Extraordinary Onion House in Hawaii lets you vacation in a work of art

March 18, 2017 by  
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If you’ve ever wanted to stay in a work of art, now is your chance. The Onion House in Kona, Hawaii is a prime example of renowned architect Kendrick Kellogg’s visionary style. Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, Kellogg was one of the early innovators of organic architecture , which can be seen throughout the vacation home’s striking aesthetic. Although the home is clearly a work of artful design, Kellogg’s original plans were so eccentric that local contractors refused to build it, forcing the architect to construct the “multi-layered” home himself using locally-sourced materials . Located on a remote hill overlooking Kona’s beautiful shoreline, Kellogg built the home for the McCormick Spice Family in the early 1960s. The hilly location was a practical step to keep the structure safe from tsunamis and storms . The home’s design, however, entailed complete whimsy. Related: 5 exotic, eco-friendly Homestay locations to satisfy your wanderlust Kellogg’s drawings were so extraordinary, he had a hard time finding a contractor to build the complicated structure. Instead of adjusting his designs to meet the standards of the industry, however, a determined Kellogg moved his family to the site to build the structure himself – with Frank Lloyd Wright’s metal worker and glass artist James Hubbell . Many of the materials for the home, including Italian tile, plumbing fixtures, and sheets of colored glass, had to be specially ordered from the mainland and beyond, delaying the building process. Soon, the architect began to see the advantages of using local Koa wood and lava rock, and incorporated the locally-sourced materials wherever he could. The home is set on a massive base of lava rock , which was carefully carved to create the large terrace that overlooks the ocean. The odd roof “tunnels” comprise a creative defense against harsh sunlight during the day, while walls of stained glass and the translucent roof panels provide pleasantly diffused natural light. Outside, a covered outdoor walkway runs the length of the compound, connecting the separate master bedroom to the main structure, which houses two smaller bedrooms, a bath, and the kitchen and dining space. A 70-foot turquoise pool surrounded by tropical gardens is at the heart of the design. And then there are a few private areas in the compound, including a walled meditation garden. + Kendrick Kellogg + Onion House Hawaii Photos via Onion House Hawaii

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Extraordinary Onion House in Hawaii lets you vacation in a work of art

Hawaii aims to ban coral reef-killing chemical sunscreens

February 20, 2017 by  
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For a long time we’ve been told to slather on sunblock to protect our skin from harsh ultraviolet radiation, but as an unintended consequence, filters in those sunscreens are washing off into the oceans and likely harming coral reefs . Now one Hawaii lawmaker is taking action. Fearing damage to the state’s fragile coral ecosystem, Senator Will Espero introduced a bill that would ban sunscreen with octinoxate and oxybenzone. Researchers detected concentrations of oxybenzone 30 times higher than levels thought to be safe for coral in Hawaii waters. The state’s Department of Land and Natural Resources said last September, “Recent studies have shown that oxybenzone causes deformities in coral larvae (planulae), making them unable to swim, settle out, and form new coral colonies. It also increase the rate at which coral bleaching occurs. This puts coral reef health at risk, and reduces resiliency to climate change .” Related: 40% of the top sunscreens don’t meet official guidelines for sun protection Haereticus Environmental Laboratory executive director Craig Downs, whose research influenced Espero’s bill, told KITV4, “Oxybenzone – it kills [coral]. It turns them into zombies if it doesn’t kill them outright.” The bill would ban sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate unless a user has a medical prescription. Unsurprisingly, sunscreen companies like L’Oréal have fought back, claiming there’s not enough evidence to validate such a ban. But Espero told Scientific American the science is on his side, and many people – from fishers to sailors to ocean sports enthusiasts – are behind the measure. According to TreeHugger, 14,000 tons of sunscreen wash off into oceans every single year, possibly exacerbating the worldwide coral bleaching issue. If you’re worried about sunburn but also want to consider your impact on the environment , check out the Environmental Working Group ‘s safe sunscreen guide . The organization lists several brands whose products meet their criteria. Via TreeHugger Images via Michael Dorausch on Flickr and Pixabay

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Hawaii aims to ban coral reef-killing chemical sunscreens

BMW and LEGO team up to create a futuristic flying motorcycle

February 20, 2017 by  
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LEGO provides inspiration for everyone from preschool-aged future engineers to BMW  designers. Recently, BMW and LEGO collaborated on the LEGO Technic BMW R 1200 GS Adventure model kit based on a BMW motorcycle . Now, designers from the two companies took inspiration from the Technics kit to bring to life with the Hover Ride Design Concept – a flying hover motorcycle that looks like something straight out of the future. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4r_E1iQOVWE The 603-part LEGO Technic BMW R 1200 GS Adventure model kit allows LEGO aficionados to construct a miniature version of the best-selling BMW R 1200 GS Adventure. BMW Motorrad first approached LEGO with the idea to design the first LEGO Technic model designed together with a motorcycle manufacturer. Then they went a step further to design the Hover Ride Design Concept. Related: BMW’s futuristic self-balancing motorcycle is like a real-life Batman’s Batpod The hovering vehicle probably won’t hit markets anytime soon. In a press release BMW described the Hover Ride as a futuristic concept “full of emotion and creative energy though not laying claim to technological plausibility.” Combining BMW and LEGO design elements, designers from both companies created the concept with the help of a BMW training unit that gives trainees opportunities to work across departments on different projects. They built the life-size model of the Hover Ride, complete with a propeller. BMW Motorrad Head of Vehicle Design Alexander Buckan said in a video on the project, “This futuristic concept bike is pretty amazing. I’m really impressed how an idea can be created by LEGO elements and actually become a valid suggestion on how we can ride a motorcycle in the future.” And not only can grade schoolers learn from playing with LEGOS – Buckan said their unusual process to create a LEGO Hover Ride and then a real Hover Ride offered an excellent learning opportunity for the designers involved. You can purchase the LEGO Technic BMW R 1200 GS Adventure kit for £54.99, or just under $70, here . Via BMW Group Images via BMW Group

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BMW and LEGO team up to create a futuristic flying motorcycle

Hawaii bill calls for 100% green transportation by 2045

January 20, 2017 by  
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Hawaii lawmakers want the state’s ground transportation to run entirely on renewables by 2045. As a majority of their imported fossil fuels go towards transportation, if every car on the road was instead powered by clean electricity , it could make a huge difference for the state’s emissions. But there’s still a long way to go. Not only does the bill need to be passed, but just around 5,000 of the one million cars in Hawaii are currently electric . Hawaii already leads the United States in renewable energy goals, with a target of utilities sourcing 100 percent of electricity from clean sources by 2045. But they want to go a step further, now calling for 100 percent renewable ground transportation. Related: 45-ton Azura generator harvests energy from Hawaii’s waves The 2045 clean ground transportation goal wouldn’t be a mandate, unlike the 2045 electricity goal under which utilities will be fined if they do not source all their electricity from renewable sources by the deadline. If you live in Hawaii, you won’t have to turn in your gas-guzzling car; state representative Chris Lee, who’s the Energy and Environment committee chairman, said, “Nobody wants to step in and force people to get rid of cars that they might love now.” The Hawaii Legislature began Wednesday, and there the bill will be introduced. Lawmakers are unsure if funding will be part of the bill. But it is clear that it will focus only on ground transportation and not air transportation, a sector where it’s more difficult to power crafts renewably. For Hawaii to achieve its goals, other states and countries will have to pitch in. Energy consulting company HD Baker & Co. managing director Hugh Baker said, “Our ability to achieve it is really going to be dependent on what happens throughout the entire automotive industry. We can say we want 100 percent clean transportation technology, but the market in Hawaii is not nearly big enough by itself to move the whole global automotive industry. It will really take more than just Hawaii.” Via Phys.org Images via Good Free Photos and Ken Lund on Flickr

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Hawaii bill calls for 100% green transportation by 2045

Sustainability as a "Grand Strategy" for the nation

December 18, 2016 by  
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Mark “Puck” Mykleby, a former Marine and the Co-Director at the Strategic innovation Lab, spoke at VERGE Hawaii 2016 about and his recent book The New Grand Strategy: Restoring America’s Prosperity,

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Sustainability as a "Grand Strategy" for the nation

GreenBiz announces advisory board for Hawaii clean energy conference and expo

October 25, 2016 by  
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Here are 15 thought leaders and key stakeholders to help guide VERGE Hawaii 2017.

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GreenBiz announces advisory board for Hawaii clean energy conference and expo

The plurality of ‘the next big thing’

October 25, 2016 by  
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Sponsored story: NRG Energy takes a nuanced perspective on innovation in electricity markets.

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The plurality of ‘the next big thing’

Diageo, PepsiCo make the connection on food-water risk

October 25, 2016 by  
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Ceres and WWF hope that more companies will join this wake-up call to the water risks in supply chains.

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Diageo, PepsiCo make the connection on food-water risk

Alibaba leading China’s push for cleaner data centers

October 25, 2016 by  
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Chinese tech companies are turning to energy-efficient data facilities to cut costs.

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Alibaba leading China’s push for cleaner data centers

Is this how Monsanto can rehabilitate its image?

October 25, 2016 by  
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The only way to sequester carbon is through plants, the controversial seed giant says of curbing the environmental impact of farming.

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Is this how Monsanto can rehabilitate its image?

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