How to have a plastic-free Easter

March 26, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Comments Off on How to have a plastic-free Easter

Easter is a time of celebration, exuberant children and family bonding. While traditions vary around the world, attending church is common practice, as are egg hunts, Easter baskets and family dinners. All that hustle and prep can equate to copious plastic waste . Avoid contributing additional plastic to the landfill with a plan focused on alternatives instead. Choose durable, long-lasting baskets Whether the Easter baskets in your home are used for a reward at the end of a scavenger hunt or are simply set out as an Easter morning surprise, it’s easy to source an alternative to the plastic options. Instead, use a wood, paper or rattan basket. With some creativity, you can skip the basket altogether. Whatever you decide to use, make sure it’s a multipurpose solution that can be used in the months and years that follow. Consider a canvas tote, decorative cardboard box, hat storage box, a wire fruit basket or small metal toolbox. You could also use a plastic-free waste basket, fabric produce bag or a stainless steel lunch container.  Related: How to make Easter eggs using natural dyes Use shredded paper in the basket When filling your baskets, avoid the shredded plastic bedding, often known as Easter grass. If you already have it in your home, be sure to package it up and reuse it year after year rather than tossing it. Get the same effect with colorful paper using your paper shredder. You can also skip the shredder altogether; use crumpled tissue paper or add a colorful cloth napkin as a liner instead. Naturally dye real eggs At some point, plastic eggs began to replace hard-boiled eggs in the traditional egg hunt. Bring back the real thing and enjoy a family project of decorating them using natural dyes . If your kids have gotten used to reaping a prize with each egg, create a system where they can trade in their real eggs for prizes instead of those found inside plastic eggs.  If plastic eggs are already in your home, use them for years to come and donate them when you no longer need them. Similarly, if you’re asked to source plastic eggs for an event, buy them secondhand or borrow some for the occasion. When buying new, look for wood eggs or eggs that are at least made from recycled plastic. Remember to flex your conscientious-purchasing muscles while figuring out what to put into the eggs, too. Coins, paper-wrapped candies, wood blocks, lip balm or clues to larger prizes all fit the bill. Fill the basket with eco-friendly toys, games and candy While giving and receiving is fun, filling a basket full of plastic in the process isn’t. Scrutinize product packaging while you shop. Avoid any options wrapped in plastic film or packed in plastic foam. Instead, hunt down puzzles and games in cardboard boxes, books made from paper and candy in eco-friendly containers. Even better, go DIY and get creative. Dig out the cookie cutters and fun cardstock. Make homemade goodies and package them in paper bags, reusable beeswax wrap or fabric. Create fun cookie shapes, bunny-themed rice crispy treats or sugar cookies decorated like eggs. You can also make some easy modeling dough in a variety of colors or bubble mix made from a few pantry items. Outside of the kitchen, basket contents can include DIY wood toys like cars or a rubber band shooter. Use a printer to create a stapled-together book of coloring sheets or workbook activities. Bundle them with some colored pencils for hours of entertainment. For the seamstress, make dolls, a sock puppet or stuffed animal. Another option is to use fabric scraps to put together bean bags stuffed with rice or beans for a mini bean bag toss game. Paper crafts are also fun. You can either pre-form some origami to watch the wonder in their eyes, or gather together the supplies for the kids to make their own. Even better, go old-school with a “choose your answer” fortune-teller game from folded paper. Write out instructions and rewards and then fold it up to create the game.  Even if you buy all the treats inside your Easter baskets, pay attention to packaging and production materials to keep the plastic at bay. Focus on goods made from wood and other natural materials. Hunt down toys and candy encased in basic cardboard boxes or paper bags. Use the opportunity to share your love of nature with sports equipment, plant seeds, bulbs, a science journal, a leaf-pressed bookmark, gardening tools and gloves for little hands, and marbles or cards for indoor or outdoor play. Make a plastic-free meal plan Make sure your holiday meal doesn’t come with added waste. While shopping, watch for plastic-wrapped produce and other plastic packaging. Buy in bulk and bring your own containers when you can. Also remember your reusable shopping and produce bags. Order meat from a local butcher or farm. Alternatively, buy from the meat counter at the department store where foods are typically wrapped in paper rather than plastic. Even better, create a plant-based meal plan instead. For meal service, get out the real dishes instead of relying on single-use options. Avoid plastic foam plates and cups. If you do choose to go with disposable, choose compostable options. Images via JE Shoots , Silvia Rita , Michel Balog and Lloyd Dirks

View original post here:
How to have a plastic-free Easter

19th-century Catalan ruins are revived into a self-sufficient home

March 24, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on 19th-century Catalan ruins are revived into a self-sufficient home

Spanish architecture firm Andrea Solé Arquitectura has given new life to the ruins of Can Tomeu, a historic Catalan building from the 1800s that is now a modern, self-sufficient home. In addition to sensitively restoring and reinforcing the remaining walls from the original construction, the architects expanded the building footprint with an annex and inserted site-sensitive materials that imbue the home with a sense of warmth. The house has also been outfitted with solar panels, diesel tanks and rainwater harvesting and graywater systems for off-grid use. Located at the entrance of the Parc Natural de Garraf just outside of the town of St Pere de Ribes, Can Tomeu was originally used for agricultural and stone-crafting purposes for the Masia Corral d’en Capdet. Although the building was later abandoned and deteriorated into ruins comprising only bearing walls, Can Tomeu was classified as a Cultural Asset of Local Interest (BCIL), a designation that requires the preservation of the building’s remaining elements. Despite the strict regulations and the poor conditions of the ruins, the architects took on the challenge by carefully rehabilitating the original walls and expanding the footprint by 30%. Related: Old ruins are transformed into a cozy, off-grid guesthouse in France The architects used iron mesh and concrete reinforcement to repair and join the original stone walls. Concrete was also used to raise the height of the existing walls and form a new roof structure. In contrast, the exterior walls of the new annex are rendered as smooth, white surfaces. Large, timber-framed windows punctuate both the old and new construction to visually tie the buildings together, bring a sense of warmth into the home and frame exterior landscape views. The light-filled interiors match the minimalist design approach of the exteriors with a simple materials palette that includes ceramic tiling to evoke a Mediterranean character. “The performance represents a second life for the building, rediscovering the existing interior spaces of clear and powerful geometry that after the intervention constitute a new spatial experience,” the architects noted. + Andrea Solé Arquitectura Photography by Adria Goula via Andrea Solé Arquitectura

Read the original here:
19th-century Catalan ruins are revived into a self-sufficient home

Walkingboxes turns shipping containers into custom food trucks

March 10, 2021 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Walkingboxes turns shipping containers into custom food trucks

The future of food trucks is sustainable — at least according to Walkingboxes, a German startup creating custom food trucks out of shipping containers. The company, which is barely a year old, is the brainchild of award-winning designer Daniel Lorch. Walkingboxes uses 90% recyclable or biodegradable materials in its construction processes. According to the founder, the idea stemmed from his mother, who dreamed of opening a street food truck in southern Germany. The designer realized an unmet demand in the market for sustainable, accessible and individual food truck options while doing research for his mom. Instead of purchasing an expensive food truck and outfitting it with unique elements to fit the company’s style, he would opt for lightweight construction with a towable food trailer instead. The resulting design is now available in 213 different colors, three separate sizes and comes either empty or fully equipped with cooking equipment inside. Related: This AI food truck could bring fresh produce directly to you Thanks to the lightweight construction method to help offset the heaviness of the steel shipping containers , the trailers can be towed by smaller vehicles, like station wagons or minivans. Not only does this reduce fuel consumption, but it allows for more versatility in selling locations. Materials like steel, wood and linoleum go into each design. The standard version comes permanently attached to a tandem trailer and is already set up for electricity and water. This option is perfect for those with interior design or construction chops who want to fill the inside with their own cooking components. The company also employs mobile cooking experts to help potential buyers plan their interior kitchen layout with stainless steel appliances like gas cooktops, griddle plates and fryers. Apart from the color choices, buyers can choose from different exterior design options like illuminated lettering, foil lettering, banners, metal signs and flags to set their company apart from other food trucks. The outer fastening system is modular to simplify the process for attaching and exchanging media for menus, specials or announcements. + Walkingboxes Images via Walkingboxes

Here is the original post: 
Walkingboxes turns shipping containers into custom food trucks

Agrodomes are individual greenhouses for budding crops

January 29, 2021 by  
Filed under Green, Recycle

Comments Off on Agrodomes are individual greenhouses for budding crops

Farmers and backyard gardeners often find themselves rolling the dice in regards to when to safely transport seedlings from the greenhouse to the ground. It can be a crucial decision, as plants are vulnerable to heavy rain, hail or dry conditions. To facilitate healthy plant growth, Agrodome is a solution that eliminates the need for a greenhouse altogether. Designed by Agustin Otegui of NOS Design Consulting in collaboration with Jorge Álvarez, Agrodome is a modular dome for outdoor crops. With its transparent design, it allows farmers to germinate seeds directly in the field rather than growing them in a greenhouse only to transplant them into the field later. In essence, these domes act as individual greenhouses by protecting the plants from harsh weather and providing a temperature-controlled growing environment. Related: Sead Pod offers grassroots solution to air pollution and global warming Agrodomes are made from natural polymers and recycled PET , so they are fully recyclable at the end of their useful product life. Each dome measures 3 square feet, and the height is easily adjusted by simply pulling it up or pushing it deeper into the soil. The translucent upper part of the dome is ventilated to allow oxygen exchange for controlling humidity and temperature. A narrowed center portion works as a funnel, diverting water directly underground so it doesn’t flood the budding plants and allows the soil to achieve better absorption. The bottom portion of the funnel features holes that further disperse the water beneath the surface of the soil. Agrodome is designed to be lightweight yet strong. This allows farmers to easily stack, store and transport it. It also makes it easy to move the domes from one section of the field to another as different sections of the field are ready to plant or as plants are ready to thrive without the Agrodome. The modular aspect means it can be used for a variety of crops in different parts of the field at the same time, taking advantage of natural light and catering to the needs of each plant. + NOS Design Consulting Images via NOS Design Consulting

See the original post here:
Agrodomes are individual greenhouses for budding crops

The Cyril tiny home has space for everything including the cats

December 18, 2020 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on The Cyril tiny home has space for everything including the cats

Tiny houses are intended to feel cozy, so when clients Summer and Jason told the designers at Build Tiny that their house couldn’t be a home without space for their two rescue cats , the team worked the couple’s needs into the design. The Cyril tiny house, a project name inspired by Summer’s grandfather’s love of tiny homes , was originally going to be a labor of love for the couple themselves. However, once working on the details with Build Tiny, they decided to have the company take over the building process. The clients did contribute heavily to the 13-plus revisions and are thrilled with the end result. “Living in Cyril is like being on holiday every day,” Summer and Jason said. “We couldn’t be happier with what the team has built for us and will always remain friends and fans of the company.” Related: Tiny House Sustainable Living blog documents life in an off-grid tiny home Cyril is a two-story tiny house with plenty of space for an office, full kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and living room stuffed with few material possessions and a ton of amenities. Bamboo countertops, room for a washing machine and copious cabinetry in the kitchen appropriately take center stage in the middle of the tiny house . This area also connects to an outdoor dining counter through a fully-retractable passthrough window. Above the sitting area is a loft bedroom with a queen bed, cubicle and drawer storage on both sides, plus enough room to stand up. Across the tiny home, a loft office has a wall-to-wall desktop and chairs perched in front of a long window. Between the two spaces, the two cats can explore wall-mounted ramps at varying levels. The bathroom also accounts for the kitties, leaving room for a litter box amongst the various storage shelving and drawers. In addition to creating a welcoming space for the two-human, two-feline family, the goal was to use sustainable materials and systems. In alignment with that goal, solar panels produce enough power for the Cyril tiny house, and battery storage (tucked inside the sides of the home near the bathroom) holds any excess power that is produced. Another energy-efficient addition is the dome surrounding the shower, which holds in heat. The Natureshead composting toilet reduces water consumption. A gas water heater provides hot water, and there are plans to add a small fireplace to the living room, too. + Build Tiny  Via Yanko Design Images via Build Tiny Limited

View post: 
The Cyril tiny home has space for everything including the cats

Your guide to sustainable holiday gifts for parents

December 16, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Comments Off on Your guide to sustainable holiday gifts for parents

Our parents give us so much, and the  holidays  present the perfect opportunity to give them something back in return. Read on to learn about the best eco-friendly and sustainable holiday gifts of 2020 for parents. Organic pajamas There’s nothing better than a pair of comfortable pajamas once the weather turns for the holiday months. Gift your parents a matching pair of jammies made from sustainable fabrics like organic cotton to keep them warm (and give them an excuse to take cute holiday photos).  This set  from Hanna Anderson comes in a ton of different festive patterns and colors with sizes for the whole family, and they’re super affordable as well.  Related: The sustainable wardrobe: it’s more accessible than you think Hand-woven baskets Help your parents decorate with a cute artisan gift like Lola & Mawu baskets made from upcycled vintage indigo fabric and natural undyed straw. The baskets are hand-woven out of indigo shawls made from locally grown cotton, handspun and dyed with natural vegetable pigments. Some of the fabric is 30 or 40 years old, so the textiles have varying shades and textures from age. All are woven in Bolgatanga, Northern Ghana. Low-flow showerhead If you have a little extra money to spend, why not help upgrade your parent’s home with an environmentally-friendly appliance?  Nebia , for example, makes low-flow showerheads that feature atomizing nozzles. Or, splurge for the Spa Shower 2.0 with re-engineered spraying nozzles for optimal temperature and coverage. Apart from saving up to 65% of water when compared to standard showers , they look super sleek and futuristic, too. Bamboo bathrobe Go along with the above shower theme with a fuzzy bathrobe made from  sustainable materials . Make your parents feel like they’re at the spa with one of  Cariloha’s  unisex robes, made of a super-soft blend of bamboo viscose and Egyptian cotton. The bamboo fabric is naturally moisture-wicking, odor-resistant and allergy-resistant. Or, try these waffle robes from  Coyuchi , made from organic, GOTS + Made Safe Certified cotton sourced and woven in Turkey. Loungewear Quarantine made 2020 the year of loungewear, so it only makes sense to end the year with some too.  GALERIE.LA  prides itself on high-quality sustainable loungewear made with Fair Trade principles and eco-friendly materials. Customers can even use a badge system to designate and search for purchases based on individually sustainable values such as recyclability and  vegan materials.  Matcha kit Inspire your parents to stay healthy with a superfood latte blend like the options from Golde. Cacao Turmeric offers a sweet and savory alternative to hot cocoa, with added health benefits thanks to its blend of seven essential  superfoods  that support skin, debloating and stress balance. Drink it on its own or add it to smoothies for a powerful antioxidant punch. The popular  Make Your Matcha Kit  includes everything you need to whip up a delicious and healthy Matcha latte, including a tin of powdered pure Matcha and a bamboo whisk. Fancy composter Composting  is usually reserved for those living in cities that support curbside compost bins or people with room in their yards for a bulky spinning composter. Enter Vitamix, the company that brought us one of the world’s most powerful blenders, and its compact  FoodCycler FC-50 . This high-tech composter only needs about one cubic foot of space and a power outlet to work. A carbon filter lid eliminates odors (meaning you can keep it conveniently inside your kitchen), and the removable waste bucket makes it easy to transport your newly-processed nutrient-rich fertilizer from the composter to your garden. Personalized wood cutting board Give a gift that is both decorative and functional for the holidays, like a personalized wood cutting board.  Etsy  offers plenty of beautiful options to fit any budget, with options to personalize anything from names to family recipes and even skylines. Not into personalization or don’t have time for a custom order? Check out  Totally Bamboo’s  cutting boards, shaped into different states with laser-engraved cities, sights and attractions. Wine and cheese set For parents who love a good cheese board, opt for this  Wine & Cheese Set  made completely from upcycled wooden chopsticks. Perfect for couples, the set includes a stylish 11-inch charcuterie board with two matching wooden coasters. The company is carbon negative, so you can feel even better about your sustainable purchase! Face masks Since everyone needs face masks these days, go for one that supports a good cause! Proceeds from sales of  these masks  go toward animal conservation thanks to a partnership between WNC Nature Center and Wildlife Artists. If you’re more into the ocean,  these  ocean-themed masks are made using recycled ocean plastic waste and sold at-cost by PADI to help raise awareness for ocean pollution. Vellabox Candles aren’t just perfect for housewarming gifts, they’re also a hit around the holidays.  Vellabox  offers a gift that keeps on giving with monthly subscription boxes delivering artisan candles made from natural materials, with options for one-month, six-month or twelve-month packages. The candles contain lead-free wicks, use phthalate-free fragrance oils and are made using sustainable 100%  soy , coconut or vegetable waxes. Images via Hanna Andersson, Lola & Mawu, Nebia, Coyuchi, GALERIE.LA, Golde, Foodcycler, Totally Bamboo, ChopValue, Pexels, PADI and Vellabox

See more here:
Your guide to sustainable holiday gifts for parents

Treat Fido and Fluffy with these eco-friendly holiday gifts for pets

December 3, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Comments Off on Treat Fido and Fluffy with these eco-friendly holiday gifts for pets

Our  pets  constantly give to us, from a morning lick on the forehead to a bedtime purr. They bring out our best, most loving selves, and inspire us to get exercise in all types of weather. Even when they’re naughty — climbing the Christmas tree, zooming around the house when you’re trying to sleep, begging for a taste of your food — they’re so dang cute. They deserve to be number one on our gifting lists, so here are some eco-friendly gifts they’ll enjoy this holiday season. Wool toy Does your  dog  love a good game of tug-of-war? These 100% domestic wool  LooHoo Wooly Tug Toys  are soft enough not to hurt Spot’s teeth but easy to get a grip on. The 14- to 16-inch length gives you extra space between your hand and those powerful doggy teeth. Related: Keep your cat safe with these eco-friendly cat toys Zero-waste pet kit As those with canine companions know, walking Fido serves multiple purposes, not just exercise. In addition to quality time together, walks provide an opportunity for your dog to … um … let loose. With the  Zero Waste Fur Baby Kit , you won’t have to worry about  plastic  bags sitting in the landfill for the next few centuries. The kit includes biodegradable dog waste bags, plus a dog brush, conditioning dog shampoo bar and a toy. Fido will look his best while also saving the planet. Organic catnip During the recent election results, was Tigger showing signs of great cat interest — such as opening her eyes, or even blinking — when state measures on recreational marijuana passed? She’s clearly trying to tell you something. Sprinkle this USDA-certified  organic catnip  on toys or scratching posts, and your kitty will soon be rolling around on the floor in all sorts of silly positions. Dog shampoo bar Every dog owner believes (incorrectly) they have the world’s cutest dog (sorry, I do!). But we don’t always like to admit that sometimes our dogs can be a little smelly. This organic  natural shampoo bar  combines cedarwood and lavender with organic shea butter, castor oil, soap nuts and calendula. The castor oil and shea butter softly penetrate even the coarsest fur. Your dog will love the skin-soothing feel and anti-inflammatory benefits of calendula. Endorsed by cats that want the dog in the household to smell better. Cat basket Many people who live with cats notice that their little friends can get crabby if they aren’t allowed to sleep about 16 hours a day. All this sleeping should take place somewhere that befits your elegant cat. This  fair trade cat basket  is made of recycled saris , recycled plastic and hogla grass, which grows abundantly in Bangladesh, where this basket is made. The pillow and pillow cover are washable. At 13 inches in diameter and 11 inches high, this basket best fits the petite feline. Wood pet tags Rover can proudly wear this attractive  pet tag , and if/when he roves, it will be easy for somebody to direct him home using the tag’s info. Choose from natural, chestnut or black wood in various sizes of bones or circles. These tags are handmade in Palo Alto,  California and promise to be “water/drool and tear resistant.” Pet bowls These  bowls by Whom  artistically blend  wood  and metal in a way that will enhance the corner of your kitchen floor far more than an ordinary, plastic food bowl. As the website promises, “Each is manufactured to order and handmade by our expert craftsman. No warehouse full of these!” It’s kind of like getting Mr. Whiskers a bespoke suit instead of buying him something off the rack. There are even double and triple bowls for pets that enjoy eating next to each other. A word of warning, though — once you buy a beautiful custom bowl, Mr. Whiskers might expect you to fill it with filet mignon, not kibble. Paw rescue balm Do your hands dry out on those cold  winter  days? Well, dog and cat paws can, too.  Organic Winter Dog Paw Rescue Balm  eases the pain of chapped noses and rough paw pads. It uses natural ingredients like coconut oil, beeswax, shea butter, olive oil, calendula, vetiver and rosemary. While this treatment will feel divine for many pets, always check with your vet before applying any new topical products to your fur friends. Magical malachite Friendship Collar Paws down, this is one of the cutest  gifts  you can give this holiday season: matching vegan, cruelty-free, scratch-resistant bracelet and collar sets for human/canine duos. Buy a set for you and your dog, and extra sets to give as gifts to all your dog-loving friends. For every  Friendship Collar  set you buy, the maker will donate six pounds of food to shelter animals. Eco-friendly treats Is your best friend food-motivated? V-Dog makes  cruelty-free treats  that include pumpkin, carrots, broccoli and spinach in the ingredients list.  Pet Naturals of Vermont  has a whole line of treats that do double duty: tasting delicious while cutting down on Fluffy’s hairballs and easing hip and joint pain. Images via Unsplash, LooHoo, Package Free Shop, Pixabay, Eco Girl Shop, WoodLeon, Whom Home, BestFriendBeauty, Friendship Collar and V-Dog

Here is the original post: 
Treat Fido and Fluffy with these eco-friendly holiday gifts for pets

Submit your vegan recipes to win this sustainable chef’s kit!

November 23, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Submit your vegan recipes to win this sustainable chef’s kit!

Calling all foodies! With so many of us turning to our kitchens for comfort this year, we’ve decided to put together a kit to help you become the best sustainable chef you can be! By submitting your own vegan holiday recipe to Inhabitat’s Vegan Holiday Recipe Contest, you can enter for a chance to win this bundle that includes the Ninja Foodi 2 Basket Air Fryer, Farberware Knife Set with Bamboo Block, Freshware Bamboo Cutting Board Set and Stasher Bag Bundle! We love a good vegan dish, so now’s your chance to put those cooking and baking skills to the test. Even if you aren’t vegan, this is a fun challenge for everyone. Simply submit your vegan holiday recipe in the form below by 11:59 p.m. PT on December 14, and you could win this incredible bundle of goodies. Nearly everyone you know has been obsessing over air fryers lately, but now you can one-up the crowd with a two-basket air fryer from Ninja. Ninja is a top kitchenware brand with products built to last, and this air fryer lets you cook in two separate baskets at once! So yes, you can cook your veggie nuggets and tater tots all at the same time. This is an extra-large model, too, so you can easily cook dinner for the whole family. No chef is complete without the proper knife, which is why you’ll be able to conquer the kitchen with the Farberware Knife Set. These premium, all-metal knives are set in a minimalist-chic bamboo block for safe storage. You’ll get a chef’s knife, a bread knife, a slicing knife, a Santoku knife, a serrated utility knife, a paring knife, six steak knives and kitchen shears, plus sharpening steel to make sure your knives withstand the test of time. Of course, we’d prefer you chop your produce on a sleek bamboo cutting board instead of plastic, and this prize includes a set of three cutting boards made from organic, sustainable bamboo. These bamboo cutting boards are perfect for serving up cheeses, slicing potatoes and even cutting meat, if that’s your thing. And finally, no prize bundle is complete without Stasher bags. These reusable silicone bags are a staple for Inhabitat staff members’ kitchens, and our prize pack includes a bundle with four microwave-, freezer-, dishwasher-, and even heat-safe silicone resealable bags in various sizes. We love to store leftovers in these bags for easy reheating. So what are you waiting for? In the time it takes you to whip up a quick dinner or dessert, you can enter to win all of these amazing kitchen tools. To enter: Submit your entry to Inhabitat’s Vegan Holiday Recipe Contest by 11:59 p.m. PT on December 14, 2020. Winners will be notified by December 18, 2020. The recipe must be your own original and vegan holiday recipe. Recipes must include an ingredient list, measurements, and step-by-step instructions to be eligible to win. The contest will be open to the 48 contiguous states and D.C., and applicants must be over 18 years old to enter. We will feature the winning entry as well as honorable mentions on Inhabitat.com and Inhabitat’s social media channels. Entrants will be signed up for Inhabitat’s weekly newsletter automatically. Full list of rules for entry available here .

Here is the original:
Submit your vegan recipes to win this sustainable chef’s kit!

Startup Phood tackles food waste at the top of the food chain

October 29, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on Startup Phood tackles food waste at the top of the food chain

Startup Phood tackles food waste at the top of the food chain Jesse Klein Thu, 10/29/2020 – 01:00 Picture your local salad bar either at your school, grocery store or office. There are many options between the greens, toppings and dressings. At the end of each day, it’s the job of a kitchen worker to perform a “shrink analysis” on each ingredient — manually identifying, weighing and recording the leftover volume of each item. By comparing that number to initial inventory amounts, the kitchen tracks its food waste.  The process is a big hassle for the prepared food sector, but food waste is an even bigger problem for the planet, accounting for 8 percent of greenhouse gas emissions according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. Phood CEO Luc Dang hopes to solve both.  Phood’s main product, PhoodX, is a combination scale and camera that uses artificial intelligence and enhanced analytics to cut down on the time it takes to record data about the leftovers. The system uses that information to recommend changes within foodservice operations aimed at reducing food waste.  The technology is most appropriate in places where items are sold by weight, such as dining halls or the prepared food sections of grocery stores. The Phood system is integrated directly with the inventory system so it can use the data to calculate waste compared to the sold volume. Phood’s devices have been used in dining halls at Yale and Rhode Island School of Design, and in K-12 cafeterias. The company also has devices installed at 10 Whole Foods locations in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.  Even before Dang was infiltrating the foodservice industry of the North Atlantic region, he had a deep understanding of the agricultural supply chain from growing up on a small Connecticut farm. After working a few years in the financial sector, he read a statistic estimating that 40 percent of food is wasted. Dang couldn’t believe that headline: During his childhood on farms and near restaurants, he hadn’t noticed anything like that kind of waste. But when Dang called friends and restaurants that used to buy from his family farm, they told him they composted everything but didn’t and couldn’t actually track waste empirically.  Is it an operational management issue? Is it overproduction? Is it a weekend or weekday issue? Or expiration issues? Or a spoilage issue? We can identify each of those key areas and really drill down and cut back. According to Dang, the time-consuming, arduous and convoluted traditional method of tracking food waste is standard in about 85 percent of foodservice operations. The headline was right: According to data from Phood, most foodservice organizations throw away between 35 and 65 percent of their ingredient purchases.  According to Dang, Phood can reduce that food waste by 50 percent with a bonus of saving the kitchen staff time. The company said the algorithm, trained using millions of food items recognized by Amazon Rekognition and Google Cloud Vision, can identify food items with 98 percent accuracy in two to three seconds.  Aside from the relationships mentioned earlier, Phood recently started a partnership with two large food giants, Cargill and Gordon Food Service, which will see the system used in more kitchens, giving it access to more data to improve its artificial intelligence. The real value of Phood’s device isn’t the time-saving AI, it’s the data harvested from the device, which helps uncover habits that contribute to a business’s food waste issue, Dang said. “Is it an operational management issue? Is it overproduction? Is it a weekend or weekday issue? Or expiration issues? Or a spoilage issue?” he said. “We can identify each of those key areas and really drill down and cut back.” Many foodservice businesses tout their composting policies and donation rates for leftover food, but that doesn’t really address the bigger issue — wasting food in the first place. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency , composting isn’t much better than sending food to the landfill. Phood is helping companies attack the problem at the top of the food chain — source reduction — by helping operations become better informed about consumption habits. According to Dang, many parts of an industrial kitchen are siloed. The person ordering ingredients is different from the chef doing the cooking, which is not the same person recording the leftovers at the end of the day. And rarely are these individuals informed about the details of each other’s step in the process, so the purchasing and production habits never get adjusted.  Phood becomes a centralized system that connects each step. Dang suggests a three-week period of baseline analysis when customers first start using the system, but often they start making changes to their ordering earlier, he said.  “They start leveraging those insights and changing their ordering by week two,” Dang said. “We’ve seen waste reductions occur from the first week.” The food and restaurant business has extremely thin margins, and few companies have had access to this degree of detail before. Aside from cutting back on waste, Phood can help operations save money, which is often the impetus for an investment. Because source reduction has such strong economic benefits, the sustainability aspect gets to tag along. According to Dang, Phood can save up to 10 percent on annual food costs.  Pull Quote Is it an operational management issue? Is it overproduction? Is it a weekend or weekday issue? Or expiration issues? Or a spoilage issue? We can identify each of those key areas and really drill down and cut back. Topics Food Systems Food & Agriculture Information Technology Food Waste Food & Beverage Artificial Intelligence Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Phood’s all-in-one scale and AI can identify food waste and make recommendations to kitchens to save money and reduce waste.  

Here is the original post:
Startup Phood tackles food waste at the top of the food chain

Plant a unique indoor garden with this modular living wall kit from Horticus

October 22, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Plant a unique indoor garden with this modular living wall kit from Horticus

Designed by Horticus, these modular living walls offer a stunning way to reconnect with nature by creating a vertical hanging garden indoors, no matter how small the space. The flexible system is completely adaptable, with a modular, hexagonal steel frame with room for customized terracotta planters. The instructions are easy enough for even beginner gardeners. Simply soak the terracotta planters, assemble the modular frames into your desired layout, place the planters onto the frames and start planting. You can water without flooding the roots through a grid of watering holes on the side of the planters. Don’t worry, the website goes much more in-depth in terms of instruction, with additional maintenance tips and optional steps to keep your plants as beautiful and healthy as possible. Related: The all-natural ‘Wellness Kitchen’ includes a beautiful living herb wall Plants can be rearranged and replaced according to the customer’s preference. Users can lift the terracotta planters out to rearrange or repot. Planters come with little feet on the bottom for added circulation and finger gaps for lifting, so you can easily place them on a table for things like kitchen herbs or centerpieces. The company offers kits that provide owners with everything they need to get started on their personal indoor living walls. Kits range from three planters to up to 24 planters, with options to include a humidifier (great for tropical plants ), a light or a speaker inside. The website also includes a detailed plant guide with a list of tested plants that work best within the system. The guide designates plants in terms of growing difficulty level, from the “super easy” Zebrina plant to the “medium/expert” orchids. The smallest kit includes three planters and one frame and will set you back about $310, while the largest kit costs over $1,350. These planters are certainly an investment, but if you can swing it, Horticus will help bring a stunning garden oasis right into your home to help you improve your indoor air quality with style. + Horticus Via Dezeen Images via Horticus

See the original post: 
Plant a unique indoor garden with this modular living wall kit from Horticus

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 2171 access attempts in the last 7 days.