This nature-inspired substation shows the beauty of industrial design

March 18, 2021 by  
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When you imagine beautiful architecture, you probably don’t think of electricity substations. Who would? But the new Terna station created by Pierattelli Architetture recently won an award for its innovative design, which was inspired by the natural beauty of the Tuscan countryside. The project is an electrical converter substation that pays homage to its scenic location. It was carefully designed to blend into the varying colors of the natural landscape around it. The project is for Terna, a utility company that manages the high and extra-high voltage national power grid in Italy . The Terna substation is part of an ongoing effort to modernize the electrical connection between Sardinia, Corsica and the Italian peninsula. Related: Capri’s new electric power station replaces the island’s diesel plant Pierattelli Architetture was one of many firms that attempted the monumental task of designing an electrical substation that would honor and complement the natural landscape of Tuscany. Pierattelli Architetture’s project was chosen for its creative methods of designing an industrial building that wouldn’t become an eyesore for the idyllic region. The building will be constructed with multiple modular facets made of terracotta , a local and traditional material, that will be fastened to steel cables. The modular design creates a textured exterior that shows the different dimensions and tones of the terracotta tiles. The gate and sections of the walls will be covered in rust-color paint, an echo of the local soil and rocks. The substation will also be surrounded with native plants, such as cypress, olive and pine trees. New trees will be planted around the fence and along the road leading up to the substation. “Beauty should be a shared value and something we really strive to achieve, even in industrial architecture. This is especially so in a country like Italy, which is so rich in history and has such stunning landscapes,” Massimo Pierattelli, founder of Pierattelli Architetture, said. The building is illuminated by recessed LED lights arranged on strips that project light upward. This creates a sense of drama that showcases the striking lines across the facade. There will be spotlights among groups of olive trees as well, lighting up and showing off the beauty of the landscape. + Pierattelli Architetture Images via Pierattelli Architetture

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This nature-inspired substation shows the beauty of industrial design

7 Leave No Trace Principles for Your Next Outdoor Adventure

March 15, 2021 by  
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If you are an outdoor enthusiast, you understand the value of caring for the natural… The post 7 Leave No Trace Principles for Your Next Outdoor Adventure appeared first on Earth911.

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7 Leave No Trace Principles for Your Next Outdoor Adventure

Earth911 Podcast: Historian Jay Hakes on the 1970s Energy Crises’ Link to Climate Policy Today

March 15, 2021 by  
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The energy crises of the 1970s have continued to shape U.S. energy and climate policy… The post Earth911 Podcast: Historian Jay Hakes on the 1970s Energy Crises’ Link to Climate Policy Today appeared first on Earth911.

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Earth911 Podcast: Historian Jay Hakes on the 1970s Energy Crises’ Link to Climate Policy Today

Allbirds creates a plant-based leather

March 8, 2021 by  
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Allbirds put its best foot forward when it stepped into the sustainable footwear sphere. Now, the company is going further with the development of a new, plant-based leather . Made with rubber, vegetable oil and other natural ingredients, this leather alternative, aptly named Plant Leather, has 40 times less carbon impact than animal-derived leather and 17 times less carbon impact than synthetic leathers made from plastics. The leather industry is a huge polluter. Many chemicals are used to process leather, and tanneries generate a lot of waste . The runoff from leather production negatively impacts air and water quality. It also means killing animals in order to use their hides. While this used to be done in a more sustainable, nose-to-tail manner for thousands of years, today, the process of making leather is not environmentally friendly. Related: We wore Allbirds’ Tree Runners around the world — here’s how they performed Allbirds hopes to offer the durability and attractive appearance of leather without the harmful side effects that come with producing animal-derived leather goods. Plant Leather is a new material made possible by Mirum technology from Natural Fiber Welding. For those who have been waiting for a petroleum-free alternative to leather, this is a true miracle product. It features no petroleum, polyurethane or synthetic binders. “Our partnership with NFW and planned introduction of Plant Leather based on their technology is an exciting step on our journey to eradicate petroleum from the fashion industry,” said Joey Zwillinger, co-founder and co-CEO of Allbirds. Allbirds is a Climate Neutral Certified B Corporation that is focused on combating the use of petroleum-based materials in fashion . The company has already created a eucalyptus-based fiber and EVA foam made with sugarcane, both of which are open-source formulas available for any other company to use, too. Plant Leather has a small carbon footprint and is fully biodegradable . The leather is naturally pigmented as well. Allbirds plans to use Plant Leather for new shoes that it will be launching at the end of 2021. + Allbirds Images via Allbirds

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Allbirds creates a plant-based leather

4 Natural Ways To Tackle Carpet Stains

January 25, 2021 by  
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You can’t always avoid it. Your beautiful carpet is likely … The post 4 Natural Ways To Tackle Carpet Stains appeared first on Earth 911.

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4 Natural Ways To Tackle Carpet Stains

Natural DIY Treatments for Luscious Winter Lips

January 8, 2021 by  
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The combination of cold winter weather outside and heated rooms … The post Natural DIY Treatments for Luscious Winter Lips appeared first on Earth 911.

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Natural DIY Treatments for Luscious Winter Lips

Trump administration disregards border wall’s environmental impact

December 30, 2020 by  
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An environmental row rages on as the Trump administration races against time to complete its target 450 miles of the border wall along the American-Mexico border. At the beginning of 2020, the Trump administration vowed to meet this goal within the year. In a last-ditch effort to deliver the promise, workers across 37 different construction sites along the border rush to meet the deadline. While workers erect the bollard steel wall, environmental conservationists and other groups voice frustration over how these reckless actions fail to consider nature. According to Kate Scott, Executive Director and President of the Madrean Archipelago Wildlife Centre, the construction disrupts the natural migration of wildlife and birds. “I feel great pain in my heart,” Scott said while speaking to CNN. “It’s like driving a stake through my heart because the river should be allowed to be, and not have this monstrosity. This wall of shame.” Like several other conservationists, Scott has been at the border watching and documenting the harm the process causes to wildlife . She watched as construction workers erected steel bollards at the San Pedro River, which flows from Mexico to the United States. Her frustration with the process is that it hampers the free migration of birds and other animals across the river and natural terrain. According to the  National Audubon Society of Arizona , about 40% of all bird species in North America spend some part of their lives on the San Pedro River. Due to the construction process, most of the birds and other animals have been pushed away from their natural habitat and travel pathway.  Despite the project’s effects on wildlife and nature, Customs and Border Protection insists the project meets environmental requirements. The organization claims the project has been analyzed and measures have been put in place to reduce environmental impacts. In contrast to these denials, conservationists have already collected enough evidence to show the project’s negative effects on wildlife. At the start of the construction in 2019, a non-profit organization, Wildlands Network, put up cameras in the San Bernardino Valley to monitor the project’s impact on wildlife migration. According to Myles Traphagen, Wildlands Network borderlands program coordinator, all  migrations across the border stopped dead  at the end of the second week of December. All hopes now rest on incoming President Joe Biden to put an end to the Trump administration’s reckless actions. Although Biden promised not to continue with wall construction , conservationists want the wall pulled down entirely, especially in areas where it affects wildlife. + CNN Image via Ted Eytan

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Trump administration disregards border wall’s environmental impact

Maven Moment: Safe & Natural Baby Products

September 9, 2020 by  
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My mother-in-law Lucy had four children. They were born in … The post Maven Moment: Safe & Natural Baby Products appeared first on Earth 911.

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Maven Moment: Safe & Natural Baby Products

Modular hanging suites are built to drop into any setting

August 21, 2020 by  
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Located in the tourist-friendly Spanish village of Santa Maria de Palautordera, the Drop Box N-240 is a transportable, modular suite that is ready to “drop” into practically any location via crane. The models, designed by In-Tenta, are manufactured offsite, transported and quickly assembled. Along with wood as a renewable and sustainable building material for the frame, suites come with either natural wood cladding or composite panels made of cement and wood particles as exterior finish. The hotel property provides views of the Montseny Massif mountain range in Montseny Natural Park, included in the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves. This park is located in the Catalan pre-coastal mountain range, 25 kilometers from the stunning Mediterranean Sea and 50 kilometers from bustling Barcelona. Related: This prefab treehouse can be assembled in merely a few days In a project designed to increase in size without interfering with the natural environment, the prefab suite is suspended in the middle of the forest with a panoramic view over the trees. The floor plan includes a living room, a fully equipped bathroom and a platform with space for a queen-sized bed. The pod-like suite and attached terrace is installed like a treehouse , elevated over a metal structure to adhere to the sloped terrain while minimizing impact upon the site. The entire layout is designed for minimal occupation of land, giving the rooms a small, yet comfortable, ambiance. The cement-wood combination panels are low-maintenance, non-toxic, impermeable to water and aren’t susceptible to damage from living organisms. There are also several colors to choose from to customize the suite. The design company can also customize the floor plan depending on a client’s needs. In the case of the Santa Maria de Palautordera property, the entrance door is made of the same cement and wood mixture that makes up the rest of the facade, rather than the default transparent glass. The standard Drop Box N-240 layout includes a kitchen and a shower, but this particular suite ditched the kitchen and swapped a shower for a bathtub to save space. + In-Tenta Photography by estudibasic via In-Tenta

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Modular hanging suites are built to drop into any setting

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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