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

Millenials are bringing camping back

July 15, 2019 by  
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Let’s get one thing straight: camping was always cool. It wasn’t, however, always a very popular pastime among young people. According to the 2019 North American Camping Report, sponsored by Kampgrounds of America, there are more millennials and Gen Xers likely to identify themselves as lifelong campers now than in any other year. The study, which began in 2014, was conducted through surveys in both the United States and Canada.  The percentage of North Americans who camp three or more times per year has increased by 72 percent since 2014, adding 7 million more camping households (families with children under 18 years-old who camp) to the Canadian and American campgrounds. Younger campers are also helping to increase the popularity of hiking and backpacking while they camp, according to the report. Related: Seven commandments of Leave-No-Trace Camping While the majority of campers choose the traditional approach of camping (sleeping in tents), there are more millennials choosing to camp in cabins and RVs instead, with 14 percent using cabins in 2016 and 21 percent in 2018 to be exact. The study also found that campers are more diverse than ever. Of the 1.4 million households that went camping for the first time in 2018, 56 percent were millennials and 51 percent identified as nonwhite. For the first time since 2014 (when the study began), the percentage of non-white first-time campers outpaced the percentage of new campers who identified as Caucasian. When it comes to trendy “glamping,” all age groups are showing interest. Particularly in millennials, 50 percent of which said they were interested in glamping in 2018 versus the 25 percent who said they wanted to try it in 2017. Glamping refers to unique camping accommodations that often includes enhanced services like luxury yurts, king-sized beds, spas and even private chefs. Some glamping companies have been praised for providing an eco-friendly alternative to traditional hotel or resort accommodations. Many take advantage of locally-sourced food, composting toilets and solar power to give their guests opportunities to connect with nature while still having access to the creature comforts they’re used to. The same goes for “van life,” a camping lifestyle that uses altered camper vans, or motorized class B vehicles, as opposed to RV’s or tents. The main objective is often to go off the grid and easily move from place to place without having to disassemble a tent or find an electrical power source for your RV. The number of millennials who wanted to experience van life shifted up by about 4 percent between 2017 and 2018. Those who live the van life trade modern comforts and space for a chance to get as close to nature as possible while living a minimalist lifestyle.   So why the spike in camping interest? 30 percent of millennials say that major life events such as having kids is impacting their desire to camp more, while another 30 percent said that the ability to see other people traveling and exploring popular destinations (thank you, social media) made them want to spend more time camping. Even more encouraging, half of all campers said that the “love of the outdoors” first sparked their interest in camping, meaning that more camp-loving North Americans are beginning to value nature even more than before— a good sign for our national parks , and the planet as a whole. One out of every 20 camping families said that 2018 was the first time they’d ever camped. 2018 also saw the highest number of self-identified lifelong campers ever recorded, with more millennials identifying themselves as lifelong campers than in past years. As studies have shown, spending as little as two hours in nature can improve mental health, and camping offers the opportunity to connect with nature with the added benefits of unplugging from the internet and electronic devices. Additionally, activities such as hiking which often accompany camping provide good exercise , even setting up your tent and site counts! Since the study began in 2014, the amount of North Americans who intend to camp more has almost doubled. The groups who were most optimistic about their camping future were families and millennials, as 61 percent of millennials said that they planned to camp more in 2019. There’s no denying it, the future of camping looks bright. So if you were in one of those families growing up that had an annual camping trip, consider yourself lucky. You’re already ahead of the pack! Via Matador Network , Curbed Images via Xue Guangjian , Kun Fotografi , Rawpixel.com , Cliford Mervil , Snapwire

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Millenials are bringing camping back

This egg carton is made out of seeds that sprout when replanted

June 24, 2019 by  
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As the world teeters on the brink of suffocating from single-use products, some designers are quickly coming up with ingenious ways to reduce our waste. For example, Greek designer George Bosnas has just unveiled the Biopack, a compact egg carton made out of cleared paper pulp, flour, starch and biological legume seeds. Instead of throwing out the eco-friendly container at the end of its use, it can be planted directly into the ground to sprout green plants. According to Bosnas, the inspiration behind the Biopack came from the conundrum that recycling presents. Although communities and citizens around the world are trying to reap the benefits of recycling, the actual process is quite complicated, expensive and usually not as eco-friendly as one would think. An arduous task from start to finish, true recycling involves loads of organization, including transportation, sorting, processing and converting materials into new goods to be, once again, transported back into the market. Related: Designer creates algae-sourced alternative for plastic packaging With this in mind, the truest, most ecological form of recycling is to take a single-use product and naturally turn it into something ecologically beneficial for the environment. Enter the innovative Biopack — a simple box that holds up to four eggs. Made out of cleared paper pulp, flour, starch and seeds, the sustainable packaging is quite dense to protect the eggs from breaking. Once the eggs are used, instead of throwing away the box or shipping it off to be recycled, the entire egg carton can be planted into soil. With a little watering, the bio-packaging breaks down naturally, leaving the seeds to sprout into green plants, which takes approximately 30 days. Not only does the sustainable packaging create a full-cycle system that turns a product into a plant, but according to Bosnas, growing legumes actually increases soil fertility. A win-win for the world! + George Bosnas Images via George Bosnas

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This egg carton is made out of seeds that sprout when replanted

Dissolvable bioplastic bags from Bali are safe enough to drink

January 9, 2017 by  
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Plastic plagues the planet, clogging waterways and the stomachs of unwitting animals, but a new brand of bioplastic bags from Indonesia may offer a solution. Made from cassava root, these bags dissolve in hot water, breaking down into carbon dioxide and water without any toxic residue. Bali -based social enterprise Avani says their bags are biodegradable, compostable, recyclable, and when dissolved, safe enough to drink. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hp06mEgGdbY Many products that are marketed as eco-friendly are not beneficial to the environment . Biodegradable bags sound great, but can often leave toxic residues that make them harmful to marine life and plants. They often don’t degrade as well as claimed, causing death in thousands of sea animals. Avani eco-bags, on the other hand, can be dissolved in hot water almost instantly, soften in cold water, and are naturally converted into carbon dioxide, water and biomass within months. They can even biodegrade in landfills with the help of macro and micro-organisms. Related: Researchers Develop a Way to Make Plastic From Yard Waste Avani also makes other types of eco-friendly packaging products such as coffee cups and takeaway food packaging. They use renewable natural resources and claim that the entire production process is completely sustainable. The bags cost less than existing compostable plastics in the market, and the firm donates a portion of their proceeds to various local non-profit environmental projects. + Avani

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Dissolvable bioplastic bags from Bali are safe enough to drink

Six of the largest school districts in the US are ditching polystyrene

May 23, 2015 by  
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Six of the largest school districts in the nation announced that they are ditching  polystyrene trays (more commonly known as styrofoam) for eco-friendly compostable plates. The move is the result of a years long effort to get schools to introduce environmentally friendly options into our schools and it will not only be better for the environment, but it will help educate kids about the importance of making sustainable choices. READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: eco friendly cafeteria , Eco friendly food , eco friendly food trays , eco friendly plates , eco friendly school , eco friendly schools , polystyrene , schools ditching styrofoam , styrofoam , styrofoam alternatives

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Six of the largest school districts in the US are ditching polystyrene

AgriDust transforms food waste into green packaging and plant pots

March 26, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of AgriDust transforms food waste into green packaging and plant pots Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 3D printing , AgriDust , biodegradable material , composting , food waste , green materials , green packaging , green technology , organic waste , recycled material , waste reuse

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AgriDust transforms food waste into green packaging and plant pots

Packaging the Future: Biodegradable Planter Pots for Spring Gardening

March 5, 2015 by  
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Over the last decade there has been a dramatic increase in the availability of biodegradable plant pots , and I’m finding them everywhere from my beloved Gilbertie’s Herb Gardens (which sells locally grown, organic veggie seedlings and THE most gorgeous annuals and perennials) to the embarrassed-that-I-shop-there-occasionally Home Depot. If you have a green thumb, and want to avoid a heap of plastic where your garden is supposed to be, read on to check out some of the biodegradable pots that are available; and be sure to tell give your local nursery a thumbs-up if you notice they are using some of these options (consumer praise – and criticism – works!) Read the rest of Packaging the Future: Biodegradable Planter Pots for Spring Gardening Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: alternative packaging materials , biodegradable pots , eco planter , Gardening , green design , green packaging , green pots , packaging the future , sustainable design , sustainable packaging , sustainable planters

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Packaging the Future: Biodegradable Planter Pots for Spring Gardening

Artist Sarah Hatton’s newest artworks feature more dead honeybees arranged in intricate patterns

March 5, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Artist Sarah Hatton’s newest artworks feature more dead honeybees arranged in intricate patterns Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: A World Without Bees , art with dead bees , backyard beekeeping , bee art , bees , bees and pesticides , bees and strawberries , bees death , dead bee art , Sarah Hatton

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Artist Sarah Hatton’s newest artworks feature more dead honeybees arranged in intricate patterns

INFOGRAPHIC: Recycling tips for the holidays

December 8, 2014 by  
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Have you heard the term “closing the loop” with regard to holiday shopping? It refers to the idea of purchasing items made with recycled materials instead of brand-new products, like recycling a cell phone and then buying a refurbished one. Similarly, one can “close the loop” with decorations and wrappings by recycling any waste one year , and then choosing recycled cards and paper the following year. If everyone were to give sustainable , reusable gifts to their friends and family, and then recycle all the garbage created during get-togethers, we could cut down on a lot of landfill waste this year. Read the rest of INFOGRAPHIC: Recycling tips for the holidays Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: cards , eco friendly presents , eco-friendly gifts , green christmas , green gift ideas , green gifts , green hanukkah , green holidays , green yule , Holiday , holidays , infographic , Recycle , recycled , recycled cards , recycled paper , recycled wrapping paper , recycling , refurbished , refurbished gift , refurbished gifts , reusable gift ideas , Sustainable , sustainable gift ideas , sustainable gifts , Wrapping Paper

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INFOGRAPHIC: Recycling tips for the holidays

Nendo Designs Eco-Friendly Reusable Gift Wrap That Transforms Into a Tote Bag

November 10, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Nendo Designs Eco-Friendly Reusable Gift Wrap That Transforms Into a Tote Bag Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: eco-friendly gift wrap , giftote-bag , Nendo , reader submitted content , reusable gift packaging , reusable gift wrap , tote bag

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Nendo Designs Eco-Friendly Reusable Gift Wrap That Transforms Into a Tote Bag

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