IKEA unveils plan to lift 200,000 people out of poverty

April 19, 2017 by  
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When most people think of IKEA , they most likely think of affordable furniture and trendy home accessories. But many people are unaware of the company’s lofty social goals. In addition to their efforts to promote sustainability , it turns out IKEA is also working on a plan to alleviate poverty for Syrian refugees and other disadvantaged people around the globe. IKEA recently announced it’s building new production centers in Jordan this summer, as part of a plan to create employment for 200,000 disadvantaged people around the world. The facilities will be open and running by August, and will provide jobs to refugees producing rugs, cushions, bedspreads, and other handmade woven items. These particular facilities are the result of a partnership with the Jordan River Foundation , a non-governmental organization founded by Jordan’s Queen Rania. To start out, these particular plants will only employ 100 people, rising to 400 within two years. About half will be local workers and the other half will be Syrian refugees . Related: IKEA’s Lena Pripp-Kovac talks to Inhabitat about their sustainability program The new production centers are just one of many projects the furniture giant is working to establish around the world. Already, they’ve launched programs to help Indian women and Sweden’s immigrant population, which employ about 2,000 people collectively. The ultimate goal is to eventually employ about 200,000 people around the world through these initiatives. Rather than lead the projects themselves, IKEA is teaming up with local social entrepreneurs – organizations that help use business solutions to alleviate poverty, rather than simply distributing aid. Not only does this help provide jobs for people who desperately need them, it also helps organizations that would normally be too small to meet IKEA’s supplier guidelines to get their work into stores around the globe. Related: IKEA is launching a whole range of “no waste” products made from recycled materials This isn’t the first time IKEA has used its clout for social good. The company also recently established the IKEA Foundation to help children in poor communities, and unveiled an award-winning flat-pack refugee shelter design . So the next time you buy a new bookshelf or visit just to sample the Swedish fare at the restaurant, you can feel good knowing your purchase is helping others around the world. Via Dezeen Images via YouTube/Screenshot

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IKEA unveils plan to lift 200,000 people out of poverty

14 exquisite handmade gifts

December 1, 2016 by  
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If you’re looking for sustainably-sourced gifts that will truly surprise your loved ones, feast your eyes on our collection of exquisitely handmade gift options for this year. Produced by under-the-radar designers, you’ll discover unique items for everyone on your list. From foraged botanical perfume oil to hand-drawn floor plans of your favorite TV characters’ homes, we’ve got you covered with one-of-a-kind gifts that will inspire. UNIQUE HANDMADE GIFTS>

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14 exquisite handmade gifts

Noordung launches stunning electric bike for cyclists who really, really love music

November 17, 2016 by  
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https://vimeo.com/190976177 The exclusive pre-production series limited edition Noordung bikes seek to connect music with urban cycling in a new way. The electric bike is outfitted with a boombox powered by 32 Li-Ion batteries and featuring two high fidelity speakers. The sound system connects to the rider’s smartphone, blasting any playlist the cyclist desires. Because the speakers are pointed at the rider, the sound system doesn’t contribute to external noise pollution (and, more importantly, isn’t likely to distract other riders who may have different musical interests). Related: Handmade Italian e-bike stops traffic with its weightless, elegant design The bike ’s electric motor is housed within the frame, so as not to detract from the cycle’s stellar style. With a range of 19 miles (30km) per charge, the Noordung Angel Edition bike offers hours of cycling joy, complete with the rider’s favorite soundtrack. As a bonus feature, the speaker set can be removed from the bike frame. The boombox is fitted with a carrying strap, so the dance party can continue long after you dismount the ride. + Noordung Images via Noordung

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Noordung launches stunning electric bike for cyclists who really, really love music

Endangered orcas under threat from bitumen pipeline planned for Vancouver port

November 17, 2016 by  
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A population of killer whales that live off the coast of Vancouver, Canada is under threat by a planned oil pipeline that could lead to a disruption of their habitat by increased tanker traffic. Texas-based Kinder Morgan is planning to build the $5 billion US Trans Mountain Expansion pipeline project that would transport bitumen from the Alberta Tar Sands directly to the edge of the whales’ habitat in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of southern British Columbia. The Canadian government has already been advised to approve the project, and its fate now lies with the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. According to the Guardian , the proposal to build the massive pipeline project still needs approval from the Canadian federal government, led by Justin Trudeau. But if approved, it would result in a 1,000 km (620 mile) pipeline from northern Alberta to Vancouver, as well as roughly seven times more barge and tanker traffic. Killer whales , or orcas as they’re also known, have already had a rough existence in recent years. The Guardian notes that in the 1960s and early ‘70s, many of them were captured and sold to aquariums and theme parks, while those remaining in the wild were exposed to runoff chemicals from local industries – causing them to become the “world’s most contaminated marine animals.” Conservationists say that an increase in tanker traffic in their habitat could be disastrous for the genetically unique population of orcas – already classified as endangered in both Canada and the US. “The approval of the project is also the approval of the extinction of the population, Ross Dixon of the Raincoast Conservation Foundation told the Guardian. “No one is disputing it. Nobody is saying that’s not accurate. It’s been accepted.” Related: Donald Trump vows to nix Paris climate deal and pave way for Keystone XL pipeline So, will it be approved? As of May, the Canadian energy regulator finished two years of review that recommended the government approve the project, with 157 conditions attached to that approval, including 49 related to the environment. Yet the review panel noted that, conditions or not, the project is likely to have “significant adverse effects” on the killer whale population. The Canadian government has until December 19 to make a decision, and so far, all signs are pointing to approval. Prime Minister Trudeau faces pressure to approve the pipeline from Alberta, where low oil prices have dramatically increased unemployment. Ironically, promises by President Elect Donald Trump to bring back the Keystone XL Pipeline could kill the Trans Mountain project and save the whales. Via the Guardian Images via Matthew_Allen and Mike Charest,  Flickr Creative Commons

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Endangered orcas under threat from bitumen pipeline planned for Vancouver port

Artisan Moss ‘plant paintings’ are maintenance-free alternatives to living walls

November 17, 2016 by  
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Any nature lover likely regards living green walls as the pinnacle of indoor landscaping, but the required maintenance, excessive watering and complex lighting can be daunting. Thanks to Artisan Moss , now nearly anyone can achieve the same level of lush greenery, minus the hefty upkeep and resource consumption. The northern Californian designers preserve moss and other botanicals within uniquely handcrafted and easy-to-care-for works of art that can last decades – take a closer look after the jump. Artisan Moss founder Erin Kinsey developed a stunning technique for preserving botanicals into timeless “plant paintings” with 100 percent real moss, green plants and branches. Using entirely non-toxic food-grade preserving methods and pigments, Erin adheres to ecologically mindful “no-waste” methods, even reusing preservation materials on various projects. The end result is an extraordinary piece of art, made in the USA, with no two works being exactly the same. As long as you keep these moss paintings away from the sun, they will last decades. As a native of northern California, Erin was always inspired by the majestic nature of the Sierras and Coastal Range. After working as a landscape designer, muralist and fine art restorer, she was driven by the notion that maintaining one’s connection with the natural world is critical to survival in the Digital Age. Aware of the on-going maintenance required for living walls , Erin sought to develop a way to preserve real plants into maintenance-free art. While living green walls are a costly investment, Artisan Moss’ plant paintings are surprisingly accessible. Their Etsy shop offers affordably-priced, made-to-order pieces that range from 12×12 hangings to larger works that cover entire walls. No matter the size, each carefully crafted work of art effortlessly brings nature indoors — something we could all use more of. + Artisan Moss + Artisan Moss Etsy Shop

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Artisan Moss ‘plant paintings’ are maintenance-free alternatives to living walls

Amazing video shows 3 stranded cows rescued after New Zealand’s M7.8 quake

November 17, 2016 by  
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A magnitude 7.8 earthquake shook New Zealand early Monday near Canterbury, causing landslides that left thousands of residents stranded. Some of those residents are of the bovine variety, making them particularly vulnerable and uniquely in need of assistance. They received it Monday when rescuers successfully recovered three cows left stranded on a small plateau of land created by landslides on the coast north of Kaikoura. After the quake killed two people and caused thousands of destructive aftershocks, the bovine rescue offers hope to those still looking for missing loved ones. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Yoik3MmKgI Local reports say rescuing the stranded cows was not an easy task. Their owner reported that the rescue was delayed due to multiple aftershocks and the difficulty in reaching the cows’ location, due to soft soil. “We dug a track with a number of people; the soil was quite soft because it had all been tipped over and bumbled around, we managed to get a track in and bring them out,” the unnamed farmer told New Zealand’s Newshub . “They desperately needed water, cows don’t like living without water so that was the first requirement, and I think one or two had lost calves in the earthquake so they were a bit distressed.” Related: How seaweed-eating super cows will save the world The 7.8 earthquake hit near the small tourist town of Kaikoura just after midnight on Monday. The town, with a population of just 3,500 residents, is now isolated from the rest of the country due to as many as 100,000 landslides . Flooding and additional aftershocks continue to plague the area as rescue and recovery efforts are underway, despite dangerous conditions. In addition to the three cows rescued in the video above, the farmer reported that 14 other cows were also rescued after the earthquake. He said some livestock had been killed during the disaster, though the numbers were small. The stranded cows belong to a herd raised for beef, so the life-saving efforts of their rescuers will not ensure them a long and happy life, but instead return them to their original fate. Via CNN Images via Pexels and USGS

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Amazing video shows 3 stranded cows rescued after New Zealand’s M7.8 quake

This zany two-person tent looks like a Star Trek shuttlecraft

May 31, 2016 by  
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Thanks to the latest creation by geek gear designer Dave Delisle , Trekkies can now set up camp and star gaze in true Star Trek style. The Star Trek Shuttlecraft Tent is a two-person tent shaped just like the actual shuttlecraft in the show. Oh, and the carrying case? When not in use, it splits apart to become the craft’s thrusters. Collaborating with The North Face, the design team created the shuttlecraft tent to be a compact replica of the Federation shuttle from the iconic series, although, unfortunately, it isn’t able to travel through the galaxy just yet. True trekkies will recognize the small, but authentic touches such as the entrance at the back, just like the true shuttlecraft. Related: Handmade Star Trek Coffee Table Looks Just Like the USS Enterprise The tent is a perfect gift for the trekkie in your life. And for all of you who are thinking that most Star Trek fans don’t, well, trek, Delisle would like to remind you that Star Trek V began with Kirk, Spock, and McCoy camping in the great outdoors . + Dave Delisle Via My Modern Met  

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This zany two-person tent looks like a Star Trek shuttlecraft

T.Bar: enormous living green walls of lichen and moss line refreshing Panama Fusion restaurant

May 31, 2016 by  
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T.Bar, located in Panama City, took natural food a step further by bringing nature indoors. While the restaurant serves fast, causal food, they place an emphasis on natural, healthy fare. On their Facebook page they say they want guests to feel relaxed and cozy in their space, but they didn’t stop at comfy armchairs or the booth seating lining one wall. Flourishing plants really create an atmosphere of peace. Related: Nation’s largest green wall of native plants breathes life into SFMOMA According to a post written on Archilovers by Dos G Arquitectos founders Ivan Grippaldi and Ginette Gotti, they drew inspiration from the “inner courtyards that are so common in the old quarters of Europe.” Gotti and Grippaldi said they intentionally offered different types of seating for varying hours of the day, from the modern chairs designed for a quick lunch to the booths meant for those who can linger over a meal or cup of tea. According to the architects, T.Bar requested that patrons be able to watch their food being prepared, which they accomplished through ” a glass .” Concrete planters for the trees include tiny tables to allow patrons to get even closer to nature. The designers said this touch adds to the informal feel of the restaurant. Lichen and moss grow on living walls on both sides of the restaurant and in the back near the bathroom. The interior design of the restaurant takes green design literally, bringing the outdoors inside. Via Contemporist Images courtesy of Mosh Benjamin, Pro Pixel Panama

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T.Bar: enormous living green walls of lichen and moss line refreshing Panama Fusion restaurant

Father and son team embroiled in copyright concerns over handmade wooden turntables

February 26, 2015 by  
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Taking your hobby to Kickstarter can be thrilling for small business owners with big ideas, and many projects end up getting a lot of love. It’s less sweet, however, when your crowdsourcing campaign brings up copyright allegations, though. When Seattle-based Silvan Audio Workshop launched a crowdsourcing effort to fund the creation of custom handmade wooden turntables, they were quickly faced with accusations from Joel Scilley of Audiowood , an established company making very similar turntables. Scilley claims the father-and-son team of Silvan Audio is infringing on his copyrighted design by producing their handmade audio elements. Read the rest of Father and son team embroiled in copyright concerns over handmade wooden turntables Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: audiowood , copyright infringement , design copyright , handcrafted turntable , high-end audio equipment , kickstarter campaigns , rega audio , seattle-based small businesses , silvan audio workshop , wood record players , wooden turntables

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Father and son team embroiled in copyright concerns over handmade wooden turntables

Incredible Fairy Sculptures in Motion are Handmade from Stainless Steel Wire

July 22, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Incredible Fairy Sculptures in Motion are Handmade from Stainless Steel Wire Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: dandelions , fairy sculptures , fantasywire , galvanized steel wires , incredible fairy sculptures , robin wight , staffordshire , stainless steel sculptures , stainless steel wire , trentham garden , wire fairies , wire sculpture

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Incredible Fairy Sculptures in Motion are Handmade from Stainless Steel Wire

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