AutoCamp to expand Airstream glamping to Zion, Joshua Tree and the Catskills

March 31, 2021 by  
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Award-winning glamping company AutoCamp has announced plans to bring its design-led Airstream suites and luxurious tent accommodations to three new iconic destinations: California’s Joshua Tree National Park, Utah’s Zion National Park and the Catskill Mountains in New York. Slated to open in Fall 2021 and Spring 2022, the new expansion effectively doubles the footprint of the outdoor lodging brand, which was created to immerse guests in nature with high-end outdoor hospitality. All AutoCamp properties are designed for safe experiences that follow social distancing guidelines and include features such as contactless check-in and text message-based concierge services. Founded in 2013 in Santa Barbara, AutoCamp currently operates three locations: AutoCamp Russian River in the heart of California’s wine country, AutoCamp Yosemite near the entrance of the iconic national park and, most recently, AutoCamp Cape Cod in Massachusetts. All properties offer fully outfitted, family-friendly accommodations, from modern, 31-foot Airstreams and luxury tents to seasonally available Base Camp Mini Suites. Related: Adorable timber cabins in Chile let you glamp among the trees On track to open this fall, AutoCamp Joshua Tree will feature 47 Airstreams, four Accessible Suites and four X Suites on a 25-acre property. All units will include updated HVAC systems for all-season weather, and guests will have access to an outdoor bar with a full beverage program, a hybrid hot tub and plunge pool and a mobile kitchen for chef residency pop-ups. The Clubhouse — a focal point of every AutoCamp destination — will be designed by HKS Architects and Narrative Design Studio and will include translucent solar panels , misters and a seamless connection with the outdoors. HKS Architects also designed AutoCamp Zion National Park, slated to open Spring 2022, which will include a Clubhouse that faces views of the Gooseberry Mesa and beyond. The Clubhouse in AutoCamp Catskills will be designed by Milwaukee-based Workshop/APD. As with all existing AutoCamp properties, no cars will be allowed on the premises so as not to detract from the surroundings.  + AutoCamp Images via HKS and Narrative Design Studio

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Himalayan glacier breaks off in India, causing a deadly avalanche

February 9, 2021 by  
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An intense rescue mission has been underway in India since Sunday morning, following the break of a Himalayan glacier. The glacial breakoff triggered an avalanche of mud, water and rock debris that swept away a hydroelectric dam. At the time of writing, 26 people had died with at least 171 more people still missing. The disaster started at about 10:45 a.m. local time, when part of the Nanda Devi glacier broke away from a fragile area of Uttarakhand, the northern India state that borders China and Nepal. The region is known to be prone to landslides and flooding , a situation that has caused environmentalists to warn against development there. Related: Global warming will melt over 1/3 of the Himalayan ice cap by 2100 Those who witnessed the event from across the valley say that it happened in a flash. “It came very fast. There was no time to alert anyone,” Sanjay Singh Rana, an eye witness, told Reuters . “I felt that even we would be swept away.” It is believed that of the nearly 200 missing individuals, most were workers at the dam. According to the Uttarakhand state chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, the number of those reported missing could rise as more information is gathered. Additionally, 180 sheep washed away in the avalanche. It is still not clear why the glacier broke, especially when northern India is still experiencing winter. Global warming has increased ice melt in the Himalayas, but the region is still typically quite cold this time of year. The split glacier was part of the Nanda Devi peak at an altitude of 25,643 feet. The mountain is revered in India, with its name translated to mean the blessed goddess. Some locals even worship the mountain. Currently, the national park surrounding the peak, Nanda Devi National Park, is listed as an  UNESCO  World Heritage Site. Via NPR and Reuters Image via Avalok Sastri

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Green design meets glamping in Queenslands Lamington National Park

December 4, 2020 by  
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Located in Lamington National Park in Queensland,  Australia , O’Reilly’s Campground is a community center and campsite that features what the designers call “architectural ecotourism.” Sustainable building practices include minimally invasive and lightweight construction, passive solar access, sustainably sourced materials and more. The campground is designed to include visitors who want an authentic camping experience but don’t have the equipment. There are glamping safari tents available as well as powered RV campsites and unpowered, standard campsites for traditional camping. The guests who stay in safari-style tents can rent kits with bed linens and firewood and even have food delivered from the adjoining O’Reilly Rainforest Retreat. The campsite follows universal design principles for easy access to people who have disabilities. Related: Get away from it all in gorgeous solar-powered glamping tents in Australia Designed by Aspect Architecture, a firm from Kingscliff in New South Wales, Australia, the project includes a camp kitchen, gathering spaces, a fire pit and amenities buildings. In order to protect the natural building site, the facilities were designed and constructed using sustainable practices. This included lightweight construction techniques to preserve the vegetation, sustainably sourced timber materials and onsite sewer treatment and rainwater collection systems. Passive solar design and cross ventilation help save natural resources. In order to stay connected to the environment, the skeletal structure of the campgrounds is reflective of a tree canopy, providing shelter while protecting views of the surrounding mountains. Situated inside of a  forest  clearing, the site is also designed so that guests can connect with each other and share stories around a communal campfire. O’Reilly’s Campground, previously known as the Green Mountain Campground, was historically a public campground operated by the Parks and Forests division of the Queensland Department of Environment and Science. Now, the Queensland government has partnered with O’Reilly to help run the facility in a unique public-private partnership. The family has considerable experience in Australian  eco tourism  as they helped pioneer the industry by hosting visitors in Lamington National Park in 1915. + Aspect Architecture Photography by Andy Macpherson via Aspect Architecture

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Old bathhouses get new life via NPS adaptive reuse program

November 19, 2020 by  
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After Rose Schweikhart, an avid homebrewer, settled in Hot Springs,  Arkansas , she began to wonder if the mineral-rich hot spring water that made “Spa City” famous could be used to brew beer. Since the springs are government-owned as part of Hot Springs National Park, she called the park superintendent to ask permission to use the water. Next thing she knew, she was filling out the long application to be part of the National Park Service’s adaptive reuse program for the crumbling, once-opulent bathhouses that line the city’s main drag, aka Bathhouse Row. Now, the 9,000-square-foot  Superior Bathhouse  finds new life as a restaurant, event space and the world’s first microbrewery to use hot spring water for brewing beer. This project represents one of the success stories revitalizing both the town of Hot Springs and the overlapping national park. Water is the soul of Hot Springs As you could guess from its name, the town wouldn’t exist without its natural hot springs.  Hot Springs National Park  is tasked with protecting 47 springs in the downtown area. “We’re really strict about the park,” said park ranger Ashley Waymouth as she led a walking tour of Bathhouse Row. “We don’t use herbicides. We don’t use pesticides. We’re really conscientious about what we do. Because we know everything that goes on the ground ultimately makes its way into the  water .” Waymouth explained the long route the water takes, how time, depth and pressure heat the water for thousands of years before it bursts through a geologic fault line in the park. Rain from ancient Egyptian times now comes out of the hots springs 4,000 years later, Waymouth said. “It really instills in us long term thinking.” Keeping that water safe requires daily monitoring by a team of hydrogeologists. Archeological evidence shows that people used the springs here for thousands of years, and early inhabitants considered them a neutral ground and a place of healing. Many Americans first learned about the springs when President Jefferson sent the Hunter-Dunbar expedition to check out this part of the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase in 1804. Explorers returned with news of the wonders of Hot Springs’ healing waters, which soon began to attract people from all over. In 1832, the U.S.  government  proclaimed the area a federal reserve. Related: These adaptive reuse hotel suites in Amsterdam are built inside old bridge houses By 1900, Hot Springs was a major  health  destination. In addition to bathing, some of the bathhouses offered gymnasiums, physical therapy and medical professionals who would prescribe hikes and other exercises. The surrounding area was cultivated as a beauty spot, with gardens in front of the bathhouses, a series of trails groomed on the hills behind and cute little parks dotting the town. The earliest bathhouses burnt in fires. Built between 1892 and 1923, the eight huge buildings standing today feature a mishmash of Spanish, Italian, Roman and Greek styles. The Fordyce, built for the town’s wealthiest visitors, features sea-colored stained  glass  and carved Neptune heads on its facade. The Ozark is mission style, in a possible nod to the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto, who searched for the fountain of youth. Hot Springs accommodated a variety of people, though facilities often reflected issues of the time. While the town hosted a free government-run bathhouse, Black visitors could only use a segregated bathhouse until the 1964 Civil Rights Act passed. Of course, there were also upscale options for the rich and famous, especially those with an ailment they hoped to heal. Australian-born international opera star Marjorie Lawrence made  Hot Springs  her home after contracting polio. Gangster Al Capone also frequently visited, hoping to cure his syphilis. But over the course of the 20th century, enthusiasm for public bathing faded. By 1980, Americans preferred to relax in backyard hot tubs than public bathhouses. All bathhouses but the  Buckstaff  closed down, some remaining vacant for decades. Since Bathhouse Row is part of Hot Springs National Park, the Park Service had to figure out what to do about the empty buildings. On one hand, the buildings were historical, architectural and cultural treasures. On another, they were hulking behemoths ranging from 9,000 to nearly 30,000-square-feet inside — expensive to retrofit, heat and maintain. In 2004, the National Park Service devised an innovative adaptive  reuse  program that has preserved the bathhouses, drawn more visitors and enriched their experience, and reinvigorated downtown Hot Springs. Hospitality and adaptive reuse Of the eight bathhouses, only the Maurice remains empty. The Buckstaff has continuously operated since opening in 1912. The other six have either been repurposed by the  National Park  Service itself or entered into public/private partnerships. Fortunately, the park had the foresight to turn the opulent Fordyce into a bathhouse museum. The men’s wing is much grander than the women’s, with a stained-glass skylight featuring topless mermaids and a statue in the center of a kneeling Native woman presenting de Soto with a jug of water. The best part is all the weird and fascinating hydrotherapy equipment. While this equipment — such as steam cabinets where people sat with just their heads sticking out, and a hydroelectric tub that somehow combined electricity with water for stunning results — must have been cutting edge in its day, it now looks more like a  medical  torture chamber. At the Superior Bathhouse Brewery, Rose Schweikhart has worked wonders with both the old bathhouse and the water itself. Under the NPS adaptive reuse program, Schweikhart got a 55-year lease on the  building . Built in 1916, the Superior is the smallest bathhouse on the row, but it still has 9,000 square feet that had to be improved and now require maintenance. Currently, Schweikhart is saving for a new roof. Since the building is a historic structure in a national park and has the federal government as a landlord, Schweikhart needs approval before changing the structure. “Usually they say yes, because a vacant building isn’t doing anyone any good,” Schweikhart said. The building closed as a bathhouse in 1983 and sat empty for 30 years before Schweikhart gave it a new life. Still, the NPS drew the line at letting her install a roll-up door. This meant Schweikhart had to carefully bring all the brewery equipment through the front  window , the historic building’s largest opening. “I had to get the manufacturer to measure everything very carefully,” Schweikhart said. The water is piped in at about 144 degrees, then heated to 160 degrees to make the beer and sell it locally in growlers. It’s a bathhouse-centric operation with no canning, bottling or distribution. So, you’ll have to go to Hot Springs to experience the Superior’s Goat Rock Bock or Desoto’s Folly. Next door, Ellen and Pat McCabe repurposed the Hale Bathhouse into a nine-room boutique  hotel  with a beautiful dining room open to all. The duo incorporated touches that appeal to aficionados of historic buildings, such as exposed rough brick walls and the original pine floors. But the  Hotel Hale’s  modern touches make it a very comfortable place to stay — coffee service delivered to your door at your chosen time every morning, signature orange-vanilla scented toiletries made by a local soap maker and, best of all, hot spring water piped into your own private bathtub. Hotel Hale is also known for laying out a fabulous brunch. If you’re really lucky, the McCabes might unlock a door in the corner of the dining room and let you peek into the old natural steam room cut into the mountain. It’s hot, muddy and too much of an insurance liability for modern use, but is a fascinating glimpse back into Spa City’s history. The  Quapaw  reuse project remains truest to the original bathhouse spirit. Constructed in 1924, the 24,000-square-foot Spanish Colonial building is now a modern  spa . Its 2007 makeover earned a LEED Silver certification and won the Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas’ 2009 Excellence in Preservation through Restoration Award. The Quapaw offers both private services like massages and facials and public bathing in a series of shared pools of different temperatures, ranging from comfortably warm to roasting. A visit to either the Quapaw or the even more historic Buckstaff baths is the closest visitors can get to the old days where everybody from movie stars to gangsters made healing pilgrimages to Hot Springs. Images via Teresa Bergen

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Niagara Falls welcomes zero-emission electric boats for sustainable tours

November 4, 2020 by  
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After nearly two centuries of bringing visitors up close and personal with the awe-inspiring waterfalls at Niagara Falls , the iconic Maid of the Mist attraction has been upgraded with two new all-electric, zero-emission boats. Launched in the first week of October, Niagara Falls’ new Maid of the Mist passenger vessels not only offer a greener experience but also a quieter and smoother ride in the nation’s oldest state park. The sustainable initiative helps advance Governor Cuomo’s Green New Deal that mandates New York’s power be 100% carbon-free by 2040. First launched in 1846, the Maid of the Mist is one of North America’s longest running tourist attractions. The national park’s new electrified boats are the first passenger vessels of their kind in the U.S. and include the ‘James V. Glynn’ named in honor of the longtime Maid of the Mist chairman and CEO James V. Glynn as well as ‘Nikola Tesla’ in honor of the world-famous engineer who designed and constructed the world’s first hydroelectric power plant located on the American side of the Niagara Falls. The pair of zero-emission vessels were introduced as part of a $70 million revitalization of Niagara Falls State Park.  Related: Cold front turns Niagara Falls into a glorious icy wonderland To highlight the environmentally friendly benefits of the Maid of the Mist boats, the vessels feature a blue-and-green color pattern on the exterior as well as graphics of waves that represent Niagara Falls, a lightning bolt symbolic of electricity and a turbine in a nod to hydroelectric power. The blue lines on the sides of the vessels represent water flowing from the upper deck of the vessel into the turbine. “Niagara Falls is a wonder of the world unique to Western New York and Maid of the Mist has given people from all walks of life an up-close look at its majesty for more than 150 years,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul in a press release. “Having this natural wonder in our backyard means we have a special responsibility as its steward and protecting it for future generations. This new fleet of all-electric vessels will protect the health of our waterways and environment, and is another example of New York State building back better, smarter and greener.” + Niagara Falls Images via New York Power Authority

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How a green-roofed shopping center is redefining ‘reuse’

November 4, 2020 by  
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Now that eco-friendly building and reuse projects are on the rise, there have been some pretty amazing transformations. Many architects and designers are embracing the adaptive reuse trend, breathing new life and new purpose into old buildings rather than demolishing them. A new design by Herzog & de Meuron that transforms an old depot into a shopping center is truly inspirational, showcasing innovative ways to approach reuse projects while still adding creativity and functionality to a design for the betterment of a community. The building in question used to be a customs depot in Basel, Switzerland. But it will soon become a shopping center, in a project called Dreispitz Nord, that even has a school onsite. Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron headed the project, a mixed-use district that will expand Basel’s downtown. Herzog & de Meuron is no stranger to innovation. The firm first began the project in 2017, when it won a competition for a massive redevelopment plan for Basel. The goal in this project is to create an urban building with “large, public green space,” according to a statement released by the firm, which recently shared more details and updates on its original design. Related: BIG weaves green roofs into a mixed-use development on stilts in Miami The Dreispitz Nord project includes three mixed-use, high-rise towers surrounded by mid-rise buildings; these mid-rise buildings will add more affordable housing to the city. In addition to the shopping center, there’s also a public park and the school, which is big enough for about 600 students. The school and its accompanying gymnasium will be prefabricated to save time and construction waste. A flourishing green roof will serve as another public park, where a DIY and garden center will welcome Basel residents to get creative. There will also be playing fields, community gardens and a youth center. The project’s blend of adaptive reuse and newly added high-rise towers will transform the Basel skyline while also adding plenty of public amenities for the community to enjoy. + Herzog & de Meuron Via Archinect Images via Herzog & de Meuron

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Solar-powered dome in the Texas desert is the perfect place to go off the grid

August 18, 2020 by  
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The Terluna off-grid adobe dome home is located in a remote part of the Texas desert near Big Bend National Park, inside one of the country’s few remaining dark sky ordinance territories. Along with the opportunity to completely cut yourself off from the modern world, the dome’s setting offers incredible views of the night sky along with unobstructed access to the desert horizon. The dome is an earthen structure, built with an adobe barrier, that provides shelter from the elements. In this part of the state, those elements can range from extreme heat and wind to cold and rain. All power comes directly from an installed solar energy system, with just enough energy to also power phones, laptops and lights. Related: Spectacular rammed-earth dome home is tucked deep into a Costa Rican jungle Terluna is isolated, but because the entrance to Big Bend National Park is just a 25-minute drive away, it is easily accessible for those who want to do some exploring. For history buffs, the historic Terlingua Ghost Town can be found about 25 minutes away as well. Wi-Fi is also available in the dome for those who aren’t quite ready to go fully off the grid just yet. Fans of HGTV’s “Mighty Tiny Houses” may recognize the Terluna, as it has been featured on the show in the past. The dome home includes a kitchen with a two-burner propane stove, an oven and a refrigerator. The kitchen sinks get water from a small rain collection tank; guests are recommended to bring their own drinking water. There is space for two people to sleep comfortably, and linens, pillows and blankets are included. Additional space on the pallet couch allows for a third guest. A no-flush, composting toilet can be found in a separate, private outhouse next to the main structure, and guests will have to utilize a nearby coin shower if they want to wash up. The off-grid nature of this space means that occupants will have to sacrifice AC, but the Airbnb stay does have a fan and plenty of windows. + Airbnb Images via Airbnb

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Mount Rushmore fireworks display sparks concerns

June 30, 2020 by  
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Despite a decade-long ban on fireworks at Mount Rushmore on environmental and public health grounds, President Trump is planning a fireworks show at the famous site on July 3. Critics are worried about the threat of wildfire and the spread of coronavirus . The National Park Service halted fireworks displays at Mount Rushmore in 2010 to avoid wildfires accelerated by drought conditions. The monument is famous for its four presidential faces — George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln — but also includes 1,200 acres of forest and is close to Black Hills National Forest’s Black Elk Wilderness. Related: Crowds fill national park for Yellowstone reopening With a high temperature of 80 degrees predicted for the Fourth of July weekend paired with moderate drought conditions, not everybody is cheering for fireworks. “It’s a bad idea based on the wildland fire risk, the impact to the water quality of the memorial, the fact that it is going to occur during a pandemic without social distancing guidelines and the emergency evacuation issues,” Cheryl Schreier, who was superintendent at Mount Rushmore National Park from 2010-2019, told The Washington Post . Trump has yearned to see fireworks over Mount Rushmore for years and has downplayed the wildfire risk. “What can burn? It’s stone,” he said in January, according to Popular Mechanics . The 7,500 people who won tickets to the event in an online lottery will be urged to wear face coverings if they’re unable to social distance. South Dakota has so far escaped the worst of coronavirus. According to CDC statistics , at the time of writing this article, the state had 6,626 confirmed cases and 91 deaths. A fireworks display over Mount Rushmore is especially symbolic at a time when protesters seeking an end to racial discrimination are tearing down monuments. Statues of Jefferson and Washington have elsewhere been removed by people decrying the former presidents as slave owners. Mount Rushmore has an especially troubled history. The Lakota Sioux hold the Black Hills sacred. Having the faces of their European conquerors immortalized on stolen stone is viewed as the ultimate desecration. Via PBS , Ecowatch and Weather Channel Image via Pixabay

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Can manufacturing green sand beaches save our planet?

June 30, 2020 by  
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It sounds too good to be true — spread some rocks on a beach and the ocean will do the work to remove carbon dioxide from the air, reversing global warming. But that’s a very simplified explanation of what Project Vesta hopes to accomplish. The idea is to accelerate a natural process. When rain falls on volcanic rocks, it weathers them down, then flows into the ocean. There, oceans further break down the rocks. Carbon dioxide removed from the air becomes bicarbonate, which helps grow the shells of marine organisms and is stored in limestone on the ocean floor. Project Vesta wants to speed up this process by grinding up olivine — a common, gray-green silicate that weathers quickly — and spreading it on beaches and in shallow shelf seas around the world. It has worked in a lab, but will it work in the real world? We’re about to find out, as Project Vesta is now preparing a pilot beach in the Caribbean. Related: Demand for sand — the largest mining industry no one talks about Origins of Project Vesta Project Vesta has rounded up an international crew of scientists, environmentalists, futurists and financial experts since its founding on Earth Day 2019. The not-for-profit organization sprang from a think tank called Climitigation , Project Vesta executive director Tom Green told Inhabitat. “It’s very clear at this point that in order to avoid the worst effects of global warming, reducing emissions will not be enough,” Green said. “Maybe 20 years ago that would have been a viable path. But at this point, even though we should reduce emissions , that on its own will not be enough to avoid the worst scenario.” Climitigation examined different ways to reverse global warming , prioritizing them according to their viability. The idea of coastal weathering came to the top, Green said, “as being potentially very, very cheap, very scalable, a permanent carbon catcher, with relatively little attention that had been paid to it so far. So Project Vesta was founded out of that think tank, and we exist to further the science of enhanced weathering ultimately to galvanize global deployment that will help reverse climate change.” The idea of coastal weathering has 30 years of academic research in the fields of biology and geochemistry behind it. But it had stalled out, unable to cross the financial chasm from academic to mainstream, said Green, who trained as a biologist before spending 20 years in business at various tech companies. “Nobody had come along and said, ‘Okay, I’m going to push this forward.’ That’s what we’re here to do.” The pilot beach Scientists at Project Vesta had a set of criteria for finding the right pilot beach. “We scoured the world for an ideal site,” Green said. “This initial site that we found is great for our pilot beach site. It’s a fairly enclosed cove, which means the water has a pretty low refresh rate. Which means that as the chemical reaction happens, there’s enough time for the biogeochemical indicators to change before the water gets washed away into ocean.” In a few months, after thoroughly measuring the test cove, Project Vesta will cover the pilot beach with ground olivine. Then comes the monitoring phase. Scientists will sample water and sand, measuring indicators like DIC, or dissolved inorganic carbon , which directly measures the amount of carbon in the water. “These indicators are designed to measure the speed of the reaction that’s happening and actually look at the carbon as it is being removed from the atmosphere,” Green explained. “On the biological side, we’ll also be measuring the prevalence of various species that are there, both macroscopic and microscopic species, and looking at any changes in that as the experiment proceeds.” A nearly identical cove less than a quarter mile away will serve as a control cove. One concern is whether olivine could release nickel or other heavy metals into the water. Green told Fast Company that this nickel won’t be bioavailable, so it won’t harm marine species. But the pilot study will monitor metal concentrations to assess the real life impact to sand , water and local marine organisms. In addition to removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, Project Vesta hopes that more green beaches will reverse the ocean’s rising acidity. “The reaction that happens when olivine dissolves actually makes the ocean less acidic,” Green said. “ Ocean acidification is a major problem and is causing problems for a lot of species. It’s very clear that doing this will reduce acidity at the site where it’s done. And then there’s a hypothesis that that will actually be beneficial for local marine ecosystems. But we don’t know that yet for sure. We need to test it out.” Green beaches could also be a tourism draw. Papakolea on Hawaii’s Big Island is the world’s most famous green sand beach. It does more than alright for itself, tourist-wise. Future green beaches The Project Vesta folks hope that they’ll see a positive impact on their pilot beach within a year. If it’s successful, they’ll work with interested governments to expand the project. Green anticipates that members of the V20 — countries especially susceptible to climate change — may be especially receptive to green sand beaches. Island nations with lots of shoreline will be top candidates. If all went perfectly, how long would it take for green sand beaches to reverse climate change? Project Vesta scientists estimate they’ll need to dump ground olivine in 2% of the world’s shelf seas — the shallow coastal waters surrounding every continent — for the plan to work. “The scale of the problem is so big that any solution will also be largescale,” Green said. Project Vesta plans to find local or nearby sources of olivine to save financial and carbon costs of transporting the green rock. Even when factoring in the mining and transportation, the project claims it can capture 20 times the carbon it takes to make a green sand beach. Moving all these rocks will cost money. The credit card processing company Stripe is one of the project’s backers, in keeping with its pledge to spend $1 million a year on carbon removal technologies . Individuals can make donations of any size on Project Vesta’s website or support the project by buying a Grain of Hope necklace for $25. Fittingly, the jewelry sports a single grain of olivine suspended in a sand timer vial, symbolizing that time is running out on reversing climate change. + Project Vesta Images via Project Vesta

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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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