This Cider Saved Apples from Rotting Away

March 21, 2017 by  
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As Utah’s only hard cider maker, Mountain West prides itself on using as many local ingredients as possible. And now, they’ve taken that to a whole new level, with a sustainable twist. The Salt Lake City–based cidery has teamed up with nonprofit…

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This Cider Saved Apples from Rotting Away

Clean the World Recycles Hotel Toiletries to Save Lives

March 20, 2017 by  
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When it comes to the hotel industry, the biggest symbol of waste would have to be the complimentary toiletries. As it stands, the majority of hotels in the U.S. aren’t involved in any recycling programs — which means that a staggering amount of…

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Clean the World Recycles Hotel Toiletries to Save Lives

3 Reasons to Avoid Mass-Manufactured Chocolate

February 24, 2017 by  
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When you find a chocolate brand you like, it’s hard to try something new, especially when it costs more than you’re used to paying. You might browse the candy aisle at your local grocery store and wonder if those fancy $8 bars are worth the price….

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3 Reasons to Avoid Mass-Manufactured Chocolate

How Does Recycling Cell Phones Affect Chimpanzees?

January 24, 2017 by  
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In the Congo Basin live many of Africa’s most iconic animals — elephants, hippos, mountain gorillas and buffaloes. Additionally, 1,000 types of birds and 700 kinds of fish call this their home, coexisting with the people who’ve…

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How Does Recycling Cell Phones Affect Chimpanzees?

World’s tiniest phone repair shops open in London’s iconic red telephone boxes

January 10, 2017 by  
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If you’re in London and need your gadget charged or repaired, you might want to look for that iconic red telephone box. A group of London-based techies have recently opened the world’s tiniest phone repair shop– Lovefonebox– housed in the city’s repurposed red telephone box, and promise to repair mobile devices in less than 30 minutes. The company, named Lovefone , have set up their first repair shop in a red telephone booth in Greenwich, London. They decided to bring these landmarks, made obsolete by mobile technology, back to life, and convert them into tiny mobile phone repair shops with a free charging service. Related: Iconic Verbier Ski Gondolas Repurposed into Stunning Shelters to be Auctioned for Charity Lovefone will start with locations in Greenwich and Knightsbridge and are planning another 6 boxes in London. Their aim is to have 35 locations in London over the next 18 months with franchise opportunities available outside London. + Lovefone

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World’s tiniest phone repair shops open in London’s iconic red telephone boxes

Give the Gift of Light with Little Sun

December 23, 2016 by  
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When you don’t have any electricity, having light when it is dark is a big deal. Light provides security. It also provides a way to see to do homework, have dinner with your family and perform essential tasks. If you’re in a part of the world where…

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Give the Gift of Light with Little Sun

7 ecological charities to support on Giving Tuesday and beyond

November 29, 2016 by  
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‘Tis the season of giving and all through the town, pocketbooks are jingling with the sound of spending. Hang the stockings with care, wrap up the last of the holiday gifts , and pour yourself a glass of cruelty-free vegan nog. With just a few days left on the calendar, it’s time to squeeze in a little more giving before the year is over. Charitable donations are a great opportunity to give back, helping organizations do good deeds around the globe and offering a little boost come tax time. But with thousands of nonprofit organizations asking for contributions, it can be challenging to figure out where best to send your money. To reduce your load during this already stressful time of year, we put together this charitable giving guide so you can rest assured your hard-earned cashola will help high-impact organizations that make the most of every dollar they raise. In order to make this list, organizations had to meet a number of criteria. First, we looked for groups focusing their efforts on protecting our Earth and its inhabitants. We also wanted to identify charities that have figured out how to make donations go as far as possible. That’s measured in two ways: the amount of money the organization spends in order to raise money and the percentage of funds raised that go to programs (as opposed to overhead and administrative costs). Monetary donations to each of these nonprofit organizations is tax-deductible in the United States. © Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice 1. Earth Justice Earth Justice was founded in 1971 “because the earth needs a good lawyer.” This non-profit public interest law firm is dedicated to protecting the environment and wildlife, as well as helping build healthy communities. EJ works on nearly every continent, leveraging legal action to garner cooperation from government agencies. © EWG 2. Environmental Working Group EWG is perhaps best known for its “Dirty Dozen” list which reveals the highest (and lowest) pesticide concentrations in conventionally-grown produce. Regular readers of Inhabitat may recognize the organization from a number of past reports, especially related to safety of consumer products like sunscreen and crayons . EWG reports donations received now will be doubled through a matching campaign. Related: The 6 most pressing environmental problems – and what you can do to help solve them https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuaxzgNX1bI&feature=youtu.be 3. Wildlife Conservation Society WCS field scientists working in over 20 countries work to protect wild animals and wild spaces. In particular, WCS researchers have been working to combat elephant poaching and the illegal ivory trade with the 96 Elephants campaign. In an effort to stamp out ivory poaching, the organization has even enlisted the help of the Terminator to raise awareness about ongoing legislation in the U.S. that might undermine global efforts to end ivory trading. © Ecotrust 4. Ecotrust Ecotrust’s mission is to inspire innovative ways to create economic opportunity, social equality, and environmental well-being. One of its successful projects is FoodHub, an online marketplace designed to connect wholesale buyers and sellers of regionally grown food. That program is one of many Ecotrust backs that empowers individuals within a system that benefits all parties involved. Via Shutterstock 5. Animal Welfare Institute AWI works on a very specific type of problem – alleviating the suffering of animals caused by people. That ranges from scientific research to agriculture and from wild to domestic life. Most recently, the organization has been working to further legislation in Congress that would phase out orcas in captivity , putting an end to the suffering exposed in the film Blackfish . Via Shutterstock 6. The Conservation Fund The Conservation Fund works hard to protect America’s most important landscapes and waterways. This nonprofit is known for stretching funds far, putting 94 percent of funds towards program costs. In all, the fund reports saving 7.5 million acres of land and water across the United States. Related: Oil-rich Rockefellers divest charitable fund from fossil fuels Via Shutterstock 7. Rainforest Alliance Rainforest Alliance has gained public recognition with their independent certification of common rainforest products, such as chocolate, coffee, bananas, and tea. Producers must meet strict sustainability standards to gain certification. The Alliance also works with foresters and the tourism industry in ecologically vulnerable areas. Their website offers consumer and traveler information, helping us work together to steward some of the most biodiverse, threatened, and globally critical habitats. For information on these and other charitable organizations, check out Charity Watch , an online directory with ratings calculated by the American Institute of Philanthropy. Lead image via Shutterstock (modified)

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7 ecological charities to support on Giving Tuesday and beyond

Architects turn a cramped apartment into a gorgeous loft where the owner’s cats can roam freely

November 29, 2016 by  
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Taiwanese architects ST Studio renovated a cramped, two-bedroom apartment in Taipei and turned it into a flexible loft that doubles as a spacious playground for the owner’s two cats. Loft H can be adapted to different living needs and features long shelving where the owner can keep a collection of books, figurines and sneakers. The architects removed some of the partitions to bring more natural light into the interior and create a loft-like effect. Upon the owner’s request, the team introduced long, open shelf systems for books and collectables, while keeping the amount of cabinetry to a minimum to keep the feeling of spaciousness and flexibility . The shelving system also acts as a sort of playground for the cats, where they can leap from shelf to shelf, or just rest and take in the views. Related: Turett Architects Renovates Small NYC Loft With Sustainable Style The industrial quality of the design, reflecting the owner’s taste, is complemented by a warm, natural oak herringbone parquet . Two industrial sinks in the bathroom are combined with square white tiles and hexagonal dark grey tiles and anticipate the owner’s upcoming marriage. Via Dezeen Photos by by Hey!cheese

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Architects turn a cramped apartment into a gorgeous loft where the owner’s cats can roam freely

6 ways to give back this Thanksgiving and beyond

November 24, 2016 by  
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Thanksgiving is a time of plenty, and of appreciation. It’s a holiday in which we’ll get together with friends and family to celebrate the bounty of the autumn harvest, to share food and drink, and spend time with people we love. Those of us whose celebrations will consist of ample food and a warm place in which to eat it are among the very privileged; there are millions who won’t be so fortunate, unless we reach out and offer a helping hand. This year, please consider helping  others in need via one of the methods mentioned below. Organize a Food Drive Put the call out to friends, family, and neighbors that you’re collecting non-perishable goods for a local food bank, and ask a couple of them to help you deliver the bounty to a nearby drop-off point. Many fire stations, libraries, and other community hubs have collection bins around this time of year, but a quick Google search or scan through the Feeding America website should provide you with several different options. Remember that the food being donated will be eaten by those in need, ranging from small children to the elderly, and everyone in between. Although donating the items you like the least (i.e. the canned goods at the back of your cupboard that you only turn to when all else is gone) might be tempting, it’s important to think about what you would wish to eat if you were hungry during the holidays. Canned protein (beans, tuna), jars of peanut butter, powdered milk, and soup/stew are always in demand, but holiday-related items such as cranberry sauce, boxed stuffing mix, and cans of pudding will also be appreciated beyond measure. Related: Teenager Develops Program to Feed Thousands of Hungry People in California Invite a Neighbor to Dinner There aren’t too many people who are very close friends with their neighbors, these days. There was once a time when people knew everyone on their street, but in this era of smartphones, internet access, Netflix, and insular lifestyles, the closest we might get to interacting with those who live around us might be a friendly wave while walking down the street, or a quick chat while taking out the garbage. Thanksgiving is a perfect opportunity to get to know those around us, and to extend a friendly hand to a neighbor who might be lonely during the holidays. Elderly neighbors, single parents, college students far from home, and newcomers to the country are just a few examples of the folks who might really appreciate the invitation to dinner. They’ll undoubtedly have great stories to tell (and recipes to share), and you might end up with an incredible new friend. Choose a Charity to Donate To This could be a solitary choice, or one that’s decided upon by you and your partner. It could even be a group decision with the entire family, or the herd of friends you’ll be celebrating with this year. From farm sanctuaries to human rights organizations, there are literally thousands of charities that could benefit from your support, and even a small amount can make a difference. If you don’t already have an organization in mind that you’d like to donate to you can visit Just Give to choose a charity that’s best for you. Collect Warm Clothes from Dinner Guests It’s likely that all of us have some warm clothes that we don’t wear very often, but might be put to very good use by others in need. If you’re getting together with a group of people this Thanksgiving, consider asking each one to bring along a gently used item of warm clothing to donate to a local charity. Sweaters , hats, scarves, and mittens are all appreciated by those who might not be able to afford their own, and can make a world of difference in another person’s world. Keep in mind that it’s not just homeless adults that benefit from donations of warm clothing: it’s estimated that there are over 1.6 million homeless children in America today, and an even larger number have parents on a fixed income, and might not have warm clothes that fit. Many women’s shelters also house small children and babies, so if your own kids have outgrown their flannel PJs, coats, etc., there are certainly many children who’d appreciate receiving them. You can drop off your donations at many different collection points around the country , as well as local shelters and churches. Share Your Bounty with Animal Friends Lunch and dinner parties inevitably end up with leftovers and kitchen scraps, many of which would be really appreciated by animal friends. Call up local animal shelters and sanctuaries to find out what kind of donations they’d accept: many are very grateful to receive items such as carrot tops, lettuces and other fresh greens, as well as fruits and vegetables so they can share them with the many animals they care for. Sharing your scraps and leftovers can help local animal buddies too!  Leftover bread, buns, and apple cores will be seriously appreciated by hungry squirrels and birds at parks nearby, and you can use hollowed-out citrus rinds or squash halves as bird feeders : just pack them with nut butter, seeds, and crumbs, and hang them in trees for the locals to enjoy. Related: Yoda the Piglet Escapes Slaughterhouse, Finds Love and Safety Help Out at a Food Bank or Soup Kitchen If you’d rather be out and about and actively helpful this Thanksgiving, there are hundreds of food banks and community kitchens that could use an extra hand to help the hungry . More people use these food resources over the autumn and winter months than at any other time of year, and a nourishing, hot meal can make a huge difference in a person’s day, especially if it’s served with a sincere smile. A lot of people are surprised to discover that so many different people need to visit food banks and charitable kitchens on occasion; it’s not just the homeless folks you’d normally see panhandling on the street. Students, young families, pensioners, struggling single parents, and under-employed people who might be unable to make ends meet between paychecks need a bit of extra help now and then, and many feel very embarrassed and low when they find themselves at a soup kitchen  so they can eat something that day. If you can be there for them, with warmth, reassurance, empathy, and a kind word, you will make a difference in their world. That’s a promise. These are just a few ways that you can reach out and help others this season. There are countless opportunities for volunteering, donating, and sharing, in ways that appeal to a broad range of people. If you have a favorite way to give forward to your own community, please feel free to share it with us in the comments section below. All images via Shutterstock

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6 ways to give back this Thanksgiving and beyond

New hybrid hammock tent lets you float between the trees

November 24, 2016 by  
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The Snow Peak Sky Nest Tent has a footprint of approximately four feet by seven feet, which is roughly the same as the average two-person camping tent designed to be pitched on the ground. The Sky Nest is outfitted with an inner liner to protect against condensation, and its rooftop is made largely from mesh which offers both ventilation and a dazzling view of the tree canopy above. The floating tent is able to hold its shape, complete with a relatively level lounging/sleeping surface, thanks to a built-in frame around the perimeter of the tent’s footprint. Related: Kengo Kuma’s ultra-minimalist trailer is the perfect shell for your nomadic adventures In addition to its smart design, the Sky Nest Tent also includes clever features to make life outdoors a little easier. A hidden shoe pocket in the floor offers a place to stash your footwear where they can stay dry. The tent also includes mounting gear, including padded sheets to protect tree bark and rope guylines that lash to the ground to stabilize the whole darn thing during windy weather. The tent comes equipped with UV protection that has become ubiquitous in the outdoor gear industry and, like most Snow Peak equipment, is made from high-quality technical materials. The Sky Nest Tent is currently on sale for $1,300 USD. + Snow Peak Sky Nest Tent Via Uncrate Images via Snow Peak

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New hybrid hammock tent lets you float between the trees

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