Spend Cyber Monday supporting these environmental groups on Amazon Charity Lists

November 29, 2021 by  
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It’s that time of year again. Commercials are encouraging you to spend, spend, spend, and your loved ones are asking you what you want for the holidays . For those of you fortunate enough to have all you need, consider supporting these environmental charities during Cyber Monday.  Amazon’s Charity Lists compile all the items an organization needs, making it easier for you to give directly. Whether you want to give to animal rights or ocean conservation groups, this list will connect you to an easy way to support causes you care about. Helping India’s Wildlife for Wildlife SOS Wildlife SOS helps protect India’s wildlife from habitat loss and human exploitation. The organization’s Amazon Charity List includes items to support its team and the animals under their care. As the group explains on its list page, “A lot of this equipment is not available in India,” so sending them this vital gear is a big help. Friends of the Smokies Want to support America’s most-visited national park? Consider supporting the charity list for Friends of the Smokies. Friends of the Smokies needs help to keep its offices running so it can support Great Smoky Mountains National Park. By purchasing simple items such as trash bags and paper towels, you can make a big impact for this organization. International Wolf Center Between hunters and habitat loss, wolves often have to fight to survive. The International Wolf Center works to help them survive. By teaching about wolves, The International Wolf Center seeks to advance the survival of wolf populations. This year, you can support the group’s work through its Amazon Charity List. Salty Soul Foundation If you’ve ever participated in a beach cleanup, you’ll definitely want to support the Salty Soul Foundation. As the organization explains on its Charity List page, “By cleaning the trash from the beaches , we help keep it out of the oceans.” To aid this foundation in its beach cleaning efforts, consider donating a box of nitrile gloves, a bucket or a grabber tool. Pollinator Corridors Inc. Pollinators such as bees, birds, bats and butterflies are crucial for keeping the world’s flowering plants alive. Unfortunately, pollution and habitat loss threatens their existence. Enter Pollinator Corridors, a project that supports “healthy native plant habitats and their pollinators in the Greater Southwest.” With your help, Pollinator Corridors can grow their restoration projects and educational initiatives. Lead image via Pixabay

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Spend Cyber Monday supporting these environmental groups on Amazon Charity Lists

Digital weather station in Spain looks like a wood ring

November 26, 2021 by  
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LPA Studios’ digital totem for the beaches of the Canary Islands has just won the Architizer A+ Product Award 2021 and the gold at Grand Prix du Design Awards 14th Edition 2021. This beautiful 2.5-meter tall digital beacon combines traditional art forms with modern function, working both as a decorative seasonal sundial and digital weather station. The device collects and displays local weather information for visitors at the beaches of the Canary Islands and celebrates the history of the culture here. A perforation at the top of the wooden ring allows the sunlight on the winter solstice to shine down and illuminate a bronze marker on the ground that celebrates the islands’ extraordinary climate. Related: Virtual pavilion looks into the future of sustainable design The design of this beacon takes the form of a digitally-fabricated wood ring, which reinterprets aboriginal ceramic art pieces from indigenous inhabitants of the islands . An image reflects the appearance of sun god Magheq, who is often represented through circular shapes and geometric patterns. The ring stands vertically with a north-south orientation. Carved surface patterns celebrate the diverse and varied cultural differences of multiple islands here. The northern face contains a video screen that broadcasts real-time environmental data and other information about tourist facilities in the area. The southern face holds solar panels to charge the device. “The totem infrastructural network acknowledges the more than 2,000 years of the creative relationship of the Canary Islands with the sun,” said LPA Studio. “The design solution bridges past and future: from marking the solstices for agricultural purposes in ancient times, to the current sun and beach tourist industry and the critical challenge of transitioning to a renewable energy economy .” Collaborators on the project include Project Director Juan Palop-Casado and Design Lead Ignacio Lopez with an assist from MEP Engineering. + LPA Studio Images via LPA Studio

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Digital weather station in Spain looks like a wood ring

NUQI uses 100% natural materials for its products

November 26, 2021 by  
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After years of experience in the fashion industry, Tosca van Haren was fed up with fast fashion and the waste in the industry, so she launched her own social fashion brand NUQI.  The company takes a well-rounded approach to sustainability, selecting 100% natural materials for its products. It relies on pure Merino or Adean Highland wool, recycled cotton, peace silk and organic aloe vera. There are no buttons, elastic, zippers or thread, leaving only the material in raw form. Although they prefer to maintain natural color, for articles of clothes that they do dye, they use natural vegetables.  Related: Sylven New York has vegan shoes made from apples NUQI proudly produces hand-knitted woolen items in Peru by Atelier Manta in Ayacucho. Solid Crafts, a social non-profit organization in Belgium, has set up this workshop. Many of the workers are single mothers, so the organization provides an opportunity for working in a clean and safe work environment and childcare and healthcare support.  Another workshop called KOCO, located in India, produces hand-knitted and crocheted goods made from recycled cotton. Women in rural villages benefit from the work, but they also receive education in a variety of subjects. NUQI also collaborates with Project Três, a social non-profit organization based in Berlin. Project Três offers workshops in both Kenya and India where workers are provided education and community training in order to provide social and financial opportunities.  “The workshops in India and Kenya make jewelry from recycled glass beads, bags and clothing from recycled sarongs and recycled cotton and accessories from organic Aloe Vera material,” NUQI said. NUQI donates 10% of its profits to these types of social workshops and lists social entrepreneurship as one of its primary missions as a company.   Rounding out the company philosophy is a focus on slow fashion by allowing the workshops to set order completion dates rather than forcing timelines. The company explained, “Because we work without seasons, we can adjust our deliveries to the workshop schedule. In this way we create a steady stream of income for the studio.” NUQI works to educate customers about the benefits of minimalism and slow fashion by using quality materials that are hand-crafted for a long life. The designs are timeless and accentuate a capsule wardrobe. They also offer periodic buyback periods where they offer a reward in exchange. They then recycle the materials or gives the item to employees. However, they encourage customers to gift to someone else if they no longer want an item. NUQI fights overproduction waste by existing on a pre-order system where items are made on demand. Finally, it pays attention to transport pollution by coordinating with other companies, so shipments are combined for a full cargo load. From the pre-order to the delivery in recycled packaging, NUQI slows everything down to place the workers and the environment in the driver’s seat.  + NUQI  Images via NUQI

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NUQI uses 100% natural materials for its products

6 Indian street foods that are traditionally vegan

November 26, 2021 by  
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If you’re vegan, Indian street food is a dream come true. There are many popular options here that are traditionally vegan and totally delicious. You don’t have to order anything on the side, get something removed or include any special instructions. You can simply grab a classic bite of street food and start eating right away. Samosas Samosas are a well-known Indian street food that’s deep-fried and delicious. The traingle-shaped treats are made with flour and filled with potatoes and lentils. This street food is a staple of many Indian restaurants and it’s one of the most widely-known Indian street foods. Pani Puri Pani puri, also called gup chup and golgappa, is a tasty, savory street food treat. The puffed, hollow, deep-fried flatbread is filled with potatoes, chickpeas and onions . Commonly, it’s dipped into flavored waters seasoned with cumin, garlic and mint. Under any name, this dish is vegan . Momo Momos are Indian dumplings made with a maida wrap . The stuffing is comprised of green peppers, carrots, cabbage and onions. The dumplings are accompanied by a dip made with chili, ginger and spicy tomato. Bhelpurri Bhelpuri is popular near the beach. It’s a combination of puffed rice , vegetables and tamarind sauce. The puffed rice crisps, veggies and sauce are the equivalent of loaded nachos in the U.S. Vada The vada is sort of like an Indian vegan slider. It’s mashed potatoes coated with chickpea flour and placed on a pav, or a bun. Street food vendors like to put their own twist on this classic sandwich. Green chutney, chilis and garlic chutney are common additions. Dosa Dosa is best eaten at breakfast time. Black lentils that have been soaked overnight are wrapped in a rice crepe to create this dish. This is one of the most popular street foods in India and it’s totally vegan. There are lots of different stuffing options, which typically varies by region. Via Vegan First Images via Pexels

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6 Indian street foods that are traditionally vegan

Pool house uses traditional Spain "pedra en sec" design

November 10, 2021 by  
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Casa Fly is a home that mirrors the surrounding Mallorca, Spain landscape and culture. Finished in 2020, it offers expansive views embracing quintessential small coastal town appeal.  Designed by beef architekti studio, the planning began with a reflection of traditional building techniques in the area, specifically the act of dry stone stacking known as pedra en sec. The process is seen throughout the surrounding area for fencing and retaining walls, and the stones used are sourced from a local quarry. It’s so distinctive, the process was declared as an intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2018. Related: Greenary is a lush, biophilic house built around a tree In addition to the visual appeal, the pedra en sec is a natural stone material . Additionally, it provides passive cooling in the summer and retains heat in the winter.  The house is also equipped with several passive design features for natural ventilation, including skylights that open and windows placed for optimal cross ventilation and natural light . Windows allow shading from the concrete slabs surrounding them. The eye-catching wooden shutters across the windows fold for easy opening and closing, and further control heat and light.  For the interior design , the team selected a neutral background across the space, placing the emphasis on the custom-made furnishings. They relied heavily on wood, local stone and concrete throughout the space. They accented using wooden lamelas adjacent to the staircase, handmade ceramic pendant lights above the dining table and an abstract bronze angel in the entrance hall. As further evidence of passive design , the home has a complete focus on the surrounding landscape. The lower level pulls the eyes across the trees and toward the ocean, while the upper level directs the gaze into the nearby city. An infinity pool in the backyard allows for a soak in the water beneath the stars or afternoon sun. + beef architekti Photography by Tomeu Canyellas

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Pool house uses traditional Spain "pedra en sec" design

Outreach Center provides education for underserved communities

November 10, 2021 by  
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Community outreach programs are all about offering support to citizens and the local community. The construction of the Outreach Center for the Lincoln University Cooperative Extension (LUCE) at Lincoln University in Sikeston, Missouri also incorporated public and environmental protections. Opened in October 2021, the Outreach Center replaces an older and smaller building in favor of a new space to support the many initiatives of the program. This includes improved academic achievement, abstinence education , childhood obesity, entrepreneurial information, nutritional development and job preparation.  Related: Portland State University’s new hall qualifies for LEED gold “The dream has finally been realized,” said Brenda Robinson-Echols, LUCE regional coordinator.  “I look forward to doing programs for this area for many years to come.” Resources to provide education and support for underserved populations in the area include state-of-the-art classrooms, multi-purpose space, computer lab and offices. The open layout encourages collaboration and social interaction. Natural light fills the skylight hallways, and windows throughout the space look onto the neighboring Lincoln Memorial Park. “It has been very rewarding for us to lead this project with Lincoln University that will help spur community revitalization efforts, while providing a new model for sustainable and environmentally responsible development in Sikeston,” said Project Designer Tony Patterson, partner at Patterhn Ives. The location of the Sikeston Outreach Center is referred to as the Sunset Addition. It’s an area of town that once hummed with African-American families and culture. However, the neighborhood has been in decline for the past 20 years, so this project embraces more than a single building. In fact, the master plan for the 13 vacant lots the university purchased for the project includes many community elements, such as shared garden plots with demonstration gardens, water harvesting and reuse capabilities, an outdoor classroom and a path. With the community and student safety in mind, the Outreach Center was built to be earthquake resistant. It is located by the New Madrid Fault. As such, it stands as also a community storm shelter. In addition to the brick walls and supports offering seismic resistance to the structure, the masonry naturally moderates temperatures to improve energy efficiency. The brick is highly durable to stand up to the demands of a high-traffic building and offers fire resistance, as well as soundproofing characteristics. With respect to strict budget constraints, the brick was left exposed to minimize finishing costs.  In addition to brick, other natural materials and building supplies were locally sourced in support of artisans and minimize transport emissions.  + Patterhn Ives Images via Patterhn Ives

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Outreach Center provides education for underserved communities

Wild & Stone products are all plastic-free

October 21, 2021 by  
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Plastic waste is junking up the ocean. Many companies and individuals are finding ways to help reduce the levels of waste by creating brand new products out of recycled plastic waste. Meanwhile, more and more waste is being created every day. Wild & Stone is working on a more permanent solution: replacing single-use plastic altogether. Wild & Stone’s catalog of items contains a selection of personal care and baby items, all of which are sustainably produced, ethically sourced and CO2 neutral. The company has sold more than 100,000 products. Related: The Refill Shoppe enforces zero-waste packaging, provides bulk refill solutions for myriad household and beauty products There are more than 80 different products available through Wild & Stone. The company plans to introduce 30 new products to the line in the near future. Currently, the product line includes: shaving razors, metal straws in various sizes, toothbrushes, a reusable coffee cup and more. Yes, it’s all plastic-free. To really address the plastic waste problem that’s causing such big environmental issues, the plastic has to be removed out of the equation. New products made in different materials are the best way to fill the market with alternatives to plastic that can help reduce the amount of waste created and subsequently swept into the oceans . Plastic has become a huge part of everyday life. You’ve probably touched at least five items made of plastic this very day. It’s everywhere. Plastics are typically made from oil , which is bad enough, but the real problem is that it does not biodegrade. Little pieces of plastic will continue to litter the planet for many, many centuries into the future, even if plastic production completely grinds to a halt tomorrow. Around 400 million tons of plastic are created every year, about 40% of which is single-use plastic that is thrown away, according to BBC . A lot of plastics can’t be recycled and a lot of this trash created by plastic ends up in oceans. By 2050, all the plastic in the ocean will weigh more than every single fish in the ocean. Animals such as turtles and seabirds get caught in plastic or attempt to eat it. Plastic kills 100,000 sea animals every year. The cost of plastic is steep. Companies like Wild & Stone are taking steps to start evening out that debt . “It feels incredible to know we’ve left this world a little bit better off than before, but there is so much more work to be done,” said Wild & Stone Founder Kathryn Jonas. + Wild & Stone Images via Wild & Stone

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Wild & Stone products are all plastic-free

Red Sea oil tanker could cause eco-catastrophe any second now

October 12, 2021 by  
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The U.N., the government of  Yemen  and Houthi rebels have been in talks about how to handle the FSO Safer. Meanwhile, the enormous floating oil storage vessel remains abandoned in the Red Sea, threatening a massive oil leak. The FSO Safer is carrying about 1.1 million barrels of crude  oil  — four times the amount released by the Exxon Valdez in the 1989 catastrophe in Alaska. The vessel has been sitting and deteriorating off the Yemeni coast since it was moored there in 2017. A new modeling study published Monday in the journal Nature Sustainability indicates that the longer it stays, the likelier a spill will be. And with massive consequences. Related: Huntington Beach oil spill destroys wildlife habitat According to the model, half the oil would evaporate at sea within 24 hours. The rest would float toward Yemen’s western coastline , taking 6-10 days to make landfall. A spill would threaten about two-thirds to more than three-quarters of Yemen’s fisheries within a week and nearly ruin the fisheries within three weeks. Depending on the season and the extent of the spill, between 5.7 and 8.4 million people could run short on food. As the oil continues to spread, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia and Djibouti could also feel the oily impact of environmental havoc. A spill will crank up oil prices by as much as 80%. Up to 8 million Yemenis who rely on fuel for their water pumps could lose access to running  water . The FSO Safer is 4.8 nautical miles off Yemen’s coast. According to  Greenpeace , no maintenance has been done on the vessel since 2014, which is probably why its hull is rotting. Only seven crew members are currently aboard. Around the world, the $14 trillion  shipping  industry has a worsening track record of abandoning ships. Last year the number of abandoned ships more than doubled to 85. Often seafarers are stranded with the ships, their wages unpaid and with no way to get home. Via The Guardian , Wall Street Journal and Greenpeace

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Red Sea oil tanker could cause eco-catastrophe any second now

2021’s Fat Bear Week results are finally out

October 11, 2021 by  
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The people have spoken, and the results are finally out. Following days of voting to determine the fattest bear in Alaska’s Katmai National Park, officials at the park announced that 480 Otis 2021’s fattest bear . Otis became the fattest bear following two and a half months of heavy eating and deep resting. Otis is a 25-year-old bear living in the park. In preparation for the long winter, Otis developed fishing skills that have helped him gather as many salmon as possible, helping him put on enough weight for the winter. In the recently-concluded bear weight competition, he rose to first place after garnering over 51,000 votes. Related: Neurological disorder leaves bears in California vulnerable The Fat Bear Week usually runs from Sept. 29 to Oct. 5 every year. In the event, members of the public are invited to view and vote for the fattest bear. The bear that gets the most votes emerges as the winner of the competition. Those interested can vote online by simply clicking on the bear they like. To make the event even more interesting, organizers allow individuals to download a blank form and use it to predict the winner in advance. Every bear has a biography that lets voters learn more about it and its struggle to find food . In the case of Otis, he had a challenge finding salmon since he had to compete with young bears for fishing spots. “Otis must also compete with younger and larger bears who want access to his fishing spots,” the biography reads. “While Otis occasionally appears to be napping or not paying attention, most of the time he’s focused on the water, and he experiences a relatively high salmon catch rate as a result.” In 2019, The New York Times noted that Otis weighed about 900 pounds. Able to gain up to 4 pounds per day, Otis’s weight can quickly increase every year as winter approaches. This year’s win is his fourth so far. Bears have to eat heavily and put on sufficient weight to help them survive during the winter months. In far north regions, winter months usually mean that the ocean turns into ice blocks, making it difficult for bears to hunt. During this period, the bears hibernate and use fat stored under their skin to survive. + Explore.org Via HuffPost Lead image via Candice Rusch

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2021’s Fat Bear Week results are finally out

By land and by sea

October 11, 2021 by  
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How farmers and seaweed can help tackle the ocean pollution crisis

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By land and by sea

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