Pentatonic launches new brand of modern furniture made with nothing but trash

September 8, 2017 by  
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Trash never looked so good. Pentatonic has launched a new brand of modern, modular furniture made with nothing but repurposed waste materials . But – unlike similar brands – their commitment goes beyond simply recycling . Hit the jump for a closer look. Pentatonic is launching their brand with AirTool Chair and AirTool Foil Table , as well as glassware made from smartphone glass. Their website lists the trash that went in to each piece; for example, 96 plastic bottles and 28.4 aluminum cans went into an AirTool Chair with a plyfix felt seat, along with some old food containers and industrial waste. 1,436 aluminum cans and 190 CDs or DVDs were used for an AirTool Foil table. Pentatonic says they do not use additives, toxins, glues, or resins. Related: Eco-friendly DIY modular furniture can be reassembled over and over into different pieces Pentatonic, which has offices in London and Berlin, sourced 90 percent of their trash locally; the remaining 10 percent came from places like Taiwan, which is home to the world’s largest concentration of wasted smartphone glass, according to the company. Users don’t need any tools to put together the modular Pentatonic products. The company also sells the individual components online in case a consumer loses a piece or wants to design their own furniture with Pentatonic pieces. Consumers also become part of the supply chain when they return old, used pieces to the company: Pentatonic lists a buy-back value on their website which they describe as a guaranteed sum customers will receive if they want to get rid of a product. Pentatonic will transform those used goods into new pieces of furniture. Pentatonic’s products are available to buy on their website . If you’re in London , you can check out their products in person at a popup store in Shoreditch East London at 2 Chance Street from September 15 to October 12. They’ll also be present at the London Design Festival , September 18 to 24, in the Design Frontiers exhibition at Somerset House. + Pentatonic Images courtesy of Pentatonic

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Pentatonic launches new brand of modern furniture made with nothing but trash

Kenyan activists are using human poop to make affordable cooking fuel

August 15, 2017 by  
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Resources are scarce in Kenya, and nearly half of the population lives below the poverty line , but they do have poop. Activists with Nakuru Water and Sanitation Services Company are providing clean fuel for local residents in the form of small balls of human feces. The group takes in truckloads of sewage from septic systems and pit latrines and transforms the waste into safe, economical briquettes that burn cleaner and longer than coal. And don’t worry: they are odor-free. Ordinarily, human feces can pose various health problems if left untreated or if disposed of improperly. Sometimes, it can even lead to cholera outbreaks or other sanitation -related diseases. However, because it is the most abundant and widely available human resource, Nakuru Water and Sanitation Services Company developed a method to turn it into an affordable, clean-burning fuel. To create the briquettes, the company slowly sun-dries the feces. Then, it treats it at a high temperature of 300 Celsius (572 Fahrenheit) in a kiln via a carbonizing process where sawdust is added to it. TreeHugger reports that the resulting product is then mixed with a small amount of molasses to act as a binder. It is then rolled into balls and dried. One kilo of the briquettes is said to cost just 50 cents USD — a very reasonable price for Kenyan citizens. John Irungu, the site manager at Nakuru Water and Sanitation Services Company, describes carbonization as “a process whereby we increase the carbon content of your materials.” He added, “In this case we are using the drum kiln whereby the sludge is fed, the drum has some holes at the bottom, these holes allow the oxygen to come in, in a controlled manner, that oxygen will only support combustion but to a certain level so that it doesn’t burn completely into ash. In this way, you are able to eliminate all the volatile matters, all the harmful gasses, and it is at this point that you ensure that your sludge doesn’t smell it is safe for handling when you are carrying out the other processes which is milling and briquette production.” Related: First-ever dog poop composting program in NYC comes to Brooklyn park It took some time to overcome the stigma that surrounds the use of human feces, but the company succeeded by informing residents that they could obtain a cleaner-burning cooking fuel for a fraction of the cost. (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = “//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.10”; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’)); Turning poop into fuel These Kenyan entrepreneurs built thousands of special toilets to turn poop into sustainable fuel. Posted by Al Jazeera English on Saturday, July 15, 2017 Every month, Nakuru Water and Sanitation Services Company produces about two tons of the human waste briquettes. By the end of the year, the goal is to produce 10 tons per month. This will occur once additional de-watering and carbonization equipment is procured, as it will scale up and optimize the present production methods. The company is also invested in the construction of more than 6,000 toilets that can collect waste. Someday, the company will expand its offerings elsewhere in Kenya, Africa. + Nakuru Water and Sanitation Services Company Via TreeHugger Images via  Nakuru Water and Sanitation Services Company

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Kenyan activists are using human poop to make affordable cooking fuel

Mexico’s gorgeous Sunset Chapel looks like a gigantic boulder

August 15, 2017 by  
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Through several contrasting features, this striking chapel in Acapulco, Mexico embodies feelings of both hope and sadness. Mexico City-based Bunker Arquitectura constructed the Sunset Chapel on top of a hill and gave it an appearance of a huge boulder that blends into the natural environment. Bunker Arquitectura combined contrasting materials – glass and concrete – to embody elements of transparency and solidity, merging opposing ideas and religious contexts. The chapel mimics the large granite rocks piled up on the hill to blend into the surrounding landscape. Related: BNKR Arquitectura Reveals Plans for an Incredible Underground Skyscraper in Mexico City A triangular aperture functions as the main entrance into the small interior, while smaller slits in the walls provide views of the surroundings and allow natural light inside. A fully glazed wall on the upper floor features a crucifix which dominates the space. + Bunker Arquitectura Via Ignant Photos by Esteban Suárez

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Mexico’s gorgeous Sunset Chapel looks like a gigantic boulder

Scientists invent graphene paint that makes your house super efficient

May 30, 2017 by  
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Graphene – the strongest material known to science – is used to create everything from condoms to night-vision contact lenses. Now, thanks to the ingenuity of  The Graphene Company , paint containing the world’s “thinnest, strongest and most conductive” substance is hitting shelves in the UK. The new lime-based paint is incredibly thin, beneficial for the environment and capable of making your home, or any building, more efficient. Because  Graphenstone is composed of a lime-base with a hexagonal lattice of carbon atoms one atom thick thanks to the inclusion of graphene , the lime-based paint has superconductivity , which means it can improve the thermal regulation of buildings. As Dezeen reports , this means the invention lowers the necessity for heating and air conditioning. According to The Graphene Company director, Patrick Folkes, ”When used on interior wall surfaces, rather than heat being radiated through the walls, the graphene within the paint captures the heat. It then conducts the heat through the paint, and across the whole Graphenstone-painted surface of interior walls. This enhances the insulation measures used in buildings by slowing heat conduction through walls and out of buildings.” Because graphene is one atom thick in the paint, less is required to achieve a durable finish that is resistant to corrosion. One liter of paint would cover two eight-meter-square coats, says The Graphene Company. An additional benefit is that the paint is extremely eco-friendly . With a base made from 98 percent pure lime, the paint purifies the surrounding air as it absorbs carbon dioxide. For this reason, the company boasts it is “the most sustainable and eco-friendly paint in the world”. “Sustainability is becoming more and more important as people realise the damage that acrylics do to the environment throughout the manufacturing process and its use on walls,” said Folkes. “Graphene’s inclusion in paints, coatings and other building materials exponentially enhances hardness, durability, compression, tensile strength, elasticity, and coverage.” Related: New graphene super batteries charge up in seconds and last virtually forever After the paint is applied, a hard shell forms as the lime hardens up in the carbonization process. According to Folkes, the initial consistency is a “little bit watery.” Over a period of 10 days, however, hard coverage is provided. The best part? No fumes are released in the process. Already, the product has been used to coat the walls of hospitals , hotels, and schools. As demand for the graphene paint increases, it will likely be sold elsewhere in the world. + The Graphene Company Via Dezeen Images via The Graphene Company

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Scientists invent graphene paint that makes your house super efficient

NYC’s first WELL-certified office boasts a host of health-boosting features

March 16, 2017 by  
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Structure Tone , one of Manhattan’s largest construction firms, isn’t giving “sick building syndrome” a chance. Its new headquarters at 330 West 34th Street is the first in New York City to be certified WELL , meaning that it’s deliberately designed to boost the wellbeing of the people inside it. The 82,000-square-foot office space received a Silver rating for a host of prescriptive features, including flooring, soundproofing, furniture, paint, and sealants that have low or no volatile organic compounds—that is, toxic gas emissions that frequently contribute to indoor pollution. Other pro-health elements include scrupulous air and water filtration, circadian-attuned lighting that promises to foster alertness in the day and better rest at night, and sit-and-stand desks so employees can keep their bodies limber and moving. Structure Tone even brought in acoustic consultants to dampen ambient noise and minimize distractions. Related: Foster + Partners aims to be first WELL-certified NYC tower Nutrition-wise, the company has its staff covered, as well. An on-site café serves up plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, and whole grains, along with beverages that contain less than 25 grams of sugar. There is also an automated system that allows employees to “customize their own health profile” and learn to make more nourishing choices. “Targeting WELL certification for our new office was important to us not only for our employees’ health and wellness, but also to ensure as construction managers that we understand what it takes to build these kinds of spaces,” said James Donaghy, chairman of the board at Structure Tone. “We have already seen our clients incorporating wellness into their built environments and firmly believe WELL will play a strong role in the workplaces of the future.” Related: Tour the WELL-certified building where Leonardo DiCaprio recently purchased an apartment Although less widely known than programs such as LEED , the WELL Building Standard offers a new paradigm for our built environment, chiefly by incorporating features that promote the mind and body. It’s not meant to supplant environmental building certifications, according to the International WELL Building Institute, but rather augment them. And the captains of industry had best pay attention. “Having Structure Tone achieve the first WELL certification in New York for its headquarters is indicative of its global leadership,” said Rick Fedrizzi, chairman and CEO of IWBI. “This is a company that at its core deeply understands the connection between the health of people and the importance of designing and constructing spaces that enhance health and wellness. We congratulate them on this significant achievement.” + WELL Building Institute

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NYC’s first WELL-certified office boasts a host of health-boosting features

5 No-Fail Solutions to Get Started Going Green

March 6, 2017 by  
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Making changes can be hard. We human beings are creatures of habit, wearing the same clothes, treading the same paths and eating our favorite foods week after week. Disrupting these habits takes effort, and sustaining change over a long period of…

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5 No-Fail Solutions to Get Started Going Green

4 Creative Eco-friendly Transportation Options

August 19, 2016 by  
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I’ve always wondered about alternative modes of transportation. If I can go on a road trip and don’t drive and maybe take a train and maybe have an adult beverage, I am going to choose that option. But a lot of times trains are more expensive than…

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Mushroom burial suit turns dead bodies into compost

August 14, 2016 by  
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Designer Jae Rhim Lee believes there’s a better way to be buried. Not in a coffin in your finest clothes, but rather with a mushroom burial suit that can turn your dead body into clean compost. Lee’s eco-friendly garment, called the Infinity Burial Suit , relies on two different kinds of mushrooms that break down the toxins in the body and helps speed up the natural decomposition process.

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Mushroom burial suit turns dead bodies into compost

Storybook Transylvania hotel built with clay and sand opens soon

July 25, 2016 by  
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The hotel’s owners, Razvan and Gabriela Vasile, sold their home in Romania ’s capital city of Bucharest in order to bring this clay fairytale castle into reality. The Valley of the Fairies, situated near the tiny village of Porumbacu De Sus, is 24 miles from the city of Sibiu. Its remote location and jaw-dropping views add to the hotel’s charm and mystique, effortlessly giving visitors the sense that they have traveled not only distance, but also time, in order to arrive at their destination. Related: Passive House Che in Romania has a super fun indoor net canopy Aside from its charming design and scenic surrounding landscape, perhaps the most interesting feature of the eco-friendly hotel is how it was built. Eschewing all modern building techniques, the hotel is composed primarily of clay and sand. The 10-room chalet was designed by eco architect Ileana Mavrodin , along with the Vasiles, and built by area craftsmen. “The exterior plastering is of lime and sand and the towers are of river stone, built with lime and sand,” said Razvan Vasile. “Everything is made with natural materials, and the windows and doors are different, each room having its own separate entrance.” Soon, the Vasiles say the hotel will be ready to host guests for overnight visits, but little is known about when that will happen or what the accommodations will cost. We do know the hotel will reportedly add a restaurant by the end of the year, serving a menu of local organic food. The hotel’s Facebook page acts as a hub for updates (in Romanian), while the website is still under construction. Via Treehugger Images via Castelul de Lut Valea Zanelor

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Storybook Transylvania hotel built with clay and sand opens soon

Eco-friendly July 4th Ideas Worth Celebrating Too

June 23, 2016 by  
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The fourth of July usually doesn’t conjure up images of being eco-friendly. But, there’s nothing that says you can’t strive to be the freest of free – sustainable – on this day celebrating American Independence. From celebration to cuisine, we’ve…

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