Bushwick bartender makes gorgeous necklaces from NYC’s trash

November 20, 2019 by  
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When she’s not slinging brews behind a Bushwick bar, designer Lorelei Christensen is scouring some of New York City’s darkest corners looking for debris that she can transform into shiny little pieces of eco-jewelry . Her company, Piece and Gathering , features necklaces that are made by encasing discarded items — anything from cigarette butts to chewed gum — in delicate glass pendants. Christensen, who has been working on her eco-jewelry collection for four years, often works late nights at a local bar. But during her free time, she can be found scouring for trash from specific locations, such as Central Park , Brooklyn Bridge and Bushwick, to use in her innovative creations. Related: This jewelry is made with upcycled gold from Dell computers “Collecting the debris is so interesting. I find surprising, funny, beautiful and disgusting things every single time. I can’t wait to find more people like me who will not only enjoy, but also profit from this new form of treasure seeking,” she explained. To create her designs, Christensen hand-crafts her pieces by encasing the discarded trash she finds in a clear, bio-resin surrounded by delicate, golden frames. In addition to her wearable items, she also makes small art pieces out of certain items she finds. A cool bauble for any occasion, the eco-jewelry also comes with a tag that identifies where the trash was sourced. The collection certainly gives new meaning to “statement piece.” Soon, the ambitious designer will be launching a Kickstarter that will specifically feature a select few pieces that were found at the top of the Empire State Building, the base of the Statue of Liberty and the streets of the World Pride Parade. For now, you can keep up with Christensen’s work on her Instagram page, Piece and Gathering . + Piece and Gathering Images via Piece and Gathering

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Bushwick bartender makes gorgeous necklaces from NYC’s trash

Automatic, soil-less garden system lets you grow 76 plants in your own home

October 29, 2019 by  
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One of the biggest complaints about urban living is the lack of space to grow your own veggies, but this automatic home garden can fit in nearly any kitchen space. Recently launched on Kickstarter, Verdeat is an indoor garden system that uses soil-less, organic plant cultivation to grow up to 76 plants. Additionally, the innovative gardening system is made out of 95 percent recycled materials and is designed for zero waste. Although there are quite a few home garden systems on the market, Verdeat stands out in that it is designed to be flexible. The garden comes in three different sizes to better suit your needs. The system is arranged in a tower shape, made up of one, two or four stacked trays that use a soil-free organic system for cultivation. Each tray is suitable to a certain type of growth using a natural substrate (such as coconut fiber). For lighting, the system has an integrated lighting system that mimics sunlight and promotes faster growth. Related: This sleek lamp provides light and grows food Depending on the size, the trays are arranged precisely for seeds or microgreens but can also be ordered to include a tray of small potted plants, perfect for strawberries, flowers, peppers, onions and more. No matter the size, the entire system is designed to be user-friendly and produce zero waste . Better yet, the garden system is nearly 100 percent self-sufficient for weeks at a time. Almost entirely maintenance-free, the gardening tower only needs to be watered every 1 to 3 weeks. To make it even easier, there is even a handy app to take care of the plants while you are away from home. The app monitors the amount of water, energy and nutrients and adjusts automatically according to the needs of the plants. This precise system allows Verdeat to grow plants without generating unnecessary waste. + Verdeat Via Yanko Design Images via Verdeat

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Automatic, soil-less garden system lets you grow 76 plants in your own home

Building the built environment to mimic nature

February 4, 2019 by  
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The best of live interviews from GreenBiz events. This episode: Innovative author Janine Benyus on how biomimicry and “the genius of biome” can fight rising emissions.

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Building the built environment to mimic nature

High-rise living in Utrecht to be transformed by a sustainable vertical village

January 18, 2019 by  
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A trio of high rises are expected to outreach Utrecht, Netherlands’ tallest building and be a beacon of sustainable urban living in the historic city. The MARK Vertical Village, designed by a consortium of architects and developers, won a recent high-rise development contest and the team plans to break ground starting in 2021. The residential buildings will surround an urban forest and feature extensive greenhouses at their pinnacles. Urban agriculture will also be integrated into every level , making fresh fruits and vegetables widely available to all residents and dramatically reducing their food chain and carbon footprint . The buildings themselves will be climate neutral, meaning their everyday operation will not emit greenhouse gases. This is an important feat, considering buildings and construction account for nearly 40 percent of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Related: “Vertical village” built almost entirely of wood to rise in Paris In addition to biodiversity, the complex also encourages social and economic diversity. About 60 percent of the residences will be reserved for renters, with the remaining available for ownership or senior housing with at-home care options. The more than 1,125 residences will be listed at a variety of rent scales, which aims to address rising concerns about affordable housing in the city. In response to frequent criticism that high-rise living generally promotes feelings of isolation , the MARK purposely encourages a collective lifestyle and sense of community . The design features numerous communal spaces such as restaurants, pools, shared laundry facilities, gyms, work spaces and artist studios. Residents will also have extensive bike facilities and a fleet of 100 shared cars. Construction for the innovative high-rise complex is expected to finish in 2023. The three buildings will be 80 meters (262 feet), 100 meters (328 feet) and 140 meters (459 feet), which is 28 feet higher than Utrecht’s current tallest building — the Dom Tower. “We all realize that if we build something higher than the Dom Tower, it also has to become something special,” chief architect Alderman Klaas Verschuure said in a statement. The Netherlands-based consortium of architects, designers and developers behind the project includes Karres en Brands , Stadswaarde , Koopmans Bouwgroep , J.P. van Eesteren , KCAP ; Geurst and Schulze . + MARK Images via Karres en Brands, Studio A2 Vero Visuals, de Architekten Cie, KCAP and Geurst & Schulze

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High-rise living in Utrecht to be transformed by a sustainable vertical village

Washed Ashore: 4 Innovative Products From Upcycled Marine Plastic

December 4, 2018 by  
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Every minute, one garbage truck full of plastics is added … The post Washed Ashore: 4 Innovative Products From Upcycled Marine Plastic appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Washed Ashore: 4 Innovative Products From Upcycled Marine Plastic

Architects want to transform an old Dutch bridge into zero-energy apartments

November 21, 2018 by  
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In a bid to save, rather than tear down, a historically significant bridge in the Netherlands, Delft-based cepezed architects unveiled an adaptive reuse scheme for turning the defunct bridge into a base for energy-neutral dwellings and a conference center. Created in collaboration with Expericon, Hollandia Infra, Mammoet and the IV-Group, this innovative proposal was the result of a consortium that sought to sustainably redevelop the structure, which spans the river Lek near Vianen. Although the plan did not pass planning approval, the team hopes that its designs will serve as inspiration for similar adaptive reuse projects in other locations. Originally built in 1936, the arch bridge over the river Lek was once one of the most important connectors between the north and south sides of the Netherlands. Starting in 2004, however, the historic bridge was rendered obsolete after the completion of the larger Jan Blanken-bridges. The consortium was put together in hopes of restoring and reusing the bridge so as to avoid the cost and labor of dismantling and removing the existing structure. The plan — informed by the consortium’s focus on “ sustainability , circularity and uniqueness” — proposed turning the ramps of the bridge into zero-energy apartments that would bookend a centrally located catering and conference pavilion. The design would use efficient and lightweight materials for the new construction; an abundance of glass would also be installed to take advantage of impressive landscape views and to bring ample natural light indoors. The industrial heritage of the bridge would be celebrated through the preserved architecture. Related: Urban Nouveau proposes to turn a historic Stockholm bridge into housing and a park “With the inevitable further modernization, beautiful old constructions on a variety of locations frequently go out of use,” said cepezed director Jan Pesman in a project statement. “With smart solutions, we can often think up and design unique new destinations for them. We really love such challenges; reuse provides the historical settings with new layers of meaning and the new functions with an enormous added value. Moreover, it is plainly sustainable, of course.” + cepezed Images via cepezed

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Architects want to transform an old Dutch bridge into zero-energy apartments

Brooklyn SolarWorks can turn almost any rooftop into a sun-powered oasis

April 30, 2018 by  
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Brooklyn SolarWorks wants to help bring solar power  to  New Yorkers . Stunning new renderings of the company’s Solar Canopy envision how city dwellers might benefit from this innovative product. The Solar Canopy offers solar in spots where traditional  solar panels can’t go because of fire codes or obstacles. Beyond just generating clean energy , the canopy could create new living spaces and redefine urban solar. Brooklyn SolarWorks’ Solar Canopy, designed with SITU Studio , has been around for a while, popping up around New York City in Park Slope, Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy to name a few. The new renderings paint a picture of what urban solar power could look like; for example, a relaxing rooftop dining area. Related: Durable canvas cloth with embedded solar cells generates 120 watts per square meter The Brooklyn SolarWorks website  says the company is “capable of putting solar panels on almost anything. Whether you have ample roof space free of obstacles or your roof is littered with vent pipes, skylights, and hatches, we will likely be able to figure out a solar solution.” The Solar Canopy is one of those solutions. By raising solar panels nine feet above rooftops, the company can work around restrictive fire codes. Brooklyn SolarWorks uses different panels depending on the job at hand; two of the most popular are Silfab’s SLA-M 310 Wp Monocrystalline panels  that offer “100 percent maximum power density” and  LG NeON 2 355W panels , which use thinner wires for a more aesthetically-pleasing appearance. You don’t have to leave your couch to check out the Solar Canopy; Brooklyn SolarWorks offers an immersive 3D model  that you can explore with virtual reality goggles. Find out more about the company and its innovative products on the Brooklyn SolarWorks website . + Brooklyn SolarWorks Images courtesy of Brooklyn SolarWorks

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Brooklyn SolarWorks can turn almost any rooftop into a sun-powered oasis

Unreleased internal FDA emails show glyphosate weedkiller residue in almost every food tested

April 30, 2018 by  
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For the past two years, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been testing food samples for the weedkiller glyphosate , but the agency hasn’t released any results of their findings. This week, The Guardian , using a freedom of information request, found that the FDA has had “trouble finding any food that does not carry traces of the pesticide.” Not only that, but the levels tested are higher than the legal limit allowed in foods. Glyphosate is best known as the weedkiller in Monsanto’s Roundup products and it is sprayed directly onto crops and soil to suppress weeds. It is used on everything from corn, soybean, wheat, oats, to spinach and almonds.  Internal FDA documents show that scientists have found traces of glyphosate in a wide variety of foods. “I have brought wheat crackers, granola cereal and corn meal from home and there’s a fair amount in all of them,” FDA chemist Richard Thompson wrote in an email in January 2017. In fact, the only food Thompson readily found that was glyphosate-free was broccoli. Related: California adds Monsanto’s glyphosate to list of chemicals known to cause cancer These tests are the first time the FDA has attempted to figure out how much of the weedkiller is showing up in our food. Many groups have criticized the FDA for taking so long to do so because glyphosate is a commonly-used chemical that has been utilized in food production for four decades. It was declared a possible carcinogen in 2015. In another email, FDA chemist Narong Chamkasem found glyphosate levels of 6.5 parts per million, well above the legal limit of 5.0 ppm. Normally this would be reported to the EPA , but a supervisor at the FDA claims that the food used in the testing was not an “official sample.” We should be able to expect an official report by 2019. That report should also include information on other herbicides used in food production. Via The Guardian Images via Global Justice Now and Deposit Photos

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Unreleased internal FDA emails show glyphosate weedkiller residue in almost every food tested

Toyota’s ultra customizable self-driving vehicle can transport people, goods, or services

January 8, 2018 by  
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Toyota is unveiling its vision of future mobility with the introduction of the innovative e-Palette concept. The e-Palette is a fully autonomous electric bus that can be customized for different uses within urban environments. To help bring the idea to life, Toyota is working along with innovative companies like Amazon, Mazda and Uber. The auto industry continues to change, especially in urban environments that are seeking new, more efficient ways to keep people moving. Toyota’s e-Palette concept is essentially an autonomous, electric bus that can be customized for different needs besides just moving passengers from one destination to the next. By teaming up with Amazon, DiDi, Mazda , Pizza Hut and Uber, Toyota is looking at ways that a single vehicle design can be adapted for many different uses. Related: All of Toyota’s cars will be either hybrid or fully electric by 2025 The e-Palette concept is designed to be scalable and customizable for a range of mobility options. Its open interior design layout can easily be outfitted with purpose-built interiors to serve different needs, like parcel delivery, ride sharing, or on-the-road e-commerce. Toyota envisions that the e-Palette Concept will be made available in three sizes, allowing not just need-specific applications, but also right-sized and right-place mobile solutions. Businesses will also be able to incorporate their own technology in the concept with an open control interface and a set of software tools to allow partner companies to mount their own automated driving system. Toyota hasn’t announced when the e-Palette concept will become a reality, but it plans to start testing it in the early 2020s. They revealed the concept at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas + Toyota All images © Toyota

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Toyota’s ultra customizable self-driving vehicle can transport people, goods, or services

Nanoleaf’s new dodecahedron Remote controls your smart home with a turn of the wrist

January 8, 2018 by  
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Nanoleaf is known for its brilliant lighting products – and now they’re launching an innovative dodecahedron-shaped remote that makes it easy to control any smart device in your house. The new Bluetooth -enabled Nanoleaf Remote just debuted at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) – and it promises to let you “fully customize your entire home with a quick turn of the wrist.” Nanoleaf ‘s new Remote allows users to easily control the company’s Light Panels and other HomeKit products. The device aims to take the frustration out of controlling multiple smart home products with numerous apps by simplifying tasks into the single controller. Users can program each one of the device’s 12 sides with commands to accomplish tasks like turning off lights, raising window blinds or your home’s temperature, or activating different pre-set scenes for events like parties or quiet nights in. Related: Nanoleaf’s new Rhythm module turns any Aurora array into a dazzling music visualizer Users rotate to the top the side they want to trigger, with the Remote glowing as it moves to offer feedback. On Nanoleaf’s website, prototype tester Pin-Yu from Singapore described the device as a “glowing ball of awesome from outer space.” Nanoleaf CEO Gimmy Chu said in a statement, “ Smart technology should cater to how people are using their products, making life easier and more enjoyable without being intrusive. The Nanoleaf Remote is designed to make the smart home smart again. We want to give people the option of controlling their smart home without always relying on their devices. Everyone is so glued to their phones these days, the Nanoleaf Remote offers the possibility to just sit back and enjoy living smarter.” The controller is incredibly light, weighing 0.13 kilograms, or around 0.28 pounds. The Remote is slated for release in February. + Nanoleaf Images courtesy of Nanoleaf

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Nanoleaf’s new dodecahedron Remote controls your smart home with a turn of the wrist

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