10 ideas for zero-waste gift wrapping

December 6, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Wrapping beautiful presents for the holidays can create a lot of trash, thanks to all of the paper, bags, bows and ribbons. They may look amazing sitting under your tree for a few days, but within seconds of being opened, the garbage bags quickly fill up. Gift wrapping is one of the most wasteful parts of the holiday season, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can actually wrap beautiful presents without creating a ton of trash; you just have to use the right materials. If you look around your house, keep your eyes open at work, pull from the recycling bin, hit up a thrift shop and visit your local craft store, you can find the perfect items to wrap your presents in a zero-waste manner. Wrapping paper alternatives Newspaper The perfect idea for last-minute wrapping paper , newspaper is a material that you can easily find in the recycling bin at home or work. Use the comics section or advertising circulars to add a little color, or stick with the traditional black and white print. Either way, this option gives new life to a material that usually finds its way to the trash just as quickly as store-bought wrapping paper. You can also use magazines, old books, vintage maps or sheet music to wrap your gifts. Upcycling paper for gift wrapping is an idea that can’t go wrong. Paper grocery bags Another material that you will find in most recycling bins, paper grocery bags give a little texture to your gift wrapping, and this material can be easily dressed up with embellishments. Even if there is a logo on the bag, you can still use it. Simply take an old Christmas card and place it on the spot you want to cover. Fabric With some sewing scraps, old button-down shirts, cloth napkins or scarves from a thrift shop, you can make your gift wrapping zero-waste by using fabric . There is actually a Japanese fabric wrapping technique called furoshiki, which embraces an eco-friendly philosophy by folding and tying cloth in a unique way. Butcher paper White or brown butcher paper makes perfect wrapping paper because you can easily make it jazzy or keep it plain. Plus, it is never in short supply. You can find it in a recycling bin, or visit your local craft store and find rolls for cheap. Related: 3 easy, last-minute DIY gifts for nature lovers Mason jars Instead of filling up a gift bag, consider using glass jars to “wrap” your gift. You can dress up the jar with some old fabric or ribbon, and the recipient can reuse the jar instead of tossing a bag in the trash. Blankets Most people won’t object to getting two presents in one, especially when the bonus present is a soft, cuddly blanket. Place your gift on a flat blanket, then tie all of the corners together for a fun wrapping idea. Flower seed paper Try this unique alternative to traditional wrapping paper — plantable paper . This innovative gift wrap is made from post-consumer materials and is completely biodegradable. The paper is embedded with seeds, which sprout into flowers once the paper is planted. Ties and embellishments Twine/hemp Keep your tape use to a minimum by using twine or hemp to tie up your packages. With a simple spool of string, you can tie up all of your presents that you wrap in newspaper, paper grocery bags or butcher paper. Leather cord This strong material can easily tie up your gifts, and you can find rolls and rolls of it for just a few bucks. Leather cord also comes in a variety of colors, so it will easily dress up plain paper. Fabric scraps If you have pieces of fabric that aren’t large enough to wrap an entire gift, you can use those pieces to decorate a plain package or jar. Cutting up some long, narrow strips of fabric is an easy solution for jazzing up gifts, and it keeps your gift wrapping to zero-waste . Old jewelry Thrift stores are loaded with brooches and bracelets that you can buy with the change in the bottom of your purse. There are many beautiful jewelry options that you can use to add some sparkle to your gift wrapping when you tie them with fabric scraps or cloth napkins. Cinnamon sticks This option is beautiful, smells amazing and is also compostable. Simply tie some cinnamon sticks with string — and add a little greenery like pine needles or fresh herbs — to give your gifts an extra dose of holiday cheer. Natural elements Find fallen leafy branches from evergreen trees, pinecones, winter berries or twigs to adorn your packages. Simply tie them into place with twine, hemp, leather cords or fabric scraps for an impressive, thoughtful touch. Via Going Zero Waste and Trash is for Tossers Images via Leone Venter , Chang Duong and Kari Shea

Go here to see the original: 
10 ideas for zero-waste gift wrapping

Biomega unveils an affordable, lightweight electric car inspired by minimalism

December 5, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Known for its electric bike designs , Danish firm Biomega is now branching out into the electric car sector. The company has just unveiled its first electric car , called the SIN. Designed for urban environments, the SIN is a low-cost, lightweight electric car that runs on a 14kWh battery pack and is estimated to go up to 100 miles on a single charge. The SIN’s minimalist appearance was inspired by Scandinavian design principles of creating more with less. The body of the  electric car is comprised of modular carbon fiber to reduce its weight and enable optimal battery consumption. Stripped back to provide more space, the interior is made up of perforated mesh seats and an aluminum crossbeam that supports the steering wheel, which is connected to the car’s “info-tainment” tablet. An extra-wide windshield that extends over the roof of the car and transparent side doors were designed specifically to maximize the road views. Related: Biomega’s Boston folding bike: world’s first theft-proof bicycle? As far as power goes, the car runs on four independent engines powered by the main 14kWh battery , which is located under the floor. According to Biomega, the SIN can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in approximately 13 seconds and can reach a top speed of 80 miles per hour. More importantly for drivers, the battery is estimated to let the car run up to 100 miles on a single charge. Biomega founder Jens Martin Skibsted explained that after years of designing high-tech electric bikes, an electric car was the logical next step for the company. “We’ve been focused on urban mobility since the 1990s,” Skibsted said. “Biomega has always been about creating a paradigm shift in the way society imagines transportation . We feel that we are in an extremely strong position to design an electric vehicle (EV) that represents the frontier of the new mobility.” Recently unveiled at the Shanghai CIEE trade fair, the SIN, which is expected to come with a $20,000 price tag, is due to hit the market sometime between 2021-2023. + Biomega Via Dezeen Images via Biomega

Read more: 
Biomega unveils an affordable, lightweight electric car inspired by minimalism

This carbon-neutral festival promotes sustainable fun in Thailand

December 4, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

The fields are alive with art, architecture, food, wellness, talks and workshops, family activities and music at the fifth annual Wonderfruit festival in Pattaya, Thailand this December. Wonderfruit is a five-day, carbon-neutral event that inspires curiosity and encourages exploration of the unknown while promoting sustainable practices. Technically, Wonderfruit is a three-part festival with phase one in September, phase two in November and phase three taking place in December. Individuals and families alike will find copious entertainment options with more than 60 musical artists and dozens of massive art pieces displayed throughout the venue, which they refer to as “The Fields.” There are a variety of accommodations at the event for those who wish to extend their stay and nearly 55 farm-to-table food vendors to explore while you do. The event even brings in world-renowned chefs each year to offer guests delicious feasts with a side of educational opportunities. Related: Bjarke Ingels is crowdfunding a massive reflective sphere for Burning Man 2018 After you’ve stuffed yourself, had a drink and danced ’til you dropped, you can attend one of the 100 wellness activities focused on yoga, chakras, meditation, drum circle dancing, massage and more. Once you’re relaxed, dedicate yourself to learning something new via the 35 different seminar speakers and workshops. But there is no need to set a rigid schedule. The idea is to simply move about the campus, taking in something new at every turn where you might run into a pottery-making demonstration, football lesson, musical engagement, light show, fire dancing or dragon kite flying. The festival hours for phase three of the Wonderfruit festival are as follows, where you can take in one day or multiple: Thursday, December 13: 4 p.m.-midnight Friday, December 14: 8 a.m.-midnight Saturday, December 15: 8 a.m.-midnight Sunday, December 16: 8 a.m.-midnight Monday, December 17: 8 a.m.-12 noon (site closes at 12 noon) In alignment with the mantra, “Reduce, reuse, refill,” the venue does not allow any single-use plastic, so visitors should bring a reusable water bottle. Of course, you can support the cause by purchasing a reusable stainless steel cup on site or before the event at a discount. This cup also provides a discount on all drinks purchased at the event. All servingware at the venue is biodegradable , and organizers request that all attendees do their part to create as little waste as possible. Recycling and food waste bins are located throughout the venue, and all visitors are expected to use them accordingly. Overall, if you are looking for a day (or four) of fun and sustainability, this is a festival worth attending. + Wonderfruit Images via Wonderfruit

Original post: 
This carbon-neutral festival promotes sustainable fun in Thailand

Cheap drainage nets keep water pollution at bay in Australia

November 30, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on Cheap drainage nets keep water pollution at bay in Australia

Water pollution is a growing crisis around the world, but one city in Australia is doing its part to tackle the huge surges of waste that come from stormwater drains. By using a somewhat obvious, simple and cost-effective system of nets, or “trash traps,” the City of Kwinana is moving to prevent waste from entering its waters. In Spring 2018, the City of Kwinana collaborated with supplier Ecosol to install two drainage nets in the Henley Reserve. The netting was simply attached to concrete drain pipes, and these nets have since collected 370 kg (about 816 lb) of waste, including plastic food wrappers and bottles. Related: Former businessman bicycles down the Thames River to stop plastic pollution The system, including manufacturing, installation and additional labor, cost the municipality about $20,000 — prior to the nets, city workers would collect debris in the water by hand. The new system is picked up and cleaned out using cranes when the nets become full of waste. Then, the waste is sorted in a designated facility. Here, green waste is transformed into mulch, and other materials are separated into recyclable /non-recyclable. The City of Kwinana has considered the drainage nets a huge success, with plans to install three more nets in the nature reserve area over the next two years. “We know that the Kwinana community is very passionate about environmental initiatives and rallies around actions with positive environmental impact, and if it was not for the drainage nets, 370 kg of debris would have ended up in our reserve,” Mayor Carol Adams said. “The nets are placed on the outlet of two drainage pipes, which are located between residential areas and natural areas … This ensures that the habitat of the local wildlife is protected and minimizes the risk of wildlife being caught in the nets. To date, no wildlife has been caught up in either of the City’s nets.” The system took off on social media, in a viral storm that Adams said shows the importance for all levels of government to focus on initiatives to save the environment . + City of Kwinana Image via Shutterstock

Read more here:
Cheap drainage nets keep water pollution at bay in Australia

The best eco-friendly floor options for your home

November 29, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Comments Off on The best eco-friendly floor options for your home

Indoor pollutant levels can be up to five times higher than they are outside,  according to the EPA , and all you have to do to find the source of many of those pollutants is to look down at your floor. When you install traditional carpet or flooring it can fill the air in your home with hundreds of volatile compounds, including possible carcinogens, and it can take years for those compounds to disappear. To make matters worse, we often treat our carpets with toxic chemicals , and they are notorious for trapping lawn chemicals and allergens that we track in from the outside. Here are six ideas for durable, stylish and often less expensive  eco-friendly flooring options  that you can install to enhance your home. If you would like to minimize indoor pollution and reduce health problems caused by toxic flooring, you can now choose from flooring and carpets made from eco-friendly materials. Using eco-friendly materials in your home no longer means it will look boring and bland thanks to manufacturers stepping up and offering more beautiful, sustainable options. Green carpet If you prefer soft floors, there are carpet options that are not harmful to the environment or your health. Wool carpet comes from a natural resource that can be dyed any color and it is so durable it can last for decades. Other natural materials to look for when buying carpet or rugs is cotton, jute, and sisal. Polyester (P.E.T.) Berber carpet is another sustainable option that is made from recycled plastic bottles and has little environmental impact. It is durable, spill resistant, and comes in a variety of patterns and colors. It does have a few drawbacks, though. You can easily snag Berber and cause it to unravel and it can be a bit tough to walk on with bare feet. Bamboo This sustainable flooring option is easy to install and even easier to maintain. Bamboo is a grass that has similar characteristics as hardwood, but it grows to maturity in just three to five years, as opposed to the twenty years that trees can take. You can find bamboo in different colors and grains, and you can customize it in ways that you can’t do with other materials. Concrete Polished concrete is a sustainable material that can give your home an industrial look and feel, and it has gained popularity in recent years. You can polish and tint your concrete floors to match your taste, and you can inlay other materials, designs , or effects. Concrete is durable, easy to clean, and you will never have to replace it. Cork One of the newest options in the flooring market, cork has antimicrobial properties that will reduce the allergens in your home, is fire retardant, naturally repels insects, and is easy to maintain. You can find cork in a variety of colors and stains that can match any design style or color scheme. It is so durable that you can use it in any part of your home, and the floors can last up to thirty years. Glass tiles Beautiful glass tiles come from recycled beer and wine bottles, and they are quickly becoming a popular option for floors and bathroom and kitchen walls. Glass tile floors do not absorb moisture, and they will not mildew or mold in a damp environment. They are also extremely easy to maintain, and they come in every color and pattern you can think of. They also reflect light instead of absorbing it like ceramic tiles do, and that can give a darker room some extra light. Rubber This eco-friendly floor option is making its way into more and more homes because it is beautiful, versatile, and it lasts. Plus, it comes in many different colors and patterns. Rubber flooring comes from recycled tires, and in the past, you mostly found it at the neighborhood playground or local gym. But now, people are installing it in their kitchens and bathrooms because it is great to walk on and it is water resistant. Via Freshome Images via kazuend , Marco Bianchetti , pix24 ,  Goh Rhy Yan and Shutterstock

Here is the original: 
The best eco-friendly floor options for your home

Introducing ReTuna, the world’s first secondhand shopping mall

November 29, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Comments Off on Introducing ReTuna, the world’s first secondhand shopping mall

The reusing and upcycling trend continues to gain steam in countries all over the globe. Now, there is a shopping mall that is full of secondhand stores only. ReTuna, a two-story complex in Eskilstuna, Sweden, is located about 70 miles west of Stockholm and offers a wide selection of shops with upcycled, reused and recycled goods. Sales at the mall have  quadrupled in its first three years . ReTuna has  been around since 2015 , and it was designed to tackle Sweden’s problem of rising consumption. It is the first mall in the world that focuses on sustainable shopping, and the company wants to make it easier for people to find valuable, pre-loved goods by putting secondhand stores under one roof instead of consumers having to search for thrift stores throughout the city. “I think it’s fun to find something that people have used, and we can use further,” said Cato Limas, a ReTuna customer. “If you look at the things they’re selling here, they’re almost new. So actually, why bother buying new stuff?” During their first visit to the secondhand mall, Limas and his girlfriend spent about $7 and came away with a bag full of toys and keepsakes for their newborn baby. Nearly every item on sale is from public donations, which are dropped off at the mall’s drive-thru depot. The mall’s 11 stores include a vintage furniture outlet, a bookstore and a bicycle shop. Stores that sign a contract with ReTuna must also commit to zero-waste . More than 50 people work at the complex, and it has played a role in generating employment for immigrants in the area. Many of the stores take part in a Swedish national program that subsidizes salaries of new residents for up to two years. ReTuna also offers adult education courses that focus on design-based recycling . Sweden has been a longtime leader when it comes to sustainability. More than 99 percent of the country’s ordinary household waste is recycled, and separating trash for recycling has been a common practice for Swedes since the 1980s. The country has also passed legislation to reach its goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. + ReTuna Via Huffington Post Images via ReTuna

See the original post here:
Introducing ReTuna, the world’s first secondhand shopping mall

This off-grid home on a Greek island provides ‘cinematic frames’ of the sea

November 29, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on This off-grid home on a Greek island provides ‘cinematic frames’ of the sea

Located on a remote hillside on the Cyclades islands off the coast of Greece, the Parallel House pays homage to the beautiful sea that surrounds the island. But behind its stunning design lies a completely self-sustaining home. Designed by Athens-based En Route Architects , the contemporary, concrete residence runs entirely off the grid thanks to solar panels, a rainwater collection system and energy-efficient insulation. The 1,000-square-foot home uses traditional building methods to become completely  self-sustaining . Because of the sloped topography of the building site, the backside of the home is partially embedded into the landscape, providing resilient, natural insulation to the home. By submerging the back of the structure into the hill, the architects were able to open up the front facade to face the sea. The elongated volume is broken up into a series of large square sections that frame the views from different rooms. Related: An off-grid home in South Africa features a conservatory for fully enjoying nature Made out of exposed concrete , the home boasts an impressive list of passive features that help reduce its energy and water usage. The concrete walls and flooring provide a tight thermal insulation to reduce the demand for electricity and maintain a stable, controlled temperature inside the home year-round. A recessed corridor in the back of the home enables cross ventilation to keep it cool through the searingly hot summer months. For water conservation, the roof was installed with a rainwater collection system that drains gray water into submerged tanks to be re-used as filtered water. Adjacent to the off-grid home, solar panels hidden within the landscape generate sufficient energy to power the residence. + En Route Architects Via Archdaily Photography by Yiorgis Yerolymbos and Nicholas Kourkoulas via En Route Architects

Read more from the original source: 
This off-grid home on a Greek island provides ‘cinematic frames’ of the sea

Survey Results: What Would You Value Most in a Sustainable Economy?

November 28, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco

Comments Off on Survey Results: What Would You Value Most in a Sustainable Economy?

Thanks to those of you who responded to last week’s … The post Survey Results: What Would You Value Most in a Sustainable Economy? appeared first on Earth911.com.

Read the original:
Survey Results: What Would You Value Most in a Sustainable Economy?

How to provide a backyard habitat to protect animals in the winter

November 26, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Comments Off on How to provide a backyard habitat to protect animals in the winter

We live in an ecosystem where plants and animals depend upon one another for survival. During the cold winter months, the animals in your area may struggle to find adequate food, shelter and water; however, you can make a difference in these tough situations. To help animals survive the winter, here are a few simple actions you can take in your own yard in the name of wildlife conservation . Hold off on deadheading Birds eat seeds and make nests from grasses. Critters store nuts and seeds from plants . Although you might find it unsightly, leaving the dried heads of roses, wildflowers, sunflowers, coneflowers and blazing star makes it easier for birds to forage during the winter. So instead of cutting them back in the fall, allow them to overwinter, and trim them back in the spring instead. Rethink your landscaping selections Every gardener knows that some plants appeal to animals more than others. We need flowers for insects to pollinate, attractants for butterflies and plants that produce seeds for small critters to eat. Most of this activity happens during the summer months, which is why animals store up for winter. But when the stores run out or animals seek fresh foods, the right plants in your garden can provide year-round feedings. Related: How to plant fruit in the winter If you are due for a change or some additional shrubbery, consider planting trees that produce nuts such as hazelnut, walnut or oak trees. Plant foliage that produces berries year-round to feed the animals. Some examples include bayberry, viburnum, chokeberry, wintergreen teaberry, dogwood and winterberry holly. Also plant trees that produce pine cones as a food source for birds, and while you’re considering evergreens, note that the juniper tree also provides berries. Some varieties of crabapple trees are an additional option for providing fruit throughout the winter. Create water reservoirs Animals can’t drink snow or ice — keep fresh water available. Build a small pond or maintain bird baths. Keep your water source warm enough to avoid freezing with an easy-to-find heater that you can run in your pond or bath. A layer of ice on the top of your pond will not only trap invertebrates and frogs inside, but it also reduces the amount of oxygen in the water. If you live in a generally mild climate but have a water source ice over during an unseasonal cold snap, place a pot of hot water on the icy surface. Related: Birdbath care during the winter You don’t want rodents falling into the water sources, so make sure that any water available is in the form of a bird bath or other elevated source. Reservoirs, like rain collection barrels, should be completely sealed around any openings to repel critters who could get trapped inside. Build protection out of debris Your yard clippings, especially tree branches, make an appealing refuge for foraging rodents, rabbits, squirrels and reptiles . They also allow birds to have a protected space for building nests in preparation of spring. To create a brush pile for housing, start with a pile of the largest branches and cuttings. Stack smaller debris on top for additional layers of protection and warmth.  Critters and nesting birds will thank you for the protection. You can also encourage animals to take shelter in your woodpile by stacking wood pieces with copious spacing. Criss-crossing split wood chunks provides protection for rabbits, squirrels and other small animals. Craft tiny animal homes Animals that are cold during winter will seek out warmth and shelter wherever they can. That’s why you’ll find rats sneaking into the house, mice burrowing into covered patio furniture or taking over the RV and birds tucked into the rafters. To keep them happy and warm without sharing your living space, build them their own homes. In addition to mounds of protective foliage, put together a row of basic wooden birdhouses resting on posts, hanging from trees or mounted to the fence. Bat houses have visual appeal and functional elements, too. If you have space, choose an area away from the main activity on your property to place a recycled chicken coop, bus stop shed or other small building; lay down straw for added warmth. Put out food Fill your bird feeders and remember to check them often during the winter. Those that keep food dry are the best. Also make and hang some pine cone feeders from your trees. Simply smear some nut butter on the pine cone and roll it in bird food for an easy and animal-friendly craft that the whole family can work on together. Related: Attracting backyard birds in winter Leave the leaves Autumn is dubbed fall because of the obvious characteristic of leaves dropping everywhere. As leaves float away from the trees and onto your property, resist the urge to get out the leaf blower and yard debris cart. Instead, move those leaves over to your flower beds. Not only will they provide mulching benefits to your plants, but they will also offer a habitat for ground birds, such as the thrush, and frogs, which prefer the moist environment that leaves provide. While it’s tempting to strip the yard down to the ground during your fall list of chores, remember to think about the animals. By holding off on debris removal and taking a few calculated steps, you’ll not only improve their winter habitat, but you will also have a more appealing green space with foliage and animals to view. Via Humane Society , Discover Wildlife and HGTV Images via Annie Spratt , Maria Shanina , Peter Trimming , Zailin Liu , Phil Roeder , Erin Wilson , Wes Hicks , DaPuglet and Rachel Kramer

See the original post here: 
How to provide a backyard habitat to protect animals in the winter

What conserving rhinos taught me about climate economics

November 26, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on What conserving rhinos taught me about climate economics

It’s simple economics.

See the original post:
What conserving rhinos taught me about climate economics

« Previous PageNext Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 802 access attempts in the last 7 days.