Vietnam’s "Forest in the Sky" apartment building is topped with 50,000 trees

April 27, 2017 by  
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This lush residential complex in Hanoi takes green living to the extreme. More than 50,000 trees, shrubs and colorful flowering vines were used to cover the Forest in the Sky building, virtually camouflaging it into the surrounding forest. Along with the ample greenery, the building is equipped with various advanced green technologies and uses 20 percent less energy, and water than a traditionally-constructed building. The green “jungle” building is a prime example of green living and will set a new sustainability standard for Vietnam building practices. Besides its green exterior, which helps insulate the building, the tower is equipped with numerous sustainable features. Under the lush greenery, the interior and exterior walls are made of eco-friendly cellular lightweight concrete blocks that offer optimal insulation from extreme heat and cold as well as sound. Related: Posh new Vietnamese hotel with a lush green facade brings guests closer to nature The building also uses high-efficiency hot water boilers, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and energy-efficient lighting to reduce energy usage. Future residents will not only be able to enjoy the amazing greenery and stunning views of the location, but will also enjoy the benefits of green living such as low utility bills. The Forest in the Sky project has recently been awarded the preliminary EDGE certificate from SGS Vietnam , which is awarded to buildings that achieve a minimum standard of 20 percent less energy, water and embodied energy than traditional buildings. + Coteccons

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Vietnam’s "Forest in the Sky" apartment building is topped with 50,000 trees

Tiny TigerMoth Camper generates power while being towed

February 7, 2017 by  
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Taxa Outdoors’ tow camper, the TigerMoth , is a compact home on wheels geared towards traveling adventurers. The lightweight camper sleeps two, has LED lights, and even better, comes with a built-in electrical system that generates energy while being towed. The camper’s battery can store energy for at least seven days, making off-grid living easier than ever before. Although certainly compact, the camper sleeps two comfortably and thanks to its lightweight size of just 900 pounds, can be towed virtually anywhere. The unique side latch allows for easy access and the large window allows for amazing views and air circulation. Built with adventurers in mind, the small structure has a roof rack system for bikes or kayaks, a tongue-mounted toolbox, and a roof cargo deck for additional gear storage. Related: Traveling family renovates old school bus as both solar-powered home and hostel The camper’s tow vehicle connection recharges the battery while on the road, providing enough electricity for at least seven days of off-grid living . Although solar panels have to be ordered, the camper roof is pre-wired for installation. As far as the basic amenities go, the tiny camper can sleep two people comfortably and comes with LED lighting installed in the kitchen area and sleeping area. There is 5.5 square feet of countertop for food preparation or work space. Along with various hooks and bungees, two large cubbies provide extra storage space. + Taca Outdoors

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Tiny TigerMoth Camper generates power while being towed

Bill Gates warns against climate-change denial

February 7, 2017 by  
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Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates recently spoke out against denying climate change during a student question-and-answer session at Columbia University in New York City earlier this month. Joined by voluntary tax-information sharer and fellow monied person Warren Buffett , the Microsoft founder also called for greater innovation in clean energy. He said, “Certain topics are so complicated like climate change that to really get a broad understanding is a bit difficult and particularly when people take that complexity and create uncertainty about it”. And Gates is more than happy to put his money where his mouth is. In December, he and a team of investors said they would pump more than $1 billion into Breakthrough Energy Ventures , a fund that invests in technologies that will curtail the planet’s greenhouse-gas emissions. Related: Bill Gates pledges $2 billion to renewable energy research We need to find energy that’s “reliable, cheap, and clean,” he said, before promising that “the innovations there will be profound.” He added, “There are many paths to get to where we need to go”. Perhaps another billionaire we know should pay attention? Photo by DFID Via U.S.A. Today

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Bill Gates warns against climate-change denial

6 sustainably crafted cocktails for New Year’s Eve

December 31, 2016 by  
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Start 2017 off right by serving up one of these sustainably-made cocktails on New Year’s Eve . We’ve got drinks perfect for dinner, hot beverages to keep you toasty, and even cocktails for the morning after to help you recover. Whatever your flavor, check out these 6 great cocktail recipes and make them with organic and local ingredients for a more sustainable New Year’s Eve. HOT SPICED WHISKEY CIDER Stay nice and toasty with some hot spiced cider mixed with whiskey. Choose organic apple juice and whiskey or pick your favorite batch made nearby. This recipe from Joy of Kosher takes you through the steps to make your own spiced cider, but no one would judge you if you used pre-made cider. Image © Ralph Daily COWGIRL KISS The Cowgirl Kiss is a signature cocktail at the Highwest Distillery in Park City, Utah made with their locally produced Vodka 7000. See the cocktail made on etté studios using vodka, pomegranate juice and sparkling wine for a super classy drink perfect for NYE. WATERMELON-SHAPED JELLO SHOTS Who doesn’t enjoy a good shot at the year’s best party? Clossette gives a great DIY tutorial for how to make jello shots that look like little watermelons using fresh limes. For a vegan version, check out this recipe at Vegan Baking . ROSEMARY GIN FIZZ A sophisticated take on a slow gin fizz, the rosemary gin fizz has a clean, crisp and wintery taste. This recipe by Sassy Radish mixes gin with a rosemary simple syrup that is sure to be the belle of the ball. WHITE SANGRIA WITH POMEGRANATE Make a bubbly and fruity white sangria with a dry organic wine and in-season pomegranates. Replace the Sprite/7-up with the same amount of club soda plus 1/4 cup of organic cane sugar. Recipe by I’ll Have What She’s Having . MORNING AFTER BLOODY MARY On New Year’s Day, you might need some hair of the dog to get you through the effects of your end-of-year celebrations. Bloody Marys, like this one from Over the Hill and on a Roll , provide that kick and sustenance in the way of veggies and tomato juice. Pick organic veggies and vodka for a healthier remedy. Lead image via Shutterstock

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6 sustainably crafted cocktails for New Year’s Eve

How one family thrives in the Arctic with a cob house inside a solar geodesic dome

December 31, 2016 by  
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Life inside the Arctic Circle is by no means easy, unless you’re a Hjertefølger. We first heard about Benjamin and Ingrid Hjertefølger four years ago when they began building Nature House , a three-story cob house wrapped in a solar geodesic dome . Located on the island of Sandhornøya in northern Norway , the ultra-green home was designed to enable the family of six to eek out a sustainable existence despite challenging climatic conditions – they even grow most of their own food. Inhabitat recently caught up with the Hjertefølgers, who have now lived in their home for three years, to learn about their challenges and victories. The Hjertefølgers, which translates to Heartfollowers, live in Nature House with their four children – they’ve added one to their number since Inhabitat last wrote about them . After constructing their cob home topped with one of Solardome’s single-glazed geodesic domes with the help of friends and neighbors, the family moved in on December 8, 2013. Related: Gorgeous Solar Geodesic Dome Crowns Cob House in the Arctic Circle “The house works as we intended and planned. We love the house; it has a soul of its own and it feels very personal. What surprises us is the fact that we built ourselves anew as we built the house,” Ingrid Hjertefølger told Inhabitat. “The process changed us, shaped us.” The family had to design their home with extreme temperatures and wind in mind. It’s impossible to grow food in the dome in winter – Hjertefølger said there are three months without sun at Nature House – but the design does enable the family to grow food five months longer than they could outside. They grow apples, cherries, plums, apricots, kiwis, grapes, cucumbers, tomatoes, herbs, squash, and melons. Growing their own food is just the beginning of sustainable living at Nature House. Hjertefølger said all of their grey and black water is reused for fertilizing and watering the plants they grow. The family composts food scraps. They make sure to use clean, biodegradable household products, as elements in those products could end up in the food they eat. The home will have a long lifespan too – Hjertefølger said cob “lasts forever if you keep it dry,” and as their dwelling is always covered with the glass dome, it hasn’t been worn down by weather. She also said there’s no need to paint or even maintain the cob structure’s walls. Improvements could be made to the house, but for the most part the family seems incredibly satisfied with the design. “If we were to build a new Nature House, the ideal thing would be double glass on the green house so that we could have a tropical garden and no dripping in the winter,” said Hjertefølger. “But that is a bit unrealistic because it is very expensive with all that glass.” She also said they’d like to make a few changes to how the plant beds are set up “to get more usable space and better placement for different plants.” Overall, though, the family says they thrive inside Nature House. “The feeling we get as we walk into this house is something different from walking in to any other house,” Hjertefølger told Inhabitat. “The atmosphere is unique. The house has a calmness; I can almost hear the stillness. It is hard to explain. But it would have been impossible getting this feeling from a house someone else has planned and built for us, or a house with corners and straight lines.” + Nature House Images courtesy of Ingrid Hjertefølger

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How one family thrives in the Arctic with a cob house inside a solar geodesic dome

Is Environmentally Responsible Living Too Expensive?

June 1, 2016 by  
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We’re all a little too aware of the glaring gap that can exist between our words and our actions. Whether it’s preaching about healthy eating followed by a midnight cheesecake binge, or judging another mom’s parenting while also…

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Is Environmentally Responsible Living Too Expensive?

Why One Family Of Four Chose To Downsize To 900 SF

April 8, 2016 by  
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As the US economy improves, the size of most new homes continues to expand. The average new home is now more than 2,600 square feet, compared to less than 1,000 square feet in 1950. Keep in mind that the average family size has shrunk considerably…

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Why One Family Of Four Chose To Downsize To 900 SF

Green Living Community Lets You Retreat To Nature

February 10, 2016 by  
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Nestled in the woods of North Georgia are 60 acres of sustainable living. Enota Mountain Retreat is a community of visitors and residents for conservation, educational and spiritual purposes, located in the tallest mountains of Georgia. Once sacred…

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Green Living Community Lets You Retreat To Nature

10 Green Living New Years Resolutions

January 11, 2016 by  
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The average person generates 4.3 pounds of waste each day, with about 55% ending up in landfills. Although there are numerous depressing statistics regarding waste, there are also some inspiring examples of near zero-waste green living. Green…

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10 Green Living New Years Resolutions

Singapore’s solar-powered Sky Terrace residential towers combine all the best of green living

December 18, 2015 by  
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