This LA startup turns spoiled milk into biodegradable T-shirts

July 16, 2020 by  
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Did you know that 128 million tons of milk are wasted every year? LA-based startup Mi Terro is using biotechnology to turn a portion of that food waste into sustainable fibers for biodegradable T-shirts. Transforming spoiled milk into clothing may seem like something from the future, but Mi Terro already has it down to a science. Using technology that re-engineers milk proteins, the company has invented a completely unique process that finds an innovative use for food waste and uses 60% less water than an organic cotton shirt. Related: This biodegradable T-shirt is made from trees and algae <img src="//inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/07/Mi-Terro-6-889×661.jpg" alt="Two people wearing black T-shirts with graphic that reads "Mi Terro"" class="wp-image-2275202" The method was invented in just three months by co-founders Robert Luo and Daniel Zhuang. After visiting his uncle’s dairy farm in China in 2018, Luo saw just how much milk product gets dumped first-hand, and after some research, he found that the issue was one of a massive global scale. <img src="//inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/07/Mi-Terro-3-889×592.jpg" alt="person holding yarn fibers made from old milk" class="wp-image-2275204" Step one is to obtain milk and other dairy products from farms, food processing centers and grocery stores. The company then uses “Protein Activation” and “Self-Assembly Purification” technology to extract and purify casein protein molecules from the spoiled milk bacteria. The last step is using “Dynamic Flow Shear Spinning” to spin the clean casein protein into eco-friendly fibers. <img src="//inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/07/Mi-Terro-4.jpg" alt="machines spinning yarn" class="wp-image-2275203" Now, we’re sure you’re wondering what a shirt made from dairy feels like. According to the company, it is actually three times softer than cotton, anti-microbial, odor-free, anti-wrinkle and temperature-regulating. If that’s not enough, each T-shirt contains 18 amino acids that can nourish and improve skin texture. <img src="//inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/07/Mi-Terro-2-889×667.jpg" alt="person wearing white T-shirt that reads, "This Tee Is Made From Milk"" class="wp-image-2275205" Mi Terro has also committed to planting 15 trees for every purchase. The company doesn’t want to stop there. Its innovative, patent-pending process can also be used to make other eco-friendly products and offer a sustainable substitute for plastic. The goal is to create a new type of circular economy powered by the agricultural waste that has become a growing problem in modern society. Even better, because the fiber is rescued from food waste and processed sans chemicals, it stays biodegradable even after it has reached the end of its second life. + Mi Terro Images via Mi Terro

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This LA startup turns spoiled milk into biodegradable T-shirts

Beachfront villa is split into two units for brothers to share

July 16, 2020 by  
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The Jesolo Lido Beach Villa is a beachfront, dual-unit building that exudes luxury yet incorporates energy efficiency throughout. Located in the resort area of Jesolo Lido, Italy, the split villa is the passion project by two brothers seeking to provide a beachfront getaway for their young families. <img src="//inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/07/Jesolo-Lido-Beach-Villa-2-889×592.jpg" alt="long pool with cabanas on either side" class="wp-image-2275089" Like many other places, beachfront property isn’t easy to come by or to afford in this popular Italian area. So when the brothers found it, they jumped on the opportunity. But as it came time for construction, they had to get creative in order to share the limited, 11-meter buildable width of the property without sacrificing the personal space each family desired. To solve the problem, they sourced the expertise of the team at JM Architecture, a firm based out of Milan. Related: Beachfront hotel in Costa Rica pays tribute to the land and its inhabitants <img src="//inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/07/Jesolo-Lido-Beach-Villa-3-889×592.jpg" alt="covered patio with gray furnishings" class="wp-image-2275088" <img src="//inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/07/Jesolo-Lido-Beach-Villa-4-889×592.jpg" alt="villa with glass walls and extended roof eaves" class="wp-image-2275087" The architects began by respecting the wishes of the family to keep both sides of the project equal in size and amenities, creating two separate buildings that share the same symmetrical, two-bedroom two-bathroom layout and are identically furnished. The units share a beachfront, 16-meter, zero-edge swimming pool , and they also feature identical covered, custom-designed aluminum cabanas for poolside lounging with protection from the sun. <img src="//inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/07/Jesolo-Lido-Beach-Villa-5-889×592.jpg" alt="small yard and long pool outside white and glass beach villa" class="wp-image-2275086" <img src="//inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/07/Jesolo-Lido-Beach-Villa-6-889×592.jpg" alt="white room with gray sofa and wood coffee table" class="wp-image-2275085" Integral to the overall design is the use of photovoltaic panels integrated into the roof of the cabanas, which grant power to all the electrical heating and cooling systems. Using solar energy enhances other already efficient building elements, such as natural shade provided by existing trees in the white rock entrance to the building. According to the architects, they also considered noise pollution and privacy. “A large portion of the building envelope is cladded with 5 mm full-height gres tiles on a ventilated facade, to provide the necessary privacy to bedrooms and bathrooms,” the firm explained. “The north facade is entirely opaque in order to provide an acoustic boundary from the entry courtyard and the street behind.” <img src="//inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/07/Jesolo-Lido-Beach-Villa-7-889×592.jpg" alt="blue chairs on a covered patio" class="wp-image-2275084" <img src="//inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/07/Jesolo-Lido-Beach-Villa-8-889×592.jpg" alt="two gray chairs in a cabana beside a pool" class="wp-image-2275083" With limited above-ground building space, the design took advantage of space underground with a basement level, where the families share a gym, sauna, hot tub, cold plunge pool, additional kitchen and laundry room. Large sunken patios clad with white glass mosaic tiles reflect light and offer natural cooling features in a space that is private to each unit. + JM Architecture Via ArchDaily Photography by Jacopo Mascheroni via JM Architecture

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Beachfront villa is split into two units for brothers to share

Biden’s $2 trillion climate plan: create millions of jobs, reverse climate change

July 16, 2020 by  
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Joe Biden announced his $2 trillion updated climate plan as part of his new “Build Back Better” economic agenda. It emphasizes creating new jobs with innovative input from national labs and universities, relying on American manufacturing and using small businesses to supply materials. “The current coronavirus crisis destroyed millions of American jobs, including hundreds of thousands in clean energy,” the plan reads. “It has exacerbated historic environmental injustices. And all this comes at a moment when the science tells us there is no time for delay on climate change .” Biden exhorts the U.S. to chart “an irreversible path” to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Related: Ocasio-Cortez and Kerry co-chair climate change task force The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee’s plan includes investing in infrastructure, the auto industry, transit, the power sector, buildings, housing, innovation, agriculture, conservation and environmental justice . He promises to create millions of union jobs to repair roads, bridges and electricity grids and to install universal broadband. Every American city with more than 100,000 residents would have zero-emissions public transportation, creating more union jobs. The plan would fund innovation in the areas of “clean energy technologies, including battery storage, negative emissions technologies, the next generation of building materials, renewable hydrogen, and advanced nuclear.” Biden recognized environmental justice as a key consideration in his climate plan. He aims to include BIPOC in these millions of promised union jobs and to right the wrongs in communities that suffer from unfair shares of pollution . “When Donald Trump thinks about climate change, the only word he can muster is ‘hoax,’” Biden said in his speech announcing the plan. “When I think about climate change, the word I think of is ‘jobs’  — good-paying union jobs that’ll put Americans to work.” + Biden’s Climate Plan Via NPR Image via Gage Skidmore

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Biden’s $2 trillion climate plan: create millions of jobs, reverse climate change

Reima designs a traceable, recyclable jacket for kids

March 6, 2020 by  
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Finnish children’s activewear brand Reima has released its 100% recyclable children’s jacket. The stylish and sustainable outerwear is crafted from recycled polyester and comes with a tracking code for users to follow the product’s journey throughout its recycling and reuse. Even better, when you register to track the jacket, Reima will donate to organizations that help clean toxic blue-green algae from the Baltic Sea. The brand, founded in Finland in 1944, is tailored toward giving children the wearable tools they need to enjoy the great outdoors safely and sustainably. The Voyager joins Reima’s eco-minded collection featuring non-toxic, waterproof finishes and sustainable materials such as recycled polyester from plastic bottles, bamboo viscose and organic cotton . Each jacket comes with a traceable ID, and for each ID that is registered, Reima donates $11 to the Finland’s John Nurminen Foundation. Related: P+365 is turning abandoned festival tents into wearable merchandise “Another child reusing the Voyager jacket will save as much CO2 as it would take to produce a new garment,” said Shahriare Mahmood, R&D and sustainability director at Reima. “The high-quality and classic design of the Voyager jacket ensures it has enough value to be resold and reused by several children. We want to make an ecosystem with a true circular approach and provide the opportunity for our customers to act responsibly. We know that polyester recycling is possible, and by creating a proper ecosystem, we are heading to add even more value through upcycling .” Every part of the Voyager jacket — besides the zipper lock and snaps (which can be recycled as metal) — is made from polyester, a material that can be recycled into polymers to reuse for different products. The jacket’s material dries quickly and can be washed at lower temperatures with less detergent, features that contribute to saving energy and water while using less chemicals. Reima is also introducing a summer collection using SunProof Repreve recycled polyester jersey fabric made from plastic water bottles. The Reima SunProof PES jersey will provide UV 50+ sun protection. + Reima Images via Reima

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Reima designs a traceable, recyclable jacket for kids

Meridian Line launches ethically sourced, organic cotton jeans for the outdoors

April 2, 2018 by  
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Adventure calling? Gear up with Meridian Line, a range of eco-friendly denim designed for conquering the great outdoors. Available for pre-ordering through Kickstarter , the men’s and women’s jeans infuse ethically sourced organic cotton with two percent spandex to allow “freedom of movement without looking like you just stepped out of yoga class,” according to the Kansas City, Missouri–based firm. Meridian Line is the brainchild of artist Jeremy Collins, who launched the company with a series of graphic T-shirts and accessories in 2014. Two years later, Collins enlisted Benji Thrasher, formerly the lead designer at Prana , to kick Meridian Line’s offerings up a notch; the jeans emerged from the drawing board shortly after. But active performance isn’t the denim’s only twist. Each pair of pants also boasts artwork by Collins on the inner pockets, yoke, and turn-ups. The print is based on one of Collins’s signature pieces: a greenery-ringed compass inset with a salmon and an eagle at play (or perhaps prey?) in a yin-yang configuration. Meridian Line’s denim is “built for outdoor activities, travel, and a casual, dareful, or professional lifestyle,” Collins and Thrasher said. “Our jeans are made to go wherever you do: urban, mountain, or board meeting.” Prices for both men’s and women’s styles start at an accessible $79, or 20 percent less than what the jeans will cost when they hit retail outlets later this year. If you’re looking for the whole top-to-toe look, a pledge of $105 will snag you a pair of jeans, an exclusive tee, and a trucker hat. + Meridian Line at Kickstarter + Meridian Line

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Meridian Line launches ethically sourced, organic cotton jeans for the outdoors

C&A debuts world’s first Cradle to Cradle Certified Gold T-shirts

May 12, 2017 by  
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A chain of clothing stories in Belgium has launched the world’s first Cradle to Cradle Certified Gold T-shirts . Available in two styles for women in up to 17 different colors, C&A’s tees mark the company’s first foray into apparel for the so-called “circular economy,” where products are designed to be reused or recycled rather than thrown away. The shirts, which comprise 100 percent organic cotton , represent what C&A calls a “positive ecological and social level never before seen for a fashion garment.” California’s Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Institute , which manages the certification mark, defines C2C Certified products as items that have been optimized for human and environmental health, material reutilization, renewable energy use, carbon management, water stewardship, and social justice. Ratings are based on four levels: Basic, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Related: First Cradle to Cradle Platinum certified product is reclaimed Bark House shingle C&A worked with McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry , the recently formed Fashion for Good initiative, and two India-based factories to develop the tees based on Cradle to Cradle Certified criteria. Both Cotton Blossom and Pratibha Syntex, C&A said, needed minimal improvement in those areas. “In nature, the ‘waste’ of one system becomes food for another,” Jay Bolus, president of certification services at MBDC, said in a statement. “The two new T-shirts illustrate the possibility by which we can transform what is currently a take-make-waste industry to one that is regenerative and closed loop to progress us toward a positive future. We worked closely with Cotton Blossom and Pratibha Syntex and throughout their supply chains to ensure the resulting apparel is not only attractive, accessible and affordable—but also a positive design.” C&A’s shirts, which will appear in stores in June, use only materials that have been deemed safe for cycling as biological nutrients, making them safe enough to compost at home at the end of their lives. Two additional styles, one for women and another for men, will debut in Brazil and Mexico in September. Related: Freitag announces that their 100% compostable denim is about to hit shelves “We are very proud to introduce our first Gold level Cradle to Cradle Certified T-shirts,” said You Nguyen, director of brands, womenswear collections, at C&A. “Taking inspiration from nature, these shirts were designed with their next life in mind. This means they can be reused recycled—or you can literally throw your shirts onto the compost pile.” Nguyen added, “We believe in fashion with a positive impact and are excited to provide our customers with stylish products and render sustainable fashion available at great value.” + C&A

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C&A debuts world’s first Cradle to Cradle Certified Gold T-shirts

‘Artificial blowhole’ harvests power from ocean waves

May 12, 2017 by  
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Wave energy comes in many forms: at Inhabitat we’ve written about buoys , floating sea walls , and floating platforms . But Australia -based Wave Swell Energy (WSE) takes a novel approach to harvesting power from ocean waves using what CEO Tom Denniss calls an artificial blowhole. WSE’s artificial blowhole is a concrete column resting in the sea; waves rushing in and out of a central chamber cause air to have a positive or negative pressure. The pressure changes allow the air to pass by a turbine , generating clean power . All the moving parts are above the water line for ease of maintenance. Related: The UK’s first wave energy plant will produce enough energy for 6,000 homes The company says they’ve based their technology on the idea of an oscillating water column. But the difference between their technology and that of other organizations is their turbine is only hit by air flowing from one direction. This means the turbine design is simpler, more reliable, and more durable. The design also yields a higher energy conversion efficiency, according to the company. Their blowhole can produce up to one megawatt (MW) of power; as wave conditions and weather change, the average output is around 470 kilowatts. Its capacity factor – or ratio of average to peak power – is around 47 percent, much greater than the 30 percent achieved by other wave power systems. That means WSE could offer their electricity for around seven cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), which is roughly competitive with coal. The WSE technology has the added side benefit of producing desalinated water . By the middle of 2018, they plan to test their technology near King Island, a land mass home to under 2,000 people between Australia and Tasmania. Denniss also has his sights set on Hawaii. The company aims to scale up rapidly – within the next five years they hope to deploy systems able to produce 100 MW or greater. They also think they can lower the price in the future to four cents per kWh. + Wave Swell Energy Via New Atlas Images via screenshot and Wave Swell Energy

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‘Artificial blowhole’ harvests power from ocean waves

Richard Branson’s new supersonic jet will fly 2X faster than the speed of sound

May 12, 2017 by  
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Would you like to travel between New York City and London in just 3 hours and 15 minutes? In a few years, that could be possible. Richard Branson of Virgin Galactic and startup Boom Technology have partnered to build a supersonic aircraft capable of zipping through the skies faster than the speed of sound. Live Science reports that the passenger aircraft would be capable of traveling through the skies faster than the Concorde jet or any other commercial aircraft today. The plane won’t be the first aircraft to fly faster than the speed of sound, but it will be the first modern, supersonic passenger jet that travels at Mach 2.2. In case you’re wondering, that is twice the speed of sound, or 1,451 mph (2,335 km/h). The now-retired Concorde was capable of flying at speeds of about 1,350 mph (2,180 km/h). At Mach 2.2, passengers could travel between San Francisco and Tokyo in 5.5 hours, or between Los Angeles and Sydney in less than 6 hours and 45 minutes. In a blog post , CEO and founder of Boom Technology Blake Scholl said that one of the startup’s goals is to set a new speed record for civil aircraft. “Building a supersonic airplane is not easy — but it is important,” Scholl wrote. “While we love the hard engineering and technical challenges, what really drives us is the enormous human benefit of faster travel . Related: Sir Richard Branson urges prime minister David Cameron to back renewable energy Reportedly, Scholl is most excited about the positive implications supersonic commercial travel may bring, as it will make the farthest regions of the planet more accessible. “Imagine traveling across the Atlantic [Ocean], getting business done [in Europe] and being home to tuck your children into bed,” Scholl wrote, “or saving two whole days of a typical round-trip itinerary to Asia. … When time is no longer a limit, where will you vacation? Where will you do business?” Having raised $33 million in funding to develop the startup’s first supersonic passenger jet , the company will begin constructing the “Baby Boom” prototype. Then, a prototype of the eventual full-size Boom aircraft, which will carry 55 passengers in all-business-class configuration, will be built. Air Transport World (ATW) reports that the Baby Boom’s first test flight is scheduled for 2018, and the full-size Boom for 2020. Certification from the Federal Aviation Administration is expected to follow shortly afterward. Via Live Science Images via FighterSweep , Forbes

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Richard Branson’s new supersonic jet will fly 2X faster than the speed of sound

Satva’s organic yoga-inspired clothing supports education for young girls in India

June 30, 2016 by  
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http://youtu.be/tzHkyvcL77c Designed in California, Satva’s line of organic women and children’s clothing stands the test of time. The brand encourages an active, healthy, and less wasteful lifestyle with outfits that double as both yoga and everyday wear. Their price point is competitive too — yoga brands like Lululemon that don’t advertise as using ethically-sourced or organic materials charge nearly twice as much as Satva. Made with GOTS certified organic cotton free of chemicals, heavy metals, or allergens, Satva is also an affordable clothing option for people with skin sensitivities. We tried a couple of items and the cotton is breathable and great for exercising, yet functional enough for day-to-day wear. The yoga-friendly Amber Strap Tank , for instance, also doubles as a warm undershirt in winter. Satva in Sanskrit is defined by purity and a steady, calm and peaceful mind. Puja says: “Satva is an organic lifestyle company that lives it mission to create a balance of people, planet and product. Every eco conscious & socially responsible step is considered on the way to production. We are very proud of the work we can do in the communities of India to bring educational opportunities to young girls and agricultural advancements to our organic cotton farmers- and it’s all possible because of our eco-conscious customers who choose to shop sustainably.” To learn more about Satva and the “Blossom for Change” program, visit them here . + Satva

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Satva’s organic yoga-inspired clothing supports education for young girls in India

New sweet potato could alleviate hunger for "millions"

June 30, 2016 by  
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Each year, the World Food Prize Foundation honors individuals who contributed to “improving the quality, quantity, or availability of food throughout the world.” This year’s laureates include a team of three from the International Potato Center and the founder of HarvestPlus . The four researchers are credited with making sweet potatoes more nutritious , which could impact over 10 million people in Latin America, Asia, and Africa . The foundation described the four laureates – Maria Andrade, Robert Mwanga, Jan Low, and Howarth Bouis – as ” biofortification pioneers .” According to World Food Prize Foundation President Kenneth Quinn, biofortification is “the process of breeding critical vitamins and micronutrients into staple crops, thereby dramatically reducing hidden hunger and improving health for millions and millions of people.” Related: This weird breed of mutant corn could solve world hunger The International Potato Center has researched sweet potatoes since 1988. The three laureates from the center bred and introduced a sweet potato fortified with Vitamin A. Andrade, of Cape Verde, and Mwanga of Uganda bred the sweet potato. Low, an American, designed programs to introduce the sweet potato. Nearly ” two million households ” across 10 African countries have planted or purchased their fortified sweet potato. HarvestPlus founder Bouis, an American, has worked on biofortification for 25 years. His organization focused on fortifying beans, pearl millet, wheat, and rice with zinc and iron; and cassava, maize, and sweet potatoes with Vitamin A. A deficiency in this critical vitamin can result in premature death and blindness, something the newly-enriched sweet potatoes can combat. Quinn said , “The impact of the work of all four winners will be felt around the globe, but particularly in sub Saharan Africa. It is particularly poignant that among our 2016 recipients are two African scientists who are working on solutions to tackle malnutrition in Africa, for Africa.” Past prize honorees include Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus, former President of Ghana John Kufuor, and controversially in 2013, a Monsanto executive . Via Reuters Images via Wikimedia Commons and the World Food Prize Foundation

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New sweet potato could alleviate hunger for "millions"

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