Carbon-negative snack company AKUA offers kelp jerky and pasta

January 22, 2020 by  
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Amidst the growing awareness about our planet’s climate crisis , there is now a burgeoning need for more sustainable food resources. In recent years, seaweed has been quite a catch for health-conscious consumers, in turn, making kelp, a brown macroalgae, one of the more in-demand types of seaweed offerings. As such, startup business AKUA is set to enhance the sustainability of the snack industry with its product line of kelp-based jerky and pasta. “I started the company when I was an adviser to GreenWave , a nonprofit that trains ocean farmers. When I asked the farmers what they truly needed, they answered, ‘We need your help creating a consumer market for kelp.’ So, I started sending out 5-pound bags of frozen kelp to all my chef friends across the U.S.,” said Courtney Boyd Myers, co-founder and CEO of AKUA. “We came up with dozens of cool products and hosted tastings in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. One chef came up with kelp jerky, burgers and sausages — all vegan and made from kelp and mushrooms. That made me think, ‘Wow, what if we could create a line of meat alternative products from one of the most sustainable sources of food on the planet?’ Together with my co-founder Matt Lebo, we set out to launch AKUA and to bring regeneratively grown, kelp-based products into the world.” Related: Eating seaweed could reduce cows’ methane production Why is kelp a good idea for food sustainability? For one, Harvard University has documented that kelp plays a significant role in reducing global warming . That is attributed to kelp’s rapid growth rate, typically about 2 feet per day. Kelp is also able to naturally remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, mitigating rising temperatures and climate change. Kelp is also appealing because of its nutritional value. According to the University of California – Berkeley’s Wellness page , kelp, as a seaweed, “is a rich source of several vitamins, including vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E and B vitamins.” Because kelp has been called a sea vegetable, alongside other seaweed, it likewise “contains vitamin K, which plays a role in blood clotting.” Kelp’s health benefits extend beyond vitamins, as documented by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) FoodData Central site . Kelp is abundant in several minerals, such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium and potassium. A University of California – San Francisco Medical Center study even documented that kelp has more calcium content than leading vegetables such as bok choy, collard greens, corn, curly endive and even kale. Kelp is particularly important for its high iodine content, a characteristic it has in common with other brown seaweeds. Iodine is vital for the human body to optimize thyroid hormone production, metabolic functions, immune response and the health of both the central nervous system and skeleton. Pregnant women especially need iodine for the proper bone and brain development of the fetus. Besides that, iodine helps remove free radicals from human blood cells, in essence counteracting the free radicals responsible for accelerating a cell’s aging process. Because of the health value of kelp, AKUA sought to leverage this as it developed its first product. “After studying trends in high protein snacking meets plant-based eating, we decided on creating a high-protein, soy-free vegan jerky made of kelp! In fact, today, Kelp Jerky is the world’s first meat alternative snack made from ocean-farmed seagreens and the only high-protein, soy-free vegan jerky in the market,” explained Myers. With the dawn of this new decade, AKUA has been seeking new and innovative ways of presenting kelp into meals. This is why it also offers kelp pasta as another nutritious product. “We have always wanted to introduce this product because eating kelp in this way is how we fell in love with kelp to begin with, literally just dehydrated kelp cut into noodle form,” continued Myers. “But because it is such a simple product with almost zero barrier to entry, we wanted to wait until after we had introduced Kelp Jerky, which is an incredibly innovative product — Time magazine named it one of 2019’s Best Inventions.” When asked about other food innovations and future plans for AKUA products, Myers eagerly shared, “In March, at Expo West 2020, we will debut our Kelp Balls, a slightly sweet snack focused on gut health that we created in partnership with next-gen microbiome company Biohm Health. If Kelp Jerky is all about protein and energy, our Kelp Balls will be all about improving your digestion.” Besides being a food innovator, AKUA is also committed to leaving a positive impact. One of the ways it does this is by donating part of its annual profits to GreenWave , a nonprofit devoted to training the next generation of ocean farmers. AKUA additionally partners with Parley for the Oceans , an environmental organization that raises awareness about the fragility of our oceans and seeks to prevent ocean pollution . Yet another key value for AKUA is its dedication to collaborating with local ocean farming communities. “Today, 98% of all seaweed is sourced from Asia, while AKUA sources 100% of its kelp from U.S.-based ocean farmers,” Myers said. “In fact, we are one of the first companies to utilize the emerging U.S.-based supply chain of ocean-farmed kelp, supporting the creation of hundreds of new jobs in our coastal communities.” Minimizing its carbon footprint is another crucial mission for AKUA. Last year alone, the company’s Kelp Jerky product utilized “40,000 pounds of regeneratively ocean-farmed kelp … and pull[ed] 2,000 pounds — 1 ton — of carbon from the sea,” according to Myers. “As a comparison, this is the same amount of carbon created by just 300 cheeseburgers. Based on our conservative projections for our Kelp Jerky product alone, by year five, we will be removing 1 million pounds of harmful carbon from our seas each year. With this data in our pocket, we are positioning Kelp Jerky as a ‘ carbon negative snack’ and building a brand that raises awareness for the climate crisis, food sustainability and ocean health.” + AKUA Images via AKUA

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Carbon-negative snack company AKUA offers kelp jerky and pasta

This distillery helps you make delicious, carbon-negative cocktails

March 14, 2019 by  
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Do you ever think about how your happy hour is affecting the environment? Manufacturing alcohol in the United States creates harmful carbon dioxide that can wreck the earth’s system of natural resources, and a massive amount of the materials needed to package and distribute alcohol (bottles, plastic caps, etc.) end up in the trash. Los Angeles-based Greenbar Distillery , however, is changing the game entirely with its carbon-negative company model. One of the world’s largest selections of USDA-certified organic spirits can be found at Greenbar Distillery — that means no artificial fertilizers or synthetic pesticides seeping into the earth or your body. Additionally, the company only uses lightweight and eco-friendly packaging. By taking the environment into account with its manufacturing process and its commitment to planting one tree for every bottle of liquor that it sells, buying from Greenbar Distillery actually helps to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. According to the website, a standard cocktail made with 1.5 ounces of Greenbar Distillery spirits will make you carbon negative for the day . “By being efficient and careful in the manufacturing process and planting one tree a bottle sold, 1.5 ounces of any Greenbar Distillery organic spirits — about what’s in a typical cocktail — helps remove 46.6 kilograms of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere,” according to the website. Related: Grow your own cocktails — drink recipes from the garden Because the average American produces 45.2 kilograms of carbon dioxide every day, the 46.6 kilograms that Greenbar Distillery helps to remove daily means the drinks are not just carbon-neutral , but carbon-negative. You can even find a report on the company’s carbon footprint analysis on its website. So go ahead, celebrate Earth Day with a cocktail (or two). Another of the company’s impactful attributes? Its tree-planting program. It solidifies Greenbar Distillery’s enthusiasm and commitment to not only reducing its own carbon footprint with sustainable production techniques but educating the community and building awareness of the world’s environmental issues. Whenever you buy a bottle of Greenbar Distillery liquor, a tree is planted. Since beginning a partnership with Sustainable Harvest International in 2008, Greenbar has planted more than 766,000 trees in the Central American rainforest. These aren’t just any trees, either. They plant indigenous shade trees that can help protect locally-farmed, fair-trade crops like coffee and cacao. Sustainable Harvest International has also provided local training to rural farming communities throughout Central America since 1997, with programs in Belize, Honduras and Panama. Greenbar Distillery founders Melkon Khosrovian and Litty Mathew taught themselves how to make liquor through trial-and-error in 2004, completing each process start to finish themselves in the company’s early years. They started out using traditional methods and materials and didn’t make the switch to fully organic until 2009. Initially launching a spirits line called Modern Spirits Artisan, Khosrovian and Mathew put their focus on using locally-farmed ingredients and exotic flavors. The company thrived while winning awards from Wine Enthusiast and the Wall Street Journal, but when some of their local sources began switching to organic, Khosrovian and Mathew noticed a difference. Once they discovered the superior quality and taste of organic ingredients, the duo was completely inspired. This early discovery led to education on sustainable, eco-friendly farming practices and an overhaul of the entire company to focus on sustainability. Gone were the heavy glass bottles and plastic labels. Instead, Khosrovian and Mathew focused on lightweight bottles and recycled labels with water-soluble ink. Today, Greenbar Distillery uses glass bottles that weight 25 percent less than the average spirits bottle, meaning fewer resources used and less carbon dioxide emissions from production. The shipping boxes are designed to fold together and reduce the need for tape. The labels use 100 percent post-consumer waste recycled paper, and the ink is soy-based, which is more biodegradable than traditional inks. The company also eliminated the use of plastic , tamper-evident capsules on its bottles, a popular and modern practice that adds more non-recyclable plastic to the environment. While synthetic corks are gaining popularity in the alcohol industry, Greenbar Distillery only uses recyclable corks, which are biodegradable and naturally-sourced. The company seems to be constantly coming up with new, innovative techniques while simultaneously honoring the old-school methods. With enough variation to please any bartender or cocktail-enthusiast, Greenbar Distillery offers organic gin, rum, liqueur, amaro, tequila, whiskey, vodka and even bitters. Its Slow Hand whiskey uses organic malted barley and infused flavor from white oak, hickory, maple, mulberry, red oak and grape woods. Greenbar Distillery was the first to use this whiskey-making technique in the Los Angeles area since the Prohibition Period. It is also free from added sugars or artificial colors. Related: 12 delicious and crowd-pleasing vegan brunch ideas The Greenbar gin uses organic and hand-picked juniper berries from Bulgaria, and the Renaissance-era distilling process takes up to two months. When it comes to flavored liquor, Greenbar Distillery flavors its gluten-free, organic vodkas with natural ingredients like California lemons and pomegranate. Its Tru Garden Vodka is a unique blend of celery, dill, coriander, fennel, mint, thyme, pink peppercorn, cumin and vanilla beans (perfect for a morning Bloody Mary). Check out Greenbar Distillery website for more information on distillery tours and practices or to make a purchase. You can also find a whole arsenal of cocktail recipes and concoctions on the  recipes page . + Greenbar Distillery Images via Sustainable Harvest, Maker Walk LA, Marc Royce, Terreanea Resort and Greenbar Distillery

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This distillery helps you make delicious, carbon-negative cocktails

Carbon-negative Ashmount Primary School produces enough energy to power the neighborhood

June 30, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Carbon-negative Ashmount Primary School produces enough energy to power the neighborhood Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 2015 RIBA winner , Ashmount Primary School , Ashmount Primary School by Penoyre & Prasad , BREEAM , BREEAM outstanding , BREEAM Outstanding school , brownfield , carbon negative , carbon negative school , FSC certified timber , heat recovery , high levels insulation , London , low VOC , Penoyre & Prasad

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Carbon-negative Ashmount Primary School produces enough energy to power the neighborhood

Waste House: UK’s First Permanent Carbon Negative Building Made From Trash

August 4, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Waste House: UK’s First Permanent Carbon Negative Building Made From Trash Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “energy efficiency” , bbm , brighton waste house , carbon negative , carbon negative building , duncan baker-brown , eco house , house made out of trash , sustainable design , trash house , university of brighton , Waste house , waster materials

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Waste House: UK’s First Permanent Carbon Negative Building Made From Trash

The Biomimicry Manual: What Can Dung Beetles Teach Us About the Circular Economy?

June 26, 2014 by  
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Dung beetles eat poo . It’s what they do, and they do it many different ways. Rollers tumble it home in little balls; they cradle their eggs in it or save it for a snack. Tunnelers bury it right where they find it, and dwellers, well, dwell in it. Nothing goes to waste in nature, and these little beetles are perfect examples of a species that transforms another’s dross into gold. So, what can they teach us about re-using and recycling materials for a true circular economy? Read on to find out! Read the rest of The Biomimicry Manual: What Can Dung Beetles Teach Us About the Circular Economy? Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: #SB14sd , AirCarbon , airpocalypse , Beijing air pollution , Beijing smog , bioinspired design , bioinspired ink , biomimicry , can-collecting , carbon negative , circular economy , dung beetle , ellen macarthur foundation , Khepri , McKinsey study , scarab , Sustainable Brands , take-back programs

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The Biomimicry Manual: What Can Dung Beetles Teach Us About the Circular Economy?

Waste House: UK’s First Permanent Carbon Negative Building Made From Trash

June 19, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Waste House: UK’s First Permanent Carbon Negative Building Made From Trash Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “energy efficiency” , bbm , brighton waste house , carbon negative , carbon negative building , duncan baker-brown , eco house , house made out of trash , sustainable design , trash house , university of brighton , Waste house , waster materials

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Waste House: UK’s First Permanent Carbon Negative Building Made From Trash

41 Nutrient-packed Superfoods Ranked in New Study

June 19, 2014 by  
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Who’d have thought it? An unassuming leafy green often used as decorative garnish might just be the healthiest food you can eat. Researchers at William Paterson University put watercress at the top of a list of 41 “powerhouse fruits and vegetables” that contain 17 nutrients critical for human health. The study, recently published in the CDC journal Preventing Chronic Disease , gives watercress a score of 100 out of 100 for nutrient contents because it contains large amounts of fiber, potassium, protein, calcium, folate, vitamin B12, vitamin A, vitamin d, and other important building blocks for the human body. Read the rest of 41 Nutrient-packed Superfoods Ranked in New Study Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: CDC , food , Health , nutrients , nutrition , preventing chronic disease , superfoods , vitamins , watercress , william paterson university

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41 Nutrient-packed Superfoods Ranked in New Study

Cool Planet Energy’s Carbon Negative Biofuel Costs Just $1.50 Per Gallon

June 11, 2013 by  
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In a warming world, every gas-powered vehicle contributes to CO2 emissions. California-based Cool Planet Energy not only believes they have a low-cost alternative to gasoline, but one that is actually carbon negative . They have developed a biofuel that is chemically identical to gasoline, but costs only $1.50 a gallon without the aid of government subsidy, and they just received $30 million out of their $100 million goal to fund the first commercial facility. Read the rest of Cool Planet Energy’s Carbon Negative Biofuel Costs Just $1.50 Per Gallon Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: biofuel , BP , California , carbon negative , CO2 , Conoco Phillips , constellation energy , cool planet energy , GE , global warming , Google , gride , low carbon fuel standard , miscanthus , mountain view        

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Cool Planet Energy’s Carbon Negative Biofuel Costs Just $1.50 Per Gallon

Sinclair Meadows: Residents Move Into the UK’s First Carbon-Negative Street

October 8, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of Sinclair Meadows: Residents Move Into the UK’s First Carbon-Negative Street Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , affordable housing , Biodegradable , biomass , carbon negative , hemp. sustainable timber , photovoltaics , Sinclair Meadows , South Shields

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Sinclair Meadows: Residents Move Into the UK’s First Carbon-Negative Street

SKhy Bus Is A Carbon-Negative Solar & Wastewater Fueled Shuttle Bus Of The Future

September 5, 2011 by  
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Portuguese designer Alan Monteiro has illustrated his vision of green transportation : an aerodynamic carbon swallowing, wastewater recycling, oxygen releasing, unmanned shuttle bus concept called SKhy. While the actual build of this breathing bus may be a long way off, its ambitiously layered clean tech design is good fodder for green dreams. Read the rest of SKhy Bus Is A Carbon-Negative Solar & Wastewater Fueled Shuttle Bus Of The Future Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: aerodynamic , alan monteiro , carbon dioxide , carbon negative , carbon reduction , cheap energy , cleantech , Climate Change , CO2 , eco design , eco habitat , eco-conscious , eco-friendly , ecosystem , electric , electric vehicle , emissions , emissions reduction , Environment , environmental design , ev , EV concept , green design , green infrastructure , green living , green transportation , hydrogen fuel cell , hydrogen fueled , infrastructure , Pollution , Recycled aluminum , reduce , robotics , skhy , skhy bus , skhy bus concept , Solar Cell , Solar Power , sustainable design , sustainable living , unmanned vehicle , wastewater , wastewater to hydrogen

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