This versatile, waterproof parka is made with recycled PET bottles

November 18, 2019 by  
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Oftentimes, less is more — like when you can carry a coin purse instead of a weighty bag. When it comes to coats and jackets, choosing a light-yet-durable option is best, so you don’t find yourself in a mummy-tight arctic coat when all you really need is a lightweight, waterproof shell. That is where the Maium Lightweight Parka comes in to play. Of course, we’re all about sustainability, so while having the right jacket for the job is ideal, it’s even better when that jacket is also kind to the environment. The Maium Lightweight Parka fits the bill here, too. As with all Maium raincoats, the Lightweight Parka is made using recycled PET bottles — and we all know that diverting plastic out of landfills is a good move. Maium ensures all of its jackets are also manufactured under fair, safe and healthy working conditions. Related: Labo Mono turns plastic water bottles into Urban Jackets for cycling and everyday use Even when you want to support companies that keep sustainability in mind, the products should still live up to your expectations. Enter the versatility, convenience and great design of Maium Lightweight Parkas. The Maium Lightweight Parka is, of course, lightweight. That makes it easy to haul around from weekend sporting events to thousand-mile backpacking treks along the Pacific Crest Trail. In addition to being light, it packs down into a compressed size for easy storage and retrieval. For versatility, the parka has adjustable cuffs to fit a variety of wrist sizes and to accommodate bulky, long-sleeve clothing underneath. The waist and hood can also be adjusted. Plus, side zippers easily convert the parka into a poncho, which is especially convenient when you need the maneuverability to ride a bike. The newly released Maium Lightweight Parka is available for men and women in three color options: black, army green or iridescent. It retails for 155 euros (approximately $170). + Maium Images via Maium

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This versatile, waterproof parka is made with recycled PET bottles

Double your vacation fun on this gorgeous double decker bus hotel in Wales

November 18, 2019 by  
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Visitors to the incredibly idyllic area of the Teifi Valley in West Wales now have a quirky new accommodation to enjoy. The vintage 1964 Leyland Titan double decker bus has been renovated into a vibrant glamping location that sleeps up to six. Surrounded by 40 acres of organic farmland, the beautiful blue double decker is a great way for guests to reconnect with nature. The converted bus is located at Ceridwen Centre, an organic farm that offers a number of unique lodgings, such as converted barns, yurts and even a cool eco pod. Now, the farm has added its own double decker bus to its whimsical collection of accommodations. Related: Vintage red double decker bus is converted into a cool, retro hotel The double decker bus is a great choice for families looking to get away for a bonding experience. With a master room upstairs and two double rooms with a sofa bed downstairs, the converted bus sleeps up to six guests. Additionally, the bus offers a spacious indoor living and dining area. There is also a fully equipped kitchen and bathroom. For dining al fresco or simply taking in the natural surroundings with a fresh cup of coffee each morning, there is an open-air deck connected to the bus. Although the glamping property itself has plenty to offer in terms of long, leisurely strolls throughout the landscape, there is an abundance of things to do in the area. Onsite, there is a store that sells local produce and crafts as well as a bar for a fresh, cold pint. The lodging is just a mile from the village of Drefach Felindre, which offers more retail shops and restaurants. Of course, those seeking some outdoor thrills can check out activities in the beautiful Teifi Valley, such as mountain biking, rock climbing, canoeing or fishing. + Independent Cottages Images via Independent Cottages

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Double your vacation fun on this gorgeous double decker bus hotel in Wales

Sead Pod offers grassroots solution to air pollution and global warming

November 5, 2019 by  
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Gardening should be good for the environment, adding oxygen to the air, nutrients to the soil and filtering water for consumption. But plastic and toxins have become ubiquitous, leaving the home gardener to make intentional choices about which products to use. That’s where Sead Pod comes in, a vertical garden made using sustainable practices and recycled materials . Sead (Sustainable Ecology, Adaptive Design) Pod offers a simple plastic planter for bringing gardens into the smallest spaces while reusing plastic, which is problematic for the environment. The pod simply clips on to any chain link fencing, providing water efficiency from the vertical garden design while diverting plastic from the landfill. Related: This self-sustaining planter doesn’t require sunlight for plants to thrive “The Sead Pod represents a new way of thinking about green design in an urban context,” said Bryan Meador, Plant Seads’ Founder and Chief Design Officer. “By reimagining existing architectural elements like chain link fencing as a tool in the fight against climate change, we’re able to leap into the green movement immediately, fighting climate change at the grassroots level and making our cities cleaner, healthier, and more livable—right now.”  Based in Kingston, New York, Meador is familiar with the limitations of urban gardens so he designed the Sead Pod to jump start the urgency of climate change. What he described as “the sluggish response of government and multinational companies” lead him to take action, experimenting with 3d printing and rapid prototype development to finalize the design . Proving his self-labeled impatience, Meador had the Sead Pod designed, manufactured and released in less than nine months. “Our generation is the first to be born into Climate Change. This crisis is not hypothetical to us, and we’re tired of waiting around for others to address this issue in a meaningful way,” Meador said in a press release.  With lofty goals of tackling CO2 emissions at a grassroots level, the Sead Pod gives everyone the ability to contribute to the solution. Imagine every chain link fence in your community covered in greenery and you begin to see the potential. The pods also connect to chain link material the size of a picture frame and Sead Pod offers five sizes of sead frames to suit the needs of every home and office. They are designed to be durable for long-term use even when exposed to harsh elements, not to mention, they are recyclable at the end of their life cycle. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thursday, October 31, 2019 8:59 PM PDT. + Plant Seads Images via Plant Seads

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Sead Pod offers grassroots solution to air pollution and global warming

This plant-based ski wax keeps nasty chemicals off the snowpack

October 1, 2019 by  
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For those looking to hit the slopes as the weather cools down, a new eco-friendly ski wax will not only help you glide through the fluffy snowpack but will also help keep the environment free of the dangerous chemicals found in most ski waxes. In a world where nearly all ski wax is made from petroleum, the innovative MountainFLOW eco wax is made entirely from plants. The sight of white snow-covered hills is enough for most skiers to call off of work and hit the slopes, hopefully in a sustainable retreat . But whatever we put on our skis quickly enters the snowpack, eventually making its way into local streams and rivers. Considering that most ski wax is made out of petroleum, this means that pollution during the ski months increases substantially for these water systems. Related: Top 6 sustainable winter resorts for snowboarding and skiing in the US Thankfully, the eco-conscious team at MountainFLOW has kicked off a new Kickstarter campaign to announce the launch of North America’s only line of plant-based ski wax . Designed to keep harmful chemicals out of the environment, this eco-friendly product is rapidly catching the attention of the ski world. Over the years, the team has worked to develop a petroleum-free wax that offers the same hydrophobicity, durability and ease of application that most traditional petroleum-based waxes offer. Not only have they created a product that does just that, but they have created a ski wax that is much better for the environment. Other plant-based ski waxes have been made with soy. Although the MountainFLOW wax does include a little bit of soy, the eco-friendly product uses a high-quality combination of other plant-based waxes that offer a faster, more durable product. The MountainFLOW packaging is also made from 100 percent recycled materials and is completely biodegradable. + MountainFLOW Images via MountainFLOW

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This plant-based ski wax keeps nasty chemicals off the snowpack

Innovative orange juicer 3D prints bioplastic cups out of leftover orange peels

September 16, 2019 by  
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International design firm Carlo Ratti Associati has developed an experimental circular juice bar that uses orange peels to make deliciously fresh-squeezed juice but that’s not all. Using filament made from the leftover orange peels, the “Feel the Peel” machine then 3D prints disposable cups to drink the refreshing juice on the spot. The prototype juicer, which was designed in collaboration with global energy company Eni , is a 10-foot tall orange squeezer machine topped with a massive dome. The dome is comprised of several round racks that hold up to 1,500 oranges. The machine’s base is installed with a 3D printer . Related: 10 ways 3D printing is disrupting the architecture industry Once the order is placed for freshly squeezed juice, the innovative machine begins to work its magic. The oranges slide down to a machine that squeezes the juice out of the two halves. The leftover peels fall through a tube where they accumulate at the bottom of the machine. There, the peels are dried, milled and mixed with Polylactic Acid (PLA), converting them into a bioplastic material. The bioplastic is then heated and melted into a filament that is used by the machine’s built-in 3D printer to create recyclable 3D printed cups on the spot that are filled with freshly-squeezed juice. The innovative prototype is a study of how the even the most simple, everyday treats in our lives can be part of a circular, zero-waste economy . “The principle of circularity is a must for today’s objects,” says Carlo Ratti, “Working with Eni, we tried to show circularity in a very tangible way, by developing a machine that helps us to understand how oranges can be used well beyond their juice. The next iterations of Feel the Peel might include new functions, such as printing fabric for clothing from orange peels”. The Feel the Peel juice bar made its debut at an event in Rimini, Italy this summer, but will be installed at the Singularity University Summit in Milan on October 8 and 9, 2019. + Carlo Ratti Associati Via Wired Photography by Nicola Giorgetti and video by ActingOut

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Innovative orange juicer 3D prints bioplastic cups out of leftover orange peels

Plumen Hive shade is 3D-printed and biodegradable

September 11, 2019 by  
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Light bulbs and lamp shades go together like peanut butter and jelly so when Plumen had an idea for a natural looking shade, they turned to designer Luke Deering with very specific goals in mind: make it elegant and make it sustainable . The Hive shade is the result of a vision to use biomorphic design to make a shade look like a natural honeycomb . Shadowing the design after well-sculpted art of the hive not only brings natural elements inside the living space, but also gives a nod to some of nature’s best architects — the bees. The woven material allows light to filter through while defusing the bright light of the bulb. Related: Benjamin Spöth weaves leftover birch plywood into beautiful Upcycle lamps While the design elements are striking as an idea and on paper, the finished product raises the bar above typical design with a unique production that is a result of the newest 3D printer technology. This process streamlines the manufacturing and supports the sustainability goals of the project too. That’s because the shade is printed from PLA bioplastic, a material that is made up of 90 percent recycled plastic and plant products. The U.K.-based company wanted to create a closed loop with the Hive shade and began by sourcing the manufacturing nearby to alleviate transport emissions. In addition, the shades are printed on demand to avoid unnecessary waste . To complete the circle, the Hive shade is commercially compostable and will biodegrade in about six months at the end of its usable life cycle. Like any good home decor, the Hive shade comes in a variety of options to suit your needs. The two available sizes fit over two of the most common bulb options from Plumen. There’s a choice of six colors: White, Black, Moss Green, Gold, Orange and Blue. Plus, you can submit special color requests. The shades fit neatly into the neck of the Plumen pendant, available in black or copper so you can make your selections and put together your desired look without worrying about the effect on the planet . It’s a bright idea! + Plumen Images via Plumen

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Plumen Hive shade is 3D-printed and biodegradable

Breezy home design for artist couple boasts a green roof of succulents

August 30, 2019 by  
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When Seattle-based firm Heliotrope Architects were approached by a couple to create a home that would reflect their passion for art, the architects immediately envisioned a vibrant space that incorporated several features such as natural light to give the space an art-gallery feel. The resulting Artist Residence is a beautifully contemporary, light-filled design that not only features wide open spaces to showcase the couple’s art collection, but also has a strong connection to the outdoors through its multiple gardens, including an expansive green roof . Clad in stained cedar siding , the home’s exterior was carefully designed to fit into the general aesthetic of the Capitol Hill neighborhood. A gabled roof and nice front garden give the home a classic feel— which quickly disappears when entering the home. Related: Tiny prefab timber cabin in New Zealand designed to be serene art studio The interior of the 3,953 square foot residence is bright and airy, with loads of natural light flooding into virtually every corner. Stark white walls and polished concrete flooring give the space its modern feel while the interior design, made up of contemporary furniture with vibrant splashes of color, add a bit of whimsy to the living space. To create a strong connection with the outdoors, the home design was laid out in a checker-board pattern, alternating between interior and exterior spaces. From the entrance, the main living areas, living room, kitchen and dining spaces, stretch out to the rear patio courtyard. Large custom-made windows were installed high up so that the residents could observe their surroundings, but still maintain their privacy. Adjacent to the living space is the art studio , which features a double-height cathedral ceiling. To designate the area as a working space for the couple, the studio was sunk half a level down from the living room. The private spaces are located on the upper floor. The master suite features a large spa–like bathroom with a Japanese soaking tub. From the suite, large windows frame the views of the Japanese garden out back, which is irrigated thanks to a rainwater runoff system built into the roof. Green space was another important feature of the home design. In addition to the front and rear gardens, the home has a flat rooftop garden planted with succulents. + Heliotrope Architects Photography by Benjamin Benschneider

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Vertical forest buildings designed by Stefano Boeri set to center new Cairo Administrative district

August 22, 2019 by  
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In a world of high population growth, it’s increasingly difficult to find adequate housing as green space is diminishing throughout most urban areas. But when Cairo began developing a new administrative capital area, architects and designers jumped into the planning with vertical forest block buildings. Italian architect Stefano Boeri collaborated with Egyptian designer Shimaa Shalash as a local partner, as well as landscape agronomist Laura Gatti to create three, seven-story buildings including a hotel and two apartment blocks. Set in the desert about 30 miles outside Cairo, the buildings will be unique with the incorporation of garden terraces throughout. The design creates the appearance of a living building, with plants cascading down all sides. Related: Egypt’s new Science City International – an oasis of knowledge in the desert Each building will measure 30 meters both in height and width for eye-catching square features in the center of town.  Beyond the shape, the trio of buildings will host an estimated 350 trees and more than 14,000 shrubs and perennials belonging to 100 different species. This remarkable goal represents one third of the total number of living plants in the whole Greater Cairo area. The total green area will cover 3600 sq.m, matching the building footprint. Types of plants will vary to offer visual appeal as the seasons change. As with all trees and plants, the air should be cleaner around the vertical forest with the studio estimating an absorption of 7 tons of carbon dioxide and release of 8 tons of oxygen each year. Not to mention, the buildings will provide their own energy and the greenery will add insulating features. Egyption property developer MISR Italia Properties is building the project, with the vertical concept forest being the first that Boeri has brought to Africa. Previously, he designed building forests in Albania, the Netherlands and even conceptual models for Mars. Architect Stefano Boeri and partner and project director of the office, architect Francesca Cesa Bianchi presented the project and the vision of a ‘ Greener Cairo ‘ at il Cairo last July and construction is set to begin 2020 with finishing touches scheduled for 2022. According to Stefano Boeri and Francesca Cesa Bianchi: “Cairo can become the first Northern-African metropolis to face the big challenge of climate change and of the ecological reconversion”. + STEFANO BOERI ARCHITETTI Images via STEFANO BOERI ARCHITETTI

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Vertical forest buildings designed by Stefano Boeri set to center new Cairo Administrative district

BloomingTables offers a "living table" that’s furniture and a terrarium all in one

August 8, 2019 by  
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Scientists, doctors, naturalists and pretty much everyone else agrees that plants in your home and office are a good thing. Not only do they add visual appeal, but they make a space feel cozy and natural. Not to mention, there’s that thing about cleaning up the air. Thanks, plants. But, it’s often difficult to find enough space to display plants in an appealing way so the designers of BloomingTables decided to do something about it with a double-duty table and plant stand that is the very essence of green design . BloomingTables offer a sleek, modern design that fits into any home, office or home office space. Sized at 30” x 33” x 10.5”, the table fits under a window sill, behind the couch, in a hallway or next to your desk. The contemporary white steel legs cradle the white planting tub. Inside is a waterproof liner that protects the planter and the floor below. Related: 9 ways to add more houseplants to your home BloomingTables may be compact, but they are multi-functional. Simply line the tub with gravel and activated charcoal to absorb water and keep it from overflowing. Then add your soil and choice of air-filtering plants . Pillars with suction cups on the top hold an easy-to-remove 6mm tempered-glass shelf that serves as a tabletop. The see-through design allows you to enjoy your plants while offering kid and pet protection. When it’s time to water your plants , remove the glass from the UV-resistant suction cups, water and replace the glass when you’re done. Most plants need light so the BloomingTables were designed to be placed near a window, but if that’s not your ideal location you can place a lamp with an incandescent bulb on or near the tabletop to replace some of the natural light . BloomingTables are easy to set up and use. You can make your own plant selections so each one looks different. The design is ideal for plant lovers that just don’t have the window sill or counter space for the plants they love. It brings color and live decor to even the smallest urban apartment without large pots of soil. The Kickstarter campaign reached its goal very quickly, however it doesn’t end until August 22. There are currently still early bird discounts available. + BloomingTables Images via BloomingTables

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BloomingTables offers a "living table" that’s furniture and a terrarium all in one

Sustainable toiletries packaged in soap aim to eliminate single-use plastics

July 15, 2019 by  
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Single-use plastic may be the biggest issue of our time, but admittedly, it’s sometimes an uphill battle to find alternatives. But now, when it comes to finding sustainable toiletries, there’s a eco-friendly option. Already well-known for innovative and sustainable designs, Mi Zhou has just unveiled Soapack, a collection of sustainable shampoo packaging made out of soap. Personal care products often come in mass-produced plastic containers that have a fairly short lifespan, requiring multiple purchases throughout the year. From face lotions to hair gels and everything in between, we are constantly suffocating the planet with a shocking abundance of plastic waste , especially considering that the standard plastic bottle can take up to 450 years to break down . Related: The Refill Shoppe enforces zero-waste packaging, provides bulk refills for household and beauty products Thankfully, there is a new green option for shampoo users that not only helps reduce waste but adds a touch of sustainable luxury to your toiletries. Soapack is a collection of shampoo bottles that are cast from soap that melts away after they are completely used. Each Soapack bottle is made out of a vegetable oil-based soap that is dyed with mineral pigments, plants and flowers. Similar to the process of making ceramic containers, the mixture is poured into molds of various shapes. The bottles are then lined with a thin layer of beeswax to make them waterproof and prevent the liquid contents from completely dissolving when in contact with water. The best place to store the bottles is on a soap dish, so that they can slowly melt away without making a mess, eventually disappearing after use instead of leaving behind another discarded bottle in the trash . The design was inspired by antique perfume bottles — opaque shells with light pastel hues and delicate, shapely curves. Although they are designed to melt away, if kept dry, the sustainable soap bottles can even be used as a decorative feature. With the innovative packaging design , Zhou hopes to revolutionize the packaging industry for the good of the planet. “Product packaging has always been thrown away, no matter how well-designed or what material it is made of,” Zhou explained. “I want to re-evaluate what packaging could be as well as help us to reduce our plastic footprint.” + Mi Zhou Design Images via Mi Zhou

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Sustainable toiletries packaged in soap aim to eliminate single-use plastics

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