Try Furoshiki, Packaging Without the Plastic

April 9, 2018 by  
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Plastic bags are hard to recycle, but in America they’re … The post Try Furoshiki, Packaging Without the Plastic appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Try Furoshiki, Packaging Without the Plastic

Send Your Pill Bottles to Do Some Good

April 5, 2018 by  
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Did you know that nearly 70 percent of Americans take … The post Send Your Pill Bottles to Do Some Good appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Send Your Pill Bottles to Do Some Good

4 Tips for Jump-Starting a New Compost Pile

April 5, 2018 by  
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Food scraps and yard waste make up about a quarter … The post 4 Tips for Jump-Starting a New Compost Pile appeared first on Earth911.com.

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4 Tips for Jump-Starting a New Compost Pile

Steve Areen’s incredible DIY wagon home built with mostly recycled materials

February 27, 2018 by  
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Steve Areen is one of those people who turns everything into gold. And by gold, I mean magic. I mean soul. We saw it with his lovely dome home in Thailand , and now, what was supposed to be a simple dwelling in Australia evolved into an extraordinary modern caravan that he built by hand with mostly recycled materials . The roaming flight attendant, 52, started with a 5×10 trailer, to which a local artisan helped add a curved steel frame. Then the muse stepped in. Complete with custom furniture, a round window seat and wood-fired stove, the cylindrical Unity Wagon — perched on Yandoit Farm about 80 miles northwest of Melbourne — will set your tiny home-heart on fire. Read on for a closer look at some of the details that give Steve’s latest project such charm. Steve says he has been living part-time on Yandoit Farm for the last few years. “My friends Michael and Lisa, with help from volunteers from around the world, are doing an amazing job transforming what was once a dried up ranch into a lush organic farm, using permaculture principles,” he adds. So, he decided to build a small structure that keeps bugs and snakes at bay (the experience with a poisonous snake in his bed elsewhere in Australia probably a motivating factor). As we now know about Steve, he loves curvy structures, which have a range of benefits . For him, it’s about the look, feel and “amazing energy”. He told Inhabitat, “I decided to make my own version of a covered wagon, with a pulley system that made it easy to roll the canvas all the way up and a strap that pulls it down back down. I had never seen this done before, but it sure worked well in my head.” Starting with the shiplap timber cladding, all discards from a local mill, Steve sanded and oiled each piece by hand. He said some of the worst-looking boards ended up being the most beautiful after a bit of tender loving care, though attaching the warped pieces to the steel skeleton was sometimes tricky. The name Unity Wagon was inspired by the way the various Australian hardwoods, each with their own history, came together. The double wall allowed him to create round cutouts that also serve as storage and lighting, as well as his signature round window seat. These details combined with rope trimming gives the caravan something of a nautical aesthetic , he tells Living Big in a Tiny House in the above video. Related: Magical dome home in Thailand constructed in six weeks for just $8000 He calls his bed “optimistic”. Normally, it’s sized for a single person. But if he has company, he can expand it, sliding out the base and adding a couple of cushions. This extends to guests as well. Since the caravan is parked on the farm, he hopes other people will be able to enjoy the use of it, with all proceeds going to either educational programs or more “fun structures.” And when he is around, a sliding table pulls out between two benches covered in richly-hued fabrics, providing enough space for up to seven people to sit and share a meal. A full blown party on the cards? No problem. Unity Wagon was built for play. Steve promotes climbing on the roof and in general having fun in and with the space. At some point, he hopes to take his tiny home to festivals. A work in progress, and an artwork at that, Unity Wagon isn’t designed for full-time living. Steve can use the stovetop to boil water and other basics, and he left room to install a cooking stove, but for now he has to use the farm’s ablutions (hot water powered by a giant compost pile – yay!) A small solar system provides power for the interior lighting. But because his home is small and compact, with plenty of crafty storage nooks, he doesn’t need much else. On a clear day, it’s possible to completely open the wagon to the elements. If the insects are out in force, Steve has fly screens secured tightly with velcro, and with any hint of inclement weather, he can pull the canvas cover in a jiffy. On his first night in the completed caravan, he left the cover off, sleeping under a sweep of stars. All told, it cost under $15,000 to build the wagon, much of which went to skilled labor. Despite some frustrating moments, Steve describes the months he spent working solo in an open hay shed, dreaming up new ideas and solutions, as “crazy fun.” And this won’t be the last we’ll see of him. “Though I have no interest in being in the building business,” he says, “I do look forward to building more fun structures, ones that keep people connected to nature, are interactive and of course… curvy.” + Steve Areen All images by Steve Areen

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Steve Areen’s incredible DIY wagon home built with mostly recycled materials

Beautiful cedar-clad Bridge House crosses a ravine in Ontario

February 27, 2018 by  
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This elegant  timber house bridges a ravine near the shores of Mary Lake in Port Sydney, Ontario. Architecture firm LLAMA urban design created the inspiring home to have minimal impact on the landscape and to celebrate the beauty of the surrounding environment. The house is located two hours north of Toronto , and it sits across the steepest part of a wide ravine. Its overall length – 124 feet – creates a strong linear gesture that allows the residents to immerse themselves in the surrounding landscape. The home is held aloft by an inverted V–shaped glulam structure, and the architects used locally sourced wood and unstained cedar siding for the exterior cladding. Related: This Iowa home built across a ravine is heated and cooled by the earth The main façade of the house faces the lake and creates a feeling of being among treetops. The second façade faces the forest and features expansive transparent surfaces. An inverted V–shaped Glulam structure holds up the house and connects the interior social area with the roof deck. + LLAMA urban design Via Archdaily Photos by A-Frame studio/ Ben Rahn

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Beautiful cedar-clad Bridge House crosses a ravine in Ontario

Build you own terrarium with Tom Dixons gorgeous glass vessels

February 7, 2018 by  
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Tom Dixon keeps on delighting us with his brilliant designs – from renovations of historic buildings to amazing lamps and even a brilliant IKEA collab . Now, Dixon is unveiling his PLANT collection, comprised of beautiful terrarium vessels which you can customize with your own floral arrangements. Each of the mouth-blown vessels has a distinct double-headed form that allows you to create beautiful micro- ecosystems . No two pieces are the same. Variations in the glass, from thickness to shape, contribute a truly unique vessel made to showcase the qualities of contemporary craftsmanship and freedom of form. Related: Tom Dixon’s Converted Water Tower in London is a Modernist Home in the Sky—and it’s Up for Rent! The designer’s website also features a visual “how-to” guide for people to create their own terrariums by using a combination of small rocks that collect water drainage, soil made for succulents and a variety of smaller plants. The PLANT collection is already available online and starts at $165. + Tom Dixon Via Cool Hunting

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Build you own terrarium with Tom Dixons gorgeous glass vessels

Eco-Friendly Groundhog Day: Celebrate in Upcycled, Healthy Style

February 1, 2018 by  
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It’s almost Groundhog Day, that day when Punxsutawney Phil emerges … The post Eco-Friendly Groundhog Day: Celebrate in Upcycled, Healthy Style appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Eco-Friendly Groundhog Day: Celebrate in Upcycled, Healthy Style

How to make your own green terrarium to keep or give away for the holidays

December 14, 2017 by  
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If you have a green thumb but minimal garden space, why not create your own mini-world full of lush and beautiful plants by making your own terrarium? If you’re in the southern hemisphere instead, remember that having green plants around is a surefire way to keep away the winter blues, plus plants are certain to help improve your indoor air quality . Terrariums are easy-to-make, low-maintenance gardens, and can last almost indefinitely with minimal water. Don’t believe us? We assembled seven terrariums of various shapes and sizes in a single weekend, and they’re all adorable. Read on for our easy terrarium DIY to learn how to make your own to keep or give away for the holidays. MATERIALS: A clear glass jar, vase, bowl, glass, or whatever interesting glass container you have on hand Rocks, pebbles or recycled glass chunks Activated charcoal (sometimes called activated carbon) Potting soil appropriate for your plants Moss (optional) Figurines, sticks or decorative items (optional) Various small plants A scoop, spoon or shovel Scissors Gloves Source your containers from a thrift store or an antique store, or just scrounge around your house for an old jar. Even simple jelly jars or canning jars can make beautiful terrariums. They can be left open or closed—it’s totally up to you. All other supplies can be bought at your local gardening center. As for the plants, the sky is the limit, but generally speaking look for small plants that you can fit inside your jar and won’t grow too tall. Some plants will have multiple stems so you can break them up even further. To ensure that your terrarium will be successful, keep succulents and cacti together, and keep fern and tropical plants together, because they require different amounts of water and soil. You’ll want cactus soil for the succulents and regular old potting soil for everything else. The rocks are used as a false drainage layer while the activated charcoal helps keep the terrarium healthy, and the moss can be used for decoration and to help soak up and retain water. STEP 1: Prepare the Container Remove any price tags or stickers from your vessel and wash both the interior and exterior thoroughly to ensure that there are no unwanted residues that could affect the health of your plants. Envision how you want to arrange your plants inside the jar. STEP 2: Add Your Drainage Layers Once the container is ready, fill the bottom with rocks or pebbles. This is to create a false drainage layer so water can settle and not flood the plant. The depth of the rocks totally depends on the size of your container, but aim for 1/2″ to 2″. STEP 3: Add the Activated Charcoal The charcoal looks exactly like what you would expect it to and it’s messy. Sometimes it comes as small granules and other times it comes as shards—either works. You don’t need much, just enough to cover the rocks. The charcoal will improve the quality of your little world including reducing bacteria, fungi and odors. Related: How to Make a Recycled Glass Terrarium STEP 4: Add Soil Again, cactus and succulents need a special soil compared to most other plants, so be sure to get the appropriate bag depending on which plants you’re using. Add enough soil so the plant roots will have plenty of room to fit and then grow. Aim for a depth slightly greater than the height of the plant’s pot. STEP 5: Plant Take your plant out of the pot and break up the hard soil ball until you get down to the roots. If you’re breaking the plant into multiple parts, be gentle. You may also want to trim the roots if they are especially long; don’t worry, they’ll grow back. Using a spoon, your fingers, the end of a brush, or even a pencil, dig a well to place your plants roots in. Add more soil around the top and compact the soil down around the base of the plant. Continue placing your little plants in the container and try to keep them away from the edges. The leaves are likely to touch the sides but aim to keep them away as much as possible. STEP 6: Add Accessories After you’re done planting you can add little accessories like a blanket of moss (dried or living), little figurines, old toys, glass beads, shiny metal object, sticks, stones, or even a layer or rocks. This is your little world and you can put whatever you’d like in there. Related: 7 Eco-Friendly Summer Crafts for Creative Adults (and Kids!) STEP 7: Clean and Water You’ll likely have dirt all over the sides of the container, so wipe them down so you can enjoy the beautiful living world inside. Give the terrarium a little bit of water. Unlike most of your house plants, a terrarium doesn’t need to soaked: just a couple of shots of water should get it started. Tips & Tricks – Over time, monitor your terrarium’s water needs based on how dry the soil is. For terrariums with closed lids, if water is dripping down from the top, open the lid to let some evaporate. Likewise, you may need to add more if it looks parched. You shouldn’t need to water them very often. – If leaves die or wilt, remove them from the terrarium immediately to maintain the health of the little eco system. If an entire plant dies, take it out. – Don’t place in direct sunlight. Remember that these are essentially little greenhouses and direct sunlight through the glass will trap heat and scorch the plants. Place in indirect light for best results. – Afterwards, enjoy your little world or give it away and make another! Lead image via Pixabay . All other images ©Bridgette Meinhold

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How to make your own green terrarium to keep or give away for the holidays

10 Ways to Upcycle Baby Food Storage Containers

November 13, 2017 by  
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After you’ve had a baby and she’s old enough to … The post 10 Ways to Upcycle Baby Food Storage Containers appeared first on Earth911.com.

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10 Ways to Upcycle Baby Food Storage Containers

5 Easy EEK-o-Friendly Halloween Decorations

October 26, 2017 by  
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Unfortunately, many of our holidays have become an opportunity to … The post 5 Easy EEK-o-Friendly Halloween Decorations appeared first on Earth911.com.

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5 Easy EEK-o-Friendly Halloween Decorations

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