Episode 140: The early action at GCAS, new RE100 commitments, Salesforce’s big shindig

September 14, 2018 by  
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Plus, inside the movement to “fundamentally rethink” carbon removal.

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Episode 140: The early action at GCAS, new RE100 commitments, Salesforce’s big shindig

The ugly truth about the imperfect food movement

September 11, 2018 by  
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The imperfect food movement continues to rise in popularity as companies, like Imperfect Produce in Silicon Valley, capitalize on a growing trend to fight food waste around the country. Imperfect Produce and similar companies offer boxes of ugly and misshapen produce to customers, saving a lot of food that would otherwise be discarded. While the movement is cutting down on food waste , small farmers are worried that it might have a negative affect on their livelihoods. Origins of the imperfect food movement Startups like Imperfect Produce are not the first to sell discarded produce at a discount. Farmers around the country have been doing it for years with the support of local communities. Many farmers engage in community supported agriculture ( CSA ), selling boxes of imperfect produce on a subscription basis and providing fresh food that is locally sourced. Although trends like the imperfect food movement are on the rise, small farmers have seen a decline in their sales as larger companies and grocery stores branch out into the organic marketplace. It is estimated that small farms throughout the country have seen a 20 percent dip year over year in CSA sales ever since the imperfect food movement took off in 2014. Related: New study finds food waste will increase to 66 tons per second if left unchecked An imperfect food movement on the rise Selling ugly and misshapen produce has really taken off over the past three years, and the movement is still going strong. Imperfect Produce sells produce in a growing number of cities across America. This past summer, Imperfect Produce started another round of financing that generated upward of $30 million, a clear sign that investors are interested in the growing movement. But as companies like Imperfect Produce benefit from the imperfect food movement, small farmers are struggling to keep up. The decline in sales has even forced some smaller farmers to shut down and seek work elsewhere. How are small farmers affected? The main problem with the imperfect food movement, at least as it relates to small farms , is that the market has become too large for these farmers to compete. Imperfect Produce is doing its best to help small farms by sourcing produce from farms across the Midwest — the company currently works with 25 small farms throughout the area — but the demand is higher than what these farmers can meet. To help fill the gaps, Imperfect Produce has turned to larger farms, which supply all of the demand and do so at a cheaper price. In fact, the majority of the produce the company sells actually comes from Mexico and California , especially when winter hits the Midwest. For all of the farmers who are not associated with the company, competing with them at that scale is nearly impossible. Related: Walmart introduces line of “ugly” fruit to combat food waste The ugly side of the imperfect food movement Small farmers are not the only ones hurt by the imperfect food movement. With most of the produce coming from California and Mexico , customers outside of these regions aren’t always getting local or seasonal foods — instead, more emissions are emitted as these companies try to get enough food to customers. Critics also point out that companies like Imperfect Produce are making money from food that would normally be donated to non-profit organizations, like local food banks. This in turn hurts local communities and low-income families who have used these resources for decades. That said, Imperfect Produce has made an effort to help out food banks in cities where it operates. In Chicago , for example, the company has gifted more than 130,000 pounds of produce to the city’s food bank, the Greater Chicago Food Depository, which gives this food to homeless shelters and food outlets. Benefits of the imperfect food movement The impact on small farms aside, the imperfect food movement is cutting down on overall food waste, which is a big issue in this country. As the movement rises in popularity, more and more produce will be rescued from the trash heap, a benefit that should not be overlooked. The imperfect food movement also teaches consumers — and farmers — that produce can look imperfect but still taste amazing and have nutritional value . It can also open the door for people to look into other programs, like CSA, that offer imperfect produce at a discount. Should you support the imperfect food movement or small farmers? The imperfect food movement has created a difficult problem for small farmers throughout the country, an issue that will likely worsen in the coming years. For consumers, picking between supporting local farmers or the imperfect food movement is a tough decision. On one hand, buying imperfect produce helps cut down on food waste. On the other hand, buying that produce from larger companies hurts small farmers who cannot compete with the growing demand. As the movement continues to grow, we can only hope that companies like Imperfect Produce will partner with more small farms. After all, helping small farms not only keeps their doors open, but it also boosts local economies and provides fresh food with a smaller environmental impact. Images via Alexandr Podvalny , Gemma Evans , Rebecca Georgia , Sydney Rae , Anda Ambrosini , Caleb Stokes and Shumilov Ludmila

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The ugly truth about the imperfect food movement

This custom-built tiny house is big on interior design

April 9, 2018 by  
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Washington-based company Handcrafted Movement is making quite the name for itself with custom-made tiny homes. The company’s latest micro dwelling — called the Coastal Craftsman — is so gorgeously designed that you’ll forget it’s only a mere 238-square-foot space. The energy-efficient tiny home has a stunning interior design that is not only open and airy; it is also handcrafted with various reclaimed materials. The home, which is built onto a transportable trailer , is clad in a cream-colored board and batten siding with Pacific Cedar accents, complimented with a dark metal rooftop. A lovely glass-panel door leads into the living space, which has distressed oak flooring that contrasts nicely with the white walls. Throughout the home, the interior design gives off a relaxed beach vibe, enhanced with an abundance of natural light. Related: These solar-powered tiny homes are designed just for millennials The furnishings were all strategically custom-built  to provide personal touches to the home without adding clutter. A chaise lounge-style sofa bed is at the heart of the living area, providing a comfy place to read or watch television. There’s an electric fireplace to keep warm in the winter months, and a vintage desk and chair sit in a small nook under a window. The tiny kitchen has plenty of shelving and cupboards. The space is compact, but efficient and includes a dining table made out of Oregon-sourced, salvaged walnut wood . In the corner of the kitchen, stairs lead up to the sleeping loft, which has enough space for a king-size bed. Matt Impola, the founder of Handcrafted Movement, framed the walls himself and even inserted custom-made roof trusses to add dimension to the tiny home design . The craftsmanship of the project is incredibly impressive. “I built much of the tiny home components—the exterior shutters, kitchen cabinets, bathroom doors, stairs, electric fireplace, television cabinet, coffee counter, dining table, etc. — from scratch, and had two production assistants help me assemble and finish all them,” Impola said. “I’ve seen too many tiny homes with minuscule couches that will not realistically be comfortable for very long, so it’s important for me to be able to fit full-size furniture in every tiny home I build.” In addition to its amazing design, the home was also built with various energy-efficient features such as rock-based Roxul insulation, 10 large energy-star windows, LED lighting, an instant water heater, and a propane oven and cooker. Thanks to these features, the home’s monthly energy costs are incredibly low — an estimated $12 to $25 per month. + Handcrafted Movement Via Dwell Photos via Handcrafted Movement

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This custom-built tiny house is big on interior design

The role of the c-suite in driving diversity and inclusion

February 15, 2018 by  
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CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ is the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Hear from leaders driving this movement on the need for collaboration, progress so far, and vision for the future.

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The role of the c-suite in driving diversity and inclusion

Katrin Ley and Bill McDonough: Reimagining fashion

February 15, 2018 by  
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Hear from renowned designer and Cradle-to-Cradle co-founder William McDonough and Fashion for Good Executive Director Katrin Ley on the opportunities for reshaping the fashion industry into a force for positive change.

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Katrin Ley and Bill McDonough: Reimagining fashion

Bill McDonough: creation of the perception of scarcity where nothing exists

February 15, 2018 by  
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William McDonough, recently returned from Davos, will present the latest findings on the size of current financial markets related to global GDP and the potential of The Circular Economy.

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Bill McDonough: creation of the perception of scarcity where nothing exists

Cities aspiring to 100-percent renewables share this in common

September 4, 2017 by  
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There’s no single motivation behind the movement. Here’s background, with three ideas for where your city can start.

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Cities aspiring to 100-percent renewables share this in common

Engineers have found a way to harvest wind energy from trees

February 12, 2016 by  
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Imagine if a world full of forests generated all the energy we need. That dream could become reality with a new form of wind power production that turns tree movement into clean energy. The technology is called piezoelectricity, and it refers to the electric charge produced from a vibration applied to any material. According to a new report in the Journal of Sound and Vibration , the movement of trees in the wind produces vibrations that could be successfully converted into energy. Read the rest of Engineers have found a way to harvest wind energy from trees

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Engineers have found a way to harvest wind energy from trees

Gentle genius: bright red jeweled facade slashes Italian home’s energy use

February 12, 2016 by  
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EGO Movement E-Bike offers sustainable and stylish mobility to urbanites

February 9, 2016 by  
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Zurich-based EGO Movement wants to redefine individual urban transit. To help urbanites get around even the hilliest of towns in a breeze, the startup designed the EGO Movement E-bike, an electric bicycle that combines classic design with modern technology. Powered by a 350W mid-motor engine and Samsung removable 36V10A battery, the bicycle can cruise around town with a 60 to 80 kilometer range. The battery also comes with a USB port to make on-the-go mobile phone charging a snap. Each bike, which comes in both a “male” and “female” frame, is equipped with a Shimano 8-gear shift, RST forms, and Tektro disc brakes. + EGO Movement The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

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