Stunning treehouse retreat in Rwanda sets a new standard for ecotourism

August 8, 2017 by  
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Rwanda’s unbelievable Bisate Lodge is a stunning example of how to build in a natural landscape without causing harm. Constructed into an eroded volcanic cone, the pod-like villas, which were designed by Johannesburg-based architect Nick Plewman , are surrounded by lush forest with views of the volcanic landscape. The lodge is part of an effort to honor the local culture while restoring the indigenous forest. Designed to pay homage to the Rwandan culture and natural landscape, the eco-retreat is located near the Volcanoes National Park Headquarters and is part of a pioneering onsite indigenous reforestation project. Only six thatched-roof villas are located on the expansive 103-acre resort, which was built into a natural cavernous space in an overgrown volcanic cone. Related: 7 eco-friendly and conservation-minded safari lodges across Africa Wanting to create an authentic Rwandan style, the resort’s overall design was inspired by indigenous tradition. Much of the interior design includes an abundance of colorful prints and varying textures that were chosen to represent the local style. In fact, Teta Isibo, local fashion entrepreneur and founder of Inzuki Designs and one of Africa’s 30 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs for 2017 collaborated on the design process. Various sustainable features – such as chandeliers made of recycled glass and volcanic stone fireplaces – are found throughout the eco retreat. Local touches such as the traditional ibyansi milk jug motif are used throughout the space, and cow hides were used as rugs to represent the rural life in local villages. Additionally, items made from the traditional art process called Imigongo , where cow dung is mixed with soils of different colors and painted into geometric shapes, are also found in the interior. Operated by sustainable ecotourism operator, Wilderness Safaris, construction of the Bisante Lodge was an ecological process throughout. According to the COO Grant Woodrow, the company put strategic care into building something that would enhance the area rather than harm it, “We wanted to ensure that our brand of responsible ecotourism made a real difference to both rural Rwandan people and biodiversity conservation.” Reservations for this amazing eco lodge can be made through Thousand Hills Africa. + Nick Plewman + Wilderness Safaris Via Dwell

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Stunning treehouse retreat in Rwanda sets a new standard for ecotourism

700 Indian villagers waded through their filthy, dying river and brought it back to life

August 8, 2017 by  
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“Don’t waste your time,” doubters reportedly told a self-organized group of villagers in South Kerala who wanted to resurrect their once-teeming river. According to local Indian press, years of industrial seepage transformed the Kuttemperoor River into a giant cesspool that produced nothing but disease and devastation. Located in Alappuzha district, the river’s width reportedly shrunk from 120 feet to 20 feet, and all traces of aquatic biodiversity vanished. But earlier this year, 700 people felt they simply had to try. They had to try to bring their river back to life. “When water scarcity turned unbearable, we decided to revive the river. Initially many discouraged us saying it was a mere waste of money and energy. But we proved them all wrong,” Budhanoor panchayat president P Viswambhara Panicker told Hindustan Timees. The panchayat, a self-organized group of locals, planned the mammoth cleanup effort, which involved wading through the filthy water and dislodging weeds, plastic and other debris from the river bed. It took more than two months to ply the river’s 7-mile length, often at great risk to volunteers’ personal health. One woman, P Geetha, told the paper she fell ill during cleanup operations. “I was down with dengue for two weeks but I returned to digging the day I was out of my bed,” she said. Related: The Ocean Cleanup finds 1.15 to 2.41 million metric tons of plastic enter oceans from rivers And their hard work paid off. “Once we removed all waste river started recharging on its own and on 45th day flow started. For women folk, it was not just a work for money but it was gargantuan task to revive a lifeline,” Sanal Kumar, a volunteer with the National Rural Jobs Guarantee Scheme, told Hindustan Times . After 70 days of cleaning the river, full flow was reportedly restored. Via Hindustan Times Images via YouTube screengrab

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700 Indian villagers waded through their filthy, dying river and brought it back to life

Tesla Model S reaches record 670 miles on a single charge

August 8, 2017 by  
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The Tesla Model S has set a new record in Italy! The Tesla Owners Italia club recently traveled 669.83 miles in a Model S 100D on a single charge with a team of five drivers. The team was careful to use as little energy as possible to beat a previous record set in Belgium last June. The team drove across southern Italy at an average speed of 25 mph without the air conditioning on. Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently estimated that the Model S would be able to drive at least 621 miles with low rolling-resistance tires. The team not only used the more efficient tires, but also used “hypermilling” techniques to squeeze out as much driving range as they could. Related: Tesla to TRIPLE number of Superchargers by end of 2018 “To complete the 1,078km record distance, we used 98.4 kW/h of electricity, which is equivalent to eight liters of gas,” said Luca Del Bo, president of the club. Upon announcing the news, Elon Musk congratulated the club for their new record. Rosario Pingaro, one of the five drivers, added: “The driving was made simply by the semi-autonomous driving system, which helped us to keep a constant speed in the middle of the lane.” + Tesla Owners Italia Via The Guardian Images @Tesla Owners Italia

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Tesla Model S reaches record 670 miles on a single charge

Meet the 9-year-old mobilizing ‘an army of 4th graders’ to protect national monuments from Trump

August 8, 2017 by  
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Has Donald Trump even been to a National Monument? Who knows, but 9-year-old Robbie Bond has, and he aims to protect them from the president and Interior chief Ryan Zinke. In April, Trump issued two executive orders calling for a review of 27 National Monuments protected under the Antiquities Act of 1906, including the world’s largest marine protected area on Earth, Papah?naumoku?kea, in Hawaii – Robbie’s home state. He claimed that former presidents had abused their power in establishing these monuments and that states should take over control. This news scared the young activist, so, with help from his parents Michelle and Robin, he set up a non-profit organization called Kids Speak for Parks to “mobilize “an army of 4th graders” to speak out for public lands. “You can’t protect something you don’t understand,” Robbie told HuffPost. This is why he has set up a plan to tour all 27 monuments, posting videos and photos of his trip on social media along the way. By educating the public about the treasures under review, he hopes people will be more inclined to act to save them. “I want to make sure that our national monuments are available for my kids and for future generations,” he said. Related: Judge greenlights kids’ climate change lawsuit against US government According to the paper, he and his parents have even set up an initiative that would get inner city kids out into the wilderness. The plan, he told HuffPost, is to advocate for and educate others about US national monuments and parks before they vanish. Robbie last posted a video from Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument , following a visit to Bears Ears in Utah, one of the most controversial monuments under review. There he met with Alejandro Yazzie from the Ute Mountain Tribe that has longstanding connections to this land, which protects 100,000 Native American archaeological and cultural sites considered sacred by many tribes. Last month Zinke recommended a plan to shrink the monument’s boundaries, designated by former President Barack Obama. However, HuffPost reports, he will not recommend changes to Idaho’s Craters of the Moon, Washington’s Hanford Reach, or Colorado’s Canyons of the Ancients national monuments. Posting from Bears Ears, Robbie wrote: “One thing is clear when kids speak people listen!” We hope he’s right. + Kids Speak for Parks Via Huffington Post Images via Kids Speak for Parks

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Meet the 9-year-old mobilizing ‘an army of 4th graders’ to protect national monuments from Trump

Soak Up the Sun at Casa de las Olas’ Solar Powered Eco-Escape in Tulum

January 30, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Soak Up the Sun at Casa de las Olas’ Solar Powered Eco-Escape in Tulum Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: cancun , Casa de las Olas , eco design , eco escape , eco luxury , eco-tourism , Geothermal power , green design , solar powered resort , sustainable design , sustainable travel , Tulum

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Soak Up the Sun at Casa de las Olas’ Solar Powered Eco-Escape in Tulum

Kengo Kuma’s Transparent Temporary Shelter Pays Homage to Classic Japanese Literature

January 30, 2013 by  
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Architect Kengo Kuma recently built a humble modern pavilion as a tribute to a classic Japanese story written 800 years ago. The short story, Hojoki, by Kamo no Chomei tells the story of how Chomei left the earthquakes, famine and fire of Kyoto to become a Buddhist monk in the mountains, where he lived in a 10-square-foot hut (Hojoan). Read the rest of Kengo Kuma’s Transparent Temporary Shelter Pays Homage to Classic Japanese Literature Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Architecture , Art , Daylighting , ETFE plastic , japanese cedar , Kamo no Chomei , Kengo Kuma , kyoto , magnets , temporary architecture , transparent shelter

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Kengo Kuma’s Transparent Temporary Shelter Pays Homage to Classic Japanese Literature

The Jungle Lodge in Bandipur, India is an Eco-Escape Set in the Valley

December 14, 2011 by  
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Designed by architect Nagesh H D , the Jungle Lodge in Bandipur, Karnataka, India, is a spectacular collection of eco-spaces set in the valley facing the Nilgiris Mountains . The cottages are split into a series of blocks in order to reduce bulk and maintain the natural drainage pattern of the site. The architecture is a combination of diverse construction methodologies based on local customs as well as modern techniques. The design prominently features local stone, acknowledging the traditional building techniques of the region. The interiors are naturally vented by louvered glass facades, and wastewater and sewage are treated by a reed bed system. Hot water for the cottages comes from solar water heaters, and backup electricity is supplied by roof-mounted photovoltaic panels and a wind turbine. Numerous floor-to-ceiling windows take advantage of natural light, integrating the lodge with its surrounding environment while amplifying the space within. + Nagesh HD The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Bandipur , eco escape , eco lodge , eco-resorts , green energy , green escape , green lodge , green vacation , India , india architecture , india resorts , Karnataka , Nagesh H D , Nilgiris Mountains , renewable energy , Sustainable Materials , the Jungle Lodge

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The Jungle Lodge in Bandipur, India is an Eco-Escape Set in the Valley

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