A solar-powered catamaran with a built-in plastic clean-up system sets sail off the coast of Ibiza

September 25, 2019 by  
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Tourists from all over the world flock to Spain’s coastal regions throughout the year; however, the rising amount of plastic waste accumulating in the Mediterranean is threatening to do irreversible damage to these once-pristine waters. Thankfully, one forward-thinking cruise company is doing its part to keep the damage at bay. La Bella Verde has recently launched the Mediterranean’s only solar-powered and zero-emissions charter catamaran that comes equipped with a unique ocean filtering system, which removes plastics from the ocean waters. Launched in 2014 by two captains and one marine biologist who call Ibiza home, La Bella Verde is a sustainable charter company that also runs a non-profit foundation dedicated to preserving Ibiza’s beautiful waters. According to the company ethos, the eco-boating service revolves around enjoying life while caring for the environment. “We are here for a good time, and mother nature should not suffer at our expense,” the website reads. Related: Meet Squid — Key West’s solar-powered boat for dolphin tours With seven solar-powered catamarans, the company charters its “eco-cats” to tourists and locals, providing an exciting experience on the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea, all while emitting zero emissions. Now, the company has launched a new clean-up boat that actively filters out any debris in the water. The IBI Clean-Up Boat’s innovative, integrated system includes a high-grade inox steel framework with tight nylon netting that is connected between the boat’s two hulls. Operated with a central winch, the netting is lowered into the water to scoop up plastic waste . The system is designed so that marine life and seaweed can easily be released back into the water without any suffering. When it is not lowered for cleaning, the area serves as a comfortable, hammock-style lounge. According to the company’s calculations, the solar-powered boats , which sail seven hours per day, are able to clean approximately the equivalent of 30 Olympic-sized swimming pools per day. + La Bella Verde Photography by Victor Frankowski via La Bella Verde

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A solar-powered catamaran with a built-in plastic clean-up system sets sail off the coast of Ibiza

Student designs a chic wooden stand mixer that requires zero electricity

September 25, 2019 by  
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Look into any typical kitchen, and you’re likely to discover cupboards full of gadgets, utensils and devices aimed at making food prep more convenient. Manuel Immler, a German design student, cringed at the lack of sustainability in owning multiple electronic kitchen tools and instead designed an electricity-free mixer as a prototype that changes the norm. Not only did Immler identify the wasteful practices of mass production but also noted the consumption of energy in manufacturing and using electronic kitchen devices. In what has become a consume-and-dispose society, Immler aimed to create a product that was durable and sustainable from start to finish. Related: Essential old-fashioned tools and practices to make your kitchen more sustainable On his master’s thesis at the Free University of Balzono, the stated theme was, “Development of a sustainable food processor with focus on regional materials and circular economy .” To achieve this goal, he tapped into his passion for eco-social design, evaluating the full product cycle. “For my master’s thesis, I asked myself how products and goods have to be designed so that their harmful effects can be minimized through resource and energy consumption but also through transport, waste and rebound effects,” Immler said. The result of this effort is a kitchen appliance called Pino that is sourced from local materials, minimizing the need for transport and providing local jobs. The device does not require electricity thanks to a manual hand crank. Pino is built to last to avoid the need for frequent replacement. Plus, it can do multiple functions to replace the need for numerous different kitchen gadgets. The design itself is not only aimed at sustainability but visual appeal as well with its natural wood exterior. These pieces are timeless but still interchangeable when you’re ready to update the look. For durability, the base is cast iron, and the inside components are made from steel. Using a series of available gears, Pino can vary from 50-1000 revolutions per minute to provide more power. This allows the machine and its attachments to grind, stir, mix, squeeze, scrape, plane, whisk or grate. + Manuel Immler Images via Maita Petersen and Manuel Immler

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Student designs a chic wooden stand mixer that requires zero electricity

Boutique Ibiza hotel sports a checkerboard facade to take in cooling breezes

March 27, 2019 by  
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Barcelona-based studio Ribas & Ribas Architects has transformed an old apartment building into Hotel Sir Joan Ibiza , a contemporary and chic boutique hotel designed with sustainability in mind. Located in the heart of the Spanish island of Ibiza, the building has been restyled to include 38 rooms and suites dressed to reflect the island’s nautical elements, from stripped wood yacht floors to porthole-inspired vanity mirrors. Its eye-catching, checkerboard-like facade features openings that take advantage of natural light and ventilation, while greenery can be enjoyed in abundance from ground-level green screens to rooftop gardens. In refurbishing the old apartments into a high-end hotel, Ribas & Ribas Architects wanted to refresh the image of the building with a minimalist white and glazed facade that evokes contemporary Ibizan architecture. Tel Aviv-based Baranowitz + Kronenberg designed the hotel’s interiors with luxurious fittings that pay homage to Ibiza’s yachting heritage and upscale club culture, from the highly polished stainless steel wall panels that emulate sunlit waves to the Carrara marble and wood details found in every bathroom. “For reasons of sustainability , the openings in the façade have been designed in order to achieve ventilation and lighting in accordance with the category of the building they will house,” Ribas & Ribas Architects explained in a project statement. “The exterior spaces of the building have been improved, providing them with abundant vegetation in order to ameliorate the visual from the outside and acoustically isolate the users of the hotel. In the west communication core, a vegetal wall is created, formed by a xtend mesh that connects with the roof, hiding the perimeter of the installations and creating a striking green volume.” Related: Centuries-old stable is converted into a self-sustaining dream home In addition to 38 rooms and suites, the hotel also includes two penthouses with views of Ibiza’s port and Old Town. On the ground floor, guests also enjoy access to a pool , cabanas and two restaurants. + Ribas & Ribas Architects Photography by LLuis Casals via Ribas & Ribas Architects

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Boutique Ibiza hotel sports a checkerboard facade to take in cooling breezes

Kooshoo introduces the first plastic-free, sustainable hair ties

March 27, 2019 by  
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Amid growing concerns of plastic waste around the world, one company has created sustainable hair ties that are better for the environment. Made from organic materials like cotton and rubber, Kooshoo has come up with the world’s first plastic-free hair ties that are completely biodegradable. These hair ties come in a variety of colors and styles and are made with sustainability in mind — from the way the materials are sourced to how the products are manufactured. About the company Jesse and Rachel, a couple based out of Victoria, Canada, founded  Kooshoo . The two, who made a name for themselves as yoga teachers, built the company from the ground up. Their goal was to create a business model with sustainability in mind. They are also hoping to lead the change in the fashion industry when it comes to eliminating plastics in clothing. With its core values being love, honesty and transparency, Kooshoo is well on its way to meeting its sustainability goals. Given that more than 20,000 pounds of hair-related products end up in the trash each day, Kooshoo’s mission is important in preserving the future of our planet. An inside look at Kooshoo hair ties People around the world lose hair ties on a daily basis. Most of these elastics end up in the trash or litter the environment, which is why it is important that Kooshoo hair ties are completely  biodegradable . Related: Saving the environment one hair wash at a time Kooshoo hair ties only contain two ingredients: natural rubber and organic cotton. This includes the thread that is used to keep the ties together. Each and every product is also certified by the GOTS, or better known as the Global Organic Textile Standard. Natural materials According to Kooshoo, all of the materials used in its hair ties are sourced from organic cotton. There are absolutely zero synthetics in the products, and the cotton is grown without the use of toxic pesticides . Not only is the end result better for the environment, but it is also beneficial to your skin. Each hair tie is manufactured in California, though all of the design work and testing is done in Canada. The materials are sent to local shops in Los Angeles , where workers cut, weave, sew and dye the ties before distributing them around the world. The dying process Kooshoo hand dyes all of its hair ties. The company employs a crew of artisans that are specially trained in dying  textiles , which also means that each product is unique. How fast do the hair ties biodegrade? The rate of degradation depends on how the hair ties are disposed. If the ties are put in a compost pile, then the organic materials — which make up about 75 percent of the product — will start to degrade in less than one year. In fact, microorganisms in the environment will feed on these organics until there is basically nothing left. The other 25 percent of the product is the natural rubber. This material is drawn from trees in a similar way as maple syrup. It does take a bit longer to biodegrade, though organisms will eventually eliminate it in anywhere from three to seven years. Compared to traditional hair ties that contain plastics, this is much more sustainable. Even if you were to lose the hair tie in water, it will still break down completely. According to a recent article published by  Kooshoo , it takes about double the time for its hair ties to completely biodegrade in water. Scientists estimate that these sustainable hair ties take about 14 years to break down in water conditions, but once they biodegrade, they leave absolutely no trace. What other kind of products does it offer? The main selling item for the company is its twist headband. These  organic  head pieces come in a variety of colors and styles and are suitable for men, women and children alike. The company, of course, has an assortment of plastic-free hair ties that come in various color schemes, including black and brown, blonde, rainbow assorted and sea shepherd. These ties are secure enough for the thickest of hair, yet soft enough to remain gentle on the head. Kooshoo also offers a few clothing options, including a versatile shawl for women and children’s pants that grow as the kid grows. Sustainability in mind Kooshoo facilities feature dye houses that are completely powered by solar energy . The organization also packages its hair ties in reusable shipping containers and bags. These practices help curb carbon emissions and lessen the amount of waste that ends up in landfills — and ultimately  oceans — across the globe. Charitable offerings For the people who own and operate Kooshoo, selling hair ties is not only about making money. The business has also donated a portion of its profits, along with some of its products, to  charitable  organizations. Related: 6 of the best places to donate your things For instance, the establishment initiated a fitness and wellness plan for people in marginalized communities. More than 1,000 individuals in these communities were given access to meditation courses and yoga classes. + Kooshoo Images via Kooshoo

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Renovated Ibiza farmhouse boasts ultra thick walls for passive cooling

March 30, 2016 by  
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