Pela offers biodegradable phone cases and other zero-waste products

June 12, 2020 by  
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Cell phones have become ubiquitous in the world, with the average phone being replaced every 1.5 to 2 years. Along the way, the plastic cases used to protect our expensive investment quickly become outdated and end up in landfills, where they sit for hundreds to thousands of years. This process leaves an unimaginable amount of garbage behind for generations to come. So Jeremy Lang decided to do something about this plastic waste by creating Pela phone cases, which offer protection for every major model of phone and completely biodegrade into the soil at the end of their lifecycle. Pela’s 100% compostable phone cases and other sustainable products are part of a larger goal to remove 1 billion pounds of plastic from the waste stream by using renewable resources and other waste materials in production. In the case of Pela’s phone cases, a byproduct of flax harvest creates the strong yet biodegradable material used in manufacturing.  Related: Tokyo’s Olympic medals will be made from recycled phones With an expansive collection of colorful or clear cell phone cases that offer a variety of etched designs, Pela has moved onto other endeavors with the same goal of eliminating plastic from the production stream. Other products include AirPods cases, a zero-waste liquid screen protector, radiation reduction inserts, sunglasses and a guidebook on how to cultivate a positive outlook in life, called Pela’s Guide to Positivity. Most recently, Pela acquired a fellow Canadian company in a partnership that includes a plastic-free personal care collection. Habitat Botanicals develops soaps, shampoos, toothpastes and even deodorants that are zero-waste and plastic-free. “Pela is proud to welcome Habitat, our new sister company, to our waste-free family,” said Matt Bertulli, CEO of Pela. “Like any family dynamic, there are different practices and products, but one thing that ties us together is our goal to reduce global plastic waste.” Pela is also committed to giving back to causes that support the planet. As a Certified B Corporation, Climate Neutral Certified business and member of 1% For The Planet, Pela supports several nonprofits in their efforts to clean up the oceans and coastlines . By using technology to produce materials without plastic while also working to remove plastic from the waterways, Pela is taking a two-sided approach to the problem. Even with the efforts to create bio-based materials for its products, Pela felt that it could do more to ensure plastic is properly disposed of, so the company implemented a program called Pela 360. This initiative allows customers to mail back their old phone cases from other brands when they purchase a Pela case, so Pela can ensure proper recycling . The program is one more way Pela hopes to help bring plastic waste to an end. + Pela Images via Pela

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Pela offers biodegradable phone cases and other zero-waste products

A puzzle-inspired sliding facade improves this buildings energy efficiency

June 12, 2020 by  
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In the Ballard neighborhood, close to Seattle’s downtown, local architecture firm Graham Baba Architects has completed the Klotski, a mixed-use infill building that emphasizes energy efficiency . Named after the sliding block puzzle that inspired its southern facade, the building uses a mix of high- and low-tech strategies to minimize energy use, including rooftop solar panels, radiant heating, operable windows and sliding metal sunshades. The Klotski is also equipped with rainwater cisterns that collect and recycle rainwater. Graham Baba Architects designed the Klotski to reflect the eclectic and industrial roots of the Ballard neighborhood. Built from concrete masonry units and a steel frame, the 10,041-square-foot building features an open floor-plan, exposed structural beams and tall ceilings for a loft-like, industrial feel. The three-story, mixed-use building houses the Trailbend Taproom beer hall on the ground floor, office space on the second floor, a maker space on a self-contained mezzanine level and a studio as well as a small caretaker’s apartment on the top floor. On-site covered parking is accessed off the alley. Related: Gensler upcycles an old warehouse into creative offices in Austin Designed to engage the street level, the building is set back from the property line by several feet to create space for outdoor dining while extensive glazing promotes transparency and connection to the community. Generous roof decks — such as the outdoor deck for the studio and apartment on the top floor — and an interior courtyard promote an indoor/ outdoor living experience throughout. Optimized for natural ventilation and daylight, the building features operable windows on the north and south sides. The Klotski-inspired sunshades on the south-facing exterior consist of 7-foot-by-10-foot perforated metal screens that slide up and down to respond to privacy and shading needs that change throughout the seasons. + Graham Baba Architects Photography by Kevin Scott via Graham Baba Architects

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A puzzle-inspired sliding facade improves this buildings energy efficiency

Climate Neutral Certification labels products with minimized carbon footprints

December 13, 2019 by  
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The idea of the Climate Neutral Certification is a simple one — give businesses the opportunity to identify their carbon emissions and then reduce them and pay for programs that offset them. Climate Neutral, an independent, nonprofit organization, monitors the entire process and provides a unique certification for companies that meet all four criteria. The certification can then be displayed on products and/or their packages, making it simple for consumers to support brands that practice corporate responsibility for the planet. The proposed Climate Neutral Certification consists of four elements that businesses need to meet in order to earn the esteemed Climate Neutral label. Measure Measuring a total carbon footprint involves evaluating every step in the manufacturing process, including material production, power and water requirements, packaging, shipping and more. Climate Neutral helps businesses measure their carbon footprint to meet a uniform standard. Related: PaperTale app shows the ethics and sustainability of clothing with a simple scan Reduce With a carbon footprint number in hand, businesses are then challenged to reduce it. That process might include reducing packaging, using more earth-friendly materials, finding less impactful shipping methods or powering manufacturing processes with solar energy . Offset At this stage, the emissions that cannot be reduced or eliminated must be offset. That means these companies pay other companies to remove carbon from the air or keep it from getting there in the first place (like by planting trees or investing in wind turbines .) Carbon Neutral monitors the payment of these offsets and ensures they are invested in verifiable carbon offset projects. Label Once a company completes the first three steps, it earns the Climate Neutral Certification and can display the label proudly on its products. Benefits of the certification This entire process has advantages for everyone involved. First of all, it empowers businesses to be transparent about their manufacturing processes, material sourcing and consumption. Plus, a company’s investment to reduce carbon emissions is also an investment in a loyal customer base. The certification also a powerful tool for consumers who want to be more conscientious about their purchases but don’t always have the information they need to make good purchasing decisions. Simply look for the label. Thirdly, and perhaps the most obvious, is that the Climate Neutral Certification is good for the environment, because it supports organizations working directly toward carbon reductions and makes it more accessible for consumers to choose eco-friendly products. At least 50 brands have already signed up and earned the certification, and Climate Neutral would like to expand that number into the thousands as soon as possible. To support the effort, it has launched a now fully funded Kickstarter campaign (ends December 12, 2019). + Climate Neutral Images via Climate Neutral

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Climate Neutral Certification labels products with minimized carbon footprints

High-rise living in Utrecht to be transformed by a sustainable vertical village

January 18, 2019 by  
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A trio of high rises are expected to outreach Utrecht, Netherlands’ tallest building and be a beacon of sustainable urban living in the historic city. The MARK Vertical Village, designed by a consortium of architects and developers, won a recent high-rise development contest and the team plans to break ground starting in 2021. The residential buildings will surround an urban forest and feature extensive greenhouses at their pinnacles. Urban agriculture will also be integrated into every level , making fresh fruits and vegetables widely available to all residents and dramatically reducing their food chain and carbon footprint . The buildings themselves will be climate neutral, meaning their everyday operation will not emit greenhouse gases. This is an important feat, considering buildings and construction account for nearly 40 percent of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Related: “Vertical village” built almost entirely of wood to rise in Paris In addition to biodiversity, the complex also encourages social and economic diversity. About 60 percent of the residences will be reserved for renters, with the remaining available for ownership or senior housing with at-home care options. The more than 1,125 residences will be listed at a variety of rent scales, which aims to address rising concerns about affordable housing in the city. In response to frequent criticism that high-rise living generally promotes feelings of isolation , the MARK purposely encourages a collective lifestyle and sense of community . The design features numerous communal spaces such as restaurants, pools, shared laundry facilities, gyms, work spaces and artist studios. Residents will also have extensive bike facilities and a fleet of 100 shared cars. Construction for the innovative high-rise complex is expected to finish in 2023. The three buildings will be 80 meters (262 feet), 100 meters (328 feet) and 140 meters (459 feet), which is 28 feet higher than Utrecht’s current tallest building — the Dom Tower. “We all realize that if we build something higher than the Dom Tower, it also has to become something special,” chief architect Alderman Klaas Verschuure said in a statement. The Netherlands-based consortium of architects, designers and developers behind the project includes Karres en Brands , Stadswaarde , Koopmans Bouwgroep , J.P. van Eesteren , KCAP ; Geurst and Schulze . + MARK Images via Karres en Brands, Studio A2 Vero Visuals, de Architekten Cie, KCAP and Geurst & Schulze

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High-rise living in Utrecht to be transformed by a sustainable vertical village

United Nations recognizes first-ever carbon-neutral soccer club

July 31, 2018 by  
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The Forest Green Rovers , a Gloucestershire-based team in the English Football League that prides itself as “the world’s greenest football club,” has been recognized by the United Nations carbon-neutral – a world first. The team joined the Football League last year in its first-ever debut in the 129-year history of the club and is part of Britain’s  League Two . In addition to receiving the prestigious UN designation, the professional soccer club has signed up for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) Climate Neutral Now initiative for the upcoming 2018-2019 season. The Climate Neutral Now initiative was developed in the wake of the  Paris Agreement  to encourage climate action around the world. Related: Adidas unveils a Manchester United jersey created with ocean plastic The club also serves vegan food to its fans and was awarded a vegan trademark from the Vegan Society as well. The Forest Green Rovers came up with the idea because they wanted to create awareness of the “huge environmental and animal welfare impacts of livestock farming.” They also wished to improve player performance all while giving fans “healthier, tastier food on match days.” The Forest Green Rovers stadium uses 100% green energy supplied by the club’s chairman, Dale Vince, founder of renewable energy company Ecotricity . The parking lot features electric car charging facilities, making it easier for eco-conscious fans to attend the games. All rainfall is collected and recycled from the field and stand areas in order to minimize water consumption. And, in true futuristic and sustainable fashion, the club even has a solar-powered robot to mow its beautiful, organic soccer field. Cheers to that! + Forest Green Rovers + UNFCCC Via The Guardian

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United Nations recognizes first-ever carbon-neutral soccer club

Shigeru Ban’s Carbon Neutral Tamedia Office Fits Together Like Building Blocks

February 12, 2013 by  
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Japanese architect Shigeru Ban is building a new carbon neutral office for Swiss media company Tamedia . Located in the heart of Zurich, the 4-story building features a beautiful wooden structure that fits together like a building block set without the need for screws or glue . Read the rest of Shigeru Ban’s Carbon Neutral Tamedia Office Fits Together Like Building Blocks Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “energy efficiency” , Architecture , climate neutral , new Tamedia office , no glue no screw , shigeru ban , Zurich

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Shigeru Ban’s Carbon Neutral Tamedia Office Fits Together Like Building Blocks

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