Plant-Based Soups — Super for You & the Planet

January 5, 2021 by  
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Warm, rich, and hearty. Light and refreshing. Spicy and silken. The … The post Plant-Based Soups — Super for You & the Planet appeared first on Earth 911.

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Plant-Based Soups — Super for You & the Planet

CLAE launches vegan cactus leather sneakers

December 17, 2020 by  
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Independent footwear brand CLAE will be celebrating its 20th anniversary next year with the release of its newest shoes made from vegan cactus leather. The Los Angeles-based company is committed to conscious and sustainable fashion, with some of its previous eco-minded sneakers made of materials like hemp and recycled mesh. The cactus leather shoes are a collaboration between CLAE and DESSERTO , highly sustainable, plant-based vegan leather creators who won the Green Product Award in 2020. According to the sneaker company, this will be the world’s first shoe made from a perennial cactus. Related: Oliver Co. makes vegan leather wallets from apple waste and wood The leather is made in Zacatecas, Mexico from the mature leaves of the nopal (also known as prickly pear) cactus without damaging the plant. Cultivated only with natural minerals and rainwater at 8,000-foot altitudes, Nopal is known for its low ecological footprint and is 100% organic . The leaves are harvested every six to eight weeks to give the plant ample time to regenerate and help preserve the local biodiversity. After the mature leaves are cut, they spend a few days drying under the sun before undergoing DESSERTO’s patented process that transforms the plant into a soft yet durable vegan leather. CLAE doesn’t stop there; the Bradley Cactus sneakers are also fitted with laces made of recycled nylon from plastic waste, while the sole is made using 100% natural rubber. This natural rubber comes from the latex sap of Hevea trees and is harvested on sustainably managed forests that help maintain the global balance of atmospheric carbon. The shoes also come packaged in environmentally friendly materials such as recycled cardboard . Bradley Cactus sneakers are currently available for pre-order at an exclusive rate of $130, which is $20 less than the original price. They are available in white, black and green, colors inspired by the Nopal cactus plant. + CLAE Images via CLAE

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CLAE launches vegan cactus leather sneakers

Embracing the stylish, sustainable cottagecore trend

December 17, 2020 by  
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It’s the birthright of every generation to rebel against its forebears. So how can young people today define themselves as different from their phone-obsessed, digital-native parents? By donning Little House on the Prairie dresses, baking pies and cavorting with fairies. The cottagecore aesthetic has become popular with Gen Z, but what many don’t realize is how this trend actually finds its roots in sustainability. According to the Urban Dictionary, cottagecore is “a niche aesthetic based around the visual culture of an idealized life on a Western farm. Common themes include sustainability, gardens , farm animals, rural living and nature.” That makes this trend a good way to embrace an eco-lifestyle, learn some new skills, breathe fresh air and have fun. Related: What is cottagecore? “During the worldwide pandemic and long periods of stay-at-home orders, the movement accelerated rapidly as people looked for an escape from our dark reality,” said Amelia Ansink, accessories editor for Fashion Snoops, as reported by Today. “Cottagecore unintentionally represents the ideal quarantine life, where isolation in nature is strived for and everything we need can be produced at home and by our own hands.” Cottagecore apparel When the world is in lockdown and people are working from home (if at all), choosing clothes can feel like a game of dress-up. Who are we dressing for right now? Mostly ourselves. So if you’ve ever yearned to dress like a Holly Hobbie doll, this is your fashion moment. Whether you’re baking muffins, embroidering on the porch swing or picnicking in a field, prairie-inspired dresses of seersucker, faded denim, cotton and linen fit the aesthetic. Think ruffles and soft colors, paired with straw hats, jute bags and a wicker picnic basket. Gingham checks and floral prints are top choices. Hair is worn long and natural, topped with flower crowns or wrapped in a bandana. If you’re doing something a little dirtier — say, cleaning up after the chickens — striped overalls may be a better wardrobe option. Courtney Fox, 27, runs the cottagecore Instagram account @thefoxandtheivy . “I grew up in rolling farmland in rural Pennsylvania, not too far from Lancaster County, which has a large population of Amish, so this landscape and way of living helped to inspire me,” she said, as reported in Today. Her fashion role models include literary heroines like Anne of Green Gables and the characters in Little Women. The trend has helped Fox live in a more eco-friendly manner. “For me, cottagecore has meant trying to reduce my waste production and purchase things more sustainably, including my clothing,” she said. “There was a time when I was buying fast fashion , but I realized it didn’t really align with my values.” While cottagecore fashion tends to be femme, anyone can join in. Flat caps, tweed, knitted sweaters and walking sticks all help you dress the part. Bonus points if you take up beekeeping and baking. Your cottagecore home Because cottagecore makes the old new again, that means upcyling , thrifting, garage sales and flea markets are all part of the lifestyle. No need to contribute to the manufacturing of new goods and the accompanying emissions. If you picture a stereotypical grandmother’s cottage — lace curtains, floral tablecloths, vintage baskets and antique vases — you’ve got the right idea. Related: Unpacking the cottagecore home decor trend You may be able to tweak existing household accessories for the cottagecore look. Tone down brightly colored wood furniture with white chalk paint, which gives a rustic, shabby-chic feel, or use other muted paint colors like cream, light pink, yellow or green. If you’re lucky enough to live close to your mother or grandmother, raid their garage or attic — with their permission, of course — for cottagecore finds. They’ll probably be thrilled you can use something that’s just gathering dust and taking up space. Your cottagecore home needs a soundtrack. The Irish artist Hozier is at the top of the playlist, with Bon Iver, Florence and the Machine and any kind of romantic dark folk rock right behind. Taylor Swift has even joined in on the act with her new albums folklore and evermore. Cottagecore hobbies Cottagecore is about more than the way you and your house look. It also involves reviving wholesome hobbies of yesteryear. Gardening has become very popular during the pandemic and is directly tied in to other sustainable activities like baking and canning. Nothing beats growing your own rhubarb then serving it in a pie. Lockdown is the ideal time to improve your needle skills by sewing or embroidering. Top embroidery subjects are natural things like mushrooms , foxes and woodland fairies. Then there’s gaming. Cottagecore aficionados who can’t give up their technology can play rural- and nature-inspired games like Animal Crossing and Farmville. Everybody needs a break from the pandemic right now. Of cottagecore, popular British Instagrammer Keri-Anne Pink who runs @ gingerlillytea says, “I think it gives people a little bit of escapism from their own world and busy life.” Images via Bertrand Bouchez , Lê Tân , James DeMers and Lexi T

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Embracing the stylish, sustainable cottagecore trend

How To Make an Upcycled Jar Terrarium

November 10, 2020 by  
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Terrariums add variety, depth, and beauty to your plant collection. … The post How To Make an Upcycled Jar Terrarium appeared first on Earth 911.

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We Earthlings: Plant One Tree

August 4, 2020 by  
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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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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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