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Rio de Janeiro resident Joao Pereira de Souza did not expect to make a lifelong friend when he rescued a struggling, oil-slicked penguin from the beach years ago – but that’s exactly what happened. Now Dindim swims thousands of miles to spend eight months out of the year with his buddy, renewing everyone’s faith in the deep connection we share with animals. Read the rest of Penguin swims 5,000 miles each year to visit the Brazilian man who saved his life

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This Brazilian school has an entire soccer field on its roof

February 18, 2016 by  
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Lush Green Lilypad Bridge Spins Open to Accomodate Boat Traffic

September 12, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Lush Green Lilypad Bridge Spins Open to Accomodate Boat Traffic Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Architecture , Bayer Brazilian headquarters , brazilian architecture , bridge design , Friedrich Bayer Bridge , lilypad bridge , LoebCapote Arquitetura e Urbanismo , sao Paulo , spinning footbridge , urban designm pedestrian bridge

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