These glass vases let you grow your own avocado tree no toothpicks required

November 8, 2019 by  
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While most home gardens tend to conceal the roots within decorated pots, Ilex Studio ‘s new collection of glass vases displays one of the most underrated parts of a plant — the roots. The studio’s transparent glass vases, which can be used to grow avocado and oak trees, feature minimalist silhouettes with spherical bases that showcase the plant’s incredible root systems. Recently unveiled at the London Design Festival , Ilex Studio’s collection was designed to let people skip the prickly process of using toothpicks to grow avocado trees. Additionally, the vases can be used to turn a humble acorn into a magnificent oak tree. Related: AvoSeedo makes growing avocado trees easier than ever Unlike most home gardens , where the plants’ roots are buried deep in the soil, these glass vases let you watch the magical powers of sprouting seeds. The hourglass shape has a small neck, where the avocado seed or acorn sits. The strategic shape lets the seed or avocado stay nice and dry up top while the roots begin to sprout below. Did we mention that there’s no need to stick anything with toothpicks? Over time, the roots begin to spread out into the water. Letting the roots hang freely allows them to become stronger until they are eventually ready to be planted in soil . The bulbous shapes of the vases actually magnify what is going on inside, giving you an up-close view of the roots as they grow. The Avocado Vase is slightly larger than the Acorn Vase, but according to the studio, the growing pattern is similar for the acorn and the avocado tree. The oakling can be left in the vase for up to one year, but growing an avocado tree is a bit more complicated. They both come with instruction booklets to guide you through the process of growing your own trees, straight from the seeds. These playful growing vases cost between £22 and £35 (about $28 to $45), with the larger avocado vase costing a bit more and the vases sans acorns costing less. Each order comes with a 20-page handbook of helpful instructions. + Ilex Studio Via Design Milk Images via Ilex Studio

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These glass vases let you grow your own avocado tree no toothpicks required

3D-printed jewelry company uses plants, not fossil fuels, to make its beautiful designs

April 10, 2019 by  
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Traditionally, most jewelry has always been made out of some type of metal: silver, gold, bronze or copper. Mining for precious metals and gemstones often causes environmental damage, ranging from water pollution to greenhouse gas emissions to soil erosion. Today, however, those looking to decorate themselves with shiny baubles have a new option —  eco-friendly, 3D-printed jewelry. Based in Somerville, Massachusetts, Winter Hill Jewelry is an innovative, family-run company that makes beautiful and affordable 3D-printed earrings and necklaces out of plant-based plastic . Winter Hill Jewelry is the brainchild of Vanessa Templeman, a mother of two who started experimenting with her family’s 3D printer at home. The printer had been used to print toys for the kids, but soon Templeman decided to do something a bit more creative. After initially drawing and designing her pieces by hand, she then updated to Tinkercard to help streamline the process, which ends with beautiful 3D models of her designs. Related: Elle turns E-waste into unique and eye-catching jewelry According to Templeman, the 3D printing process not only allows her to create and manufacture her own designs, but has also opened up a niche in the jewelry market for eco-friendly designs. Focused on having minimal environment impact, the company uses a full-cycle system that is set up to reduce waste throughout the manufacturing process. Instead of using regular plastic that is made from fossil fuels, for example, they use PLA, a plant-based plastic that is compostable. While they try to reduce waste as much as possible, any remnants left over from the production process can be easily recycled. Additionally, the Flash Forge Creator Pro 3D printers used by Winter Hill Jewelry are fully powered by solar-generated energy . Once the jewelry is printed, they are displayed on cards made out of 100 percent recycled paper and shipped in biodegradable bubble wrap. As an additional way to use its product for good, the company has a special collection that includes a “Cuterus” line of pins and earrings. Portions from the sale of these items are donated to the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center OB. + Winter Hill Jewelry Images via Winter Hill Jewelry

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3D-printed jewelry company uses plants, not fossil fuels, to make its beautiful designs

Italian farmhouse transformed into exquisitely sustainable summer retreat

January 17, 2017 by  
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Minimalist sophistication may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Italian farm houses, but designer Andrew Trotter’s first architectural project, Masseria Moroseta, is full of surprises. Renovated with locally-sourced materials, the contemporary Italian summer retreat, located on the coast of Puglia, is a stunning example of how to infuse sustainable elements into historic structures without forsaking the original character. Tucked into five idyllic acres of olive groves, the renovation process spanned three years. Using local materials and guided by traditional techniques, Trotter focused on retaining the masserie’s (‘farm’ in Italian) original character as much as possible. A subtle contemporary aesthetic was carefully infused into the home’s open layout. Using the central courtyard as the heart of the retreat, the process naturally geared towards building a “kinship of community” through open communal spaces such as the rooftop terrace and sea-facing veranda. Of course, there are plenty of quiet nooks for those seeking solitude. Related: 700-Year Old Italian Farmhouse Renovated with Delicate Filigree Screens The relaxing retreat now consists of six guest rooms, some with private gardens. As for the project’s energy needs , the renovation called for enhancing the natural efficient nature of the original structure and the implementation of modern technology. Vaulted ceilings and stone floors were used to keep the interior cool on hot days and cross ventilation windows help with natural air circulation. Thick walls were installed with recycled insulation to reduce the dependence on artificial cooling and heating. Solar panels provide the building’s energy and heating needs. Going local was also part of the guest amenity strategy; 100 percent of the food and drink served at the retreat are either produced on site or sourced from the local community of farmers, artisans, and manufacturers. Guests can enjoy over 40 types of fruits and vegetables from the organic garden, roasted on a 200 year-old stone oven and drizzled with the retreat’s own stone-pressed olive oil. + Andrew Trotter Via Ignant Photography by Salva Lopez Andrew Trotter, masseria moroseta, solar power, green design, italian farmhouse renovation, summer retreat puglia, sustainable renovation, sustainable design, organic farms, recycled insulation, reclaimed materials, locally-sourced materials, eco-friendly designs, beach retreats

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Italian farmhouse transformed into exquisitely sustainable summer retreat

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