Coca-Cola is cleaning up river plastic pollution worldwide

January 13, 2022 by  
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Coca-Cola and The Ocean Cleanup selected the C?n Th? River in C?n Th? City, Vietnam as one of 15 river locations around the world to tackle plastic pollution. The global partnership between the two organizations will implement advanced technology to intercept and clean up waste in some of the world’s major rivers. The river cleanup project is only one of many actions toward Coca-Cola’s vision for World Without Waste. The company also invested in plant-based technologies and package-less innovations to make 100% of its packaging recyclable globally by 2025. Additionally, the company plans to help collect and  recycle  every bottle and can it sells by 2030.  Related: Plastic will destroy us in nine years “This project will greatly contribute to C?n Th? City’s goal towards an ecological and modern city, imbued with the identity of rivers and the Mekong Delta, visioning by 2030,” said Mr. Nguy?n Chí Kiên, vice director of the department of natural resources and  environment  of C?n Th? City. “To get there, we are looking forward to joining hands of non-profit organizations, private sectors and C?n Th? citizens in such environmental protection projects, maintaining our position as an ‘ASEAN Environmentally Sustainable City’ — one of the most remarkable titles that was honorably given to C?n Th? City.” Furthermore, Coca-Cola founded the Packaging Recovering Organization Vietnam with other leading companies, recyclers and government agencies. They work together to accelerate sustainable packaging collection and recycling processes in  Vietnam . In 2020, Coca-Cola launched its first-ever  100% recycled plastic bottle  in Vietnam for its Dasani line. Last year, Coca-Cola switched Sprite from its green bottles to a clear  PET plastic bottle  to boost local recycling. They also put “recycle me” messages on packaging labels across their line of beverages. It was also in 2021 that Coca-Cola partnered with The Ocean Cleanup. The Ocean Cleanup develops technologies that rid the world’s oceans of  plastic . The companies are achieving their goals in two approaches.  First, they developed large-scale systems to concentrate the plastic for periodic removal. Through DNV’s Chain of Custody Standard for Plastics, the plastic is tracked and certified for the integrity of plastic retrieved from any body of water. Secondly, they are cleaning up plastic that has already accumulated in the  ocean . To accomplish that feat, The Ocean Cleanup unveiled the Interceptor in 2019, a  solar-powered  robot that removes marine debris. It became the first scalable solution to prevent plastic from entering the world’s oceans from rivers. The Interceptor was launched into the C?n Th? River for testing in December 2021. It is expected to become fully operational over the next few months, where it will remove up to 110,231 pounds of  trash  per day. “The Ocean Cleanup’s mission is to rid the oceans of plastic,” said Boyan Slat, founder and CEO of  The Ocean Cleanup . “I am happy to see progress and our first steps together with Coca-Cola on the road to tackling the complex  plastic pollution  problem in the vast Mekong Delta and its sensitive ecosystems.” Additionally, Coca-Cola and The Ocean Cleanup are working with the People’s Committee of C?n Th? and the C?n Th? Department of Natural Resources and Environment. They will conduct river waste  research  to scale up the project where appropriate.   Via The Ocean Cleanup Lead image via Pexels

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Coca-Cola is cleaning up river plastic pollution worldwide

Award-winning apartment design is built 90% out of wood

January 13, 2022 by  
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SAWA, designed by Mei Architects and Planners, won the Experimental Future Projects category in the World Architecture Festival 2021. The apartment building drips with green roof and balcony plantings. It is also Rotterdam’s first 50-meter-high residential building. The design beat out seven other nominated projects for the top prize in the category. The residential building focuses on circular timber construction, biodiversity and the creation of healthy communities with ample planting space. The designers wanted to reduce CO2 emissions and help achieve national and international climate goals. Related: University under a hill in India has a green roof The building is called the healthiest building in the Netherlands. It is designed to prove that humans can live and build in a sustainable way. The plan for the building intentionally reduced the approved volume of the zoning plan model with a stepped exterior. SAWA will house about 100 apartments, with a large communal deck on the first floor plus numerous terraces. The column structure within the building allows apartments to be rearranged in the future, which helps future-proof the building for multiple uses. The apartment building is unique in preserving as much wood surfaces in the apartments as possible. Only hidden walls will be finished with plaster. In fact, SAWA is built 90% out of wood , which sets an example for future apartment building projects looking to use non-traditional materials and construction methods. In addition, the cross-laminated timber used for SAWA stores CO2 and reduces emissions while creating a warm and comforting living space. In fact, the construction time is also shorter compared to concrete construction. SAWA was built with Open Building Principles in mind. The principles focus on pillar supports, floor beams and columns to create flexible and open interior spaces. This is the sixth award for the SAWA building. The building already won first prize at the Green Good Design Awards and was also awarded the ARC20 Innovation Award. SAWA was recognized as highly recommended at the MIPIM/AR Future Project Awards. The design was awarded a Special Mention at the Architizer A+ Awards and was selected for the Iconic Awards for Innovative Architecture. + Mei Architects Images via Mei Architects

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Award-winning apartment design is built 90% out of wood

Nearly all of the German Pavilion is recyclable

January 13, 2022 by  
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The exhibits at this year’s Expo 2020 Dubai (postponed to 2021 due to the pandemic), feature a range of innovative designs from around the world. Working within the theme of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future,” the German Pavilion highlights sustainable features that cater to the desert environment .  Architects at LAVA accepted the challenge to make a temporary structure for millions of visitors that spoke to the concepts of connectivity, sustainability and local relevance. The result is a pavilion that stands as an example of creating more with less.  Related: Innovative i-Mesh fabric takes shape at Expo 2020 Dubai “The key question was how to design a temporary exhibition and event space for up to three million visitors in a desert environment that was sustainable,” said Tobias Wallisser, director of LAVA. “LAVA’s solution linked the expo theme of connectedness with our approach of ‘more with less,’ with humans interacting with nature and technology at its heart.” Using the minimum amount of material for construction was a goal from the start, so the team created a series of vertically-stacked cubes with minimal site impact that provide maximum space. The ensemble represents connectedness while serving function in providing an open space and large atrium for visitors to explore individually or as a group.   “Architecture isn’t purely a façade. Of course we wanted the building to be Instagrammable ,” said Wallisser. “But also innovative, thought-provoking, with an effective experiential quality. The hardware of the building creates a journey for visitors from around the world.” Overall, the structure mirrors the design of local courtyard houses that close the outer façade and face the activity inward. The positioning of the building’s components creates a passive design for natural airflow. However, the flexibility of the canopy roof and open-able, single-layer ETFE membrane façade results in a hybrid air conditioning system with notable energy savings. The natural shading from the hot desert sun decreases heat inside the building while simultaneously minimizing the bulk required to support the structure. The technical canopy provides filtered natural light that resembles a forest canopy. The materials are malleable to move with the wind and adapt to local changing weather conditions.  Besides minimizing the amount of materials, the team carefully selected parts that could be recycled. As a result, 95% of the pavilion will be recycled after the six-month exhibition ends in March 2022.  “An efficiently stacked volume of space, responding to the local environment with an intelligent climate management system,” said Alexander Rieck, director of LAVA. “This project shows how buildings can be optimized, made intelligent, be reconfigured and can adapt to changing users, environments, temperatures , acoustics and light.” + LAVA Photography by Andreas Keller and Taufik Kenan

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Nearly all of the German Pavilion is recyclable

How to Use Search Engines to Help the People and the Planet

January 5, 2022 by  
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We’ve heard of life hacks. How about a hack for making a difference? Make one… The post How to Use Search Engines to Help the People and the Planet appeared first on Earth911.

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Maven Moment: Cleaning Out the Closet

January 5, 2022 by  
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When I was a little girl, I liked to spend the night with my grandmother…. The post Maven Moment: Cleaning Out the Closet appeared first on Earth911.

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Maven Moment: Cleaning Out the Closet

Eco-friendly lingerie brand provides you a better support

January 4, 2022 by  
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Confident Tiger’s mission is to provide beautiful, great-fitting lingerie to women of all sizes. Their sustainable lingerie line has more than 140 sizes, made to fit and ethically manufactured. Around 80% of people actually wear bras in the wrong size. Confident Tiger makes bras to fit breasts of all shapes and sizes. Their bras are made from recycled, end-of-roll Italian lace and bamboo silk. Confident Tiger’s signature bra is the made-to-order balcony bra, available in sizes 28C-44L. It has an underwire, unpadded and will fit perfectly and feel comfortable. Related: Nomadic lingerie fitting room takes boutique fashion on the road Plus sizes, those that come in cup sizes D and above, are made with wider straps and a sling for extra support. These larger cup sizes also have an extra hook and eye to provide even more support. Otherwise, bras with larger cup sizes look identical to the other sizes. “Trying to find [a bra] that was flattering for my body and offered the supported I needed was an absolute nightmare,” Founder Clare Martin said in a statement. Martin believes women shouldn’t have to suffer from a bra that isn’t flattering or doesn’t feel good simply because they have larger breasts, or because they want a bra that’s sustainably made in an environmentally-friendly way. Her brand, Confident Tiger, “doesn’t penalize you for having bigger or smaller waists or breasts.” Find your true bra size using the Confident Tiger measuring tape and bra measurement calculator. You can also book an online Zoom fitting. Even professionals who work in department stores and lingerie shops often do not know how to properly measure bra size. Because while bras have changed over the years, the way breasts and chests are measured has not. The old measuring system is based on thicker materials and different bra-making methods . It’s time to upgrade the way breasts and chests are measured, and Confident Tiger realizes that. “I believe attractive underwear should not only respect your body, but also the environment and the people making them,” Martin said. All Confident Tiger lingerie is created using 90% sustainable and recyclable materials. They are made to order using responsible sourcing through ethical working conditions and working practices. The entire supply chain has been vetted. Millions of bras make their way to landfills every single year. In the U.K. alone, where Confident Tiger is based, almost two million bras go to the landfill annually. Some synthetic fabrics, like polyester, can take up to 200 years to break down. The little pieces of metal and plastic used in hooks, snaps and slides take 200 to 400 years to naturally break down and decompose. That’s why Confident Tiger bras are made with sustainable , recyclable materials. It’s also the reason behind their bra recycling initiative. Return any bra you no longer want by purchasing a compostable , prepaid mailing bag. Fill it with the bras you don’t want. They will be sent to be repaired and redistributed to countries where bras are expensive to make and purchase. For every ton of bras returned, Confident Tiger will make a donation to Against Breast Cancer . Everyone who returns a bra will receive a voucher toward their next Confident Tiger purchase. Now, women who are looking for a great-fitting, great-feeling and great-looking bra that is responsibly made, ethically sourced and crafted with environmentally-friendly materials will find that they do have an option. They have Confident Tiger. + Confident Tiger Images via Confident Tiger

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Eco-friendly lingerie brand provides you a better support

New winery in France is serving sustainable alcohol

January 4, 2022 by  
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Château Angélus recently acquired a new winery in Libourne, France , designed by Architect Eric Castagnotto from Architecte DPLG. The cellar is used for making Château Angélus’ second wine Carillon d’Angélus and a new wine Tempo d’Angélus introduced in Quebec in November 2021. Their goal is to create not only sustainable wine , but an eco-friendly winery rich in technological innovation, sustainable building and growing techniques. Carillon d’Angélus Cellar was already a winery but had become too small to accommodate new efficient equipment. The winery is located in the UNESCO World Heritage Site , limiting development possibilities and architecture for the new owners. Therefore, the owners decided to start from scratch with a new winery design in the nearby community of Saint-Magne-de-Castillon. Related: A French wine cellar’s updated facade doubles as housing for local bats The new  Carillon d’Angélus Cellar is 4,400 square-meter facility on 3.30 hectares. It is semi-submerged underground with a green roof . The wine-making cellar is gravity-fed. The design is inspired by wine-making cellar Fleur de Boüard in Lalande, which has 18 inverted truncated cone-shaped vats, hoist system and vat lift. Additionally, solar panels help with some of the power required for the operations. Furthermore, Carillon d’Angélus, and the full Chateau Angelus estate, is HVE3 certified. That means it is the highest level of High Environmental Value Certification honoring best practices regarding biodiversity , phytosanitary strategy and fertilization. The building is also Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) certified, which is the British equivalent of France’s Haute Qualité Environnementale (HQE). The new winery is planning plenty of experimentation with numerous prototypes for electronic mustimeters and grape washers. Carillon d’Angelus aims to be a center not only of eco-friendly wine production but of technological innovation for the industry. + GALLEON Fine Wines Images via GALLEON Fine Wines

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New winery in France is serving sustainable alcohol

Cheap, durable and natural furniture from PlayWood

November 23, 2021 by  
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Italian design company PlayWood is setting a new standard for sustainable furniture. They have products that are modular, recyclable and built from responsibly-sourced natural materials . At the most basic level, PlayWood is wood furniture. However, everything about it challenges the typical waste in the furniture industry, from material selection to the end-of-life disposal.  Related: Furniture made from the sea plant eelgrass The birch wood used in the products comes from forests with sustainable certification. PlayWood also incorporates scrap from other industries in an effort to upcycle waste . Production methods guarantee a resulting hypoallergenic and non-toxic product that is safe for everyone, including children. Each product is put through rigid certification to ensure it.  The wood is formed into sheets, similar to plywood. From there, the design elements shine. Where typical furniture takes a hard, inflexible form, PlayWood relies on an innovative 3D connector that provides a modular element. Basically, the sheets and connectors can result in endless design variations, so consumers can use and reuse the pieces as a desk, an organizer or a bookcase.  With this ability to customize and change the use of the materials, PlayWood is produced for a long lifespan. The company’s mission contributes to a slow circular design . It states they “offer high quality products made with passion and respect for tradition by expert craftsmen at an affordable price.” PlayWood products are developed and manufactured by Italian craftsmen in alignment with the next European ecological transition plan guidelines. Inasmuch, they are environmentally friendly and recyclable after a long life. Even the shipping for domestic and international customers guarantees 100% recycled materials and space-saving transport design, resulting in minimal-packaging waste.  “PlayWood designs and creates furniture in the name of sustainability to the planet’s well-being,” the company stated. “This is the commitment of PlayWood: hearing the needs of the Earth and of the people.” In addition to a planet-focused process for sourcing materials and designing a multi-use, durable product , PlayWood has streamlined the purchasing model with direct and customizable orders between the company and the customer. PlayWood is also taking the required steps to obtain the B-Corp certification, a certification that affirms the company’s commitment to sustainable practices from the manufacturing to delivery to the consumer . + PlayWood Images via PlayWood 

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Cheap, durable and natural furniture from PlayWood

Cancer Alley residents may finally see environmental justice

November 19, 2021 by  
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Marginalized groups suffer the most from corporate pollution . Many of those affected lack the resources to fight back or reach relevant authorities for help. One such community is Reserve, a predominantly black neighborhood of about 8,000 people, which sits at the heart of Cancer Alley between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. This week, members of this community had a chance to meet Michael Regan, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA ). Regan is the first high-ranking person that has given them a listening ear, despite years of fighting to get their case heard. Regan’s actions come at a time when the Biden administration has pledged to enforce environmental justice in its new reforms. Related: First Nation residents exposed to dangerous levels of carcinogens According to data provided by the EPA, Cancer Alley is plagued by toxic chemicals such as chloroprene, produced by Denka, a nearby Japanese petrochemical plant. Chloroprene is known to be carcinogenic and increases the risk of cancer among locals. Studies have shown that residents of the region are 50 times more likely to get cancer than the national average. Regan’s visit to Reserve was just part of a long journey. Regan has been on trips around the American South to meet and talk with many marginalized groups affected by pollution. After hearing from Reserve community members, Reagan told the press that the government had started a journey of rebuilding trust with the people. “I know that we have to rebuild trust. I know that this didn’t happen overnight and won’t be resolved overnight. So our commitment is to do better, leverage our enforcement, work with Congress to get the toughest laws in place that are adequate and protective. And to do this in concert with community members who have been advocating this for decades,” Regan said, as reported by The Guardian. Regan also visited Jackson, Mississippi , where thousands were left without running water last year after a storm destroyed the water piping system. On Wednesday, Regan visited the residents of Gordon Plaza, an affordable housing project in New Orleans built on toxic landfills in the 1980s For years, environmental justice has been elusive for many marginalized groups. Although most of the communities have leaders championing their rights, progress has been slow. With the renewed efforts, communities hope that justice will be served. Via The Guardian Lead image via Pixabay

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Thoughtful Human makes zero-waste cards for every occasion

November 11, 2021 by  
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Ali O’Grady’s business  Thoughtful Human  is different from other greeting card companies. First, it’s  zero waste . You can plant the cards and grow wildflowers. And these cards don’t celebrate typical holidays. Thoughtful Human’s greetings are appropriate for when you find out your loved one has cancer, or is in rehab, or just suffered a miscarriage. The cards have caught on, and now you can buy them in Cost Plus World Markets across the United States. O’Grady talked to Inhabitat about how she started this unusual  business  and why people have responded in such an overwhelmingly positive way. Related: The high environmental cost of popular holiday gifts Inhabitat: How did you start drawing? O’Grady: Spoiler alert — I didn’t! I write all of our cards and come up with concepts for the  designs , but this hand simply cannot draw. Fortunately, I found our amazing illustrator, Summer Ortiz Ross, back in 2017 and have worked with her since day one of Thoughtful Human. She has a really unique ability to create lettering and graphics that are whimsical and fun, but also lend a certain tenderness, vulnerability and weight to them. I searched through many, many designers to find someone special who could deliver that! Inhabitat: Tell us a little bit about how the idea for your card company first hit you. O’Grady: I lost my dad in 2011 after a 10-year battle with colon  cancer . It left me with a lot of time to reflect on that experience and the things I wasn’t able to ask or say. After he passed, I started to notice more and more communication issues all around me — lots of well-meaning friends and family struggling to talk to me and my family about grief and depression, while I myself was struggling to find words to address addiction and other challenges within my circle. It just became really clear that so many of us wanted to show up but didn’t have the words or tools to navigate challenging conversations, and that a lot of people were left feeling isolated and alone as a result. I wanted to help change that. As far as defining moments, I was on a long drive home from the funeral of a  family  member who sadly passed of an overdose. It was a really somber day, and I was having a lot of racing thoughts about mortality, family and showing up. Among them, I was thinking about how I had just dropped the ball on my grandma’s birthday. Despite thinking about it so many times as it was approaching, I had done nothing and was really disappointed in myself. I remember thinking,  how could I have had the thought so many times and done nothing?  The answer was as simple as not having a stamp or finding a card/gift that resonated with me. I distinctly remember thinking,  it shouldn’t be so hard to be a thoughtful human,  and it just kind of clicked. I wanted to help remove barriers for people who wanted to show up, but for whatever reason weren’t getting there. And that was it — I went home and claimed the Thoughtful Human domain name that night and started to doodle our first logo. Inhabitat: How did you decide on your more unusual categories, like depression, miscarriage, rehab, cancer, etcetera? O’Grady: It was less of a decision than it was a response to the circumstances within my family and a desperation to find meaningful ways to connect. Many of the subjects we cover are perhaps unusual for mainstream cards and retailers, but they certainly aren’t uncommon issues. In fact, 1 in 7 people face a substance addiction, 1 in 5 people face an episode of  mental illness  each year, and 2 in 5 people will be diagnosed with cancer within their lifetimes. It’s  a lot  of individuals and families and, of course, these are just three particular issues that have impacted my family directly, but we’re really talking about content that opens up a dialogue around  any  sensitive or stigmatized issue. We want to make people — both the card buyer and card recipient — feel seen. We want to shift the model from platitudes and niceties to encouraging people to show up honestly and consistently in tough moments — to build the kind of trust that fosters vulnerability and allows for real connection and healing. Inhabitat: What kind of feedback have your customers given you on your cards? Any special stories you can share? O’Grady: People have been so receptive and supportive! From traveling around and speaking with all kinds of people, it’s really clear how desperate so many of us are to communicate around our pain and struggles. And when you give people that space, it’s the coolest thing — it creates palpable connections, and you can almost feel the relief. Inhabitat: Tell us about the sustainability aspect of your cards. O’Grady: I have been really passionate about  sustainability  since high school where I first started advocating around climate change and waste, so I knew starting my own business that it had to be low-to-no waste. All of our cards are printed on seed paper that can be planted to grow wildflowers. The paper is made from post-consumer recycled content and printed with water-based inks. All of our products, packaging and shipping materials are totally plastic-free and made with either recyclable, compostable, or plantable materials. Inhabitat: Congratulations on getting into some giant markets, as well as lots of cool smaller places. Do you have any tips for other entrepreneurs? O’Grady: Thank you! My best advice is to be authentic and make people feel something. I spend so much more time talking about mental  health , addiction, etc. than I do talking about my actual products. So much more time being vulnerable myself and listening to others’ challenges than I do trying to sell anything. I feel strongly that it has been this approach — the process of extending and evoking empathy — and our vision for communication that has opened so many doors for Thoughtful Human. We’ve also been uncompromising in our commitment to our mission and sustainability, and I think people — from buyers to customers and everyone in between — can see that it is authentic. It’s not CSR [corporate social responsibility], it  is  the brand. Any time we get a platform you bet we’re going to use it to blast an organization we care about relevant resources. That’s because we actually care. It’s never been about cards , it’s about genuinely trying to help guide people who are facing very real situations towards the support they need. Of course, this advice is going to look different for other  entrepreneurs  and categories, but whether it’s a pickle, a shirt, an app, literally anything — be authentic and make people feel something! Inhabitat: What else would you like readers to know about you, your cards and your mission? O’Grady: I’d love to remind people that whatever that thing is — the one you find the most painful, shameful, humiliating — is so much more common than you think it is, and there are so many  communities  and tools available to support! I started a podcast this year to help normalize a lot of stigmatized subjects and bring people more tools and vocabulary to approach uncomfortable conversations — from colons and colostomy bags to herpes, grief, addiction, incarceration, race, and beyond. It’s okay to talk about this stuff, it’s okay to stumble through or “mess up,” it’s okay to have questions, it’s okay to ask for help. You are not alone! + Ali O’Grady / Thoughtful Human Images via Thoughtful Human

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Thoughtful Human makes zero-waste cards for every occasion

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