Rethinking Stuff: 4 Questions for Conscious Consumption

August 6, 2019 by  
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One of the most important aspects of an eco-friendly life … The post Rethinking Stuff: 4 Questions for Conscious Consumption appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Rethinking Stuff: 4 Questions for Conscious Consumption

New credit card limits spending based on carbon emissions

May 6, 2019 by  
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This Spring, the Swedish financial tech company Doconomy launched the first ever banking service and credit card to manage your personal finances and your daily carbon emissions . The DO Black Card is a collaborative effort with Doconomy, Mastercard and the UN Climate Change Secretariat. The card complements users’ existing banking services, but the accompanying app tracks the carbon emissions associated with each DO card purchase and caps the cardholder and the limits they set for themselves. Not only is the DO Credit Card the first to explicitly track carbon emissions associated with personal finance purchases, the physical card is also made from bio-sourced materials and printed with Air-Ink, a recycled ink made with air pollution particles such as the soot found in chimneys. Related: Lyft vows to help customers find electric vehicles with Green Mode In 2015, 175 countries signed onto the United Nation’s Paris Agreement, pledging to cut their carbon emissions. Big companies are also developing policies to reduce emissions, switch to renewable energy or engage in cap and trade programs. Citizens around the world are increasingly aware of the impacts of climate change and are making greener choices in their every day lives, such as reducing their plastic use. However, as Doctonomy mentions,  money is our most “powerful tool to tackle climate change in our daily action.” Through the launch of this card, the “banking with a conscience” company set out to reduce unsustainable consumption, cut carbon emissions and compensate for unavoidable emissions. “People are also thinking about the environment in their daily lives, including making more informed decisions about what they buy. That’s why we are pleased to welcome this initiative being undertaken by Doconomy,” said UN Climate Change executive secretary, Patricia Espinosa. Cardholders also have the opportunity to donate directly to the United Nation’s certified green projects , such as replacing traditional wood stoves with fuel efficient stoves in Malawi, or building wind farms in India. Card holders also receive credits for making “ environmentally-friendly ” purchases with participating stores. + Doconomy Via Dezeen Image via Mynewsdesk

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New credit card limits spending based on carbon emissions

Renewable energy surpasses coal for the first time in U.S. history

May 6, 2019 by  
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This April, for the first time in U.S. history, the renewable energy sector is expected to have generated more total electricity than coal. According to an initial report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, this achievement is partially because of increased investment and awareness, but might also be due to seasonal changes in electricity consumption. “Five years ago, this never would have been close to happening,” Dennis Wamstead, research analyst at IEEFA, said in the report. “The transition that’s going on in the electric sector in the United States has been phenomenal.” Americans demand more renewable energy According to the IEEFA report, there has been increased investment in the wind and solar field, making the technology less expensive and more widely accessible. Increased awareness about climate change and the role of carbon emissions has also led local governments, businesses and residents to demand renewable energy policies and services. Related: Coal prices continue to rise, becoming more costly than solar and wind alternatives Renewable energy sources include hydro, geothermal , solar, wind and biomass energy, although solar and wind are the two sectors that have seen the most rapid upsurge. In fact, even major power companies are turning to renewable energy. Power giant Xcel Energy shut down 25 percent of its coal plants and plans to deliver zero-carbon electricity by 2050. Coal still reigns in the summertime Although this record-breaking achievement is exciting, energy experts also said that it could be partially explained by seasonal electricity demands. Many companies temporarily shut down coal plants for seasonal maintenance in the springtime, when electricity demands are lowest. There is also an abundance of wind and hydro energy during that time. However, once people start turning on their air conditioners around June, electricity production is expected to be dominated by coal and natural gas again. Despite the current federal government’s attempts to boost the coal industry, coal consumption has been steadily declining. In 2016, natural gas surpassed coal as America’s biggest source of electricity, with coal contributing 27 percent of electricity and natural gas contributing 35 percent. Although it is cleaner than coal, natural gas is still a fossil fuel and therefore contributes to climate change. The report also predicts that renewable energy will outshine coal in May, and going forward will sporadically compete with coal on a monthly basis. However, coal and natural gas are expected to dominate annual consumption patterns for several more years. + IEEFA Via CNN Images via   Zak Zak and Jeff Hitchcock

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Renewable energy surpasses coal for the first time in U.S. history

Cepezed completes the first self-sufficient bus station in the Netherlands

May 6, 2019 by  
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Delft-based architectural firm cepezed has completed the Netherlands’ first self-sufficient bus station in the southern city of Tilburg. Designed to generate all of its own energy, the new transit facility features a massive solar panel -topped awning that provides shade and gives the bus station its modern and sculptural appearance. The Tilburg bus station was completed as part of the large-scale revitalization of the city’s public transit hub and offers easy access to the neighboring train station and bicycle parking in the railway zone. The new bus station at the west side of the Tilburg train station was designed to prioritize user comfort and safety. To that end, the architects topped the structure with a spacious awning that not only fully covers the bus platforms but also part of the buses, so travelers can be protected from the rain while boarding and deboarding. The steel-framed awning is fitted with lights and covered with ETFE-foil so as to let in filtered sunlight during the day and illuminate the space at night. For inclusivity, the station is equipped with wheelchair-accessible ramps and handrails with braille signing. As a symbol of smart development, the station adopts a contemporary and minimalist design with highly efficient detailing. Built of steel plates and strips, the thin columns that support the large awning also contain water drainage and electric cabling. The S.O.S. button and intercom have also been integrated into one of the columns. In addition to the raised black concrete sitting edges, the architects included backed seating made with strip steel with heating. Related: Architects want to transform an old Dutch bridge into zero-energy apartments Solar panels spanning 2,691 square feet top the awning and power all of the bus station’s needs, from the lighting and digital information signs to the staff canteen and public transport service point. Certain solar-powered lights are triggered by energy-saving motion sensors integrated into the steel edge of the awning. For greater sustainability, the architects ensured the longevity of the structure with a low-maintenance material palette and minimized the edges and corners to reduce costs and resources for cleaning. + cepezed Photography by Lucas van der Wee via cepezed

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Cepezed completes the first self-sufficient bus station in the Netherlands

Architects revamp a 100-year-old warehouse into a dreamy off-grid refuge in Ibiza

May 6, 2019 by  
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Dutch design firm  The Nieuw has just given a breathtaking makeover to an abandoned warehouse sitting among the natural hills overlooking northern Ibiza. Working in collaboration with Ibiza Interiors , the architects gutted the interior of the 100-year-old warehouse before converting it into a solar-powered,  off-grid refuge with a vibrant contemporary design — complete with a yoga platform on the roof. Located in a remote hillside overlooking the island’s beautiful views, the 861-square-foot Campo Loft guesthouse was designed to blend in with the its picturesque Mediterranean setting. Using the landscape as inspiration for the design, the architects set out to create an “industrial open living space on the field,” which would take shape as a stunning two-bedroom, one-bath bungalow that runs completely on solar power. Related: Serene off-grid tiny home sits tucked away in a Hawaiian rainforest Despite the desire to turn the old workshop and storage warehouse into a modern guest home, the design team worked hard to retain any of the building’s original features. The original walls and parts of the roof were kept, while the large steel-framed windows and openings are new. Throughout the compact structure, traditional Ibizan building styles and materials were incorporated: concrete floors, mud-plastered stone walls and “sabina beams” made out of trees that grow on the island. From the outside, the home is a humble structure with an all-white facade that pays homage to the traditional, local style; however, the exterior conceals a stunningly contemporary interior design . At the heart of the home is a stone fireplace surrounded by glazed openings on either side. Modern furnishings were used sparsely, enhanced by large pieces of artwork. While the two bedrooms are tucked into the north side of the home, separated by a massive bathroom with a large soaking tub, the home’s social area is on the private terrace, which provides stunning views. Surrounded by fruit trees and a vegetable garden, the house even has a yoga platform on its roof for residents to get bendy while soaking up the sun. The design is also 100 percent self-sustaining. The main functions such as hot water, floor heating and electricity are all generated by solar power . Water from a private well is used for drinking and bathing. Additionally, the house has multiple passive features such as natural air ventilation and natural light to create a stable temperature year-round. + The Nieuw + Ibiza Interiors Via Dwell Photography by On A Hazy Morning via The Nieuw

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Architects revamp a 100-year-old warehouse into a dreamy off-grid refuge in Ibiza

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