Nonprofit Washed Ashore crafts art and jewelry from ocean plastic

January 12, 2021 by  
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Washed Ashore is an environmental nonprofit that spreads the message about ocean pollution using the visual appeal of art. The giant animals created from marine debris have appeared at various events, both locally and as a traveling exhibit, since the organization’s inception in 2010. Now, the company is pivoting to also make jewelry from ocean plastic. Living in a coastal town provides a front-row view of the powerful ocean and the crippling consequences of plastics that get washed out to the waters, where they are ingested by marine animals or washed back up on the beach. While some people scour the beach for shells, Angela Haseltine Pozzi, founder and artistic director of Washed Ashore, instead searched for trash , starting in her small town of Bandon, Oregon. A long time artist and educator, she launched Washed Ashore in alignment with her lofty goals to clean the ocean and educate the local and global community about ocean pollution. Related: The Ocean Cleanup launches sunglasses made from ocean plastic The resulting 75+ art pieces each take shape as a large animal and incorporate plastic found during cleanup efforts. To date, more than 10,000 volunteers have collected and processed over 20 tons of debris. The team is growing alongside the mission to eradicate plastics from the ocean; as Pozzi summarized, “Until we run out of plastic on the beach, we will keep doing our work.” Now, for Washed Ashore’s 10-year anniversary, the nonprofit is offering specially crafted avant-garde jewelry pieces for sale to the community. Each creation is one-of-a-kind, from the marine debris necklaces to a recycled plastic anglerfish lamp. In addition to offering a new way to continue the conversation about ocean plastic, the proceeds will help cover operational costs for the organization, including beach cleanups. These pieces are currently for sale through Etsy . In maintaining its primary mission of educating about plastic pollution , each piece of artwork comes with literature about Washed Ashore and pointers on how to continue the conversation about the effects of our actions on marine life and ocean pollution. + Washed Ashore Design Images via Washed Ashore Design

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Nonprofit Washed Ashore crafts art and jewelry from ocean plastic

AirBird alerts users to open windows when CO2 is too high

January 12, 2021 by  
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Air pollution is a widely reported contributor to poor health conditions worldwide. While outdoor air quality is regularly monitored for dangerous levels of toxins, indoor air is often overlooked. But most of the developed world spends up to 90% of their time indoors. With this in mind, AirBird has taken flight as a product that measures and reports on the air quality indoors. Designed in Denmark and made in the EU, AirBird is a canary-yellow unit that measures true CO2, along with temperature and relative humidity. Syncing with the air every few minutes, the device then monitors air quality over time, culminating information on current and long-term conditions.  Related: Sead Pod offers grassroots solution to air pollution and global warming It takes just a few minutes to set up and is easy to use. Once in place, AirBird will provide an alert when CO2 levels become too high, a common result of insufficient ventilation, especially when people are gathered into the same space. With a chirp or a flashing light (or both), the device reminds users to open a window to improve circulation or move to another space. Although the AirBird doesn’t directly fix air quality , it provides information and encouragement to direct attention to air quality concerns. For example, the AirBird was tested in a Danish public school for more than a year in order to provide useful information when planning an upcoming renovation. Representative Vinay Venkatraman said, “The AirBird enables healthy living spaces by bringing good design, high technology and behaviour change in a simple to use product.” Study after study shows that air quality can affect concentration levels and sleep. It’s also a contributing factor toward asthma and allergies. As such, the AirBird technology is inspired by the canary. Many decades ago, miners used bright yellow canaries in the coal mines to warn workers of carbon monoxide and other toxic gases. The birds would react to the poor air elements , which alerted workers to leave the mine before becoming sick. This clever indoor climate sensor can be used in children’s bedrooms, schools and childcare facilities to provide peace of mind to parents and caregivers who often have windows closed off due to safety concerns. It’s equally effective in boardrooms or basement offices. At home, it can be relied on during social gatherings when the carbon dioxide level may rise. Used in conjunction with practices such as proper cleaning and handwashing, AirBird can contribute to a healthier overall space. “The AirBird helps families to develop clean air habits — which is as important as other healthy habits like regular exercise and eating healthy,” Venkatraman said. The premium model provides the ability to monitor air in several different spaces within the home, such as the baby’s room, the living room and the basement using a smartphone app. + AirBird Via Dezeen   Images via AirBird 

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AirBird alerts users to open windows when CO2 is too high

Brussels train station transformed into wooden shopping and event center

November 17, 2020 by  
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The Gare Maritime railway station in Brussels has seen a huge transformation. The building, formerly one of Europe’s largest railway stations for goods, has been renovated into a new city district shopping and event development made of cross-laminated timber. Reimagined as a multi-purpose public space for companies and events, the building is covered entirely in  wood  and highlights sustainable architectural practices such as solar energy and rainwater collection systems. According to the architects at Neutelings Riedijk, the structure is the largest  cross-laminated timber  project in Europe. Architects added a series of 12 new building volumes to accommodate a new program of 45,000 square meters. Along with the existing halls, roofs and side aisles, the new design creates a structure that mimics a small city with streets and parks. Related: Sweden’s tallest timber building could save 550 tons of CO2 The choice of wood came down to sustainability and weight, as a concrete construction would have been five times heavier. Cross-laminated timber with a facade finishing in oak offered the perfect solution to create a prefabricated and dry construction method with shorter building time. As a result, the design features demountable connections and modular wooden building elements to promote sustainability. The central space is reserved for public events and contains a green walking boulevard on both sides. Routes measure 16 meters wide, giving pedestrians plenty of room to enjoy the spacious inner garden complete with a hundred trees. Overall, the space includes a total of 10 gardens based on four themes: woodland, flowers, grass and fragrance. As Brussels enjoys a Mediterranean climate, designers chose plants that adapt to the specific growing conditions. The Gare Maritime also remains completely energy neutral and fossil-free thanks to glass facades and solar cells, with a total area of 17,000 square meters of roof space dedicated to  solar panels . The building uses geothermal energy and a rainwater collection system to water the massive gardens. + Neutelings Riedijk Architects Via ArchDaily Photo: Filip Dujardin/Sarah Blee/Tim Fisher | © Neutelings Riedijk Architects

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Brussels train station transformed into wooden shopping and event center

Brussels train station transformed into wooden shopping and event center

November 17, 2020 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Brussels train station transformed into wooden shopping and event center

The Gare Maritime railway station in Brussels has seen a huge transformation. The building, formerly one of Europe’s largest railway stations for goods, has been renovated into a new city district shopping and event development made of cross-laminated timber. Reimagined as a multi-purpose public space for companies and events, the building is covered entirely in  wood  and highlights sustainable architectural practices such as solar energy and rainwater collection systems. According to the architects at Neutelings Riedijk, the structure is the largest  cross-laminated timber  project in Europe. Architects added a series of 12 new building volumes to accommodate a new program of 45,000 square meters. Along with the existing halls, roofs and side aisles, the new design creates a structure that mimics a small city with streets and parks. Related: Sweden’s tallest timber building could save 550 tons of CO2 The choice of wood came down to sustainability and weight, as a concrete construction would have been five times heavier. Cross-laminated timber with a facade finishing in oak offered the perfect solution to create a prefabricated and dry construction method with shorter building time. As a result, the design features demountable connections and modular wooden building elements to promote sustainability. The central space is reserved for public events and contains a green walking boulevard on both sides. Routes measure 16 meters wide, giving pedestrians plenty of room to enjoy the spacious inner garden complete with a hundred trees. Overall, the space includes a total of 10 gardens based on four themes: woodland, flowers, grass and fragrance. As Brussels enjoys a Mediterranean climate, designers chose plants that adapt to the specific growing conditions. The Gare Maritime also remains completely energy neutral and fossil-free thanks to glass facades and solar cells, with a total area of 17,000 square meters of roof space dedicated to  solar panels . The building uses geothermal energy and a rainwater collection system to water the massive gardens. + Neutelings Riedijk Architects Via ArchDaily Photo: Filip Dujardin/Sarah Blee/Tim Fisher | © Neutelings Riedijk Architects

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Brussels train station transformed into wooden shopping and event center

Gaia & Dubos debuts a sustainable fall clothing collection

September 14, 2020 by  
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Do you know where your clothes come from? How they’re made? What impact they have on the environment? When it comes to many clothing manufacturers, the answers are probably all no. But companies like Gaia & Dubos want you to know exactly how their clothing is made and everything they do to provide sustainable fashion for all. This brand’s new collection creates as little impact on the environment as possible without compromising style or comfort. The fashions provided by Gaia & Dubos are so well made that every single seam comes with a lifetime guarantee. The name of the company is inspired by the ancient Greek goddess Gaia, an Earth goddess. Dubos stems from René Dubos, a French environmentalist and the person who coined the phrase “think global, act local.” This sentiment so perfectly sums up the philosophy behind Gaia & Dubos, his name is now part of the brand itself. The company name embodies the mission, which is to “change the fashion industry, one person at a time, one garment at a time.” Related: Cariuma welcomes a new Pantone collection of natural, vegan shoes Begin your change with the gorgeous creations in the Gaia & Dubos fall line, which includes matching hair accessories to complete your outfits. Bold colors, classic silhouettes and comfortable materials make each piece in the collection stand out while also withstanding the test of time. All clothing from Gaia & Dubos is made with eco-friendly materials. The clothing is also handcrafted in Canada under fair and ethical working conditions. You can learn about the origin and the environmental impact of every single clothing item you buy through Gaia & Dubos. These items are made with certified organic cotton jersey for a naturally soft feeling and beautiful draping. This company is setting a standard that hopefully other clothing brands will soon start to follow. Incredibly, the Gaia & Dubos brand began with a young girl named Leonie. She’s the designer and founder of the brand. Leonie started creating made-to-measure clothing at age 12 and went on to get college degrees in Fashion Design, Fashion Merchandising and Fashion. She chose to specialize in sustainable fashion . Gaia & Dubos is the result of all that hard work. + Gaia & Dubos Images via Gaia & Dubos

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Gaia & Dubos debuts a sustainable fall clothing collection

Surfing citizen scientists collect important ocean data

September 14, 2020 by  
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A new U.S. nonprofit called Smartfin is enlisting surfers to collect data on warming oceans . Smartfin distributes special surfboard fins, which track location, motion, temperature and other data while surfers ride the waves. “Most people who really call themselves surfers are out there, you know, almost every single day of the week and often for three, four hours at a time,” Smartfin’s senior research engineer Phil Bresnahan told Chemistry World . You could hardly imagine a group that is already more geared toward collecting ocean data than dedicated surfers. Related: High-tech wetsuit protects divers and surfers from toxic elements in the oceans Scientists have determined that since the 1970s, more than 90% of excess heat produced by greenhouses gas emissions has wound up in the oceans. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has posited that the rate of ocean warming has more than doubled since 1993, and that surface acidification is increasing. Researchers at the University of California San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography began collaborating with local surfers in 2017 to collect more data about the effects of the greenhouse gases . San Diego is just the pilot project. Smartfin plans to deploy its data collection devices at surf spots worldwide. The genius of Smartfin is its symbiotic relationship between scientists and surfers. Every surfboard needs a fin for stability, and every researcher needs data. But ordinary sensors used for collecting ocean data don’t work well in choppy coastal waters. Once researchers figured out how to install a sensor inside a fin, they soon created a fleet of surfer citizen scientists. “This is enormously beneficial for researchers,” Bresnahan said. The researchers are still tweaking the fins and hope to add optical sensors and pH detectors soon. Smartfin project participants like David Walden of San Diego are happy to help. “If doing what I love and being where I love to be can contribute toward scientific research with the ultimate goal of ocean conservation , then I’m stoked to be doing it,” Walden said. “The Smartfin Project is a joy that gives my surfing meaning. Rad!” + Smartfin Via World Economic Forum Image via Pexels

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Surfing citizen scientists collect important ocean data

Sanikind kickstarts refillable hand sanitizer bottle project

July 17, 2020 by  
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Hand sanitizer has become an essential part of life during the COVID-19 pandemic, but its environmental impact via  plastic waste  increases with each empty bottle. As a consumer, it’s frustrating wanting to do the right thing for the planet, but being unable to get the hand sanitizer you need without contributing to plastic pollution. Enter Sanikind, a sustainable solution for portable and conveniently refillable hand sanitizer. Sanikind’s widely popular Kickstarter campaign, which ends on July 24, has over 4,000 backers funding over $200,000 to the project. This support shows how many people feel frustrated about plastic pollution, and it’s not hard to see why. Sanikind offers a simple solution to alleviate  pollution  and plastic waste problems. The Sanikind spray bottle, useful for both hands and surfaces, provides around 250 sprays. When sprays run out, simply refill the one-ounce container with more sanitizer from the endlessly recyclable aluminum refill bottle. Each spray bottle is made from 100% recycled plastic, sourcing manufacturing materials from the waste stream and creating a reduced waste circle. Related:  Discarded COVID-19 masks are now littering seas and oceans “We developed Sanikind because you shouldn’t have to choose between clean hands and clean oceans,” said Miles Pepper, Sanikind co-founder. “Experts believe COVID-19 has set us back 10 years in terms of reducing plastic consumption and use. Our Kickstarter supporters can help prevent millions of tiny plastic hand sanitizer bottles from ending up in our oceans, which are already being clogged by single-use coronavirus-related waste.” Sanikind knows the list of items you need when leaving the house has grown during the pandemic: wallet or purse, phone, keys, mask and sanitizer. With this in mind, Sanikind includes an easy to use carabiner with each bottle of Sanikind. Conveniently attach it to your keys, purse or backpack, so it’s always on hand, for your hands. In addition to providing a sustainable solution for an urgent problem, the project also employs U.S. distillery workers who manufacture according to WHO and FDA guidelines. This isn’t the first product from Pepper, who already has another well-received product under his young belt. According to the company, “Sanikind was co-founded by 25-year-old serial entrepreneur Miles Pepper, the inventor and co-founder of FinalStraw, which raised almost $2 million dollars on Kickstarter in 2018 and went on to be featured on Shark Tank and ship hundreds of thousands of units to consumers. When Coronavirus hit, Pepper immediately mobilized to create Disinfect Connect, putting distillery-made disinfectant in the hands of 32,000+ frontline healthcare workers, first responders and nursing home staff.” Available this fall, Sanikind can be purchased as you need it, or as a subscription. All shipments are 100% plastic-free, and Sanikind will offset its carbon footprint . + Sanikind Images via Sanikind

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Sanikind kickstarts refillable hand sanitizer bottle project

Tiny living helps this family cut costs and find balance

June 30, 2020 by  
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When one tiny house is just a bit too tiny, why not get two? One single mom who flipped houses for a living decided to do just that, choosing not one but two tiny homes that she placed side-by-side to provide room for herself and her two daughters. This is an elegant solution for those who want to try tiny living on a slightly larger scale. One tiny home houses mom Amanda Lee’s bedroom, along with the living room, kitchen and bathroom. The second tiny home is split in half to house a bedroom and wardrobe area for each of Lee’s daughters. The homes are 168 and 219 square feet and connected with a large, covered porch . The porch increases the overall living space. Thanks to her two tiny homes, Lee is totally debt-free. Since she opted to live almost completely off-grid , her utility bills stay low. Thanks to her reduced living expenses, Lee bought herself plenty of time to spend with her children. She now works from her tiny home at her consulting business. Lee’s tiny homes were created by Aussie Tiny Houses, a company that specializes in creating beautiful, yet practical, tiny homes. The company’s website showcases several models, including designs that can sleep up to four people. The website also offers a few buying options. Homebuyers can opt for a lock-up, a shell or a turn-key tiny home that’s ready to be lived in. The design Lee chose is the gorgeous Casuarina 8.4. This tiny home is 26 feet long, 7.8 feet wide and 14 feet high. Casuarina’s features include stunning cathedral ceilings, full-height pantry storage in the kitchen and space for a washing machine. There’s also a full-height fridge in the kitchen and a bathroom with a storage loft. Casuarina’s design includes a steel frame, aluminum windows, insulated SMART glass , recessed LED lighting, USB charging points and waterproof vinyl floorboards. Buyers can also opt for various upgrades, including light dimmer switches, built-in Bluetooth ceiling speakers, skylights , external storage boxes and different kitchen appliance options. The tiny house movement has caught fire all over the world, as more people learn that they can make do with less living space. This approach certainly worked for Lee, whose smart solution gives her the freedom to work from home and focus on family. + Aussie Tiny Houses Via Tiny House Talk Images via Aussie Tiny Houses

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Tiny living helps this family cut costs and find balance

Green design and history meld at unique Delas Frres Winery

May 29, 2020 by  
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A recent passion project with a dedication to earth-friendly practices resulted in the conversion of a historical landscape into the Delas Frères Winery in the Rhone Valley, France. Farming in the area is almost as old as the land itself. In fact, the terraced hills above Tain l’Hermitage have been cultivated since Roman times. However, the modern setting is more urban than rustic, making it an unlikely choice for a winery. But architect Carl Fredrik Svenstedt rose above the challenges, melding the old with new. The result is a renovated manor house and surrounding walled garden. The main house, now called the guest house, offers overnight visitors bedrooms, a restaurant and a tasting room. A new wine cellar and shop were thoughtfully constructed to frame the existing building. Ramps connect areas of the winery, allowing visitors to enjoy expansive views from the upper level or observe the wine-making process. Using solid structural stone leaves a lower carbon footprint compared to steel or concrete, and the materials were locally sourced from a nearby quarry so transport emissions were low. Although sustainability was at the forefront of the design, the stone also marries well with the needs of the facility by providing thermal cooling to moderate the temperatures for the wine during production and storage. Controlling the natural light is another aspect of the architecture that effectively lowers lighting costs. Skylights stream sunlight into common visitor areas while the placement of the stone walls reflects light that would be detrimental to the wine tanks and barrels. A high groundwater level means the building can only be partly sunk below grade, but provides for the geothermal system that aids in the buildings’ climate control. The walls of the winery invite touch. They speak of the history of the area with Estaillade stone from down the river. The main wall measures 80 meters long and 7 meters high and is made from blocks individually carved by a robot. According to a statement from the winery and Svenstedt Architects, “Intelligent machining reduces waste, while the resulting gravel is reused to pave the garden. Despite the unique technicity of the wall, the blocks are mounted traditionally by a two-man father and son team of stonemasons.” Delas Frères Winery was the winner of the AMP award for sustainability in 2019. Images by Dan Glasser

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Green design and history meld at unique Delas Frres Winery

This dreamy Malibu beach house is designed to withstand climate change

August 21, 2018 by  
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Ask any number of people what they envision as their dream home, and the majority will likely respond with something along the lines of, “A house on the beach where I can hear and see the crashing waves.” With the right amount of money (in this instance, $5.7 million), you can make that vision a reality with House Noir, a spacious, three-story beach house in marvelous Malibu, California . Built on the sandy Las Flores beach, just steps from the mighty Pacific Ocean, House Noir has unmatched views of the mountains, sea and Catalina Island. Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects (LOHA) met the challenge of designing an aesthetically pleasing and sustainable home that can also withstand natural disasters and the impacts of climate change : earthquakes, rising sea levels and an eroding coastline. Related: Hurricane-resistant home uses resilient boat-building techniques to weather the storm The team began by elevating the 1,790-square-foot house a generous 20 feet above the beach to accommodate a tall seawall and subterranean caisson foundation (or pier foundation), an impermeable retaining structure sunk into the ground. The added energy-absorbing features help the structure withstand earthquake tremors. To combat the caustic effects of sea air, which can seriously depreciate exterior paint and metal facades, LOHA enveloped the house with aluminum and non-corrosive metal and finished it off with high-quality rustproof paint. The entire exterior package is wrapped in standing-seam siding that is seamlessly molded up the sides of the structure over the roofline, all the way to the roof deck. The luxurious — and well-protected — interior of the home offers mesmerizing views throughout. Full-height glass doors, which lead to oblique balconies, allow ocean breezes to cool the beach house. An open-air staircase ascends from the ground floor up through the heart of the home to the rooftop deck, with perforated metal risers and treads that encourage beams of natural light  to illuminate every floor. Other amenities include a large designer kitchen, imported tiles, European fixtures, white oak floors, an airy mezzanine, two bedrooms, two and a half baths and the spacious, private rooftop deck with an outdoor shower. + Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects (LOHA) Via Dwell Images via Paul Vu/Simon Berlyn

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This dreamy Malibu beach house is designed to withstand climate change

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