Holiday Tip: Don’t Recycle Gift Wrap

December 7, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Recycle

In the case of gift wrap, it’s better to reuse, or not use at all, than to try to recycle. The post Holiday Tip: Don’t Recycle Gift Wrap appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Holiday Tip: Don’t Recycle Gift Wrap

Geotectura Studio completes an ecological building on a former brownfield in Israel

December 5, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

A former brownfield has been transformed into the remediated site for ECO-TUBES, the Azriel Faculty of Design’s Workshop Building that boasts sustainable construction materials and energy-efficient systems. Designed by architect Joseph Cory of the Israeli architecture studio Geotectura Studio , the recently completed building was developed as part of the planned renovation of Shenkar College’s campus in Ramat Gan, Israel and features recycled and local materials along with non-toxic finishes. Selected as the winner of a competition, the Azriel Faculty of Design’s Workshops Building (ECO-TUBES) design was favored over other proposals due to its ability to be implemented in phases without disrupting student activity. Installed in two phases, the 6,600-square-meter Azriel Faculty of Design’s Workshops Building houses several workshop rooms—among them woodworking, metalworking, painting, foam manipulation and more—in addition to classrooms , offices, gallery spaces and the Gottesman Department of Jewelry Design. The building has also been engineered to allow for future growth through the addition of extra floors. In a nod to the city’s heritage as a major citrus producer, the landscaping features a variety of citrus trees (including orange, pomelo, lime, pomelit and grapefruit) to mimic an urban orchard. The roof has also been transformed into a mini orchard with container plants. The abundance of greenery, along with the vertical louvers, made from bamboo fiber and recycled plastic, helps to combat the urban heat island effect and create a pleasant microclimate. Related: Energy-plus home is a beacon of sustainability in Tel Aviv Designed with Buidling Information Modeling (BIM) to optimize energy efficiency , the U-Glass-clad building was constructed with a compact, well-insulated envelope and follows passive solar principles. “The conception of a compact shape led to minimal use of material, while maximizing natural light until late afternoon,” explains Geotectura Studio. “The building’s unique shape is based on polygonal segments with ecological glass and excellent insulation along the sides. The polygons extend the length of the southern façade, making it possible to place more workshop tools that require optimal natural light. The arched design creates optimization of maximal workstations receiving natural soft lighting.” + Geotectura Studio Images by Lior Avitan

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Geotectura Studio completes an ecological building on a former brownfield in Israel

A guide to the best holiday gifts for an eco-friendly home

December 5, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

As adults, receiving gifts to adorn a home or apartment is one of the greatest joys in life. Whether you’re searching for a unique furniture piece for your parents, adorable trinkets for a friend or something extra special for yourself, these gifts top our list of favorite presents for a green home this year. Natural Escape Mattress This holiday season, give the best gift of all: the gift of a good night’s sleep. Free from the toxic VOCs and chemical flame retardants that lurk in most traditional mattresses, the Natural Escape mattress from My Green Mattress is organic and USA-made, making it the perfect gift for just about anyone on your list. We certainly won’t judge you for purchasing it for yourself — once you’ve slept on the contouring, supportive layers of organic cotton and latex as well as natural wool, it will be even harder to leave your bed each morning. Smart thermostats This green technology will allow its recipient to keep their home cozy and comfortable year-round while saving energy and lowering utility bills. Check out the high-tech options by Nest or ecobee . Related: 4 things you need to know about smart thermostats Cork and bamboo coffee press Made from cork, bamboo and glass, this eco-friendly French press is a stylish gift that will look beautiful on any kitchen counter. The wood is left unstained for food safety, and the simple device is just as quick and easy to use as any other coffee maker but without throwaway filters or electricity. Best of all, each purchase helps the company, GROSCHE, provide more than 50 days of safe, clean drinking water for those in need. Bidet Is a bidet attachment for a toilet the most romantic or exciting gift? Maybe not. But it is incredibly useful and better for the environment, considering people around the world flush the equivalent of about 27,000 trees daily . Nomadix Many people have towels for different purposes: bathing, camping, swimming, yoga. But  one towel from Nomadix  can do it all, and these brightly patterned towels are even made from post-consumer  plastic  bottles. It’s a win-win. Terra Klay If you really want to take someone’s breath away, snag some impressive dishware from Terra Klay . From bowls and mugs to teapots and casserole dishes, this pottery is handcrafted with care by women artisans in Manipur, India. They make a striking addition to any kitchen. Fan-folded paper lights Really wow someone you love with these luxurious (but budget-friendly) pendant lights . The fixture of each light is made from upcycled vinyl records, while the intricately folded shade is made from scrap cardboard paper. It also includes LED bulbs and comes in four colors, from neutral to flashy. Rio sofa from Stem At first glance, this is a simple couch that can blend into any living room. But this sofa also features eco-friendly and customizable materials from colors and fabrics to fillings and legs. The sofas are made with FSC-certified timber frames and avoid harsh chemicals. Inmod Azara dresser This stylish dresser is made from 100 percent Moso bamboo and features six soft-close drawers to hold plenty of clothing, accessories or extra blankets. The finish is distinct enough to stand out, but subtle enough to match the recipient’s existing furnishings. Wool comforter We spend a lot of time sleeping or snuggling in bed. Make that time count with these warm, snuggly wool comforters that are made with 100 percent organic wool and cotton. This is also a durable comforter that will last and last. Melrose furnishings from Urban Woods You can’t go wrong with the Melrose set from Urban Woods . Each piece uses reclaimed wood as well as low-VOC and non-toxic materials. These furnishings are also made in L.A., reducing the environmental impact of shipping (compared to ordering items shipped from outside the country). This collection is bold and modern, but you can also find many other sets or make a custom order to suit your gift recipient’s style. Teak wood bowls and salad servers Made from reclaimed teak wood, these bowls and salad servers are a must-have for anyone who loves to entertain. Each is hand-formed with distinct graining, leaving no two items the same. From salads to fresh fruits, anything served in these bowls will be the star of the show. Recycled pouf The incredibly relaxed lounge chair, or the pouf, is becoming a staple for modern living rooms. Choose a unique, sustainable option like this eye-catching black pouf made from recycled textiles like leather and cotton. Each pouf uses a different blend of materials, making each one an original. Organic crinkled percale sheets It’s no secret that well-loved (read: old) sheets are the most comfortable to sleep in, so imagine the joy of opening a set of brand new, organic sheets that already have that worn-in softness from the start. These sheets come in soothing neutral shades to match any bedroom, and the soft, slightly crinkled cotton will make your bed even cozier than normal. Images via My Green Mattress , Nest , GROSCHE , Amazon , Terra Klay , Nomadix , ABCD , Stem , Inmod , Haiku Designs , Urban Woods , CB2 ( 1 , 2 ), Coyuchi and Amira Hegazy

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A guide to the best holiday gifts for an eco-friendly home

Henning Larsens energy-efficient Kiruna Town Hall opens to the public

November 30, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

The northern Swedish town of Kiruna, that’s famously uprooting itself, has just inaugurated its new town hall — Kristallen, dubbed The Crystal — in the relocated city center three kilometers to the east. Designed by Danish architecture firm Henning Larsen , The Crystal is an energy-efficient homage to Kiruna’s existing town hall that was designed by the Swedish architect Arthur von Schamlensee. Conceived as the town’s “living room”, the circular building was built with recycled materials from the original structure, including the iconic 1958 bell tower and original door handles from the main entrance. Located nearly 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle , the Swedish town of Kiruna was founded atop the world’s largest iron ore mine, a site that provides 90 percent of Europe’s iron ore. However, a century of mining operations has destabilized the area, leading to rifts and sinkholes that have threatened to swallow the town. As a result, the state-owned mining firm Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara (LKAB) proposed demolishing the old town and relocating its estimated 18,000-person population to a new site three kilometers east. Henning Larsen, Temagruppen, WSP and UiWE won the competition to design the new town hall , called Kristallen (The Crystal), an important landmark located at the heart of new Kiruna. The building creates a distinction between the inner and outer volumes, each catering to its community and civic functions, respectively. The inner core of the community-oriented building offers public exhibition rooms, workshops and social common spaces. The outer volume includes staff offices for various municipality departments and is sheathed in a sleek circular glass and natural stone facade engineered to deflect winds and heavy snowdrifts. The angular forms seen on the exterior and interior of the building also reference the geometry of the iron minerals critical to the town’s identity. Related: Kjellander + Sjöberg designs a climate-optimized urban development in new Kiruna “The building we are opening today is not just exciting in form – It is also designed to meet high environmental standards. It is in other words a very modern city hall, which in the future will become a living room for Kiruna. It is a place for meetings, work, art and culture in equal measure,” said King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. + Henning Larsen Photography by Hufton + Crow via Henning Larsen

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Henning Larsens energy-efficient Kiruna Town Hall opens to the public

The best eco-friendly floor options for your home

November 29, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Indoor pollutant levels can be up to five times higher than they are outside,  according to the EPA , and all you have to do to find the source of many of those pollutants is to look down at your floor. When you install traditional carpet or flooring it can fill the air in your home with hundreds of volatile compounds, including possible carcinogens, and it can take years for those compounds to disappear. To make matters worse, we often treat our carpets with toxic chemicals , and they are notorious for trapping lawn chemicals and allergens that we track in from the outside. Here are six ideas for durable, stylish and often less expensive  eco-friendly flooring options  that you can install to enhance your home. If you would like to minimize indoor pollution and reduce health problems caused by toxic flooring, you can now choose from flooring and carpets made from eco-friendly materials. Using eco-friendly materials in your home no longer means it will look boring and bland thanks to manufacturers stepping up and offering more beautiful, sustainable options. Green carpet If you prefer soft floors, there are carpet options that are not harmful to the environment or your health. Wool carpet comes from a natural resource that can be dyed any color and it is so durable it can last for decades. Other natural materials to look for when buying carpet or rugs is cotton, jute, and sisal. Polyester (P.E.T.) Berber carpet is another sustainable option that is made from recycled plastic bottles and has little environmental impact. It is durable, spill resistant, and comes in a variety of patterns and colors. It does have a few drawbacks, though. You can easily snag Berber and cause it to unravel and it can be a bit tough to walk on with bare feet. Bamboo This sustainable flooring option is easy to install and even easier to maintain. Bamboo is a grass that has similar characteristics as hardwood, but it grows to maturity in just three to five years, as opposed to the twenty years that trees can take. You can find bamboo in different colors and grains, and you can customize it in ways that you can’t do with other materials. Concrete Polished concrete is a sustainable material that can give your home an industrial look and feel, and it has gained popularity in recent years. You can polish and tint your concrete floors to match your taste, and you can inlay other materials, designs , or effects. Concrete is durable, easy to clean, and you will never have to replace it. Cork One of the newest options in the flooring market, cork has antimicrobial properties that will reduce the allergens in your home, is fire retardant, naturally repels insects, and is easy to maintain. You can find cork in a variety of colors and stains that can match any design style or color scheme. It is so durable that you can use it in any part of your home, and the floors can last up to thirty years. Glass tiles Beautiful glass tiles come from recycled beer and wine bottles, and they are quickly becoming a popular option for floors and bathroom and kitchen walls. Glass tile floors do not absorb moisture, and they will not mildew or mold in a damp environment. They are also extremely easy to maintain, and they come in every color and pattern you can think of. They also reflect light instead of absorbing it like ceramic tiles do, and that can give a darker room some extra light. Rubber This eco-friendly floor option is making its way into more and more homes because it is beautiful, versatile, and it lasts. Plus, it comes in many different colors and patterns. Rubber flooring comes from recycled tires, and in the past, you mostly found it at the neighborhood playground or local gym. But now, people are installing it in their kitchens and bathrooms because it is great to walk on and it is water resistant. Via Freshome Images via kazuend , Marco Bianchetti , pix24 ,  Goh Rhy Yan and Shutterstock

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The best eco-friendly floor options for your home

REPREVE: sustainable multi-use fiber made from recycled water bottles

November 29, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Single-use water bottles have become a target for environmentalists concerned about the amount of petroleum required for each bottle and the massive amounts of waste generated from their short lives. But in recent years, companies have begun to use tossed-aside plastic in new and exciting ways. REPREVE, a sustainable fiber created from 100 percent food-quality and BPA-free post-consumer plastic, has opened up the door to give companies new options when sourcing eco-friendly materials. While using  recycled fibers is not new in the manufacturing world, Unifi, a leading global textile solutions company and the producer of REPREVE, has refined a process that allows it to create multiple fibers from the same material including nylon, thread, polyester and other fibers. Related: Clothing made from recycled water bottles highlights the ongoing crisis in Flint Unifi completes the water bottle-to-fabric process in a few stages. Beginning with the water bottles returned by consumers, Unifi transfers them to a modern bottle processing center where they keep a quarter of a million water bottles out of the waste stream each hour. Once broken down into a fine material called flake, the flake is then sent to the REPREVE recycling center where it is blended, melted and turned into small chips that are stored onsite in large silos. Each silo holds the equivalent of 27 million water bottles. The manufacturing plant itself is dedicated to zero-waste production as well. Related: Ford to recycle 2 million plastic bottles into fabric for its Focus Electric Dozens of companies are on board with the idea of incorporating the REPREVE fibers into their products. Backpacks, socks, dog beds, cloth car seat covers, activewear, dress pants, jeans, swimwear, flags and heat wraps are just a few products donning the REPREVE symbol. Notable companies supporting the sustainable practices of REPREVE include PrAna, Patagonia, Roxy, Quicksilver, Lane Bryant, Fossil and Ford Motor Co. In fact, Unifi lists over 60 companies using its products on its website. This is no surprise, considering the versatility of the materials created through the process. “Unifi’s advanced performance technologies provide textile solutions like moisture wicking, stretch, water-repellency and enhanced softness. Our technologies can be combined with REPREVE to offer increased performance, comfort and style advantages, enabling customers to develop products that are good for the planet, plus truly perform, look and feel better,” said Kevin Hall, chairman and CEO of Unifi. “REPREVE® is an innovative brand of fibers, chip and flake that is made from 100 percent recycled materials, including plastic bottles,” Hall added. “REPREVE’s U Trust® Verification program is a comprehensive certification designed to provide customers with a higher level of transparency. Unifi’s proprietary FiberPrint® technology is used to analyze the fabric content and composition to determine if REPREVE is present and in the right amounts. REPREVE is also third party certified.” The company takes pride in a robust, full-cycle dedication to sustainability through obtaining the proper certifications. + Repreve Images via Unifi

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REPREVE: sustainable multi-use fiber made from recycled water bottles

Introducing ReTuna, the world’s first secondhand shopping mall

November 29, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

The reusing and upcycling trend continues to gain steam in countries all over the globe. Now, there is a shopping mall that is full of secondhand stores only. ReTuna, a two-story complex in Eskilstuna, Sweden, is located about 70 miles west of Stockholm and offers a wide selection of shops with upcycled, reused and recycled goods. Sales at the mall have  quadrupled in its first three years . ReTuna has  been around since 2015 , and it was designed to tackle Sweden’s problem of rising consumption. It is the first mall in the world that focuses on sustainable shopping, and the company wants to make it easier for people to find valuable, pre-loved goods by putting secondhand stores under one roof instead of consumers having to search for thrift stores throughout the city. “I think it’s fun to find something that people have used, and we can use further,” said Cato Limas, a ReTuna customer. “If you look at the things they’re selling here, they’re almost new. So actually, why bother buying new stuff?” During their first visit to the secondhand mall, Limas and his girlfriend spent about $7 and came away with a bag full of toys and keepsakes for their newborn baby. Nearly every item on sale is from public donations, which are dropped off at the mall’s drive-thru depot. The mall’s 11 stores include a vintage furniture outlet, a bookstore and a bicycle shop. Stores that sign a contract with ReTuna must also commit to zero-waste . More than 50 people work at the complex, and it has played a role in generating employment for immigrants in the area. Many of the stores take part in a Swedish national program that subsidizes salaries of new residents for up to two years. ReTuna also offers adult education courses that focus on design-based recycling . Sweden has been a longtime leader when it comes to sustainability. More than 99 percent of the country’s ordinary household waste is recycled, and separating trash for recycling has been a common practice for Swedes since the 1980s. The country has also passed legislation to reach its goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. + ReTuna Via Huffington Post Images via ReTuna

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Introducing ReTuna, the world’s first secondhand shopping mall

This off-grid home on a Greek island provides ‘cinematic frames’ of the sea

November 29, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Located on a remote hillside on the Cyclades islands off the coast of Greece, the Parallel House pays homage to the beautiful sea that surrounds the island. But behind its stunning design lies a completely self-sustaining home. Designed by Athens-based En Route Architects , the contemporary, concrete residence runs entirely off the grid thanks to solar panels, a rainwater collection system and energy-efficient insulation. The 1,000-square-foot home uses traditional building methods to become completely  self-sustaining . Because of the sloped topography of the building site, the backside of the home is partially embedded into the landscape, providing resilient, natural insulation to the home. By submerging the back of the structure into the hill, the architects were able to open up the front facade to face the sea. The elongated volume is broken up into a series of large square sections that frame the views from different rooms. Related: An off-grid home in South Africa features a conservatory for fully enjoying nature Made out of exposed concrete , the home boasts an impressive list of passive features that help reduce its energy and water usage. The concrete walls and flooring provide a tight thermal insulation to reduce the demand for electricity and maintain a stable, controlled temperature inside the home year-round. A recessed corridor in the back of the home enables cross ventilation to keep it cool through the searingly hot summer months. For water conservation, the roof was installed with a rainwater collection system that drains gray water into submerged tanks to be re-used as filtered water. Adjacent to the off-grid home, solar panels hidden within the landscape generate sufficient energy to power the residence. + En Route Architects Via Archdaily Photography by Yiorgis Yerolymbos and Nicholas Kourkoulas via En Route Architects

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This off-grid home on a Greek island provides ‘cinematic frames’ of the sea

Kiverdi CEO Lisa Dyson seeks to extract value from CO2

November 28, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Green, Recycle

With inspiration from NASA, her startup is brewing up solutions to recycle CO2 into an array of useful products.

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Kiverdi CEO Lisa Dyson seeks to extract value from CO2

3 Ways to Help Your City Recycle Better

November 27, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Recycle

Recent news about the climate and the state of the … The post 3 Ways to Help Your City Recycle Better appeared first on Earth911.com.

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3 Ways to Help Your City Recycle Better

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