Architects to transform two old railway yards into eco parks in Milan

May 14, 2019 by  
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OMA and Milan-based Laboratorio Permanente have won a competition to transform two abandoned railway yards in Milan into eco parks that will act as “ecological filters” for the car-centric city. Titled Agenti Climatici (Climatic Agents), the master plan would use the natural, air-purifying power of plants and the filtering capabilities of water to clean and cool the environment while adding new recreational spaces for the public. The project is part of a larger effort to redevelop disused post-industrial areas around the periphery of the city. The Agenti Climatici master plan addresses two railway yards: the 468,301-square-meter Scalo Farini on the north side of Milan and the 140,199-square-meter Scalo San Cristoforo on the south side of the city. The designers have designated Scalo Farini as the “green zone” that will consist of a large park capable of cooling the hot winds from the southwest and reducing air pollution . Scalo San Cristoforo has been dubbed the “blue zone” after the designers’ plan to turn the railway yard into a linear waterway that will naturally purify runoff and create cooling microclimates. “In a moment of dramatic environmental transformation and permanent economic uncertainty, our priorities have changed,” said OMA partner Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli. “The most valuable currency is no longer ‘brick’ — the built — but rather the climatic conditions that cities will be able to provide and ensure for their citizens. The city of the 20th century, with its high energy consumption , must be overcome by reconsidering the principles that have marked urban development since the classical era.” Related: CRA grows a sustainable pavilion out of mushrooms in just 6 weeks For adaptability, only the public elements of the Farini park will be fixed — including the waterways, greenery and bridges — while the location of the buildings and their programming will be contingent on the city’s future economic development. The master plan also calls for Milan’s longest expressway bicycle lane alongside a new tram line and metro stations. + OMA + Laboratorio Permanente Images via OMA and Laboratorio Permanente

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Architects to transform two old railway yards into eco parks in Milan

Study calls budding octopus farm industry unethical and unsustainable

May 14, 2019 by  
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A new study by an international group of scientists denounces the up-and-coming octopus farming industry as both detrimental to fragile marine ecosystems and unethical given their high intelligence. As countries like Japan announce they will start selling farmed octopus in 2020, researchers call on companies and governments to discontinue funding the new industry, claiming there is still an opportunity to prevent the same unethical and destructive mistakes that have already been made with land-based industrial farming. Currently, there are  550 marine and aquatic species farmed in nearly 200 countries. Aquaculture is detrimental to coastal environments in the following ways: Clearing critical habitat, such as mangroves, to make space for farms Polluting water with fertilizer, algaecide, disinfectant, antibiotics and herbicides Depleting oxygen and releasing nitrogen and phosphorus from decomposing fish feces In addition, octopus larvae only consume live fish and shellfish, requiring farmers to harvest significant amounts from other vulnerable fisheries. Related: Plastic pollution is causing reproductive problems for ocean wildlife Even if the industry was sustainable, however, the study’s authors argue that captivity is unethical for a creature with such a large brain, long memory and sophisticated nervous system. “We can see no reason why, in the 21st century, a sophisticated, complex animal should become the source of mass-produced food ,” study author, Professor Jennifer Jacquet of New York University, told the  Observer . “Octopus factory farming is ethically and ecologically unjustified.” Despite animal welfare and environmental concerns, octopus farms spark a separate set of ethical issues dealing with limiting development and economic growth. The unrestricted and untouchable scale of destructive industrial farming, for example, brings up concerns of who can prohibit other entrepreneurs from capitalizing on the same profitable disregard for animal life and environmental sustainability . Professor Jacquet of the study, however, believes that because the industry is just launching, there is a unique opportunity to limit its growth before it takes off. “Mass producing octopus would repeat many of the same mistakes we made on land in terms of high environmental and animal welfare impacts and be in some ways worse because we have to feed octopus other animals,” said Jacquet. Approximately 350,000 tons of octopus are harvested every year, however, octopus fisheries are in decline. Without aquaculture , octopus may become more rare, expensive and only available to high-paying customers. The Guardian Image via Shutterstock

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How to mend and repair your clothes

May 14, 2019 by  
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There are many benefits to clothing repair. Fixing a hole in your favorite jeans or re-attaching a broken button can extend the life of the piece, which is better for the environment and your wallet. From hemming jean bottoms to fixing zippers, here is a quick look at all of the ways you can repair your own clothes . Sewing kit If you are serious about clothing repair, you should have a sewing kit on standby. A good kit includes items like needles and thread, scissors, a tape measure, a seam ripper, spare buttons and sewing pins. You can even put together a traveling sewing kit for whenever you are on the road and face a clothing emergency. Buttons Repairing a button on your favorite shirt can seem daunting at first, but it is actually a fairly straightforward process. According to The Spruce , there are two basic styles of buttons that are commonly used on shirts. The trick is picking the right type of button and the right size. Fortunately, you can usually reference other buttons on the shirt when selecting the perfect fit. The first type is called flat buttons. These are, well, flat and have exposed threads. These are the most commonly used buttons on shirts. The other type is called a shank button, which hides the thread. These are typically used in heavier pieces of clothing. Jean repairs Denim requires a substantial amount of water just to make one pair of jeans, so you should treat all of your jeans with care to keep them in top shape for many years. Rips Jeans often develop holes after extended use. Before you toss your favorite pair of pants, you can extend their life by repairing those rips and tears. All it takes is a patch of fabric  similar in color to the jeans and some thread. You can use a fusible patch, though you will likely need to sew it in place if you want it to last. Related: How to sew together ripped jeans Zippers Broken zippers are another common issue with jeans. Replacing a zipper is a little tricky, but it can be done. You will need a replacement zipper that matches the old fabric and some thread. Start by removing the old zipper entirely. Then, cut the new zipper to fit, and sew it in place. Belt loops Hardy belt loops are a requirement for a good pair of jeans , but they can fail after constant tugging. To repair a belt loop, you will need some denim thread, scrap fabric and a sewing machine. Start by patching the hole where the loop broke off. Once that is done, simply sew the old loop back into place, making sure you use plenty of thread to keep it strong. Mending Most clothing mends you will need to make are either for the seams or hems of your favorite clothes. Seam mending Seams are the most integral part of a piece of clothing . Seams can be curved or straight, or they can run into each other at intersections. The issue with seams is that they frequently rip, especially in areas you do not want exposed. Luckily, you can easily repair seams with some thread or by using fusible fabrics . Fusible alternatives remove the sewing element and are a great option for those less experienced in mending. There are a variety of fusible options on the market, so make sure you shop around for the right type before you start a project. Hem mending There are many reasons why people choose to hem clothing. The most common hem is done on jeans and helps prevent the bottoms from dragging on the ground. Jeans that are too long can trip people and will result in frayed ends. Hemming is also used to make pieces of clothing, like skirts, fit better and look more custom-made. Related: 11 ways to be more self-sufficient Common stitches By learning some simple, common stitches, you can easily repair a variety of fabrics. Running stitch If you only learn one sewing technique, it probably should be a running stitch. According to Life Hacker , the running stitch is a fundamental technique and one of the most basic stitches out there. By learning a running stitch, you can easily sew patches, fix hems and mend holes in clothing. This type of stitch basically runs in and out of the fabric without ever doubling back on itself. Back stitch A back stitch is basically a running stitch with a slight twist. This type of sewing technique is ideal if you need something that is both strong and flexible. This includes attaching zippers or fixing tears in fabrics in areas that take a lot of stress. When sewing a back stitch, you always take one step back with every stitch you make. This results in a line of thread on the backside of the item and a running stitch on the front. Whip stitch A whip stitch is slightly more advanced than the previous two techniques but still easy to perform. These stitches can repair torn seams, pockets that have come undone and split hems. A whip stitch is ideal whenever you are sewing two pieces of fabric together, like the opening of a pillow case. The threads will be visible in a whip stitch, so make sure you select a color that closely matches the original fabric. With these basic stitches and methods in mind, you are on your way to becoming an ace at basic clothing repair. Best of all, this will save you money and the planet’s resources. Images via Shutterstock

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The Picnic Project regenerates an industrial mining site into a bucolic mixed-use space

December 9, 2016 by  
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This pastoral vision of the northwest lignite mining area of Ptolemaida in Greece transforms the former industrial site into a sustainable, mixed-use development that combines agriculture, recreation and tourism. Architects Leonidas Papalampropoulos and Georgia Syriopoulou designed and presented the regeneration project in the style reminiscent of the early 20th century Garden City movement, pioneered by Ebenezer Howard, which is based on a radial network of patterns with open spaces, public parks and agricultural estates.   The project aims to deal with the industrial heritage of the site by introducing new management procedures and “re-instating [a] romantic” vision in order to create a new relationship between the user and the landscape. The team proposes the formation of a new archaeological site with exhibitions of industrial artifacts inside the former quarry. Three dams would be constructed along the stream in order to control its flow, form three water reservoirs for swimming during summer, and facilitate the development of a hydro-biotope. Related: Sugarhouse Studios Pop-Up Cinema & Workshop Encourages Community Interaction in London In attempting to re-appropriate the natural environment, three techniques would be used along the water path. The first would focus on exploiting the existing remote heating infrastructure to create a greenhouse -swimming pool. The second focuses of establishing botanical rooms, while the third would introduce urban residential environments. + Papalampropoulos Syriopoulou Architecture Bureau

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The Picnic Project regenerates an industrial mining site into a bucolic mixed-use space

Superbug resistant to last-resort antibiotics found on US pig farm

December 9, 2016 by  
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Antibiotic resistance is a looming public health concern expected to kill up to 10 million people annually by 2050. Now, in the latest worrying development in the United States, Ohio State University researchers have found a bacteria resistant to last resort antibiotics, called carbapenems, on a pig farm that is barred from using them. The pig farm followed what the researchers describe as “typical US production practices” by giving their animals the antibiotic ceftiofur. Newborn pigs receive the antibiotic when they’re born, and when males are castrated, they’re given another dose. Ceftiofur is part of the cephalosporin family, but kills bacteria in a manner comparable to carbapenems. Related: ‘Nightmare’ bacteria found in the U.S. resists all known antibiotics The Ohio State researchers collected samples from the pig farm for five months to discover the superbug, Enterobacteriaceae , which Natural Resources Defense Council expert David Wallinga described in a blog post as “one of the nastier superbugs.” The journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy published the researchers’ study online this week. Study co-author Thomas Wittum told TIME, “How the [resistant bacteria] got onto the farm we really don’t know. But probably it was introduced from the outside from movements of wildlife, people, equipment, etc.” During the study the researchers didn’t discover the bacteria in the pigs, but Wittum told TIME they later did see the superbug in piglets and sows. He said, “…that is the concern: that it could happen on this or other farms .” What does this discovery mean for US agriculture? In 2012, the Obama administration established guidelines that will go into effect in January 2017. The guidelines would limit the use of antibiotics on farms, but they are voluntary. Meanwhile, according to Mother Jones, advisers to the new President-elect appear to be resistant to regulation when it comes to food production. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the bacteria found on the pig farm already kills as many as 600 people every year. Via TIME and Mother Jones Images via Wikimedia Commons and Pixabay

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Why is San Francisco spraying toxic pesticides in public parks and playgrounds?

October 19, 2015 by  
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San Francisco resident Victoria Hamman’s beloved pup Barack died a few weeks ago from a horrific case of oral cancer. The dog was very fond of eating the grass in his local dog park, which is maintained by San Francisco Rec and Park. When she realized that the San Francisco parks department was routinely spraying the grass and surrounding areas with an herbicide called glyphosate (also known as Monsanto’s ‘Roundup’) she wondered if there was a connection between her dog’s cancer and this herbicide. Other residents of San Francisco are wondering the same thing, as it is becoming clear to the public that San Francisco is frequently spraying public parks with this popular herbicide, despite the fact that California’s EPA recently classified glyphosate as cancer-causing , following the World Health Organization’s decision to reclassify glyphosate as a likely carcinogen last March, based on research by the IARC (International Agency For Research on Cancer) . So why is a city that touts itself as one of the most environmentally-friendly cities in the world endangering its residents through the use of toxic pesticides? Read the rest of Why is San Francisco spraying toxic pesticides in public parks and playgrounds?

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Luxurious bamboo beach bar and restaurant bolsters spa in Vietnam

October 19, 2015 by  
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MARS Architects’ Ingenious Water Bench Collects Rainwater for Irrigating Public Parks and Gardens

August 14, 2013 by  
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Water is our most essential resource, yet, increasingly, it is synonymous with inequality, disease, and environmental degradation. In developing economies in particular, there is often a stark contrast between those urbanites whose lives are shaped by the daily task of securing a minimum amount of water, and the emergence of water-dependent urban landscapes. The Water Bench was created as a response to these concerns. The first prototype in a series of water-conservation solutions by MARS Architects , the design was developed in connection with the  BMW Guggenheim Lab to cut back consumption of public water used to irrigate parks and green spaces in cities. Engineered specifically for subtropical climates (parts of Latin America, India, Southeast Asia, and Australia), it makes use of the unique condition of continuous, heavy rainfall during the wet season, which allows the bench to fill its internal reservoir. This water is then used to irrigate surrounding vegetation during the eight-month dry spell that follows. Read the rest of MARS Architects’ Ingenious Water Bench Collects Rainwater for Irrigating Public Parks and Gardens Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: BMW Guggenheim Lab , furniture design , MARS Architects , public bench , public furniture , rainwater catchment , rainwater collecting bench , rainwater collectors , water bench , water saving design        

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New SoMa Skatepark Coming to San Francisco’s Mission District

August 2, 2011 by  
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San Francisco is about to boost its street sports cred with a long-awaited skatepark . After two years of petitioning and planning, the Department of Public Works is ready to break ground on the $3 million SoMa Skate Plaza. The new project will calm traffic under the busy Central Freeway, all while revitalizing the area and showing appreciation for local skate culture. Read the rest of New SoMa Skatepark Coming to San Francisco’s Mission District Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Alternative Sports , Armory , Central Freeway , Duboce , Embarcadero , graffiti , green design , mission , New Line Skateparks , Potrero Del Sol , public parks , public space , San Francisco , sf , skateboarding , Skateboarding Culture , Skatepark , Skater , soma , SoMa Skate Plaza , SoMa West Skatepark , Street Skateboarding , Thrasher , urban renewal

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