Vellabox delivers natural, artisan candles to your door

November 13, 2020 by  
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Subscription boxes can be a great way to treat yourself each month or surprise a loved one with a thoughtful, curated gift. As we spend more time at home than ever, these monthly boxes can break up the monotony of daily life, too. With sustainability and affordability in mind, Vellabox delivers candles and eco-friendly goodies to your door, and it is a perfect little act of self-care. Plus, who doesn’t love the coziness of a freshly lit candle this time of year? Vellabox is a Columbus, Ohio-based company that offers handmade, natural wax candles in its subscription boxes. Each month, new scents are available in 4- or 8-ounce glass jars with metal lids that are 100% reusable or recyclable . Prices range from $10 to $30, with the $10/month box offering a 4-ounce candle and sustainable product, the $20/month option offering an 8-ounce candle and gift, or the $30 box offering a 4-ounce and an 8-ounce candle plus the surprise gift. Related: How to make soy wax candles for a cozy, autumnal home The Vellabox  packaging  is simple and sustainable. The cardboard boxes have no packing peanuts or bubble wrap; instead, the candles are secured in cloth bags in perfectly sized boxes to keep them safe. Every element is reusable or recyclable. The only plastic in my first box was the packaging for the sunflower seed butter. I tested the Ignis Box ($20/month) and the Vivere Box ($30/month) and was honestly impressed with both. The Ignis Box included a large Pumpkin Spice candle by Aster Candle. I’ve smelled a lot of pumpkin spice candles in my day, and I loved that this one struck the balance between too spiced (I’m not a huge fan of the overpowering scent of cinnamon) and too sweet. Truthfully, this one was less potent in smell and didn’t dissipate throughout my home as much as the other candles I tested, but it still smelled lovely. The company, Aster Candle, is based in Rhode Island; the owner, Catherine Kwolek, hand-pours each soy candle, and the  cotton  wicks are lead-free. My Ignis Box also included a package of 88 Acres Dark Chocolate Sunflower Seed Butter. While the taste wasn’t exactly my cup of tea on its own (coming from someone who definitely enjoys a spoonful of peanut or almond butter on the regular), I blended it into a  dark chocolate-cherry smoothie  as recommended on the card included in the Vellabox package, and it tasted great this way. The second box had two candles by Lustre + Bloom. The larger of the two was an Aspen Woods scent. I’m picky about woodsy scents, as they can often be too strong or too musky for my taste. Honestly, I was bummed when I saw that scent in the box — that is, until I unscrewed the lid and took a whiff. It smelled like a walk through a  forest  in the best way. All the elements you’d expect here — leaves, moss, bark — blend beautifully with a touch of spice. Lighting it made a dreary day in the city feel slightly more in tune with nature. The second, smaller candle was a scent called Greenhouse. I wasn’t sure what to expect; I’ve definitely never encountered a candle with the scent of a  greenhouse , but it turned out to be my favorite of all the Vellabox candles I tested. Greenhouse reminded me of the very specific smell of eucalyptus in the shower, although the scent profile is technically “agave, aloe, chrysanthemum, green leaves.” It’s earthy and peaceful. This candle was the strongest of all three; even sitting across the room with other candles lit, I could only smell Greenhouse. Lustre + Bloom is a natural candle company based in Denver, Colorado. Mandy Candice, the shop owner, started making  non-toxic  candles after her son was born. She wanted to ensure she was only burning candles that were safe for the family. With these two candles came a bundle of Lunchskins, which are compostable, toxin-free sandwich bags meant to replace  single-use  plastic bags. When I was heading into the office every day, I always packed lunch and often used reusable silicone bags for my sandwiches. I actually have no immediate need for sandwich bags these days, but I’m excited to try these out, perhaps on a picnic or long drive. So far, I love that they have a cute avocado print across the bag. Although I received these boxes as editorial samples, I’ve already subscribed to the Vivere Box (I’m a sucker for natural candles, what can I say). I also have a few people on my list that I’ll be sending gift subscriptions for the holidays. Overall, I am thrilled with the candles. I loved all three scents despite being picky about candles, and the smells, especially Greenhouse, carried better than many of my other candles and wax melts. Although I was a little iffy on these particular bonus gifts , I am looking forward to seeing what other surprises are included in my future boxes. + Vellabox Images via Paige Bennett / Inhabitat

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Vellabox delivers natural, artisan candles to your door

These are the winning environmental measures on ballots across the US

November 9, 2020 by  
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While it took a long time to determine the new president of the U.S., the environment was a clear winner in many smaller elections this year. Many of the 49 conservation-focused measures on the ballots in 19 states have passed. The year of sheltering in place seems to have heightened people’s appreciation of open space for recreation. “During the current pandemic we have seen that our parks and public lands are more important than ever for people to safely get outside for their physical and mental health,” Will Abberger, director of conservation finance at the Trust for Public Land, said in a statement. Related: Gray wolves at risk after being delisted as an endangered species This love of land took many forms. In Denver, voters approved a “climate sales tax” that could generate $800 million over the next two decades. The tax is earmarked for climate projects in minority and/or low-income communities. Oakland passed a $725 million school bond for green schoolyards. Montana voters endorsed legalizing recreational marijuana, with taxes going to land conservation .  “The ballot measures approved by voters will provide more equitable access to parks, protect air and water quality, help address climate change , and protect critical wildlife habitat in communities across the country,” Abberger said. In Colorado, one conservation measure was running about as close as the presidential race. Proposition 114 would reintroduce gray wolves into Colorado’s western mountains. This measure was more popular with urban environmentalists than with the ranchers and hunters likelier to encounter the wolves. Critics called the measure “ballot box biology.” When opponents conceded the race, the wolves were leading by half of one percentage point. Colorado is the first state to decide to reintroduce gray wolves by popular vote rather than by a decision by the federal government. It’s a sweet victory for the wolves after Trump axed them from the endangered species list. Somewhere in the west, you might hear a celebratory howl about who won … and who lost. Via NPR and Yale Environment 360 Image via Huper

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These are the winning environmental measures on ballots across the US

Serif + Sero modular furniture is made of 100% upcycled cardboard

November 9, 2020 by  
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Australia-based design studio SODO – SOPA has introduced a furniture set made completely out of upcycled cardboard that is also modular and customizable. The series, called Serif + Sero, helps promote waste repurposing and consumer awareness for a more sustainable future. The furniture set features a series of coffee tables that can be modified to become stackable storage units, the studio’s way of introducing flexibility in function and form. Pieces are available in square or circular versions and assembled through interactive cuts, scores, flips and folds to lock into place. Assembly ranges in difficulty depending on the set. Related: Parent shares process of making life-size board game from cardboard Inspired by the studio’s award-winning project where it constructed a 100% upcycled cardboard installation using 1,800 hand-cut modules sourced from waste, Serif + Sero advocates for inclusive upcycling. The previous project allowed the public to shape and mold cardboard themselves to create unique designs, proving that every type of household has the ability to reduce its waste in imaginative ways and contribute toward a circular economy. A common shipping material often used by electronic companies to protect products, thick, corrugated cardboard boxes don’t get recycled nearly as much as they should due to size and weight. Especially among average households, these boxes are routinely discarded as waste in landfills, or they end up in the oceans. Even worse, as certain types of cardboard decompose, they can generate methane, a greenhouse gas that pollutes the environment. SODO – SOPA’s designs are minimal and practical, and the ability for the furnishings to convert into modular , stackable storage units provide an additional perk. Once stacked, storage towers may be used inside closets or as a decorative bookshelf in the home, and the neutral, organic color is attractive in a range of décor themes. In an effort to get the community to embrace the power and accessibility of upcycling in everyday life, the studio plans to release the design as an open-source project available to the public after prototyping additional designs with fabricators. + SODO – SOPA  Images via SODO – SOPA

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Serif + Sero modular furniture is made of 100% upcycled cardboard

Climate measures to watch for on the ballot

October 29, 2020 by  
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Based on the final presidential debate and the conversations that have been going in the media, this year’s presidential elections will be largely influenced by climate change . While the presidential candidates alone may not give you a clear picture of where the nation stands on clean energy and climate change, keeping your eyes on local ballot measures will. From Alaska’s oil tax to Denver’s climate tax, these measures will show us what the American people think about climate change. Unfortunately, the measures representing climate issues have fallen short this year, owing to the strain caused by the pandemic. For example, in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo pulled a $3 billion emissions bond off the ballot, saying that it is not the right time. “The financial situation is unstable. I don’t think it would be financially prudent to do it at this time.” Cuomo told reporters. Related: Biden vs Trump on environmental issues and climate change Even though some critical measures have been left off of ballots in 2020, there are still several that stand out and are worth keeping an eye on. In Alaska, Measure 1 on the ballot could quadruple the taxes collected from oil companies if passed. In Denver, Colorado, Measure 2A seeks to raise local sales taxes and redirect the funds to greenhouse gas reduction programs. Similar to Denver, Long Beach, California has introduced Measure US, which would increase the tax on local oil production with the aim of raising $1.6 million annually. The money would be channeled to youth programs and a climate action plan . California has other climate-related measures on the ballot, including Berkeley’s Measure HH, which targets a 2.5% gas and electricity utility tax increase. The money would go toward combating carbon emissions . Another, Measure DD in Albany, California, also proposes an increase in electricity and gas utility taxes, with the funds going toward reducing pollution. Other issues showing up on ballots include the Columbus, Ohio Issue 1 and the Nevada Question 6. Issue 1 would “establish an Electric Aggregation Program, which would allow the city to aggregate the retail electrical load of customers within the city’s boundaries, and allowing customers to opt-out of the program.” On the other hand, Question 6 asks voters whether the state should provide half their electricity from renewable sources by 2030. The outcome of these issues will be vital in indicating the thoughts of Americans about climate change and defining our collective response to the climate crisis. Keep an eye out for the results on these proposed measures, and if you haven’t already — vote! Via Grist Image via Tiffany Tertipes

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Climate measures to watch for on the ballot

Circular economy startups compete at Circularity 2020, taking on shoes to shelf-life

August 31, 2020 by  
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Circular economy startups compete at Circularity 2020, taking on shoes to shelf-life Holly Secon Mon, 08/31/2020 – 01:00 A circular economy is urgently required for the shift to a more sustainable planet. But it will take new, innovative ideas to build a global system that uses and reuses all of the resources within it and moves us away from the deeply entrenched extractive system under which the modern world functions. At Circularity 20, GreenBiz’s online circular economy event, five startups presented their potentially world-altering ideas during the Accelerate competition. This GreenBiz tradition began in 2012 at its VERGE events, offering a venue where startups make a 2.5-minute pitch of their technology to the audience. During last week’s event, the online audience voted on its favorite, and an expert panel of Taj Eldridge, senior director of investments at the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), and Monique Mills, with the Startup Catalyst at the Advanced Technology Development Center at Georgia Institute of Technology, offered thoughts on the startups and their potential. Mills said that he considering new ideas, she looks to make sure that a startup will be able to establish itself and stay relevant in a changing business environment. “Our main focus is to make sure they’re able to become a sustainable business model, and one that can be supported into the future of how things will be done,” she said.  For Eldridge, one exciting thing about circular startups is that they’re working with communities that otherwise might not be thinking about environmental issues. “This is the opportunity to really get all the communities that have not been able to have the conversation about sustainability involved now,” he said. In order of presentation, here’s what the contenders had to offer. Borobabi Borobabi CEO Carolyn Butler took the virtual stage to pitch the sustainable children’s clothing rental startup. The early-stage company, based in New York, focuses on the $16 billion children’s clothing market, which, like the entire apparel space, suffers from a significant amount of waste. Children’s clothing, especially, often gets thrown away because children grow out of pants, shirts, shoes and other garments so quickly. Borobabi uses a circular model to serve as a platform where parents can rent clothes for children aged 0-6. The most unique feature is that the brand prices its clothes based on how durable they are. “We achieve true circularity by hitting on all three pillars of the circular economy. On the supply side, we only partner with ethical and sustainable brands who manufacture natural toxin-free clothing using organic agricultural practices, which regenerate natural systems,” Butler said. “We keep our products in circulation for as long as possible by renting only the highest-quality most durable items, ensuring they can be worn multiple times and retain like-new quality. Also, we helped design clothes with natural and monofibers that are recyclable. Our recycling partnerships are local here in the U.S. and help to keep our clothes out of landfills.” Infinity Goods The startup Infinity Goods has created a zero-waste grocery delivery service in Denver, Colorado, with plans to expand soon. CEO Ashwin Ramdas tried to go zero-waste — and then realized that he had to give up some of his favorite foods, such as ice cream and pasta, and lug around containers to stores every time he tried to shop. He realized that convenience and sacrifice was often a barrier, even for eco-conscious shoppers. So he founded Infinity Goods to connect those who want to go zero-waste but have found it too difficult. “It’s like the milkman, but now for a wide selection of food from fresh produce to tofu eggs pasta ice cream bread,” Ramdas explained. The company serves as a delivery service where groceries come in reusable containers, then get retrieved, cleaned and reused in future deliveries, cutting out the plastic packaging waste and relieving the customer of doing any work themselves. Infinity Goods has partnerships with local Colorado producers, which have agreed to reuse their packaging through the platform, fostering a local, waste-free circular economy. Salubata Salubata is a Nigerian startup that creates modular shoes from recycled plastic waste. The team of environmental scientists has figured out a way to knit together recycled plastic to create parts of a shoe that fit together — which then also can be taken apart at the end of life. The recycled plastic material also comes in different shapes and colors, which can be zipped into the same sole so consumers essentially can design their own low-carbon shoe. The global shoe market is valued at $264 billion per year, said CEO Fela Buyi. This product serves both shoe enthusiasts and eco-conscious shoppers. Mimica Mimica is a startup that aims to make the food system more sustainable with smart-design labels that extend the shelf life of fresh food. One major challenge for sustainable food systems is that there’s waste along every part of the food supply chain. Mimica’s labels are an intervention at the retail and consumer level to prevent edible food from being thrown out. “Expiration dates are set at the worst-case scenario, but the reality is that we keep our food much better than that. Dates are shortened to protect consumers in the rare case of problems in the supply chain or in our homes,” said Mimica CEO Solveiga Pakštait?. “And this actually hurts retailers’ bottom lines, because this hurts their ability to be able to sell produce in their stores. Add back just two days, and we can see food waste being cut in half in our stores, more than that in our homes, and sales go up when shelf life is extended. With products like juice and beef, the shelf life doubles.” The label, Mimica Touch, shows consumers exactly when food spoils. They just run their fingers over it, and if the label is smooth, the food is fresh. If it has bumps, it has spoiled. Resortecs Resortecs is a Belgium-based startup that provides a solution to the lack of apparel recycling. Only about 1 percent of garments are recycled — and one major reason is that garments aren’t designed to be recycled, because they have several components such as zippers or buttons that need to be separated. Resortecs has created a new material that can be used to sew together these components that breaks down at a high heat, allowing the components to separate easily and removing a major obstacle to reusing these parts. Plus, this heat-sensitive material only breaks down at extremely high temperatures, so it doesn’t affect the garment itself when people are wearing clothes.  “Garments made can be washed and ironed,” said Resortecs CEO Cédric Vanhoeck. “The material is not damaged in the process.” The audience voted on the online platform to ultimately select Mimica as the winner of this year’s Circularity Accelerate. Topics Circular Economy Innovation Circularity 20 Food Waste Fashion Food & Beverage Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off The Mimica label shows consumers exactly when food spoils. If there are bumps, the food has spoiled. Courtesy of Mimica Lab Close Authorship

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How Everland is changing the eco-retreat scene

August 12, 2020 by  
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Imagine a place full of cutting-edge art, gorgeous community spaces, comfortable accommodations for everyone in the family and lots of opportunities to learn, explore and have fun. This is exactly what Everland Art Park is striving to become. Everland is designed to be a complete eco-retreat and immersive art park that everyone can enjoy. Here, you can truly immerse yourself in a world of art . You can find tranquility, explore your own creativity, discover nature and maybe even take a nap in a hammock. Everland is designed to be an eco-friendly retreat that’s all about connecting with and celebrating nature, something that humans forget how to do all too often. Related: Truly get away from it all at this gorgeous eco-resort and yoga retreat What is an art park? One of Everland’s main goals is to be an immersive art park filled with large-scale installations and other artworks of all kinds. The design is meant to surround you with art. Here, nature is part of the display itself. The natural world isn’t just a backdrop, it is part of the decor and a bigger part of the experience. Artists from all around the world have been working with Everland to create amazing art installations. These installations are connected through a trail network that will take you through different zones of the art park. Themed pieces will make you gasp, stare and even think deeply about issues like human archetypes, symbology, rites of passage and self-exploration. Even the trails are artist-created so that the journey itself is part of the artistic experience. You’ll go through various interactive storylines while you’re walking through Everland. The paths will take you through forests, past treehouses , into nature nests and along large-scale artworks. You’ll read messages and poems as you walk through the park, too. There are several different paths to choose from, depending on the type of journey you want. Take the Elder’s Path, the Inner Child’s Path, the Visionary’s Path, the Steward’s path, the Sky Path, the Earth Path or the Inner Path. Each one tells a different story and provides you with a different experience. Eco-retreat Everland strives to be more than a place where you can look at art. This is also an amazing eco-retreat. You can book traditional lodgings or camp out in tents, depending on the experience you want to have. Choose from traditional camping to glamping to relaxing in a comfortable cabin . The materials used to construct the lodgings are thoughtfully sourced, and the entire design is meant to go with the flow of nature, not against it. There are also lots of ways to play and enjoy nature here. There are meditation nooks everywhere, plenty of streams and ponds to explore, beautiful landscapes and several trails. Everland uses repurposed and upcycled materials to create play spaces and public spaces to enhance the natural world rather than take away from it. In total, Everland encompasses 145 acres of gorgeous landscape about 45 minutes outside of Denver, Colorado. Being eco-friendly is about using what is readily available in nature — resources that can be renewed through natural growth cycles. This eco-retreat is a great reminder that anyone can live a little more sustainably every day simply by using what is already around and what is renewable. Amenities The Retreat Center has 9,500 square feet full of gathering spaces. This center includes a community kitchen and dining area, two large meeting rooms and 13 private retreat rooms that all have their own exit to the rest of the retreat. Beautiful, rustic decor creates stunning places to relax, all set against the amazing natural backdrop of the Colorado wilderness. Everland is surrounded by national forests. The grounds include natural ponds and streams, a wetlands area, an outdoor amphitheater, the boulder fields and plenty of winding hiking, biking and walking trails. A dream deferred The spread of COVID-19 throughout the world put many plans for Everland on hold. However, this amazing art park and eco-retreat is on track to open for summer 2021 and will continue to expand as the years progress. Artists from around the world are still collaborating with Everland to create a unique place unlike any other on Earth. This eco-friendly retreat is all about connecting to nature and to the creative spirit. It’s a wonderful, beautiful way to relax and a great reminder that nature is meant to be enjoyed and celebrated. + Everland Photography by Jeff Jones Photography via Everland

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How Everland is changing the eco-retreat scene

Colorado Caravan converts a vintage Airstream into a sleek office for under $20K

July 31, 2018 by  
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You’ve probably spotted a caravan rolling down the road once or twice, looking shiny and new, and longed for that ramblin’ life. That freedom may be beyond your grasp at the moment, but Kerri Cole and Patrick Neely, the couple who own and operate Colorado Caravan, are ready to help. Cole and Neely are  Airstream  renovation experts, and their recent conversion of a vintage caravan into their company office will inspire you to embrace tiny home living. Since 2016, the Denver couple has transformed old Airstream trailers into portable bars, rooms on wheels for motor lodges and mobile sales offices. The duo is using their latest refurbishing of a 1969 Airstream Globetrotter as a sales office and showroom for the company — and they love the fact they can hit the open road whenever the whim strikes. Colorado Caravan’s latest project, named Bonnie, emerged after Cole and Neely posted on Craigslist that they were looking to buy old Airstream trailers. They paid only $2,500 for the 21-foot caravan , but a mice infestation in the insulation and extensive water damage required gutting the whole structure and rebuilding the interior. Related: Couple restores an old Airstream into a chic tiny home on wheels The materials for the renovation cost only $19,180 thanks to the couple’s creativity and innovation. Cole, a professional interior designer , and Neely, a former vintage car renovator and house flipper, combined their talents, cut corners wisely and indulged in features like a good air conditioning system and a two-burner gas cooktop. Related: Vintage Airstream converted into home/office hybrid The amount of interior space nearly doubled by ripping out all the upper cabinets. Choosing simple styles and a basic black-and-white color scheme with leather and brown accents gives the interior an open, airy ambiance. Cost-conscious IKEA cabinets, walnut veneer counters, basic kitchen appliances and engineered wood flooring kept costs low. The trailer’s original pendant light fixtures and sconces and were kept intact as homage to the original design, and the wet bath’s molded fiberglass sink and shower were undamaged and left in place. With Bonnie renovated and ready to go, the couple can take their business on the road whenever the mood strikes. + Colorado Caravan Via Dwell Images via Alison McQuain Photography and Colorado Caravan

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Colorado Caravan converts a vintage Airstream into a sleek office for under $20K

Panasonic is building an incredible smart city outside of Denver

January 8, 2018 by  
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Panasonic is just about everywhere you look these days, from car batteries to airplanes, and now the company is building one of their most ambitious projects yet: an entire smart city . Called CityNow, the futuristic city is rising up outside of Denver and will be a living lab experiment for creating towns that can survive a disaster, run on clean, renewable power, and contain sustainable infrastructure that improves people’s lives. The development has been underway for the past two years in a desolate patch of land near the Denver airport. The 400-acre project will be a transit-oriented city, with light rail connecting it to Denver and the airport, smart roadways that are perfect for autonomous vehicles, parking management, and autonomous shuttle routes, which roll out this spring. Related: Bill Gates buys a huge chunk of land in Arizona to create a ‘smart city’ The city also has a bevy of sustainable features, like a solar panel microgrid that can power the city for days in the event of a disaster. Streets lights consist of power-saving LEDs and a carbon neutral district. “Since early 2016, when we started on Denver CityNow, we’ve vetted 11 technology suppliers, developed an open API, established a carbon-neutral district, got approval from the public utility and installed the first microgrid, with solar panels on Denver Airport property, in partnership with Xcel Energy, which can power this area for 72 hours in the event of a natural, or manmade, disaster,” Jarrett Wendt, EVP of Panasonic Enterprise Solutions told PC Magazine . Panasonic’s first foray into a sustainable smart town in Fujisawa, Japan, has resulted in a city with 70 percent less carbon dioxide than normal, a return of 30 percent back to the grid, an EV charging grid, and enough renewable energy to power the city for five days off-grid. Denver’s smart city is slated for completion in eight years, and Panasonic hopes to see the same, if not better, results. Via PC Magazine Images via Panasonic

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The worlds first ski-in/ski-out treehouse cabins open in Montana

January 8, 2018 by  
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As brutal weather continues to unload icy fury in the northeast, those looking to carve white powder in the Midwest may want to head to the world’s first ski-in/ski-out treehouses . Located in the winter wonderland that is Whitefish Mountain Resort, the newly opened Snow Bear Chalets let you ski straight up to the front doors, which are located 30 feet off the ground. The resort offers three magical treehouse chalets located on the Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort’s Hope Slope. The wooden structures are built 30 feet above the forest and offer stunning views of Glacier National Park. The ski-in/ski-out cabin are the first of their kind – and they’re the only lodgings located directly on the ski run just few steps from the ski lift. When ready to hit the slopes, guests can hop straight onto the white powder. When there’s no snow, nature lovers can get their fix either hiking or biking the mountain’s hundreds of miles of trails. Related: Green-roofed 2022 Winter Olympic center echoes the surrounding ski slopes The cabins offer the ultimate in a luxury hygge-filled getaway . Guests can spend days filled with downhill skiing in one of the most picturesque ski areas in the world, and nights by the fire with a steaming cup of hot chocolate. The treehouses offer extremely cozy interiors with fireplaces, large kitchens and large windows to enjoy the stunning views. The three cabins range in sizes, but are all equipped with large treetop decks and outdoor hot tubs, along with various luxurious features. And if you’re into stargazing, the cabins even come with turrets and ceilings covered in constellations made up of 600 fiber-optic stars. + Snow Bear Chalets Via Curbed Photography via Snow Bear Chalets

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The worlds first ski-in/ski-out treehouse cabins open in Montana

Alaskan city’s temperatures spiked so significantly NOAA algorithms thought they were wrong

December 13, 2017 by  
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Every month the NOAA puts together a climate report , documenting changes in average temperatures across the country. While the agency found in November that much of the U.S. had seen an “above average” or “much above average” climb—it was actually the seventh warmest November on record—nowhere was this upswing more apparent than in Barrow, Alaska, where temperatures jumped so remarkably that the NOAA’s algorithms deemed the collected data to be flawed and omitted it. As shared in the  NOAA’s report , “In early December 2017, due to a sharp, but real, increase in temperature during the 21st century at Barrow (Utqia?vik), NCEI’s quality assurance algorithms retroactively rejected the station’s monthly temperatures dating to late summer 2016.” Related: Video of starving polar bear ‘rips your heart out of your chest’ Indeed, temperatures had jumped so significantly this year that the NOAA’s system believed the data collected was a mistake. As the Denver Post writes, “this kind of quality-control algorithm is only good in ‘average’ situations with no outliers.” Deke Arndt, the chief of NOAA’s Climate Monitoring Branch, described the flub as “an ironic exclamation point to swift regional climate change in and near the Arctic.” As reported by NOAA, Barrow, which is the United States’ northernmost city, experienced its warmest November on record with a temperature of 17.2°F, 16.4°F above the 1981-2010 normal, and 1.9°F warmer than the previous record in 1950. The rise has been a result of melting sea ice, which has historically served to reflect sunlight and kept temperatures stable. “The current observed rate of sea ice decline and warming temperatures are higher than at any other time in the last 1,500 years, and likely longer than that,” the NOAA report said. Moreover, the region has seen large swaths of permafrost turn to mud (permafrost contains huge amounts of frozen greenhouse gases) and the spread of non-native plants common to warmer climates across the tundra. The Arctic region overall had its second-warmest year, just after 2016. And the above hasn’t caused you to sit up in alarm, the NOAA’s more exhaustive  Arctic Report Card , a peer-reviewed document that includes the work of 85 scientists across 12 countries, was given the title: “ Arctic shows no sign of returning to [the] reliably frozen region of recent past decades.” In other words, say hello to the “new normal.” Via Denver Post Image via Wiki Commons graphs and maps via NOAA

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