How to tie-dye with natural dyes

June 26, 2020 by  
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The tie-dye look was once incredibly trendy. Then, it became retro. Now, it’s classic. Tie-dye is fun, bright and colorful, and when you don’t know what to match with what or which piece should go with another, tie-dye is the perfect solution. But if you work with chemical dyes, you’re going to end up inhaling fumes and possibly exposing yourself to dangerous toxins. Use natural dyes for tie-dye projects instead, and then you can also have fun simply making the dyes before you even begin making all of your beautiful tie-dye items. Making natural dye No matter what vegetables you’re using, you’ll need to assemble some basic tools to start making your own dyes. Get a knife for chopping, a cheesecloth for straining and a couple of large bowls. You’ll also want measuring cups and standard table salt. Make sure you’ve got a good blender, too. This is the main item you’ll use for turning vegetables, berries and plant waste into bright, beautiful dyes. Related: A guide to the best plants for dyeing fabric and fibers naturally Once you know the method for making dye , you can make just about any color of dye you like. First, get some latex gloves that give you good flexibility. You may end up staining your fingers while you’re making dye if you choose not to wear gloves. Either way, make sure you’ve got clean hands and good knife skills when you chop up your veggies, berries and other plant products. Assemble your ingredients on a cutting board, get your knife and go to work hacking up all those items. After you chop up your raw ingredients into manageable pieces, put about two cups of chopped veggies into a blender with two cups of very hot water. The water should be near boiling, but not boiling. Blend the vegetables and water until you create a slurry. This slurry can be strained through a cheesecloth into a clean bowl. Add one tablespoon of salt to the mixture and stir it thoroughly until the salt dissolves. Making different colors This process of chopping vegetables and straining them can be used for veggies in any color to create all sorts of different shades of natural dye. To make red, try beets. If you want purple, add some red cabbage to the beets to make the color richer. You can also use herbs rather than vegetables, if they have a color shade you like. Parsley, for example, makes a lovely deep green color when you use this method. Turmeric and plants in the mint family make beautiful yellow and light green dyes. If you want a color that’s more golden, try dandelions. Blueberries are very effective for creating blue. If you are looking to make brown, try using tea or coffee grounds. Carrots make a gorgeous orange color. Once you start experimenting with various berries, herbs and vegetables, there’s no limit to the different color shades you can create with items you can get at the local farmers market . Natural dyes existed for thousands of years before synthetic dyes came along. Civilizations throughout history used natural dyes to create gorgeous color shades. You can do the same and create your own eco-friendly dyes right in your own kitchen. Start saving vegetable peels, rinds, skins and other waste materials to start making dyes. After all, not everything has to go straight in the compost bin. Tie-dying Tie-dye is pretty ubiquitous, but not everyone actually knows how to do it. You can create a pretty big mess and cause yourself a lot of frustration if you don’t understand the process. But once you do, tie-dying is like riding a bike. You’ll be equipped with the skills to tie-dye for life. Before you dye your clothing, mix one cup of salt with 16 cups of water and four cups of vinegar and bring the solution to a boil. Once it’s boiling, reduce the heat and simmer the fabric in this salty water for one hour. Run the fabric under cold water and wring it out after it has simmered long enough. Bunch a portion of the fabric in your hand, give it a little twist and put a rubber band around it. Do this as many times as you’d like, whether you want one bunched portion or several. Now, you can soak your material in the dye you made until it turns the shade you want. Do this for all of the colors you want to include in your design. For easier dying, you can also pour your homemade natural dyes into bottles to squirt or pour the dye on the fabric as desired. Carefully cut off the rubber bands and line-dry your fabric after it has been dyed. You’ll have to use very gentle detergent or hand-wash your tie-dyed items, because the color will fade more quickly than synthetic dyes. Luckily, if you do need to brighten your tie-dyed fabrics in the future, you can easily do so with natural dyes. Images via Oct Snow , Yuha Park , Deborah Lee Soltesz and Suzanne

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LEED Platinum Stockman Bank harvests rainwater and solar power in Missoula

June 26, 2020 by  
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In Montana’s historic downtown Missoula, a Stockman Bank branch has recently earned LEED v4 Core and Shell Platinum certification — the second building in the U.S and the fifth worldwide to receive such accreditation. Designed by Billings-based architecture firm Cushing Terrell , Stockman Bank’s Missoula location boasts energy-efficient and energy-saving systems throughout, from high-performance glass and solar arrays to an innovative on-site rainwater system that provides 100% of average annual water use for toilet and urinal flushing. The six-story bank uses 75% less energy and 69% less water than a comparable office building. Certified LEED v4 Platinum in September 2019, Stockman Bank’s downtown Missoula branch spans 67,753 square feet across six floors, two of which are used as parking with space for 137 vehicles, covered bicycle parking and electric vehicle charging systems. The top three building levels include outdoor terraces, while the sixth-floor rooftop level features a lush garden space that can be used for meetings, entertaining and community activities. The roof level overlooks panoramic views of Missoula and the surrounding valleys and is also topped with a 48.75 KW photovoltaic array with 150 solar panels that provide 11% of the building’s energy. Related: Solar-powered Lowell Justice Center will be Massachusetts’ first LEED Platinum courthouse Despite the building’s inclusion of high-tech, energy-saving technology, the bank’s appearance is firmly rooted in the local vernacular respectful of its historic district location. The masonry exterior uses brick and quarried granite from South Dakota as well as cast stone detailing and a high-performance glass curtain wall that floods the interior with natural light. Approximately 70% of recycled material was used in the steel frame construction.  In addition to rainwater harvesting and solar panels , the bank includes an open-loop ground source heat pump system and chilled beams as well as energy-efficient elevators with regenerative braking to recoup electricity in descent. + Cushing Terrell Photography by Heidi Long via Cushing Terrell

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LEED Platinum Stockman Bank harvests rainwater and solar power in Missoula

Trump waives environmental laws amid national crises

June 8, 2020 by  
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While the world focuses on a global pandemic and brutal racial discrimination, President  Trump  is sneakily squashing environmental laws. The Trump administration has directed federal agencies to waive many environmental requirements as a way to light a fire under the pandemic-strained economy. Under the president’s directive, federal agencies are now seeking workarounds in the usually time-consuming processes of getting approval for building highways, fossil fuel export terminals, pipelines and other energy and transportation infrastructure. Usually, large projects like these require applying for approval under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Signed by President Nixon in 1970, this law requires agencies to assess the environmental consequences of their planned actions and sometimes seek better alternatives. NEPA also gives people a voice in new projects and considers whether these projects affect any endangered species. Related: Trump administration rolls back fuel efficiency standards “Unnecessary regulatory delays will deny our citizens opportunities for jobs and economic security, keeping millions of Americans out of work and hindering our economic recovery from the national  emergency ,” Trump wrote in his executive order. Many industries and developers cheered. But environmentalists pounced on the new order. “Instead of trying to ease the pain of a nation in crisis, President Trump is focused on easing the pain of polluters,” said Gina McCarthy, a former  EPA  administrator who now heads the Natural Resources Defense Council. She characterized this move as “utterly senseless” and an abuse of emergency powers. Agencies will have 30 days to provide the president with a report of expedited projects. Some environmentalists say the new order is unlawful and will likely end up in court. Those who stand to lose the most are  endangered species  and humans in lower socioeconomic brackets, including many people of color. “These reviews are required by law to protect people from industries that can harm our health and our communities,” McCarthy said. “Getting rid of them will hit those who live closest to  polluting facilities and highways the hardest—in many of the same communities already suffering the most from the national emergencies at hand.” + NPR Via NRDC Image via Gage Skidmore

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Trump waives environmental laws amid national crises

Is CBD Oil the Natural Cure-All We Want It To Be?

May 18, 2020 by  
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Proponents insist that CBD oil is capable of curing a … The post Is CBD Oil the Natural Cure-All We Want It To Be? appeared first on Earth911.com.

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50 DIY Natural Handmade Beauty Products That Make Great Gifts

May 4, 2020 by  
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Are you shopping for a Mother’s Day gift? Or Father’s … The post 50 DIY Natural Handmade Beauty Products That Make Great Gifts appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Could artificial photosynthesis be the holy grail of renewables?

April 8, 2020 by  
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Emulating the natural process plants use to convert sunlight into energy could bring benefits in efficiency not just for power generation, but for energy storage.

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The Expandable House helps adapt to rapid urbanization

March 5, 2020 by  
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Singapore-based design firm  Urban-Rural Systems  has developed an innovative housing prototype that fights urban sprawl while simultaneously providing better infrastructure for rural-to-urban migrants. Implemented in phases, the project recently completed its second phase this year in Indonesia with the construction of its first Expandable House prototype. True to its name, the dwelling can be flexibly expanded to increase its built area from a single-story, 36-square-meter unit to a three-story, 108-square-meter  mixed-use  building equipped with sustainable decentralized systems such as rainwater harvesting and photovoltaic systems.  The Expandable House (“‘rumah tambah’ in Bahasa Indonesia, or ‘rubah’ for short”) targets rapidly urbanizing regions on the fringes of cities and towns. As the designers explained in a project statement, these are regions where the impact of rapid urbanization “is most directly felt: where land is still relatively cheap, new industrial jobs are springing up, rural migrants often first arrive in the city, and infrastructure is often inadequate to support them.” Additionally, the designers said, “The expandable house tries to respond to this dynamic situation by allowing the dwelling to be flexibly configured around the fluctuating patterns of resource consumption and expenditure, or metabolism, of its residents.” To meet these needs, the Expandable House features a roof that can be raised as well as a floor and foundations strong enough to support up to three floors. This model not only allows for flexible financing — owners can expand their home from a single-story unit to a multi-story unit as needed — but also encourages vertical growth to reduce urban sprawl. The adaptable housing system also incorporates  rainwater  and solar harvesting systems, passive design principles, on-site sewage systems, as well as food production systems to promote self-sufficiency and small-scale business growth.  Related: Passive solar school in Indonesia celebrates the natural landscape Developed in three phases, the Expandable House project began with the Phase 1 design at the Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore. Phase 2 oversaw construction of the prototype in  Indonesia  that began in 2018, with the first floor of 36 square meters, and concluded earlier this year after all three floors were built along with the technical systems, including rainwater harvesting and photovoltaics. Phase 3 will involve piloting the Expandable House on a larger-scale in a project dubbed Tropical Town, also in Indonesia.  + Urban-Rural Systems (URS) Images © Carlina Teteris

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The Expandable House helps adapt to rapid urbanization

Why today’s turkey is more affordable and sustainable than it was in the 1970s

November 28, 2019 by  
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Scientific developments and innovation has produced more turkey for a larger population using fewer of our natural resources.

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Why today’s turkey is more affordable and sustainable than it was in the 1970s

Research raises animal welfare concerns over "humanely" raised turkeys

November 18, 2019 by  
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While many meat eaters don’t want to think about the actual slaughter of a turkey, they might comfort themselves with the thought that their Thanksgiving dinner was humanely raised. Think again. The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) has just released a new report showing that poultry producers are deceiving customers by making unfounded animal welfare and environmental claims. The report used Freedom of Information Act requests to procure the USDA’s label approval files, then analyzed them for supporting evidence regarding these claims. Unfortunately, things haven’t improved since the AWI petitioned the USDA in 2014 to require third-party certification of animal welfare in order to earn the “humane” label. Related: Is your Thanksgiving turkey putting your family’s health at risk? “The system is easily manipulated by producers who want to make higher welfare claims on their packages and charge a premium without improving the treatment of animals raised under their care,” said Erin Sutherland, staff attorney for AWI’s farm animal program. “Because of the USDA ’s lack of oversight, consumers are often thwarted in their attempts to use labels to guide their food-buying decisions.” In its new report, the AWI evaluated label approvals for claims like “humanely raised,” “free raised” and “sustainably farmed” on 19 poultry and meat products. The AWI concluded that the USDA failed to enforce labeling standards and that producers’ definitions were often vague and irrelevant. Using its own scoring tool, the AWI gave 12 of 23 claims an F score. Two turkey product lines, Diestel Turkey Ranch Organic Turkey Products and Empire Kosher Natural Ground White Turkey, fared slightly better with D grades. The AWI pointed out that the current label approval process harms honest farmers , because producers who make false claims can undercut them by selling inhumanely raised turkeys disguised as humanely raised at lower prices. Part of the problem is that the USDA doesn’t visit farms to see if practices conform to the claims made on labels. Instead, the USDA relies on information about animal treatment provided by the producers themselves. It’s ironic that while meat producers lobby against “deceptive” fake meat labeling, they’re practicing some fakery of their own. + Animal Welfare Institute Image via SJ Baren

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Research raises animal welfare concerns over "humanely" raised turkeys

Sigurd Larsen unveils a stunning prefab home in the Austrian Alps

November 18, 2019 by  
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Prefab design offers an infinite number of benefits, but it is especially useful when constructing in extreme landscapes and climates. Danish architect Sigurd Larsen has almost entirely relied on prefabrication to construct the Mountain House, an incredible family home nestled deep into the spectacular, mountainous landscape of the Austrian Alps. The Mountain House is a beautiful home that blends seamlessly into its surroundings. An elongated volume with a pitched roof, the structure cantilevers over the landscape’s natural slope, creating the perfect height to take in unobstructed views of the stunning mountainside. Related: Sigurd Larsen adds the ultimate grown up playhouse to Berlin’s Hotel Michelberger The two-level home’s walls and roof were prefabricated in a factory before they were assembled on-site. This decision was strategic to not only reduce costs and construction time but also the overall efficiency of the project. Building in the remote landscape of the alps is nearly impossible during the cold winter months, so using a heated factory to manufacture the components helped to facilitate the project on various levels. In fact, once the materials were delivered to the site, the exterior was constructed in just 12 hours. Clad in locally sourced larch timber stained a dark gray, the mountain home is chic and sophisticated, and it emits a welcoming cabin feel inside and out. The bottom floor is clad in floor-to-ceiling panels. These glazed facades allow for the family to feel a strong connection to the natural setting. Additionally, the home boasts an open-air deck that is covered by the upper floor, creating a serene outdoor place to enjoy the views and fresh mountain air. Throughout the interior , natural wood is used for the flooring and the walls, again creating a natural, minimalist living space. Keeping the focus on the views, the furnishings are sparse and space-efficient. The architects called on local woodcutters to create several pieces of built-in furniture, such as a kitchen bench and a wooden staircase. + Sigurd Larsen Via Architectural Digest Photography by Christian Flatscher via Sigurd Larsen

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Sigurd Larsen unveils a stunning prefab home in the Austrian Alps

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