The Haeckels Victorian-style bathing machine has a sauna inside

January 17, 2020 by  
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Is there anything better than self-care by the sea? UK-based skincare brand Haeckels is on a mission to reintroduce the local community of Margate Beach to the healing powers of the ocean. The region has a history of ocean-based health remedies and was home to one of the UK’s first sea-bathing hospitals. The company has built a wood-burning sauna on dreamy Margate Beach, located on the southeast coast of Britain. The idea is to give people more reasons to get outside (even during the colder winter months) while helping users relax and rejuvenate before enjoying the salty seawater just steps away. To help house the sauna, the company built a “bathing machine” structure using traditional materials. Bathing machines were popular from the 18th to 20th centuries as a beachside place for women to change their clothes before heading into the water. The walls were constructed using wood planks, with oak for the wheels and a steel frame; a retracting awning made of waxed cloth pulls up into a door for privacy and security.  Haeckels founder Dom Bridges got the idea from a trip to the popular Blue Lagoon spa in Iceland, where visitors go to bathe in the warm geothermal water surrounded by freezing temperatures. He found the perfect spot to start the project after discovering Margate, an area that had a rich history of sea bathing during the Victorian era, and began constructing the updated version of a traditional bathing machine with the help of a crowdfunding campaign in 2014. Names of the donors who contributed to the campaign, which raised £30,000 (about $39,000 USD), are laser-engraved onto the side of the structure. Bridges teamed up with local craftspeople from Re-Works Studio and Moosejaw Woodworks to complete the project, with a total of 20 people contributing their unique skills. Currently, the use of the beach sauna is free of charge to the public , but the company encourages supporters to contribute funds to the project’s Patreon membership platform to help pay for supplies, cleaning, maintenance and rent. Haeckels has also made the bathing machine available for private bookings for group hire or personal treatments. + Haeckels Via Dezeen Images via Haeckels

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The Haeckels Victorian-style bathing machine has a sauna inside

Airstream unveils new 2020 camper with smart technology

January 17, 2020 by  
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Airstream is a long-standing American legend beloved by many roaming road warriors, but now the iconic campers have been given a sleek modern makeover. The new 2020 Airstream Classics feature an impressive apartment-like interior design scheme that uses a “comfort white” color scheme to create a more contemporary living space that puts the campers once again at the forefront of tiny home design. Although Airstreams come in various sizes and styles, the campers have normally been manufactured with dark wood accents and rough textures that contrast with the campers’ ultra shimmery exteriors. The newly-unveiled 2020 Classics, however, have taken a decidedly contemporary turn that breathes new life into the classic campers. Related: This 1970s Airstream is an off-grid oasis for a family of six Perhaps taking cues from the burgeoning tiny home sector , the reformatted trailers now boast a bright and airy apartment-like layout. The living space is comprised of matte grey curved ceilings with all white walls that contrast nicely with a few black tables. Adding a sense of whimsy to the design, woven vinyl floors with a textured, grasscloth look run the length of the space. Although the campers boast a contemporary design, some things have remained the same such as the abundance of natural light that floods the interior space thanks to Airstream’s signature wide windows. The living space features a comfy living area that faces a small desk that pulls double duty as an entertainment area or office space. Further down the aisle, a contemporary kitchen will please any home cook. Outfitted with white shaker-style cabinetry and German-imported brass hardware, the space also features dark Corian countertops that compliment the grey, white and black color scheme that runs throughout the interior. A dining nook across from the kitchen provides ample space to enjoy a nice spread of home-cooked fare. At the end of the trailer , the bedroom has two single beds with stylish white linens with grey accents. Blackout shades keep the morning sun out while sleeping in, but otherwise, the space is just as bright and fresh as the rest of the interior. Ranging from 30 to 33 feet, the Classic Travel Trailer starts at just $156,400. In addition to its newly-renovated interiors, the Airstream Classics come with all-new Smart Control Technology that lets you control and monitor the trailer’s features from an app . For example, you can turn the exterior and interior lights on and off, extend and retract the awning, adjust the air conditioner or heat pump, and monitor tank and battery levels, all with just the touch of a button. + Airstream Via Curbed Images via Airstream

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Airstream unveils new 2020 camper with smart technology

Dropps offers chemical-, dye- and plastic-free laundry and dishwashing products

December 27, 2019 by  
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In a world where it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find products free of harsh chemicals, it’s refreshing to discover a company focused on creating simple household supplies that do the job without endangering the health of humans or the planet. Dropps’ mission is to provide safer cleaning products minus bulky, wasteful packaging and unnecessary ingredients. Chemical- and dye-free The laundry and dishwashing products offered by Dropps come in clear pods that show the absence of dyes. Even though it offers scented options, all varieties omit the harsh chemicals found in many brand name detergents. For those with sensitive skin, some options eliminate scents as well. Related: Cora Ball emulates natural filtering of coral to remove toxic microfibers from your washing machine Eco-friendly packaging Each cleaning pod is made using a water-soluble membrane that leaves no waste behind. One of the most eco-friendly characteristics of the Dropps brand is the elimination of the large plastic tubs that house standard laundry and dishwasher detergents. In fact, both laundry and dishwasher pods come packaged in 100 percent recyclable, compostable and repulpable boxes. Carbon offsetting Dropps are only available via mail order, which means you won’t find these cleaning supplies at the local supermarket. Even though it is conscious about packaging during shipping, the company understands that product transport is hazardous to the environment. With this in mind, Dropps is committed to 100 percent carbon offsetting for each shipment “in the form of forestry conservation efforts or based on a technology that captures gas before it is released such as at a landfill or farm with decomposing waste,” according to the website. Awards With attention to high-quality, natural ingredients , conscientious packaging and carbon offsetting, it’s no surprise Dropps has earned some accolades with organizations that monitor these types of efforts. In 2017, Dropps was honored as an EPA Safer Choice Partner of the Year for outstanding achievement in formulation and product manufacturing of both consumer and institutional/industrial products. This recognition is earned by meeting stringent human and environmental health criteria. Inhabitat’s review of Dropps laundry and dish pods While in correspondence with Dropps, the company offered to send samples of several products, which I was happy to try out. My first impression was the packaging . The cardboard boxes were streamlined and minimalist. The products themselves fit tightly inside without extra and unneeded space. The pods are also compact and easy to use with no waste . For the dishwasher, the pods come in a citrus scent or without scent and go directly into the detergent compartment. Dishes came out clean with no residue from the pod on the dishware or in the compartment. I also sampled two varieties of laundry pods. One is labeled for stain and odors and offers a mild scent. The other is unscented and caters to sensitive skin. As a person with acute scent sensitivities, I prefer the unscented version. Both options perform effectively in dirt and odor removal. With three large dogs in the house, I can say I deal with plenty of both. Related: Tips to establish an eco-friendly laundry routine Dropps also provided a cold water washing pouch, which holds the pod if you wash in cold water (which I do). Because the pod takes slightly longer to dissolve in cold water, the washing pouch ensures it stays wet enough to dissolve, even in high-efficiency washing machines that use little water. The bag is small and easy to misplace, so I have washed loads with it and without it with equally good results. However, for the newest, ultra-efficient models, you may notice an issue without the bag. Some users have reported the pod membrane sticking to clothing in a cold water wash without the bag. Dropps also makes products for the dryer and provided me with wool balls to test. I have used wool balls in the past to improve dryer efficiency. The Dropps version seems slightly larger than those I’ve used previously, which helps to separate the clothes as they are drying and also makes the wool balls easier to find at the end of the cycle. Dropps has received high ratings for its chemical- and dye-free household cleaning items, with the main criticism being that it doesn’t provide a “clean, freshly laundered scent.” For me, that’s a pro, not a con, but it’s something to be aware of. Also, the membrane on the pods is very thin and susceptible to sticking together, so make sure you store them in a moisture-free area. Ensure your hands are dry before touching them. The bottom line is that plastic doesn’t have to be part of the cleaning process; neither do harsh chemicals. + Dropps Images via Dropps and Dawn Hammon / Inhabitat Editor’s Note: This product review is not sponsored by Dropps. All opinions on the products and company are the author’s own.

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Dropps offers chemical-, dye- and plastic-free laundry and dishwashing products

Gorgeous tiny home thrives in the California sunshine

December 27, 2019 by  
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Already well-known for its all-weather tiny home designs , Canadian studio Minimaliste is back with one breezy home for a client in California who dreamed of having a compact living space that is both comfy and mobile. The Noyer is a 331-square-foot tiny home on wheels that has a spectacular interior comprised of a living room, an office space, a kitchen, a bathroom with a composting toilet and a spacious sleeping loft. At just 331 square feet, the Noyer is a compact structure that is built on a wheeled trailer, enabling the tiny home to go mobile. Although it was specifically designed for a client in California, the Noyer, like all of Minimaliste’s designs, was built to perform just as well in warm climates as it does in colder regions . Related: The off-grid Eucalyptus tiny home radiates cool, Californian vibes The tiny house is clad in a gorgeous blend of charcoal-colored steel siding and cedar cladding . The shape of the Noyer is marked by its sloped roof, which was strategic in providing more room for the sleeping loft. Inside, bright white walls contrast nicely with the wooden ceiling and flooring. The entryway includes a small lounge area with an inbuilt bench facing the kitchen. A small table off to the side pulls double duty as either an office desk or a dining table . Like the rest of the home, this space has plenty of storage to keep it clutter-free. Home cooks will love the modern design of the kitchen, which has been painted black to stand out from the rest of the interior. The preparation area comes fully equipped with all of the amenities needed to whip up a tasty meal, including a full-sized refrigerator, a dishwasher, a stove top, plenty of counterspace and a dreamy farmhouse sink. Just past the kitchen, the main living area is elevated off the ground floor by a few steps. It is quite spacious for a tiny home and includes a small sofa centered around an entertainment shelf. A large, square window frames the views of wherever the Noyer is parked. On the other side of the home, there is a small bathroom with a stand-up shower, a composting toilet and a two-in-one, washer-dryer combo. Above this space, built-in stairs lead up to the sleeping loft, which is large enough to fit a queen-sized bed and a bedside table on each side. There is also a platform next to the loft area that enables the homeowners to change while standing in front of the wardrobe — a novelty in tiny home design. + Minimaliste Via Tiny House Talk Images via Minimaliste

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Gorgeous tiny home thrives in the California sunshine

P+365 is turning abandoned festival tents into wearable merchandise

December 12, 2019 by  
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When Tuo Lei came across an image of thousands of discarded tents strewn across festival grounds and destined for landfill, the designer saw potential. Lei’s P+365 project takes abandoned tents from music festivals and repurposes the material into streetwear to be sold the following year at the same event (hence the “365” to symbolize the year-long cycle). The idea is to raise awareness of this environmental issue while finding a use for the tents beyond waste. For consumers, the sustainable clothes and accessories are interesting souvenirs from the event that are both practical and sentimental. Each collection comes with bags, a poncho raincoat, a cap and a bucket hat, all made using durable, weather-resistant materials recycled from the deserted tents. The garments are specifically designed for the types of conditions expected from a festival scene — such as rain, wind and heat. Related: Housing pods made of recycled plastic offer an alternative to festival tent waste The designer receives the used tents from volunteer organizations and recruits more volunteers from social media to assist with the sewing and assembling of the apparel as well as collecting additional tents. Along with the clothes, the P+365 collections include DIY booklets with step-by-step illustrations for how to make each item. To make the pieces more collectible, the garment tags include information about the festival name, material features and the design story behind the brand. So what’s next for P+365? In the future, Lei hopes to collaborate with specific festivals that have high numbers of abandoned tents in order to sell directly to festival-goers. Lei explained, “P+365 not only gives users an outfit to stand out from the crowd in a music festival but also could be new potential for future music festival fashion style.” + P+365 Via Dezeen Images via P+365

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P+365 is turning abandoned festival tents into wearable merchandise

Sustainable holiday gifts for babies and kids

December 12, 2019 by  
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Children innately have a curiosity about the world around them, and that curiosity can be cultivated into awareness and love for our planet. So this holiday season, give out eco-friendly gifts or green presents that your favorite kiddos can enjoy all while helping the Earth, too. Vegan shoes Vegan Chic is 100 percent vegan fashion with products vetted to meet high standards of eco-friendly and cruelty-free sourcing, especially with regards to fair and safe working conditions during production. Vegan Chic’s proprietors, Mark and Vessela, who are animal lovers avidly protecting and rescuing feral cats, explained, “We love animals and are committed to protecting them, as they cannot protect themselves.” Support the cruelty-free shop by purchasing adorable and functional vegan shoes that any child would be excited to sport. Meanwhile, CLAMFEET provides machine-washable, soft-soled, leather-free moccasins for infants and toddlers. CLAMFEET shoes are also completely vegan with organic lining. Plus, they are handmade in the United States. Eco-friendly clothing, bedding and bath items Little Lentil Clothing is “dedicated to leaving the smallest environmental footprint possible” by offering organic, natural and sustainable clothes for children. Its packaging is even derived from 100 percent reusable, recyclable or biodegradable materials. As Little Lentil Clothing’s website describes, “We are a brand with intentions to uphold elevated social and environmental values in order to leave the world a little bit better of a place for all of our babies.” Related: A guide to the best eco-friendly holiday gifts for children While Burt’s Bees has long been known for its personal care products, did you know that the company also offers 100 percent organic cotton products for babies and kids? Burt’s Bees Baby provides gentle, organic cotton that meets “the highest global standard for organic textiles” in clothing, bedding (nursery bedding, quilts and blankets) and bath apparel (washcloths, towels and robes). Responsibly crafted, plastic-free toys BeginAgain toys are made from a mix of vintage materials (maple, rubberwood and natural rubber) and modern bioplastics derived from non-GMO corn. As the company describes, its toys “move kids away from OIL and back into SOIL. We believe in the playful power of plants.” The BeginAgain animal parade A-to-Z puzzle and playset is a recommended favorite. Bamboo bike This is another company devoted to natural toys for children that collaborates with sustainable suppliers to provide families with “heirloom quality, non-disposable toys that support healthy lifestyles in balance with the environment.” The NovaNatural bamboo run bike is a lovely toy for any child, given its sustainable bamboo wood finish. Interestingly, bamboo forests can be harvested after only 3-5 years because they grow faster than other hardwoods, making bamboo a more sustainable wood. Additionally, bamboo forests produce more oxygen and absorb more carbon dioxide than other trees. Award-winning wood toys Hape Holding AG is a German-Swiss toy manufacturer that began with the responsible business practices of its founder, Peter Handstein, who said, “A commitment to children must go hand-in-hand with a commitment to the environment. Our children will inherit the world we live in.” Based in Lucerne, Switzerland with at least 36 companies in more than a dozen countries, Hape is globally renowned for its award-winning, educational wooden toys that utilize renewable resources, such as bamboo, for “minimal impact to the environment.” Hape’s award-winning toys include a two-in-one kitchen and grill set, a croquet set, a scientific workbench, a doctor set, a doll mansion, a dominoes set, a magnetic easel, a master workbench and builder set, a miniature band set and much more. Art supplies and kits If your child has an artistic bent, eco-kids offers non-toxic, environmentally friendly “creative play the natural way,” with all products made in the U.S. Cammie and Kip are the founders of this family-run business, which all began when Cammie created a recipe for “eco-dough” with natural ingredients that they first sold at local farmers markets. From there, eco-kids evolved into a comprehensive art supplies shop that sells wholesale on its website and retail on Amazon . Another sustainable children’s art supply establishment is Natural Earth Paint , the award-winning, Gold-certified Green America business that specializes in natural mineral pigments and organic ingredients. The company was founded by Leah Fanning, an environmentalist who immediately disposed of her toxic and synthetic paints when she became pregnant with her first child. She then founded Natural Earth Paint, which specializes in locally made, non-toxic art supplies packaged in “100 percent post-consumer recycled packaging, biodegradable plastic bags and recyclable glass bottles.” According to the company’s website, its merchandise is free of “preservatives, heavy metal toxins, solvents, synthetics, additives and fillers,” which makes them safer for children. Natural Earth Paint also operates out of a 100 percent solar-powered facility, and the company has a plant-a-tree campaign to boot. Besides artist palettes, its recommended children’s products are natural face paint kits and egg craft kits, which can be found here . Crafty STEAM kits Green Kid Crafts sells science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) subscription kits and educational toys that will inspire children to learn while they play. The company has earned several distinctions, including the Academics’ Choice Brain Toy Award, Dr. Toy’s Best Green Products and Red Tricycle’s Award for the Most Awesome Subscription Service. With sustainability as its driving force, Green Kid Crafts gives back to the environment by partnering with CarbonFund to advocate for more renewable energy efficiency as well as with the OneTreePlanted endeavor to plant a tree for every Green Kid Crafts order placed. Gardening kits If you have a budding horticulturist in your family, Hortiki Plants has a wonderful beginning gardener’s kit for children. The kits from Hortiki Plants include biodegradable trays made from hand-pressed palm leaves, natural kelp fertilizers, coconut coir seed pellets, organic seeds, organic soil, recyclable glass sprayers, recyclable metal vases and recycled shipping materials. The company also offers a gardening guarantee, so that if, for any reason, the seeds do not grow into plants, the seeds will be replaced for free. The Hortiki Plants Kids Fall/Winter Gardening Kit is perfect eco-friendly holiday gift for young gardeners because it also includes games and projects for children to engage in the world of sustainable agriculture. Images via Shutterstock, Vegan Chic , CLAMFEET , Little Lentil Clothing , BeginAgain , NovaNatural , Hape , Natural Earth Paint , Green Kid Crafts and Hortiki Plants

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Sustainable holiday gifts for babies and kids

Study reveals "ugly sweaters" add to the plastic pollution problem

December 10, 2019 by  
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Many Americans attend ugly Christmas sweater parties. But in Britain, there’s even an annual Christmas Jumper [another term for “sweater”] Day that fuels the trade in hideous holiday garb. Now, research by the environmental charity Hubbub blames ugly sweaters as yet another contributor to the plastic pollution crisis. The study found that one in three adults under 35 buys a new holiday sweater every year, but two in five of these sweaters are worn only once over the holiday season. Three-quarters of the sweaters Hubbub tested revealed at least some plastic in the material, with 44 percent being entirely made of acrylic, a plastic fiber. A study by Plymouth University concluded that acrylic releases nearly 730,000 microfibers per wash, which is five times more than poly-cotton blends. Related: 17 easy ways to upcycle worn out sweaters “We don’t want to stop people dressing up and having a great time at Christmas, but there are so many ways to do this without buying new,” Sarah Divall, the project coordinator at Hubbub, told The Guardian. “ Fast fashion is a major threat to the natural world, and Christmas jumpers are problematic as so many contain plastic. We’d urge people to swap, buy secondhand or rewear, and remember a jumper is for life, not just for Christmas.” Hubbub estimates that retailers will sell 12 million new holiday sweaters this year, even though 65 million Christmas jumpers are already stowed in U.K. wardrobes. Why not swap with family, friends, housemates or workmates? Host a craft night with friends to refurbish an old sweater using pompoms, sequins, strings of lights or bits recycled from other clothes to create your own look. Christmas Jumper Day is not only a tradition that many Brits enjoy; it’s also a fundraiser for Save the Children, which fights child poverty and hunger. Luckily, participants can still donate to the cause and also upcycle an old sweater rather than buying a new one to fight plastic pollution. + Hubbub Via The Guardian Image via Shutterstock

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Study reveals "ugly sweaters" add to the plastic pollution problem

Infographic: Eco-Friendly Stain Removers

October 11, 2019 by  
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Staining your clothes can be frustrating — especially if they’re … The post Infographic: Eco-Friendly Stain Removers appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Infographic: Eco-Friendly Stain Removers

These biodegradable sweaters ditch fast fashion in favor of sustainable cashmere

June 24, 2019 by  
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With a goal of replacing fast fashion with consciously consumed fashion, Frances Austen’s summer 2019 collection features 100 percent biodegradable sweaters made from sustainably sourced cashmere and silk. After many years in the fashion business, Frances Austen founder Margaret Coblentz was tired of seeing the trends in fast fashion , including a flurry of wasteful production and post-consumer disposal. With the clothing industry consistently falling into the highest-ranking waste production industries, she decided to do something about it with a very basic philosophy — make quality clothing that is versatile and long-lasting. Her goal is to encourage consumers to re-wear clothing, both because it’s good for the planet and because they love what they’re wearing. With that in mind, the luxury product line aims to be both trendy and timeless. Related: H&M releases sustainable fashion line made from fruit and algae “The lightbulb moment was years in the making,” Coblentz said. “After a decade of witnessing firsthand the overproduction of fast fashion that is not re-wearable, recyclable or re-sellable, we decided to do something about it. We saw amazing qualities in luxury fabrics , silk and cashmere, and envisioned game-changing clothing that is 100 percent sexy on you as well as the environment. If you want to help the planet, it starts by re-wearing your clothes, and our aim at Frances Austen is to make that easier for you. All our pieces are made to last, versatile for every occasion and comprised of biodegradable materials and are 100 percent cashmere.” Sustainability begins with the materials used during production, so the yarn comes from specialists in the industry, spun by Cariaggi in Italy. All of the yarn is Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified, a certification only earned with chemical-free production and high international safety standards. For production, the company partnered with Johnstons of Elgin, a family-owned factory in Scotland. In business for over 200 years, it is the largest employer in the small community of Hawick. Long associated with luxury and an emphasis on craftsmanship, Johnstons of Elgin is a name known for its socially responsible practices. With reliable material and manufacturing partnerships in place, Frances Austen shifted focus to long-lasting durable designs in the sweaters themselves. Dedicated to using the finest fibers (15 micron), the goal of less pilling leads to durability and a softer feel over the life of the garment. Hoping to meet the needs of a range of consumers, the product line includes crop designs, lantern sleeve, raw edge crew and a longer, reversible V-neck in a range of colors from citrine and kiwi to traditional charcoal and soft white. As a result of my interest in writing about the sustainably focused 2019 summer sweater line, Frances Austen sent me a sample sweater to experience. The Reversible V in blush mauve is uniquely designed to allow a deep V front or a stylish V back and crew neck front. In my opinion, this adds to the versatility of the piece, giving it more value as a long-lasting article in my closet. The material is remarkably soft and comfortable on the skin. Time will tell the story of durability, but I’m excited to put it to the test as a staple of my wardrobe for many years to come. + Frances Austen Images via Frances Austen and Dawn Hammon / Inhabitat Editor’s Note: This product overview and review is not sponsored by Frances Austen. All opinions on the products and company are the author’s own.

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These biodegradable sweaters ditch fast fashion in favor of sustainable cashmere

Boston’s mayor announces curbside compost program

June 24, 2019 by  
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Boston’s mayor Marty Walsh wants to know: are you going to compost that? Because chances are you should. Walsh has announced a plan to ensure that 100 percent of compostable waste is diverted from landfills by 2050. According the city’s estimates, 36 percent of the trash that Bostonians are throwing away should be composted and 39 percent should be recycled. This is a huge amount of waste going to the wrong place (landfills or incinerators) and ultimately equates to 6 percent of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions . Related: Washington becomes the first state to allow human composting Mayor Walsh is determined to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 and believes an overhaul of the waste services in the city can make major progress in the right direction. The city has requested proposals from companies willing to provide curbside composting services to Boston residents for a subscription fee, which the government plans to subsidize. Right across the Charles River, the neighboring city of Cambridge already started providing free curbside composting for residents last year, but Boston has six times the population. Boston also plans to expand the window of time that yard waste is collected and launch a textile pick-up program. Last year, the city also announced a plan to ban single-use plastic bags throughout the city. “Preparing Boston for climate change means ensuring our city is sustainable, both now and in the future,” Walsh said. “We need to lead and design city policies that work for our residents and for the environment and world we depend upon. These initiatives will lead Boston toward becoming a zero-waste city and invest in the future of residents and generations to come.” To help out with the transition toward zero-waste , Boston received a grant from Cocoa-Cola to increase the number of recycling bins, signage and trash services in city parks. Boston was one of seven cities to receive this pilot funding from Coca-Cola. The switch to a more comprehensive waste system will require re-educating Bostonians about how to recycle and what to compost. The city’s website recommends residents download the city’s free “ Trash Day ” app, with which users can look up specific items and learn exactly how to dispose of them. Via Curbed Image via Shutterstock

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