Get freshly-roasted coffee delivered to your home

May 4, 2022 by  
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Red Rooster Coffee is a small, family-run coffee company based in a town of 432 people in Floyd, Virginia. The business began as a community cafe opened by Red Rooster Coffee Cofounder Rose McCutchan along with her mother and sister. Seeing the need to upgrade the quality of their coffee offerings, Rose bought a roaster in 2010 and enlisted the help of her husband and Cofounder Haden to begin roasting coffee in-house. Today, the company remains focused on small batch trade coffee that’s roasted-to-order for freshness. Its mission is to produce specialty coffee with a purpose. In fact, RRC operates with four driving cornerstone philosophies.  Related: Coffee prices spike, thanks to climate change The first: Their dedication to roasting premium coffees that meets quality standards and the expectations of customers. The second goal is to provide satisfying, living-wage jobs for employees. The company currently has around 30 employees. “As a family business, we have always strived to do our part to help create a vibrant local community by hiring locally, providing a living wage and full health care benefits to our employees, contributing to local charities and participating in local fundraisers all with the intention of developing into an economic and social anchor in our small rural community. In 2018, we licensed an onsite day care specifically for our employees’ children,” stated the company. The third element is to provide support for the coffee farmers through high premiums and participation in social programs. The final cornerstone is an attention to the environment through packaging material selection.  Beans for Red Rooster are sourced from micro and macro lot farms in Latin America, Mexico , Ecuador and Kenya. There are a variety of resulting coffee selections, ranging from light to dark. Customers can choose coffees made from beans from a specific region, scour organic options or shop different blends. Whether selections are for a specific coffee or left up to the roaster to decide, all coffees are roasted and immediately shipped for the freshest possible brew. Additionally, the company offers an expertly curated subscription box called The Fix. This monthly selection offers rare and unusual coffees to try. Customers who sign up for an annual plan also receive brew gear to get them started.  Furthermore, Red Rooster produces a single-serve coffee bag that steeps for five minutes and is ready to-go. They also sell teas , syrups, merchandise and equipment.  At the core of the success is a reliance on organic and Fair Trade coffees for all of the signature blends and many of the single origins. For those coffee beans that are not organic or Fair Trade Certified , the company expects transparency about worker treatment and land stewardship. Where possible, RRC buys directly from the farmer to provide higher premiums for the benefit of the grower, their families and the workers.  Sustainability and environmental action is important to the RRC team. The biodegradable coffee bags are locally hand-printed with water -based inks. The company composts the chaff with local organic farms and recycles within the facility. The sustainability mission is seen at a local level with compostable to-go products at the café and the development of a local sustainability non-profit, SustainFloyd, founded in part by RRC Cofounder Haden.  Review of Red Rooster Coffee selections The company provided a variety pack of coffees that I sampled over a week or so. It’s been fun to explore the different taste profiles of each coffee. There are some unique and distinctive flavors to consider and there are a wide range of options. I’ll provide my thoughts on a few here, but just like wine , coffee opinions are very subjective.  Flight Seasonal Espresso was made with espresso drinkers in mind. We use pour-over or French press for our coffee preparation and found the flavors came through great. Labeled espresso, I was expecting something dark. However, this is a light blend (when used by our prep methods) of beans from three different regions. The profile isn’t bold, but more delicate with notes of floral and orange.  Old Crow Cuppa Joe is also recommended as an espresso. Prepared via French press, we primarily pulled out chocolate notes. Upon reflection, we felt this would be a reliable café serving. It has the mainstream appeal of a simple, dependable offering.  Farmhouse Breakfast is a light, 100% Arabica coffee and on the opposite end of the spectrum from the ultra-dark brews we normally make. Inasmuch, we found it to be another selection that would appeal to the masses in a restaurant setting. This one also had flavors of chocolate and slight tartness resembling cherry.  Ethiopia Wush Wush Natural was a surprisingly distinctive flavor. We found notable orange and berry flavors with a touch of chocolate to offer a sweet edge in an all-around smooth coffee.  4&20 French Roast is likely the closest to what we commonly drink and we found it to be an easy drinker. It’s one of the darker roasts Red Rooster offers, so if your preference is for a lighter body, you might find this to be too bold. Although we like dark roasts, we often stay away from French Roast simply because it tends to be bitter or taste burnt. However, this is a great example of what a French Roast can be. It’s balanced, slightly acidic and flavorful.  + Red Rooster Coffee Company Images via Red Rooster Coffee Company Editor’s Note: This product review is not sponsored by Red Rooster Coffee Company. All opinions on the products and company are the author’s own.

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Get freshly-roasted coffee delivered to your home

3D printing is behind plans for futuristic Sunflower Village

March 28, 2022 by  
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During a time of mass exodus from urban areas and renewed interest in rural housing locations, Sunflower Village offers a sustainable construction solution and a sense of community. This design concept outlines a clean and efficient housing development created with 3D printing . Sunflower Village is the brainchild of architect Valentino Gareri, Steve Lastro of 6Sides, which specializes in technology and wellness, and leading real estate company Delos. As the name implies, the development is shaped like a sunflower with a central communal area and 19 surrounding houses. Related: 3D printing powers this plan for a carbon neutral cacao village Each of the single-level houses is 3D-printed, a process that influences the final shape of each home. Not dissimilar to the ways  brick  and wood have defined the shape of homes in the past, 3D printing lends Sunflower Village a futuristic and ultra-efficient design. The construction process, often wasteful and resource consumptive, is streamlined in Sunflower Village with a concrete-printer machine stationed in the center of the development. The massive machine stays in one place during the entire construction process, printing one house and then rotating to the next lot to print the neighboring house. In this way, the machine can print all 19 houses with  minimal site impact .  While the construction process earns points for thoughtful  waste  reduction, each home is additionally shaped for efficiency. Angled roofs optimize the homes for solar and rainwater collection. The design faces the sun like a sunflower uses photovoltaic frameless tiles for cladding the roofs.  Renewable energy  through solar power makes each home self-sustaining, collecting enough to power floor-heating systems, air-conditioning and electric car chargers. The rainwater harvested from the roof is diverted to a storage tank and subsequently used for toilets and irrigation.  Windows offer views of the surrounding countryside as well as natural light and ventilation for  energy efficiency .  A press release for the project reports, “Each home is fitted with DARWIN Home Wellness Intelligence by Delos, the world’s first holistic in-home wellness platform that is designed to passively enhance human health and well-being through air purification, water filtration and lighting that mimics natural daylight.” The sunflower design also aims to minimize car dependency and the need for roads. Instead, the village favors traveling by foot or bicycle .  The designers hope the concept will appeal to developers around the world as a solution for community connection outside the urban  environment . They report the design could act as a template for other town facilities such as hospitals, schools, government offices or recreational areas.  “Architecture has the power to create places that don’t exist yet, but in our dreams. ‘Sunflower’ is the model of the city we dream for tomorrow,” said Valentino Gareri. + Valentino Gareri Atelier Via 3DNatives   Images via Denis Guchev 

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An innovative rainscreen meets sustainable cladding

March 28, 2022 by  
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A leader in sustainable cladding partnered with an innovative installation designer. The result is a long-lasting, durable and low-maintenance rainscreen system with endless uses. Norwegian company Kebony offers a high-quality modified wood product used in patios and exterior cladding. Kebony Technology® is an environmentally-friendly  wood  treatment originally developed in Norway. The company has now expanded from its Oslo headquarters to production facilities in Skien and Belgium, plus a U.S. base in St. Clair, Michigan.  Related: Sophisticated, sustainable lakeside cabin showcases the best of Nordic minimalism A recent Kebony release presents a protective exterior rainscreen with a sustainable wood cladding that requires no maintenance except basic cleaning. The system is easy to install thanks to a partnership with cladding and decking attachment system innovator Grad Concept USA. Grad™ for Kebony is a collaboration that ensures the profile of the Kebony boards snap seamlessly into the Grad™ Mini Rail system, creating a tight, aesthetically pleasing and easy-to-install protective barrier.   The rainscreen has two different rail system sizes. The first is 1”x6” with a narrow gap (5/32”), similar in appearance to a nickel gap profile. The second is 1”x6” with a wide gap (17/64”), which resembles shiplap. Both systems support vertical or horizontal installment.  “Kebony has been an optimal exterior wood cladding for decades here in the US and abroad,” Kebony North American Marketing Director Ben Roberts said. “In partnership with Grad Concept USA, we are the first manufacturer to provide an off-the-shelf, passive rainscreen with completely hidden fasteners, no pre-drilling, and perfectly aligned boards in the most popular gap options, all while cutting install time in half.” Pre-mounted clips on aluminum rails provide uniform spacing for the Kebony boards and the proper air gap behind them. The system uses 100%  recyclable  aluminum & POM (polyoxymethylene). Even better, it’s durable and long-lasting with an expected lifespan of 50-75 years and a 30-year warranty. “The project uses for Grad for Kebony are limited only by the designer’s imagination,” Grad Concept North American Sales Manager Gwladys Petit said. + Kebony and Grad Concept USA Images via Kebony 

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Opening our eyes to the water scarcity problem

March 28, 2022 by  
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Sponsored: Nearly all accessible freshwater on earth is in the ground. As climate change worsens, it will be even more crucial to manage this finite resource.

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Ammonia: Transitioning to a Net-Zero Future

March 28, 2022 by  
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Emissions reduction is front and center around the world. Learn how diverse industries are collaborating and innovating to advance a net-zero future for ammonia.  Nutrien, the world’s largest provider of crop inputs, services and solutions, is actively pursuing sustainable and productive agriculture and emissions reduction targets. As one of the largest producers of low-carbon ammonia in the world today, the development and use of both low-carbon and clean ammonia supports society’s decarbonization goals not only in agriculture, but also in other hard-to-abate sectors.   In agriculture, nitrogen fertilizer is critical for growing healthy crops; however, it generates GHG emissions during production and when it is utilized. The adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices and low-carbon fertilizers offer global solutions to help reduce emissions across the entire value chain.   In addition to agriculture, ammonia as a clean fuel source has gained traction in industries such as maritime transportation. The path forward for an ammonia-fueled vessel is being paved.  Explore how low-carbon ammonia is helping develop a functional global supply chain, leading to the integration and scaling of clean ammonia advancements.  Read about processes, technologies and markets being leveraged today and the unique partnerships that have formed and continue to form, to advance a net-zero future for ammonia.  

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Innovative business models could transform cotton supply chains

March 28, 2022 by  
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It’s time to re-design the way textile supply chains work to help ensure critical environmental and social needs are met.

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Sustainable design guides the eco-conscious Trellis House

March 24, 2022 by  
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Trellis House in Washington D.C. goes above and beyond to deliver on climate promises to residents of this new eco-friendly apartment building. What’s better than a new LEED Platinum mixed-income apartment building? A LEED Platinum development that reduces the environmental effects of the previous on-site development. Trellis House not only delivers sustainable design and healthy indoor living spaces but also reduces the heat island effect and consumes 21% less energy than the site’s previous building. Trellis House is a multi-family mid-rise apartment building project in Washington, D.C., developed by Rise Real Estate to address community needs on all levels. It is mixed-income, mixed-use and sits just across the street from Howard University. The building’s design reduces the heat island effect from the site’s previous development by introducing a green roof and non-absorptive hardscape materials. Voluntary remediation to remove underground storage tanks and contaminated soil from the prior development also improves the site’s health and safety. Related: ODA’s vibrant new complex transforms a conventional DC block The dense, pedestrian-friendly project offers easy access to transportation, employment and recreation areas. The building even includes a yoga studio, fitness center, pool, pet spa, hydroponic garden and electric vehicle charging stations. Bicycle storage for residents encourages sustainable transportation. The project even saves 21% more energy than the baseline building and uses 30% less water. Alongside high-efficiency equipment and appliances in the building, ventilation systems deliver outside air for a healthy indoor environment for residents. Further, construction favored recycled , locally sourced and low-emitting materials. This smart design combines environmentally friendly and wellness-focused features for a high-end and healthy living space. Trellis House’s sustainable design even won the project a National Association of Home Builders’ 2019 Best in American Living Silver Award. Judges praised the development for its “unexpected” details and embracing “the history and context of the neighborhood while delivering the first multifamily midrise LEED Platinum -certified project in the Washington D.C. market.” + Trellis House D.C. Photography by Joel Lassiter

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Sustainable design guides the eco-conscious Trellis House

How not to be a loser in the next viral cheetah video

March 24, 2022 by  
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In a recent popular YouTube video, more than a dozen impala bounce across the screen. Then, a cheetah flies out of the bushes, cutting off an impala. The cheetah chases the impala until it falls beside… a red BMW?! The video has many wildlife enthusiasts upset. It was made near an entry point to  South Africa’s  Kruger Park and shows people standing outside of, perched on or hanging out of at least 20 cars. Their chatter, cameras and human smell disturbed the cheetah, who retreated off the road and stood looking around for a full minute, unsure what to do. Eventually, it decided to brave the human presence, dashing among them long enough to drag the impala off the road, then exit stage left. Related: You can now explore all 19 of South Africa’s National Parks on Google Maps “It is quite sad to see that many visitors breaking the rules,” said Sarah Oxley, project administrator for Latest Sightings, which posts  wildlife  videos from Kruger National Park, as reported by HuffPost. “Because the sighting happened near Crocodile Bridge, a popular entry point into the park, the traffic built up really quickly and that is why there are so many people at the sighting.” According to the Kruger Park website, “Kruger Park cheetahs have helped show that the carnivore can successfully  hunt  in wooded areas, not just on open grassland plains.” This video proves they can also hunt on roads with people and parked cars on either side. But they shouldn’t have to. Kruger Park is a stronghold for this amazing spotted cat , which can run up to 60 miles an hour. Some estimates put the South African cheetah population at fewer than 1,000. In case you saw the video and are thinking of buying a ticket to South Africa, renting a red BMW and getting close to some cheetah/impala action, let’s quickly go over the  rules of Kruger Park . You are supposed to be quiet. Stay in the car, keep your windows up and your doors locked, as baboons have learned to open car doors and might want to hop in with you. “Leaving your car is forbidden and is punishable by a fine,” according to the park website. Even if you have a flat tire, you’re supposed to call park administration to send a breakdown service rather than step out of your car. Don’t be the next disrespectful loser caught in a viral cheetah video. Via HuffPost Lead image via Pixabay

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How not to be a loser in the next viral cheetah video

Copenhagen is one of the world’s greenest cities, here’s why

March 24, 2022 by  
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Copenhagen consistently ranks as one of the world’s most sustainable cities. What is Copenhagen doing right that the rest of the world can catch up on?  This beautiful European city is home to a multitude of eco-friendly architecture projects, renewable energy initiatives, urban gardens and more to green the city from the ground up. Here are a few of Copenhagen’s sustainable features. Related: C.F. Møller completes Carlsberg Central Office in Copenhagen Everyone bikes in Copenhagen Like other congested cities designed before the modern car, Copenhagen residents bike everywhere. The city has 700,000 bikes , more than one bike for every car in the city. Additionally, Copenhagen welcomes bicycle parking structures, bike-friendly design ( including this unique bike bridge ) and a culture that encourages people to get out and exercise instead of driving. Over 60% of Copenhagen residents bike rather than drive for their commute. Older European cities such as Copenhagen weren’t designed around cars anyway, so bikes are a convenient and practical way to commute on narrow streets. For those using public transit, the buses in Copenhagen are transitioning from diesel to electric . While you’re on the road, you can stay in any of Copenhagen’s many eco-friendly hotels, recycle your waste in a public vending machine for a deposit and eat organic foods at several city restaurants. Green architecture galore Copenhagen is greening its commercial buildings at an accelerating rate. This means green roofs, renewable energy, passive solar and more. Check out this green-roof timber construction called  Marmormolen , a prime example of Copenhagen’s green architecture at its best. Now, the city’s building codes even require new buildings to have green roofs. These rooftops often involve rainwater harvesting systems and help trap particulate pollution from city transit. Copenhagen’s parks and green space One-quarter of Copenhagen’s space is used for urban gardens and green space. Urban codes requiring green roofs for newly built buildings create even more space for gardens, trees and plants that promote biodiversity. The trees also provide fresh oxygen to offset the heat island effect of a paved cityscape. Additionally,  a former prison site  in Copenhagen is now being used as a mixed-use garden. Such projects show the city’s innovation in urban planning and creating a greener future. Copenhagen also has  floating island parks  and  climate-adaptive parks  that catch excess rainfall. You can even ski on top of the city’s waste-to-energy plant, where there is a permanent  ski slope  created by Bjarke Ingels Group. Copenhagen invests in renewable energy Denmark uses wind and solar energy to lower its carbon footprint, but it also uses biomass in its bid toward decarbonization. Project Holmene is another initiative toward a green energy future, in which nine man-made islands will house windmills and waste-to-energy plants. The project could generate over 300,000 MWh. That’s enough energy to power around 40,000 homes for an entire year. According to  Tomorrow City , “Today, more than 30% of Denmark’s energy requirements come from renewables, and it expects to reach 50% by 2030 and achieve energy independence by 2050. A considerable part of this energy sustainability is from biofuels and waste management.” Copenhagen also uses smart sensors to detect water usage and leak. Meanwhile, smart valves and pumps help minimize energy waste from municipal buildings. This city of canals has a sharp eye on water waste and minimizing its carbon footprint. Copenhagen, a model future city Copenhagen’s dedication to a sustainable future sets an example for cities around the world. Hopefully, more areas will soon adopt these climate mitigation and adaptation strategies and green their infrastructure and architecture. As Denmark’s greenest city, Copenhagen shows that renewable energy doesn’t mean a compromised quality of life. Clean energy and beautiful design go hand in hand. Via Tomorrow.City and The Sustainable Living Guide Images via Pixabay and Pexels

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First of its kind apartment complex in San Francisco

March 22, 2022 by  
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A unique community model for housing has been erected along the San Francisco skyline. Set in the Mission Bay neighborhood, the Edwin M. Lee Apartments are the first of its kind in the city. Grateful residents can enjoy the view and access to amenities.  The apartment building combines supportive housing for both veterans and low-income families. It pulls homeless people off the streets with the offer of new apartment living. Related: A vacant lot in New Orleans is converted into resilient and affordable housing for war veterans Furthermore, the project was a collaboration between Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects, Saida + Sullivan Design Partners, Swords to Plowshares and Chinatown Community Development Center. It had an emphasis on equitable shelter with easy access to community resources. The 124,000-square-foot development provides 62 apartments for formerly homeless veterans and 57 apartments for low-income families. Additionally, there are ground-floor services for families, veterans, neighbors and the greater community. Not only does the building provide for over 100 families, but it also considers the needs of the environment in the passive design .  With wellness and access in mind, the design incorporates wide ramps for wheelchairs or strollers. There’s a community garden, kitchen and indoor and outdoor gathering spaces. In addition, there are gender-neutral restrooms, EV charging stations and bike parking. Pedestrian walkability is rated high and nature-inspired art by local artists is on display.  Moreover, the building was designed with energy-efficiency in mind. It earned a GreenPoints-Rated Platinum Certification. Solar panels are estimated to produce 91% of the building’s common area electrical energy and solar thermal panels are estimated to produce 60% of the building’s hot water heating energy.  Material selections marry into the green design . There is the use of bamboo plywood, recycled curbs and cobblestones found on site used in landscaping. There is also sealed concrete flooring on the ground floor to minimize materials during construction and into the future.  The building was orientated to take advantage of passive design elements. It features a tight envelope and highly energy-efficient windows. Energy-saving lighting and appliances were installed throughout the building. The building was dedicated to the late mayor of San Francisco, Edwin M. Lee, in a tribute to his goal to end homelessness for veterans . The project received a 2021 AIA National Housing Award and the AIA California Residential Design Merit Award. + Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects and Saida+Sullivan Design Partners Photography by Bruce Damonte

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First of its kind apartment complex in San Francisco

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