Circular economy startups compete at Circularity 2020, taking on shoes to shelf-life

August 31, 2020 by  
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Circular economy startups compete at Circularity 2020, taking on shoes to shelf-life Holly Secon Mon, 08/31/2020 – 01:00 A circular economy is urgently required for the shift to a more sustainable planet. But it will take new, innovative ideas to build a global system that uses and reuses all of the resources within it and moves us away from the deeply entrenched extractive system under which the modern world functions. At Circularity 20, GreenBiz’s online circular economy event, five startups presented their potentially world-altering ideas during the Accelerate competition. This GreenBiz tradition began in 2012 at its VERGE events, offering a venue where startups make a 2.5-minute pitch of their technology to the audience. During last week’s event, the online audience voted on its favorite, and an expert panel of Taj Eldridge, senior director of investments at the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), and Monique Mills, with the Startup Catalyst at the Advanced Technology Development Center at Georgia Institute of Technology, offered thoughts on the startups and their potential. Mills said that he considering new ideas, she looks to make sure that a startup will be able to establish itself and stay relevant in a changing business environment. “Our main focus is to make sure they’re able to become a sustainable business model, and one that can be supported into the future of how things will be done,” she said.  For Eldridge, one exciting thing about circular startups is that they’re working with communities that otherwise might not be thinking about environmental issues. “This is the opportunity to really get all the communities that have not been able to have the conversation about sustainability involved now,” he said. In order of presentation, here’s what the contenders had to offer. Borobabi Borobabi CEO Carolyn Butler took the virtual stage to pitch the sustainable children’s clothing rental startup. The early-stage company, based in New York, focuses on the $16 billion children’s clothing market, which, like the entire apparel space, suffers from a significant amount of waste. Children’s clothing, especially, often gets thrown away because children grow out of pants, shirts, shoes and other garments so quickly. Borobabi uses a circular model to serve as a platform where parents can rent clothes for children aged 0-6. The most unique feature is that the brand prices its clothes based on how durable they are. “We achieve true circularity by hitting on all three pillars of the circular economy. On the supply side, we only partner with ethical and sustainable brands who manufacture natural toxin-free clothing using organic agricultural practices, which regenerate natural systems,” Butler said. “We keep our products in circulation for as long as possible by renting only the highest-quality most durable items, ensuring they can be worn multiple times and retain like-new quality. Also, we helped design clothes with natural and monofibers that are recyclable. Our recycling partnerships are local here in the U.S. and help to keep our clothes out of landfills.” Infinity Goods The startup Infinity Goods has created a zero-waste grocery delivery service in Denver, Colorado, with plans to expand soon. CEO Ashwin Ramdas tried to go zero-waste — and then realized that he had to give up some of his favorite foods, such as ice cream and pasta, and lug around containers to stores every time he tried to shop. He realized that convenience and sacrifice was often a barrier, even for eco-conscious shoppers. So he founded Infinity Goods to connect those who want to go zero-waste but have found it too difficult. “It’s like the milkman, but now for a wide selection of food from fresh produce to tofu eggs pasta ice cream bread,” Ramdas explained. The company serves as a delivery service where groceries come in reusable containers, then get retrieved, cleaned and reused in future deliveries, cutting out the plastic packaging waste and relieving the customer of doing any work themselves. Infinity Goods has partnerships with local Colorado producers, which have agreed to reuse their packaging through the platform, fostering a local, waste-free circular economy. Salubata Salubata is a Nigerian startup that creates modular shoes from recycled plastic waste. The team of environmental scientists has figured out a way to knit together recycled plastic to create parts of a shoe that fit together — which then also can be taken apart at the end of life. The recycled plastic material also comes in different shapes and colors, which can be zipped into the same sole so consumers essentially can design their own low-carbon shoe. The global shoe market is valued at $264 billion per year, said CEO Fela Buyi. This product serves both shoe enthusiasts and eco-conscious shoppers. Mimica Mimica is a startup that aims to make the food system more sustainable with smart-design labels that extend the shelf life of fresh food. One major challenge for sustainable food systems is that there’s waste along every part of the food supply chain. Mimica’s labels are an intervention at the retail and consumer level to prevent edible food from being thrown out. “Expiration dates are set at the worst-case scenario, but the reality is that we keep our food much better than that. Dates are shortened to protect consumers in the rare case of problems in the supply chain or in our homes,” said Mimica CEO Solveiga Pakštait?. “And this actually hurts retailers’ bottom lines, because this hurts their ability to be able to sell produce in their stores. Add back just two days, and we can see food waste being cut in half in our stores, more than that in our homes, and sales go up when shelf life is extended. With products like juice and beef, the shelf life doubles.” The label, Mimica Touch, shows consumers exactly when food spoils. They just run their fingers over it, and if the label is smooth, the food is fresh. If it has bumps, it has spoiled. Resortecs Resortecs is a Belgium-based startup that provides a solution to the lack of apparel recycling. Only about 1 percent of garments are recycled — and one major reason is that garments aren’t designed to be recycled, because they have several components such as zippers or buttons that need to be separated. Resortecs has created a new material that can be used to sew together these components that breaks down at a high heat, allowing the components to separate easily and removing a major obstacle to reusing these parts. Plus, this heat-sensitive material only breaks down at extremely high temperatures, so it doesn’t affect the garment itself when people are wearing clothes.  “Garments made can be washed and ironed,” said Resortecs CEO Cédric Vanhoeck. “The material is not damaged in the process.” The audience voted on the online platform to ultimately select Mimica as the winner of this year’s Circularity Accelerate. Topics Circular Economy Innovation Circularity 20 Food Waste Fashion Food & Beverage Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off The Mimica label shows consumers exactly when food spoils. If there are bumps, the food has spoiled. Courtesy of Mimica Lab Close Authorship

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Circular economy startups compete at Circularity 2020, taking on shoes to shelf-life

In the next round of stimulus aid, corporate America needs to stand up for climate science

August 31, 2020 by  
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In the next round of stimulus aid, corporate America needs to stand up for climate science Mindy S. Lubber Mon, 08/31/2020 – 00:45 With Congress gearing up for another trillion-dollar round of economic relief that will set the strategic direction of the U.S. economy for years to come, it’s time for corporate America to stand up and be clear about the economy it wants and needs to prosper.  That means getting serious about advocating for a recovery plan that helps us build back better from the current pandemic, while tackling another global systemic threat: climate change.  The climate crisis is worsening, and it is playing out in real time as we grapple with COVID-19. Despite the temporary decline in greenhouse gas emissions, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere hit an all-time high in May. Triple-digit temperatures in June in the Arctic Circle led to another warmest month on record, tying with June 2019. The dry spring and hot summer has unleashed more raging fires in California this month, while residents across the American West are bracing for the worst megadrought in 1,200 years.  Climate change is a systemic risk , and its impacts are felt across corporate America. In a survey last year , 215 of the world’s largest publicly listed companies reported nearly $1 trillion at risk from climate impacts — most of it in the next five years. The severity of these intensifying risks requires a response of proportional ambition.  You may have heard of science-based targets. Today, we are calling for science-based climate advocacy. This moment calls for bold leadership. Companies must take action and ensure that all of their actions, especially their direct and indirect advocacy, are in lockstep with the latest climate science.  So what does science-based climate advocacy mean?  Companies must take action and ensure that all of their actions, especially their direct and indirect advocacy, are in lockstep with the latest climate science. A new blueprint from Ceres, the Blueprint for Responsible Policy Engagement on Climate Change , lays out a science-based action agenda for companies in the U.S. that comes down to two basic steps.  First, advocate for science-based climate policy. Business voices are influential in policy debates, and companies must use their voices to advocate for targets and policies that will limit global temperature rise to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius and ensure we reach net-zero emissions by 2050 or sooner.  Right now is a prime opportunity. We can build back better. Other countries are already opting for climate-smart recoveries, seeing their pandemic aid as a chance to gain competitive advantage and economic stability. Through our actions to tackle one crisis, we can avert another. We can invest in a resilient and inclusive economy that builds jobs, infrastructure, growth and stability for the long term. More companies are speaking up. In May , executives from 330 companies, including Microsoft, Mars Inc. and Nike, descended virtually on Capitol Hill, dialing into video calls with congressional leaders to ask for climate-smart policies as a part of the economic recovery. Globally, more than 1,200 companies have called on governments to ensure recovery efforts address COVID-19 and climate together.  Second, ensure that indirect advocacy and influence is also aligned with science. This includes ensuring trade associations a company may belong to are not promoting policies that are not based on science. While large trade associations represent companies on a number of issues, many have had a poor record in advocating for science-based climate policy.  Companies must keep in mind the risk they face from a fractured policy environment that exacerbates risk. They should ask themselves: “Is my association engaging in my best interest?” Often, the answer is “no.” Mars, Nestle and Unilever helped put a stake in the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the food industry’s largest lobbying group, after they left over differences on climate change to form the new Sustainable Food Policy Alliance . Meanwhile, UPS disclosed that it doesn’t support the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s opposition to the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions and joined one of the Chamber’s committees to assert its position on climate. Turning taxpayer dollars into stranded fossil fuel assets is no way to fuel a real economic recovery. Why do more companies need to step up on science-based climate advocacy? New research shows that the oil and gas sector’s lobbying has dominated climate-related policy battles during the pandemic, notching twice as many wins as climate advocates.  Even if many fossil fuel companies struggled financially for years before the pandemic, they are getting billions in federal aid. Supported by strong lobbying, oil companies reaped a stealth bailout of more than $1.9 billion inserted into the CARES Act. Turning taxpayer dollars into stranded fossil fuel assets is no way to fuel a real economic recovery. Taxpayer money should be invested in the future economy, one that is powered by renewable energy — one that creates more jobs, one that makes our economies more resilient.  Companies are recognizing the strategic imperative to take action on the climate crisis. In the face of COVID-19, corporations’ commitment to climate action has not waivered — it has increased. Their actions are reducing emissions, reducing costs and driving job creation, innovation and competitiveness.  However, to enable change at the pace and scale required to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, the whole economy must shift, and the economic stimulus, which represents some of the largest government spending in a generation, must support that shift. If it doesn’t, we risk further damaging the economy and public health rather than improving them — and making the climate crisis even worse.  It’s time for the rest of corporate America to be bold about its ambitions and demonstrate the science-based climate leadership that this time demands.  Pull Quote Companies must take action and ensure that all of their actions, especially their direct and indirect advocacy, are in lockstep with the latest climate science. Turning taxpayer dollars into stranded fossil fuel assets is no way to fuel a real economic recovery. Contributors Maria Mendiluce Topics Climate Change COVID-19 Policy & Politics Finance Policy & Politics Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off

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In the next round of stimulus aid, corporate America needs to stand up for climate science

Sea turtle rescue center mimics the natural ecosystems in Turkey

December 26, 2019 by  
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Located on Iztuzu Beach in Southern Turkey, the Research, Rescue and Rehabilitation Center for Sea Turtles will raise awareness for the wildlife that calls the unique ecosystem home. In true environmentally conscious architectural form, the design was inspired by the natural curves and traces of the beach tides and the surrounding native pine trees and reeds, all of which help to form the ecosystem. KÂAT Architects won the honor of designing the wildlife center in a national competition organized by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation of Turkey. According to KÂAT, the center will “ensure the cyclic continuity of the natural and cultural resources of Iztuzu Beach and its ecosystem, which is considered to be one of the rarest natural ecosystems of the world.” Related: Behind the scenes at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center The architects also took inspiration from the “crown shyness” in the area, the natural phenomenon where certain species of trees do not touch each other in an effort to allow the others to live and grow on their own without intrusion or obstruction. Intended to create an organically influenced structure that can exist peacefully with the rest of the environment, the Research, Rescue and Rehabilitation Center for Sea Turtles will certainly add to the already-beautiful landscape. The center will house multiple canopy structures, shaped to mimic the encircling trees while reflecting the slope of the topography. The structures will be elevated off the ground , allowing the natural life, soil and terrain to remain as undisturbed as possible. Each canopy conforms to its neighbor with closed, semi-open and open spaces constructed among narrow columns that mimic the nearby tree trucks. The Research, Rescue and Rehabilitation Center for Sea Turtles, nicknamed DEKAMER Station, will go even further by producing a negative carbon footprint . The design team hopes that the environmentally sensitive facility will motivate and encourage researchers, volunteers and visitors to do their part in protecting the diverse wildlife found where Anatolia meets the Mediterranean Sea in Southern Turkey. + KÂAT Architects Images via KÂAT Architects

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Sea turtle rescue center mimics the natural ecosystems in Turkey

PANGAIA presents FLWRDWN, a down alternative made from biodegradable wildflowers

December 26, 2019 by  
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With a concern for the treatment of ducks and geese during the gathering of feathers for down bedding and clothing, one company has developed a proprietary, cruelty-free alternative to traditional down. Called FLWRDWN, this down alternative, made from wildflowers , has taken scientists 10 years to develop. The result is a fully biodegradable material that can be used in coats, comforters and other products. The dried wildflowers — mixed with a biopolymer and infused with Aerogel for performance and durability — create a blend that is super-warm, certified hypoallergenic and breathable. Because it is made from natural materials, it is also biodegradable. Related: Collection of plant-based T-shirts raise awareness of endangered species PANGAIA uses flowers sourced from areas focused on habitat restoration and the conservation of butterfly species. The plants for FLWRDWN require no irrigation, so they preserve groundwater. The flowers are harvested with no damage to the ecosystem through the process of regenerative agriculture. For its initial release, PANGAIA used FLWRDWN in oversized puffer jackets made in Italy. Both the short and long versions of the coat feature exterior shells made from 100 percent quilted recycled polyester . The products have obviously resonated with consumers looking for a natural down alternative, as both styles of coats are currently sold out. PANGAIA is a development company with a mission to create safer and more earth-friendly materials . In its own words, “PANGAIA is a direct-to-consumer materials science company on a mission to save the environment. We are a global collective of one heart and many hands — scientists, technologists, designers — creating essential products from innovative tech and bio-engineered materials.” FLWRDWN is just one product in an exciting lineup made of eco-textiles , such as recycled cotton tracksuits, a shirt infused with seaweed and botanical T-shirts dyed with natural and non-toxic plant products. + PANGAIA Images via PANGAIA

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PANGAIA presents FLWRDWN, a down alternative made from biodegradable wildflowers

Couple’s tiny home ‘Ohana’ overlooks picturesque Vancouver

August 28, 2019 by  
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Clearly, good things do come in small packages. At just 100 square feet, the Galiano 100 is a tiny home affectionately dubbed “Ohana,” meaning family in Hawaiian, by its owners. The compact house overlooks the Strait of Georgia and the lights of downtown Vancouver. Situated on Galiano Island, British Columbia, the tiny home was completed in 2018 by Vancouver-based design firm Trim Studio. The lucky couple, Alicia and Kris Alexander, planned to get married on the Ohana property and live in the tiny cabin after tying the knot. Related: Solar-powered seaside cabin blends prefab design with traditional building techniques During the initial planning stages, the couple shared with Trim Studio’s principal Rodrigo Munguia that they also wanted Ohana to be a vacation home , where they could spend time with family and friends. While Ohana may certainly seem simple to some, the tiny cabin does have everything the couple requested and more: a kitchenette, bathroom and bedroom, patio, log storage, living area, an outdoor shower and even an outdoor hot tub. Not only can the residents gaze through the tiny home’s floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors and enjoy the cozy, wood-burning stove , but they also reap the rewards of the rustic cabin’s setting. The spacious deck, where the hot tub is located, is ideal for relaxing and taking in many a starry night without interruptions. With the tiny cabin’s minimalist design , beautiful forest views, outdoor entertaining area and other innovative amenities, it’s easy to see why Alicia and Kris wanted to settle here. Ohana not only packs a sleek architectural punch, but the tiny house meets the couple’s needs from top to bottom, inside and out. Magical yet practical, Ohana is a place that Alicia and Kris will undoubtedly call home-sweet-tiny-home for years to come. + Trim Studio Via Dwell Photography by Jarusha Brown via Trim Studio

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Couple’s tiny home ‘Ohana’ overlooks picturesque Vancouver

Behind the scenes at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center

August 28, 2019 by  
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Gwyneth stands upright, supported by one member of her medical team as another scrapes away what looks like blue cotton candy from the cracks in her shell with a pointed metal tool. The yellow slider is stoic, silently opening her mouth, whether wishing to bite or scream. Gwyneth is a turtle, one who has endured a lot of medical attention at the Georgia Sea Turtle Rescue Center since being hit by a car on Jekyll Island. The impact fractured both her carapace and her plastron — her top and bottom shells. The guide on the behind the scenes tour, AmeriCorps worker Stacia Dwelle, explains that the blue stuff is bioglass and costs $175 for a small jar. It works “like scaffolding for the tissue in the fracture site,” she says. Other treatments are lower tech and lower cost, such as the jug of honey and chunks of honeycomb the staff use for its antimicrobial value. Related: Small cruise line treats the whole world as one ocean While the hospital is called the Sea Turtle Rescue Center, they don’t discriminate here. The fully functioning center cares for any type of injured turtle and also works on other reptiles and birds . Public Awareness and Education The center’s founder, Dr. Terry Norton, grew up in Utah far from sea turtles, but his affection for reptiles grew during his residency in Gainesville, Florida. In the early 2000s, Norton worked on Saint Catherine’s Island, 40 miles north of Jekyll. Part of his wildlife health program was developing a global assessment of sea turtle health. He saw the need for a sea turtle hospital on the Georgia coast and opened the Jekyll Island facility in 2007. Since then, he and his staff have treated more than 3,000 patients and welcome 100,000 visitors annually. Why involve the public in turtle medical care? The center “wanted to raise awareness and educate the public as well,” says Dwelle. Five of the world’s seven species of sea turtles swim through waters along Georgia’s 100 mile coastline, all either threatened or endangered . Jekyll Island is prime nesting territory, especially for the Loggerhead sea turtle. Leatherbacks and Green sea turtles occasionally nest here. Kemp’s Ridley and Hawksbill turtles also pass through Georgia waters. This year, center staff identified 198 loggerhead nests on the island, with about 120 eggs in each nest. During July and August, the hatchlings fight their way out of their shells, then pour out of nests on the beach and trek to the sea just before sunrise. Most visitors to the turtle center opt for the $9 ticket, which gets them into an exhibit area with interactive displays. They can peer through a large microscope and learn about trash in the ocean. They can also visit the rehab area, a sultry building full of turtles in tubs or look through a window into the medical treatment room. Behind the Scenes in the Hospital Devoted turtle lovers— and those with a little more cash to spend on their travels— can join one of the other tours the center offers. Depending on the month, visitors may be able to accompany staff to nesting sites at night or in the early morning, and there’s a sea turtle camp for kids. Instead of watching the treatment from behind glass, groups of six can stand right in the treatment room and watch Dr. Norton assess turtles. Visitors can also learn about the nebulization chamber where snakes with fungal infections inhale a mist of medicine . Most of the center’s patients stay two to six months before being released. The staff here sometimes give future turtles a helping hand by transferring wild-laid eggs into an incubator. This is especially true when turtles lay their eggs too close to the road on the causeway that connects Jekyll Island to the mainland. The causeway is “a high, dry place those ladies like to look to build their nests,” says Dwelle. “But unfortunately, who else is out there on the causeway? We are. In our cars.” Human transportation is hard on turtles. While on land, they risk being hit by car but in the sea, boat strikes are a top hazard. The center also participates in other reptile-related projects, such as radio-tracking the island’s Eastern Diamondback rattlesnakes. Turtle Gourmets “So our sea turtles might be eating better than us,” says Dwelle serving the turtles mackerel, shrimp and blue crab, which is considerably restaurant -quality seafood. New patients get their food filleted for them but once they’re stronger they get whole seafood and live fiddler crabs just before being released. Staff arrange greens in a PVC pipe with holes cut out, which they sink to the bottom of turtle tubs. This way the patients remember to look for seagrass on the ocean floor when they eventually return to the sea. Each turtle gets a personalized diet, sometimes fortified with special vitamins and calcium. Helping Turtles Many of the hospitalized turtles could easily have escaped injury if humans had been more careful. Keeping your distance from nests ensure that hatchlings stand a better chance at survival. And most importantly, don’t litter. “When you’re on the beach, be careful with fishing lines,” says Mary Van Gundy, a volunteer vet technician at the center. “Make sure you gather them up and throw them away.” She’s amazed by the trash she finds, especially cigarette butts. Slowing down, whether in a boat or a car, will prevent many accidents. Maybe that’s what the stoic Gwyneth is trying to tell me as she silently opens her mouth. Images via Inhabitat

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Behind the scenes at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center

Playful gable-roofed home in Atlanta champions the power of CLT

May 17, 2019 by  
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Jennifer Bonner , architectural designer and director of MALL, has completed Haus Gables, a new ground-up residential project that was built almost entirely out of cross-laminated timber (CLT), an exceptionally strong wood material made from glued layers of solid-sawn lumber. Located in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood in Atlanta, Georgia, the 2,200-square-foot, two-story home is one of only a few residences constructed from cross-laminated timber in the United States. Named after its cluster of six steep gable roofs that form a singular roofline, Haus Gables delineates its interior spaces according to the ridges and valleys of the roofline, creating what the press release said is a floorplan resulting from the roof. “The underbelly of the gable roofs creates an airy, lofty space filled with ample natural light in what is actually a small building footprint,” noted Bonner. The single-family house has an “uncharacteristically slim” width of 18 feet on the 24-foot-wide plot. The residence’s exterior and interior walls as well as the floors and roof were built of solid, custom-cut CLT panels that were hoisted into place and assembled in just 14 days. Although it has been presented as an alternative to traditional stick frame construction, the home lifts inspiration from the American South vernacular with its playfully colorful faux-finishes that clad the exterior and parts of the interior. For instance, faux bricks made of shimmering stucco dash cover two sides of the facade, while black terrazzo is applied as a thin tile indoors. Related: Tham & Videgård Arkitekter designs Swedish “vertical village” built from CLT Bonner dressed the interiors with furnishings by female designers, including the likes of Ray Eames , Jessica Nakanishi of M-S-D-S Studio, Stine Gam of GamFratesi Studio, Anna Castelli Ferrieri for Kartell and more. The modern furnishings pop against the “color blocking” style applied throughout, which creates areas of gray concrete, yellow vinyl marble and black terrazzo. + Jennifer Bonner Photography by naaro via Jennifer Bonner

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Playful gable-roofed home in Atlanta champions the power of CLT

Looking to make your mornings greener? Try these 7 tips for a sustainable morning routine

May 17, 2019 by  
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We all have our favorite ways to start the day, but how eco-friendly is your morning routine? You might be surprised to learn that most people waste a lot of energy and resources in the first few hours they are awake. Luckily, you can make your mornings more eco-friendly with a few easy steps. From drinking a more sustainable cup of coffee to saving on water, here are seven ways you can go green in the mornings. Sustainable Coffee A hot cup of coffee has become the staple of many morning routines. In fact, many people rely on the caffeine boost to help jumpstart their day. If coffee is something you cannot live without, there are ways in which you can make it more sustainable . A great idea is to start brewing your favorite beans in a thermal carafe. This will help keep the coffee warm for longer periods, which cuts down on the need to brew more later in the day. You should also consider investing in an efficient travel mug instead of disposable cups, even when you fill up at your local coffee shop. If you drink coffee on a regular basis, ditching the waste can really add up over time. You can also purchase coffee in bulk whenever possible. This will help cut down on packaging and is easier on your budget. Related: These are the best tips to help you establish an eco-friendly laundry routine Enjoy Some Sunlight Syncing your day with the sun is a great way to become more eco-friendly in the mornings. By getting up when the sun rises every morning, you are more likely to go to bed when the sun goes down. This allows you to use less energy at night because you are not relying on lights deep into the night. This, of course, is only applicable if you have a daytime work schedule and can easily adjust your mornings and evenings. If you do wake up with the sun, take advantage of the warmth by opening up the blinds and trapping the energy inside. Save Water It does not take much to waste water in the mornings, especially when it comes to showering. A lot of people wander off while they wait for the shower to warm up, which can waste significant amounts of water over time. Instead, stay close to the shower and jump right in as soon as the water is hot. If the water takes a bit to reach a desired temperature you can consider lowering the temperature of your water heater, as this will help save energy and is better for your skin. Healthy Breakfast Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day, so why not make it as healthy as possible? One way to eat healthier in the mornings is to go vegan or vegetarian. Sub out meat products with fruit and veggies, tofu or even cereal. When shopping for the perfect breakfast ingredients, consider choosing items that are completely organic. Non-organic food is bad for the environment and not as healthy as organic products. You can also find great deals on organic food and should not have to break your budget to eat healthier. Switch Up Your Commute If you live within a reasonable distance from your job, consider walking or riding a bike a few days every week. Walking or biking to your place of employment will get your daily workout out of the way and make you more alert throughout the morning. This also helps cut down on vehicle emissions and traffic, which are two of the biggest concerns for cities around the world. You can also consider carpooling with your co-workers to help curb harmful emissions . If you are looking to buy a new vehicle, take a look at an eco-friendly option, such as a hybrid or a small car. These vehicles are much better for the environment and can generate considerable gas savings on an annual basis, both of which will make your eco-friendly morning routine complete. Eco-Friendly Bathroom Bathroom products are one of the worst offenders to the environment . Not only do they contribute to the growing problem of plastic waste, but they are packed with harmful chemicals that eventually find their way into our water sources. You can help curb some of these issues by choosing products that are eco-friendly. The only downside is that these products tend to be a little more expensive than their counterparts. But considering how many of these chemicals are linked to poor health, you will probably save on medical bills down the road. Related: 8 tips to make your exercise routine more eco-friendly Reusable Living One of the easiest ways to go green in the mornings is to reuse whatever you can. From coffee mugs to water containers, having something you can reuse on a daily basis can really cut down on excess waste. Reusing containers can also save you a few bucks every month. If you pack your own lunch to work, you should also consider investing in a reusable lunchbox or bag and avoid single-use plastics . It may be tempting to throw everything in a grocery bag, but these types of plastics are terrible for the environment and are filling up landfills at an alarming rate. Via Livegreen Recyclebank , The Fun Times Guide Images via Shutterstock

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Looking to make your mornings greener? Try these 7 tips for a sustainable morning routine

Georgia considers plan to build America’s first truck-only highway

February 13, 2018 by  
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Georgia is exploring the feasibility of designating an entire highway just for trucks . The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) is considering the 40-mile stretch where cars wouldn’t be allowed to drive – and WABE Radio says it would be the first of its kind in America. 4,317 people perished in crashes where large trucks were involved in 2016, the most recent federal statistics ready from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, according to WABE Radio. A separate highway for trucks could boost safety for both regular cars and freight operators, according to GDOT’s fact sheet on what’s called the I-75 Commercial Vehicle Lanes. Related: Siemens debuts first electrified eHighway in the US The toll-free truck-only highway would stretch from Atlanta to Macron and would consist of two barrier-separated lanes. GDOT’s fact sheet says the project is “projected to reduce delay on I-75 by 40 percent in 2030” and could also lower maintenance costs on the lanes for passenger cars. It would be northbound, per WABE Radio, with its own entrances and exits. Atlanta-area truckers have shown support for the project. WABE Radio spoke to trucker Afori Pugh, who transports around 20,000 pounds of construction materials on his trips. He said it can be difficult; when drivers cut in front of a truck, they rarely realize how much danger they’re in and they don’t understand his industry. He thinks a truck-only highway could “unclog a lot of the traffic .” Georgia governor Nathan Deal also seems to support the project, saying the truck-only highway is “an important part of what our future transportation system should and will look like” in a Georgia Transportation Alliance meeting. But some people are balking at the estimated cost of $1.8 billion. U.S. Public Interest Research Group listed the state’s truck-only lanes among the worst highway projects in America in 2017, saying it “would represent a giveaway to the trucking industry, while undermining a rail -based approach to freight movement in Georgia that is intended to get trucks off the roads.” GDOT could choose a general engineering consultant by the end of this year; that person would be expected to be in charge of project development and seek public input in the environmental process. Construction could commence in 2025. Via WABE Radio Images via Rhys Moult on Unsplash and Ken Lund on Flickr

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Georgia considers plan to build America’s first truck-only highway

Gigantic murals of local flora sprout on buildings around the world

February 13, 2018 by  
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These larger-than-life plant murals bring buildings back to nature – and they’re popping up all over the world. Muralist Mona Caron creates these intricate artworks by selecting plants native to each city and teaming up with local and international organizations to bring them to life, while also bringing a variety of social and environmental causes to public attention. The San Francisco -based artist selects plants that she finds in each city where she paints and uses them as symbolic references to local history and social issues. Her work both celebrates nature and examines current issues. She describes her Weeds series as a tribute to the resilience of all those beings who no one made room for, were not part of the plan, and yet keep coming back, pushing through and rising up. Related: Artists are turning the U.S.-Mexico border fence into the world’s longest peace-themed mural “Weeds break through even the hardest cement, the most seemingly invincible constraints, reconnecting earth to sky, like life to its dreams,” Caron explains. “It’s happening everywhere at the margins of things, we’re just not paying attention.” + Mona Caron Via This is Colossal

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Gigantic murals of local flora sprout on buildings around the world

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