California winery innovates with sustainable recycling creation

January 6, 2020 by  
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In the California city of West Paso Robles, architecture firm Clayton & Little has given old oil field drill stem pipes unexpected new life — as an equipment barn that offsets over 100% of the energy needs for a sustainably-minded winery. Covered with a photovoltaic roof, the Saxum Vineyard Equipment Barn is not only self-sufficient, but also champions environmentally friendly design principles that include material reuse , rainwater collection and responsible stormwater management practices. The simple agricultural storage structure was strategically placed at the property’s vineyard-lined entrance as an icon of the winery’s commitment to sustainability. Located in the Templeton Gap area at the foot of the 50-acre James Berry Vineyard, the Saxum Vineyard Equipment Barn was constructed with a frame made from reclaimed oil field drill stem pipes. Along with timber and welded WT steel flitch purlins, the pipe structure supports a series of laminated glass solar modules that provide shelter and serve as the solar system capable of producing a third more power than needed — roughly 87,000 kWh per year. The pipe framing has also been fitted with a gutter system to accommodate future rainwater harvesting . In addition to offsetting all of the winery’s power demands, the minimalist building provides covered open-air storage for farming vehicles, livestock supplies and workshop and maintenance space. The salvaged pipes were left to weather naturally and are complemented with 22 gauge Western Rib Cor-Ten corrugated perforated steel panels for added shade and filtered privacy to equipment bays. Pervious gravel paving was installed for all open vehicle storage bays and livestock pens to return rainwater to the watershed. Related: Old ruins are transformed into a cozy, off-grid guesthouse in France “ Salvaged materials do more with less,” the architects explained in a press statement. “Barn doors are clad in weathered steel off-cuts that were saved for reuse from the adjacent winery shoring walls, re-used in a ‘calico’ pattern to fit the oddly shaped panels to tube steel framed door leafs. Storage boxes are skinned with stained cedar siding with the interiors clad with unfinished rotary cut Douglas Fir plywood.” + Clayton & Little Images by Casey Dunn

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California winery innovates with sustainable recycling creation

Windwords proposal turns wind turbines into public art

January 6, 2020 by  
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In a bid to clamp down on the NIMBY (“not in my backyard”) opposition to wind farms, international design collective Prototype 2030 has created a two-part proposal that would turn wind turbines into interactive public art. The first part of the design, dubbed Windwords, proposes reshaping wind turbines into giant letters to create landmarks representative of the community. To further empower communities with wind farms, the designers suggest allowing local residents to share in the profits and control the wind turbines through a smartphone app. Inspired by community-oriented design processes for public infrastructure, Prototype 2030 believes that the way to wider acceptance of wind farms and wind turbines begins with neighborhood-centered design. The Windwords proposal takes cues from the Hollywood sign and the IAMSTERDAM letters, which are not only iconic landmarks in their respective cities but also attract attention from tourists. Related: LEGO reintroduces Vestas wind turbine set, now made with plant-based plastic “Our point is not, of course, that every wind turbine has to be turned into a giant letter,” the collective explained. “Every site and community is different and will present different needs and opportunities. Big pink words will not be the solution every time. The real lesson is that wind farms need to be designed to mean something to humans — because they do, to neighbors and passersby. Right now, what they say is usually not what we want to hear. They need to be designed to speak human.” To further humanize the relationship between wind farms and communities, the designers have also proposed Windswitch, a smartphone app that would allow local residents to share in the profits from wind energy . The app would also give users the opportunity to “influence the turbines in their backyard” by trading previous earnings in as credits to temporarily pause a wind turbine. + Prototype 2030 Images by Prototype 2030

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Windwords proposal turns wind turbines into public art

Energy-efficient affordable housing project opens in South LA

January 6, 2020 by  
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As part of its ongoing effort to house Los Angeles’ homeless, local design practice Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects (LOHA) has transformed a vacant lot in South Los Angeles into an inspiring example of 100% affordable housing. Certified LEED Gold , the energy-efficient MLK1101 Supportive Housing project not only emphasizes natural lighting and ventilation to reduce reliance on mechanical systems, but also encourages community and public health with the addition of communal spaces and an outdoor garden with raised-bed edible gardens.  According to the architects, over 58,000 people are homeless in Los Angeles County. Working with Clifford Beers Housing, LOHA created MLK1101 Supportive Housing to provide permanent housing for a range of residents, from formerly homeless veterans to chronically homeless individuals and low-income households. The development includes 26 affordable housing units that range in size from one to three bedrooms, all of which include their own bathroom as well as kitchens and living spaces. To encourage neighborly relations, the architects included a community room with shared amenities, an elevated community garden set atop street-level parking, a street-facing stoop and a series of exterior walkways of varying widths that serve as informal gathering spaces. In addition to housing, amenities and 4,000 square feet of parking for cars and bicycles, MLK1101 Supportive Housing also includes two retail units at street level that will generate income to help subsidize housing while providing workforce training to residents. Related: LEED Platinum housing for the homeless takes over a formerly vacant L.A. lot “Further advancing previous experience working with Clifford Beers Housing and other supportive housing organizations like the Skid Row Housing Trust, LOHA’s design acknowledges the successful track record these housing complexes have had with integrating various populations, bringing supportive services in-house, and creating uplifting living environments for people to thrive,” note the architects in a project statement. Other sustainable features of the project include high-efficiency heating and cooling, energy-efficient appliances and fixtures, solar water heating and electric vehicle charging.  + Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects Images by Paul Vu Photography

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Energy-efficient affordable housing project opens in South LA

Earth911 Inspiration: Try a Little Tenderness Toward This World

November 22, 2019 by  
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Thinking of the Earth first, with consideration and kindness, is … The post Earth911 Inspiration: Try a Little Tenderness Toward This World appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Earth911 Inspiration: Try a Little Tenderness Toward This World

7 Ways to Plan Thanksgiving Dinner Without Waste

November 22, 2019 by  
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Thanksgiving is a time to indulge, but there is no … The post 7 Ways to Plan Thanksgiving Dinner Without Waste appeared first on Earth911.com.

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7 Ways to Plan Thanksgiving Dinner Without Waste

Off-grid island home in Florida hits the market for $1M

May 14, 2018 by  
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Near the southern tip of Florida , a breezy and 100% self-sufficient island home has hit the market for a cool million. Located along the Intracoastal Waterway just east of Keewaydin Island, the 5.3-acre property on Little Marco Island is an idyllic private getaway with a custom-built cottage and a front-row view of waterfront wildlife, from dolphins to gopher tortoises. Keep reading for an inside look at the off-grid island home currently listed on Premier Sotheby’s International Realty . Built in 2000, the two-bedroom, one-bath home comes with an adjacent cottage set on 1.8 acres. The 1,968-square-foot main property is set on 3.5 acres of land with a private beach frontage and a boat dock. Only accessible by boat, the off-grid property feels completely secluded despite the fact that its only minutes away from Marco Island, Isles of Capris and Naples. Related: Florida power company scraps nuclear project, will pursue solar power instead Built largely of timber to complement the island setting, both properties stay naturally cool with long eaves , tall ceilings, and large openings that admit cross breezes. On days of unbearable heat however, air conditioning always remains an option in the main home, which is powered entirely by solar energy. The property is equipped with a backup generator, while water is harvested in cisterns and treated through a four-part filtration system. + 11781 Little Marco Island Images via Premier Sotheby’s International Realty

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Off-grid island home in Florida hits the market for $1M

Tiny Homie camper expands from roadworthy to camp-ready in a minute

January 6, 2017 by  
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Of all the tiny trailers in all the towns, this one rolled into our line of sight and won us over right away. The Homie represents the next-generation of miniature recreational vehicles , and it is designed to expand in camp in a very clever way. Rather than pushing out horizontally as many expanding RVs do, the Homie doubles in length when the outer shell is rotated back 90 degrees and fastened to the front inner shell. Click through the gallery to see how quickly and easily the trailer sets up, and for a closer look inside. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Yc_7XNjNk8 An only slightly beefed up version of its cousin, the bike-drawn Wide Path Camper, the Homie camper is still quite compact. When folded for travel, it measures just 58 inches wide, 57 inches long, and 39 inches wide. Parked and expanded, it it nearly doubles in length to 112 inches. With its towing equipment, the Homie weighs 440 lbs, which is fairly light for a vehicle of its size. Its clever expandable design means the Homie can go from road-worthy to camp-ready in about a minute, which the company demonstrates in the video embedded above. Related: Foldable Wide Path Camper is a whole different kind of bike trailer What this little Homie lacks in elbow room, it makes up for in amenities. The tiny trailer is outfitted with nearly all the basics the wanton traveler might need for a life on the road, including a dining table and seating area that convert to a cozy bed. An optional solar package turns the little rig into an off-grid basecamp, and buyers can select other add-ons to enhance their mobile adventures, too. The Homie is offered with bronze or grey window tints, and a “Lux” package with thicker cushions and matching trim. The trailer can even be ordered with kitchen tools, such as bowls and cutlery. Priced at $7,245, the Homie is for sale in the United States and Europe. Production and delivery are expected in 2018. + Wide Path Camper: Homie Via New Atlas Images via Wide Path Camper

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Tiny Homie camper expands from roadworthy to camp-ready in a minute

It’s finally illegal to own wild animals in the UAE

January 6, 2017 by  
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In a move sure to please animal rights advocates around the world, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has now completely banned the private ownership of wild animals. This is big news, as owning exotic animals as pets is a sign of status in the Middle East country. Al Jazeera reported on Wednesday that the new law outlaws both dealing in and ownership of all kinds of wild, domesticated and dangerous animals. This includes wild cats such as cheetahs, which have reportedly been domesticated in the UAE and other nearby countries. While not necessarily related, the new law comes on the heels of a video featuring an excursion with five tigers on a beach near Dubai’s Al-Arab hotel that went viral on social media, and other videos of people driving around with lions. According to Gulf News , these kinds of animals can now only be housed at zoos, wildlife parks, and circuses, along with breeding and research centers. Related: China makes it illegal to eat endangered species Gulf news also reports that anyone who breaks the law by taking any kind of exotic animal “out in public” will be slapped with as much as six months in jail and a fine or $136,000 USD. Al-Ittihad , an Arabic daily paper adds that people who use such animals to “terrorize” other people will be faced with a jail term along with the stiffer financial penalty of about $180,000 USD. Needless to say, a law like this is a breath of fresh air for animal rights activists, including El Sayed Mohamed. The regional director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare in Dubai said this new law sets an example for not only other Arab countries, but also the world. “We welcome and congratulate the UAE Government in taking this important initiative, which we wish to be a milestone for the rest of the countries, not just in the region, but also in the world,” he told the The National , an Abu Dhabi newspaper. This adds to more good news in the animal rights world, where China made it illegal to eat endangered species last year. Via Al Jazeera Images via Mukul2u and Cecil , Wikimedia Commons

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It’s finally illegal to own wild animals in the UAE

Sublime tiny cabins in British Columbia that can be installed within hours

September 2, 2016 by  
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The cabin is intended for urban dwellers who don’t want to buy all the camping gear, but still want to get back to nature from time to time. Named “The Cobby”, the structure can also be used by those looking for a small office space or a romantic getaway. It comes at 104 square feet, just a few feet under the square footage which requires a building permit in Canada . Related: Fully-furnished tiny house from France easily fits a family of three All the materials used for building these cabins are sourced from Canada, including the sustainably harvested cedar used for cladding. Low-voltage LEDs are included in the package, with the option of adding a solar energy solution. Among the main features is the fact that the cabins can be easily installed in a few hours. The Cobby can be purchased at USD $19,200, and can be customized to include a deck and a washroom. + The Little Cabin Company Via Treehugger Photos via The Little Cabin Company

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Sublime tiny cabins in British Columbia that can be installed within hours

This Is One Sweet DIY Kombucha Recipe

August 12, 2016 by  
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I love to make and drink my own DIY kombucha. Kombucha is a fermented beverage with lots of beneficial live bacteria, b-vitamins, and antioxidants. I personally enjoy its sweet tangy taste, and the little pick-me up that it gives. It comes a wide…

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This Is One Sweet DIY Kombucha Recipe

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