We Earthlings: Plant One Tree

August 4, 2020 by  
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Plant one tree and it will capture about 13 pounds … The post We Earthlings: Plant One Tree appeared first on Earth 911.

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Top 5 sustainable products from IKEA to add to your home

July 6, 2020 by  
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IKEA has become a household name because you can buy just about everything you need for your home there. Not only does this company make every piece of furniture you could want, IKEA actually makes many amazing sustainable products. IKEA’s commitment IKEA has taken big steps to encourage sustainability. There are many products available at IKEA that are made with renewable and/or recycled materials as part of IKEA’s commitment to creating a sustainable future. All IKEA products are designed to be repurposed, recycled, reused, repaired and resold in order to generate as little waste as possible. It also gives DIYers lots of opportunities to get creative. IKEA has been working toward completely phasing out all single-use plastic products and using 100% renewable energy for all IKEA operations and direct suppliers.  Popular sustainable products at IKEA IKEA is already using wood that comes from recycled sources and cotton that comes from more sustainable sources. Meanwhile, the use of natural fiber materials like cork and rattan has increased at IKEA. The company has also implemented the IWAY standard, which specifies requirements that suppliers must meet in order to maintain certain environmental and animal welfare conditions. IKEA has a huge catalog of sustainable items, but these are the top five that customers love. GUNRID air-purifying curtain Made with a mineral-based coating, this air purifying curtain actually improves the air quality of your home. When exposed to sunlight streaming through the windows, the curtain breaks down indoor air pollutants. The fabric itself is made from recycled PET bottles. Unlike so many other air purifiers, this one isn’t powered by electricity and doesn’t need you to turn it on. Any time the sun is shining on your curtains, they are working to make your home healthier. Related: IKEA’s new air-purifying curtain will decrease indoor pollutants SOARÉ placemat The vivid SOARÉ placemat is handwoven with water hyacinth. This plant grows in abundance along the Mekong River, where it must be regularly harvested in order to keep the waters passable. This placemat helps continue the tradition of hand-weaving that has existed in this region for decades and provides work for those who harvest, dry and weave the plant fibers together. Water hyacinth is extremely fast-growing and it is mainly harvested and woven by women, who earn a living by working with this plant. Often, several women gather together to weave the plants while they laugh and socialize. Each purchase of these handwoven mats supports economic opportunities for women. TÅNUM rug Made entirely out of leftover fabric, the TÅNUM rug is another handwoven offering from IKEA. It is made completely from fabric scraps and leftovers from IKEA’s bed linen productions. Weavers in organized weaving centers in Bangladesh create these beautiful rugs to grace the floors of homes around the world. This methodology helps reduce waste and gives you the chance to brag to all your friends that your rug is made completely from recycled materials. Each of these rugs is handcrafted using different fabric scraps. That means every TÅNUM rug you place in your home is completely unique. ISTAD resealable bag ISTAD resealable bags are made almost completely from plastic that comes from the sugar cane industry. This material is both renewable and recyclable . The bioplastic is expected to save around 75,000 barrels of oil every single year. That’s a big step toward reducing the damage that has been done to the planet. SOLVINDEN light The SOLVINDEN lantern is a bright, solar-powered LED light that does not require cords or plugs. It has its own solar panel that converts sunlight into electricity. Solar energy is completely clean and renewable. The lightweight, eye-catching light comes in multiple styles to fit every decor. Because it also catches the sun’s rays and converts them into energy, this is a highly popular sustainable product from IKEA. This lantern lasts 10 times longer than standard incandescent bulbs and consumes up to 85% less energy .  Living sustainably There are many small ways to do big things to help the environment. Purchasing sustainable items from companies that take strides to maintain environmentally friendly standards is a great way to do more to help the environment. Buying beautiful, sustainable products made by a company that takes its responsibility to the world seriously is a great way to put your money toward a brighter future. + IKEA Images via IKEA

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Top 5 sustainable products from IKEA to add to your home

DIY: How to make an enchanting terrarium necklace to keep or give as a gift

December 17, 2019 by  
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Highlight life, nature, plants and the planet all in a tiny, encapsulated terrarium. Even better, turn it into a necklace for a unique piece of jewelry that is sure to be a conversation-starter. Since natural gifts are always en vogue, consider making extras for co-workers and family. This fast and easy nature craft is also fun to make with kids. Supplies: 1 glass vial with a cork — you can select the size of your choice, but don’t make it too bulky or so tiny that it is difficult to fill. Make sure it has a hook at the top for the chain, or get a small eye-hook to screw into the cork . 1 necklace chain — keep preferred length in mind Sand or fine gravel Soil Tiny succulents Tweezers Clothespin (optional) Instructions: 1. Create support Depending on your vial, it might need support. You can use a clothespin if your vial is unable to stand up straight. Simply open the clothespin, lower the vial into place and release the clothespin around the vial. Because the bottle is small and light, the clothespin will keep it from tipping over while you work. Related: How to make your own green terrarium to keep or give away for the holidays 2. Layer Once things are secure, begin layering materials into the vial. You can do this using a toothpick, tweezers or a skewer. You can also partially roll a small piece of paper to create a tube to pour materials in. Start with your sand or fine gravel . Depending on the size of your vial or miniature glass bottle, it might take ¼ teaspoon or so. This will help with air flow and drainage. Next, add soil; any enriched soil will work. Don’t worry about these materials collecting on the sides of the glass at this point. You can clean it up to make it pretty in a later step. 3. Add creativity Part of the fun of this process is being creative with your art. Play with different living plants to create the look you want. Moss can be your centerpiece, or you can add small pieces of succulents as a focal point. Just make sure your vessel offers enough space for any greenery you add. If you choose to add succulents, select baby shoots from the base of the plant or even those that have fallen off the plant. Then, allow the stem to dry out for several days before planting it in the terrarium . This keeps it from bringing too much moisture into the terrarium. Although the vessel is small, it still needs to remain balanced for the plant to survive, meaning it shouldn’t be too wet or too dry. If you find your terrarium misting up on the sides, release the cork to let some of the moisture out. 4. Attach chain Now, attach your necklace chain to your hook. Depending on the materials you selected, this can be done by simply sliding the chain through the eye of the hook or by using a small circle to attach the eye-hook to the chain using jewelry pliers or tweezers to pinch it closed. Make sure the chain is securely attached. Test your necklace for your desired length. 5. Cork it Add a drop of water to your terrarium. If this doesn’t clean up any debris that may have collected on the sides during layering, use a damp cotton swab to wipe the sides. Use tweezers to rearrange items as desired. Look at your terrarium from all angles to ensure things are just the way you want them. Then, insert your cork into the vial, and make sure it is firmly in place. 6. Care Your plant can survive in your terrarium for a long time with proper care. Add a tiny amount of water to your terrarium every few days as needed, and be sure to avoid leaving it in direct sunlight, which can dry out your plants. If it does dry out or die, you can easily replace the living plant with another without needing to replace the other materials. Speaking of materials, you will likely have enough to make several terrarium necklaces . Consider introducing the idea to a science classroom, a senior center or as a follow-up for a field trip. Images via Inhabitat

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DIY: How to make an enchanting terrarium necklace to keep or give as a gift

World’s largest 3D-printed building opens in Dubai after 2 weeks of construction

December 17, 2019 by  
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Quickly gaining popularity as an affordable and sustainable way to build, 3D printing is becoming a go-to construction choice for architects around the world. In fact, one Boston-based company, Apis Cor , well-known for its 3D-printed architecture, has just completed construction on the world’s largest 3D printed building. Located in Dubai, the 6,998-square-foot building was completed in just two weeks. Working under its motto, “we print buildings,” Apis Cor has become a prominent leader in the world of 3D-printed architecture. From a tiny home in Moscow to affordable housing developments in California and Louisiana, its state-of-the-art techniques have been used for various types of projects. Related: New 3D house printer cranks out 1,000 square feet a day Although the company is accustomed to building in various parts of the world, Dubai ‘s harsh conditions put its standard methods of printing to the test. Dubai is known for its severe climate, in which the temperatures rise and drop suddenly. As such, the materials used in the printing process for this particular building had to be able to withstand extreme heat and cold . “The Dubai climate is very harsh — temperature and humidity change significantly even within a day,” said Nikita Cheniuntai, founder and CEO of Apis Cor. “The material has to behave the same way all the time, despite the changing environmental conditions.” Working on such a large project presented additional challenges. The construction site spanned approximately 7,000 square feet, which, under normal building circumstances, would require assembly of ample scaffolding. However, because the company’s custom, car-sized 3D printer is mobile, the building was constructed directly onsite faster and more efficiently than a traditional construction project. Along with three workers and a single construction crane, the machine printed out the structure section by section using Apis Cor’s gypsum-based mixture. Later, traditional constructions methods were used to install the windows and roof, and rebar supports were added to reinforce the walls. The resulting building, which will house administrative offices for the Dubai Municipality, has a white facade that reflects the sun rays. The concrete and gypsum printing materials created by Apis Cor also provide the building with a naturally insulated envelope, keeping the interior at a pleasant temperature year-round. + Apis Cor Via Dwell Images via Apis Cor

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World’s largest 3D-printed building opens in Dubai after 2 weeks of construction

Engineers invent origami-inspired self-watering pots that are made from 100% recycled materials

August 26, 2019 by  
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The summer months are a wonderful time to go exploring unknown parts of the world, but traveling for weeks on end means certain death for most house plants, until now. A team of plant-loving engineers have designed an innovative self-watering plant pot. POTR Pots are flat pack plant pots designed to self-water plants and are made from 100% recycled materials . POTR Pots were invented by Scottish designers, Andrew Flynn and Martin Keane, who happen to also be serious plant lovers. According to Flynn and Keane, who have just recently kicked off a Kickstarter campaign featuring their innovative design, the prototype is the plant pot for the 21st century. Related: Recycling can get kids free books in southern Italy The team embarked on their invention by creating an eco-friendly design using 100% recycled materials, which can be recycled at the end of the pots’ life span. All of the materials used in the design, mainly recycled polypropylene , were sourced from nearby locations to reduce the project’s overall carbon footprint. Using recycled polypropylene means that the pots are not only eco-friendly , but incredibly flexible and durable. The pots won’t break into a million bits like regular clay pots if dropped. Additionally, the material allows for folding origami hinges , which enable the product to be flat-packed. To open the pots, just pull on the Bobbiny recycled cotton cord and the pot is ready for use. Before adding in the plant itself, two ends of the cord must be looped under the inner pot stand and  inserted into the plant’s soil. The cotton cord allows the plant to suck up water when thirsty. Besides being incredibly practical and user-friendly, the pots, which come in various sizes, are incredibly eco-friendly. According to the designers, the POTR pots have almost 100 times less CO2 than clay or concrete plant pots, due to the use of recycled materials as well as the flat-pack design which reduces transport costs. + POTR Pots Via BBC Images via POTR Pots

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Could the Florida Aquarium save ‘Americas Great Barrier Reef?’

August 26, 2019 by  
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Researchers at Tampa’s Florida Aquarium announced that they have managed to make a group of coral reproduce two days in a row. This is the first such successful attempt at Atlantic coral reproduction in a lab setting and could have important implications for saving barrier reefs. “Project Coral” is a program the aquarium designed in partnership with London’s Horniman Museum and Gardens . The objective: to create large coral egg deposits in a laboratory and ultimately repopulate the Florida Reef Tract. Related: Can the Cayman Islands save the Caribbean’s remaining coral reefs? Florida’s coral reefs are the world’s third largest barrier reef ecosystem. This phenomenal system, often called “America’s Great Barrier Reef,” extends from St. Lucie Inlet, north of Miami, to the Dry Tortugas, which are west of the Florida Keys. Biscayne National Park and Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary contain about two-thirds of the reef tract. But pollution , climate change and the orange sponge that invades the weakened reefs have destroyed much of the ecosystem. Can Project Coral heal the threatened reefs? “It’s pure excitement to be the first to achieve a breakthrough in the world,” Roger Germann, CEO of the Florida Aquarium, told CNN . “Our team of experts cracked the code … that gives hope to coral in the Florida Reef Tract and to coral in the Caribbean and Atlantic Oceans.” The researchers started working with Staghorn coral in 2014 but then shifted their concentration to pillar coral. Devastated by disease, pillar coral are now almost extinct . Unfortunately, the female and male clusters are too far apart to reproduce. The aquarium’s coral greenhouses use high-tech gear like LED technology and computerized systems to imitate the real reef ecosystem and send out signals to encourage reproduction. The aquarium has proven doubters wrong — it is possible to generate native Atlantic coral spawn in a laboratory. It’s still too early to determine how this controlled experiment will transfer to all the variables involved in repopulating a wild reef. But this success has spurred scientists’ positive attitudes about a happy future for both the reef and Florida’s tourism economy. Germann said, “Now there really is hope … I think we can save it.” Via CNN Image via National Park Service

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Could the Florida Aquarium save ‘Americas Great Barrier Reef?’

G7 summit: Fashion companies make a pact to protect the planet

August 26, 2019 by  
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Known as The Fashion Pact, a group of 32 major luxury brands, labels and companies, such as Adidas, Burberry, Kering, Hermes, Nike, Prada and Puma, shared its ideas to improve sustainability in the fashion industry at the G7 summit from August 24 to 26. While addressing French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday, some of the pact’s members said they would focus on using other options in their work in order to protect forests and minimize plastic usage. Related: Zara pledges 100% sustainable fabrics by 2025 At the summit, Burberry CEO Marco Gobbetti said, “We know that one company cannot solve the environmental challenges facing our planet alone, and we believe in the power of collaboration to drive real change.” Some of the pact’s ideas include pledging to 100 percent renewable energy for operations by 2030; removing microfiber pollution; boosting biodiversity and creating eco-friendly agricultural, mining and forestry processes; and cutting back on single-use plastics in packaging by 2030. The fashion industry initiative came to fruition in early 2019, when Macron asked François-Henri Pinault, the CEO of Kering Group, which owns Gucci, Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen, to form a coalition that discusses how the industry’s current practices impact the environment . Pinault talked about his ideas for the coalition at the Copenhagen fashion summit in May, according to The Guardian . “This has nothing to do with competition,” he told delegates at the time. “It’s a matter of leadership. Alone it is useless, you have to work with your peers. We might not succeed, but we will achieve more than not doing anything.” Several key fashion companies have been criticized for not addressing recent wildfires in the Amazon rainforest , despite donating millions of euros toward the restoration of the Notre Dame. Macron described the situation in the Amazon as an international crisis on Friday and said he wanted it to be addressed as a key issue at the 45th G7 summit. Via The Guardian and Reuters Image via Tokatlian

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3 startups hacking food to crack the climate crisis

August 12, 2019 by  
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Miyoko’s and other plant-based entrepreneurs are using food to fight the climate crisis.

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3 startups hacking food to crack the climate crisis

Plant Power: Creating Community & Healing Through Food

August 5, 2019 by  
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On a beautiful, crisp summer day in Southern California, my … The post Plant Power: Creating Community & Healing Through Food appeared first on Earth911.com.

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This summer sneaker is completely biodegradable

July 2, 2019 by  
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Earlier this month, Native Shoes showed its true sustainability colors with the unveiling of 100 percent biodegradable, plant-based shoes that are completely free of animal products, not to mention stylish and perfect for wearing all summer long. The natural-tone sneaker is a culmination of plant materials including a midsole composed of 90 percent cork and 10 percent sisal backing. The outsole material is produced from natural lactae hevea through a 50-stage process that takes up to two weeks to complete. An organic linen sockliner with kenaf originating in Africa and corn felt make up the insole. Rather than the toxic glues that hold together most shoes, the Plant Shoe is held together with olive oil-soaked jute thread and natural, latex-based glue. For the main upper, the material is formed from otherwise discarded pineapple husks along with eucalyptus and organic cotton fibers. The laces are 100 percent organic cotton as well. Related: SAOLA offers sustainable sneakers sourced from algae and recycled plastic This plant-based and biodegradable design is in sharp, and much-needed, contrast to typical sneakers made from petroleum-based products, plastic , leather and other chemical-laden fabrics. Americans alone dump more than 300 million shoes into landfills every year, almost none of which will break down in a timely manner. Aimed at a completely sustainable model for shoe manufacturing, use and disposal, now and in the future, the Plant Shoe can be commercially composted at the end of its lifecycle. “The Plant Shoe was inspired by Native Shoes’ mission to become 100 percent lifecycle managed by 2023,” said Michael Belgue, creative director of Native Shoes. “The next step beyond our current recycling initiative was to create something that wouldn’t need to be reused or recycled but instead generates zero waste . Something that was born from the earth and could go back into it.” Although each component was scrutinized for the most sustainable options, the sneaker was designed to be stylish yet classic enough to outlast short-term trends. Unisex by design, Plant Shoes can be ordered directly from the company online or found at a brick and mortar location. They retail for $200 and are available in sizes 8-13 for men and 5-10 for women. Founded in 2009, Native Shoes is a footwear company headquartered in Vancouver, Canada with the goal of producing shoes that are light on you and the environment. Taking charge in the fight against post-consumer shoe waste, “Live Lightly” is the company motto and the Plant Shoe is here to prove Native Shoes’ dedication to that mindset. + Native Shoes Images via Native Shoes

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This summer sneaker is completely biodegradable

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