Green roof with bee hotel tops energy-neutral fair trade building in the Netherlands

May 25, 2017 by  
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Fair trade fruits and vegetables aren’t the only things coming and going at Nature’s Pride—buzzing bees and birds are also flocking to the sustainable distribution hub. Paul de Ruiter Architects designed the giant green-roofed facility in Maasdijk, where it serves as one of the largest Dutch importers of exotic fruits and vegetables. As a recipient of a BREEAM Excellent certificate, Nature’s Pride is also one of the top five most sustainable distribution centers in Western Europe. The design of the 37,000-square-meter Nature’s Pride facility is guided by the company’s philosophy for openness and transparency. The energy-neutral building features a flexible structure that can be modified with minimal interventions. “Recesses in the floor can easily be closed, emergency staircases can be moved and the floor at the packaging department can be loaded more heavily,” write the architects. “All together it enables to building to fulfill a completely different function if required in the future.” Related: Former museum in Rotterdam is transformed into a luxury energy-saving villa Produce enters the distribution center via the north side’s fourteen loading docks and is transported out on the east side. Glazing wraps around the building to let in natural light. The large roof contains room for parking and electric vehicle charging stations. The building also includes a 2,000-square-meter green roof with a bee hotel and a butterfly roof garden. Stormwater runoff is collected and reused for flushing the toilets and cleaning operations. + Paul de Ruiter Architects Images by Jeroen Musch

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Green roof with bee hotel tops energy-neutral fair trade building in the Netherlands

7 Sinful Toothpaste Ingredients to Avoid

May 24, 2017 by  
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Note: This post contains affiliate links, which helps fund our Recycling Directory, the most comprehensive in North America. You do it every day — at least twice if you’re one of the 69 percent who brushes your pearly whites morning and…

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7 Sinful Toothpaste Ingredients to Avoid

5 Captivating Recycling Books for Kids 5 and Under

May 22, 2017 by  
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5 Captivating Recycling Books for Kids 5 and Under

Under pressure, Trump punts on Paris climate deal

May 9, 2017 by  
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Google, the North Face and Tiffany & Co. are just a few companies stepping up calls for President Donald Trump to follow through on U.S. climate commitments.

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Under pressure, Trump punts on Paris climate deal

Green Gaud-esque office pops up on a former brownfield in Portland

April 12, 2017 by  
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Portland is a mecca of environmentally friendly design and the city’s new sculptural One North complex is keeping that green reputation alive. Holst Architecture recently completed the eye-catching office project that draws inspiration from Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí’s modernist curves and emphasizes sustainability. Conceived as “an opportunity to break the mold for standard office spaces,” One North uses low-carbon footprint systems to achieve approximately 50 percent more energy efficiency beyond industry requirements. Built on a former brownfield in the up-and-coming Williams District, One North comprises an East Building and West Building that frame a central 14,000-square-foot public courtyard. To the make development more attractive to the community, the architects created Gaudí -inspired jutting apertures that give the buildings a sense of movement and energy. Their projected forms also help provide solar shading and reduce energy use. The facade is clad in locally sourced and sustainably harvested timber siding that lend a sense of warmth. Related: LEED Platinum Skyline Residence is designed to generate as much energy as it consumes “Material selection was critical, and we emphasized low-carbon footprint techniques, such as wood cladding, cellulose insulation and mineral wool insulation,” wrote the architects. The timber-framed buildings are estimated to sequester 587,400 pounds of carbon within its 39,000 cubic feet of wood. Rooftop solar panels produce approximately 71-kilowatt hours of on-site electricity. + Holst Architecture Via Dezeen Images via Holst Architecture

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Green Gaud-esque office pops up on a former brownfield in Portland

Green Your Garden: 10 Water-Conscious Design Tips

April 11, 2017 by  
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Note: This post contains affiliate links, which helps fund our Recycling Directory, the most comprehensive in North America. How green does your garden grow? If your yard requires an abundance of water to maintain that brightly colored curb appeal,…

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Green Your Garden: 10 Water-Conscious Design Tips

New Zealand river world’s first to obtain legal staus as a person

March 16, 2017 by  
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A river in New Zealand now has legal status similar to a human being, marking a historic victory for indigenous people. For over 100 years, the Whanganui Iwi have fought over the rights of the Whanganui River, the country’s longest navigable river . Now the New Zealand Parliament has recently passed the Te Awa Tupua Bill , or Whanganui River Claims Settlement Bill, acknowledging past wrongs and declaring the river “an indivisible and living whole.” The Whanganui River can now be represented through two human representatives, one appointed by the New Zealand government and the other by the Whanganui Iwi. Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson told Newshub, “I know some people will say it’s pretty strange to give a natural resource a legal personality, but it’s no stranger than family trusts, or companies, or incorporated societies.” A $56 million financial redress payment is also part of the significant legislation. Related: Indonesian president gives forest management back to indigenous communities It’s been a long battle for the Whanganui Iwi. According to the bill, “Since 1873, Whanganui Iwi have sought recognition of their authority over the River, including by pursuing one of New Zealand’s longest-running court cases.” Whanganui Iwi spokesperson Gerrard Albert said the people have challenged the government’s impact on the river’s health since the mid-1850’s, and sought recognition of their rights over the river. In a statement he said, “We have always believed that the Whanganui River is an indivisible and living whole – Te Awa Tupua – which includes all its physical and spiritual elements from the mountains of the central North Island to the sea.” A government website adds, “The tribes of Whanganui take their name, their spirit, and their strength from the great river…The people say, ‘Ko au te awa. Ko te awa ko au’ (I am the river. The river is me).” Over 200 Whanganui Iwi descendants were present in Parliament as the bill passed, and sang songs after the third and final bill reading. Via EcoWatch Images via Alex Indigo on Flickr and eyeintim on Flickr

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New Zealand river world’s first to obtain legal staus as a person

Over 700 North American bee species are heading towards extinction

March 6, 2017 by  
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Life without honeybees would be less than sweet – it’d mean a lot fewer fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. But honeybees aren’t the only bees we need to worry about. The future of many Native North American and Hawaiian bee species is also in peril: a new study found that more than half of the region’s native bee species are declining , and nearly one in four native bee species is imperiled and at risk for extinction. Image © Dominik Scythe via Unsplash A new report by the Center for Biological Diversity entitled “Pollinators in Peril: A systematic status review of North American and Hawaiian bees” outlines the importance of these native bee species by valuing their financial importance as well as their ability to help ecosystems thrive. As fruit-pollinators, native bee species are worth more than three billion dollars, yet their work pollinating wild flowers and plants is equally important in maintaining diverse and colorful flora. As if the information regarding known declining populations wasn’t cause enough for alarm, the author warned that this study and other bee studies simply don’t have enough data on thousands of native bee species – many of which are found in areas of “great environmental degradation” – to determine if they are at risk. Image © Jenni Peterson via Unsplash Related| This could be the United States’ first endangered bee species The study cites loss of habitat due to agriculture, heavy use of pesticides , climate change, and urbanization as large drivers of the native bee populations’ decline and endangerment. Lead author Kelsey Kopec said, “It’s a quiet but staggering crisis unfolding right under our noses that illuminates the unacceptably high cost of our careless addiction to pesticides and monoculture farming.” The report includes case studies of five distinct bee species around the country that are in great peril, including the wild sweet potato bee, which is the only known species in the world in its genus, and the sunflower leafcutting bee, which is the largest and most distinctive leafcutting bee on the continent. While a casual eye might be tempted to group these bee species together, their unique habits and contributions to varied ecosystems highlight their individual importance and fragility. Via Time Lead image © Jenna Lee via Unsplash

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Over 700 North American bee species are heading towards extinction

Verdant Detroit: Can ‘agrihoods’ revitalize urban centers?

February 28, 2017 by  
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A two-acre farm in Detroit’s North End neighborhood offers free food, green space, and hope to the community.

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Verdant Detroit: Can ‘agrihoods’ revitalize urban centers?

76 water protectors arrested at Standing Rock

February 2, 2017 by  
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Just one day after federal officials greenlighted the Dakota Access pipeline , North Dakota police arrested 76 water protectors camped out at the site. Hundreds of activists had established a new camp at Standing Rock after it became clear that the Trump administration planned to move ahead with the project, but local police claim that “rogue” protestors were trespassing on private property. Embed from Getty Images North Dakota Senator John Hoeven stated on Tuesday that the army had been directed to proceed with the easement needed to complete the pipeline . Hundreds of protestors, including environmental activists and indigenous people, gathered at a camp to fight against the pipeline’s construction. Many protestors left when it became known that the police were planning to raid the camp, but others felt that the “prospect of treaty rights was something worth getting arrested over,” according to Linda Black Elk. The Morton County sheriff’s office said that it was too soon to tell what charges were being filed beyond the claim that protestors were trespassing. Related: Here’s every bank funding the Dakota Access Pipeline, and how to switch Nearly 700 people have been arrested in the battle against the pipeline, and Native Americans have stated that many have been subjected to inhumane conditions or mistreated in the local jails. Activists not arrested say that they are hoping to free those rounded up by police as soon as possible. Via The Guardian lead image via Flickr

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76 water protectors arrested at Standing Rock

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