C&A debuts world’s first Cradle to Cradle Certified Gold T-shirts

May 12, 2017 by  
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A chain of clothing stories in Belgium has launched the world’s first Cradle to Cradle Certified Gold T-shirts . Available in two styles for women in up to 17 different colors, C&A’s tees mark the company’s first foray into apparel for the so-called “circular economy,” where products are designed to be reused or recycled rather than thrown away. The shirts, which comprise 100 percent organic cotton , represent what C&A calls a “positive ecological and social level never before seen for a fashion garment.” California’s Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Institute , which manages the certification mark, defines C2C Certified products as items that have been optimized for human and environmental health, material reutilization, renewable energy use, carbon management, water stewardship, and social justice. Ratings are based on four levels: Basic, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Related: First Cradle to Cradle Platinum certified product is reclaimed Bark House shingle C&A worked with McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry , the recently formed Fashion for Good initiative, and two India-based factories to develop the tees based on Cradle to Cradle Certified criteria. Both Cotton Blossom and Pratibha Syntex, C&A said, needed minimal improvement in those areas. “In nature, the ‘waste’ of one system becomes food for another,” Jay Bolus, president of certification services at MBDC, said in a statement. “The two new T-shirts illustrate the possibility by which we can transform what is currently a take-make-waste industry to one that is regenerative and closed loop to progress us toward a positive future. We worked closely with Cotton Blossom and Pratibha Syntex and throughout their supply chains to ensure the resulting apparel is not only attractive, accessible and affordable—but also a positive design.” C&A’s shirts, which will appear in stores in June, use only materials that have been deemed safe for cycling as biological nutrients, making them safe enough to compost at home at the end of their lives. Two additional styles, one for women and another for men, will debut in Brazil and Mexico in September. Related: Freitag announces that their 100% compostable denim is about to hit shelves “We are very proud to introduce our first Gold level Cradle to Cradle Certified T-shirts,” said You Nguyen, director of brands, womenswear collections, at C&A. “Taking inspiration from nature, these shirts were designed with their next life in mind. This means they can be reused recycled—or you can literally throw your shirts onto the compost pile.” Nguyen added, “We believe in fashion with a positive impact and are excited to provide our customers with stylish products and render sustainable fashion available at great value.” + C&A

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C&A debuts world’s first Cradle to Cradle Certified Gold T-shirts

‘Artificial blowhole’ harvests power from ocean waves

May 12, 2017 by  
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Wave energy comes in many forms: at Inhabitat we’ve written about buoys , floating sea walls , and floating platforms . But Australia -based Wave Swell Energy (WSE) takes a novel approach to harvesting power from ocean waves using what CEO Tom Denniss calls an artificial blowhole. WSE’s artificial blowhole is a concrete column resting in the sea; waves rushing in and out of a central chamber cause air to have a positive or negative pressure. The pressure changes allow the air to pass by a turbine , generating clean power . All the moving parts are above the water line for ease of maintenance. Related: The UK’s first wave energy plant will produce enough energy for 6,000 homes The company says they’ve based their technology on the idea of an oscillating water column. But the difference between their technology and that of other organizations is their turbine is only hit by air flowing from one direction. This means the turbine design is simpler, more reliable, and more durable. The design also yields a higher energy conversion efficiency, according to the company. Their blowhole can produce up to one megawatt (MW) of power; as wave conditions and weather change, the average output is around 470 kilowatts. Its capacity factor – or ratio of average to peak power – is around 47 percent, much greater than the 30 percent achieved by other wave power systems. That means WSE could offer their electricity for around seven cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), which is roughly competitive with coal. The WSE technology has the added side benefit of producing desalinated water . By the middle of 2018, they plan to test their technology near King Island, a land mass home to under 2,000 people between Australia and Tasmania. Denniss also has his sights set on Hawaii. The company aims to scale up rapidly – within the next five years they hope to deploy systems able to produce 100 MW or greater. They also think they can lower the price in the future to four cents per kWh. + Wave Swell Energy Via New Atlas Images via screenshot and Wave Swell Energy

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‘Artificial blowhole’ harvests power from ocean waves

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo: Make Your Own Recycled Piñata

May 5, 2017 by  
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Cinco de Mayo is here, and I’m going to help you get in the spirit of the day by showing you how to reuse materials you have around the house to make your own simple recycled piñata. I can’t be the only one who has a closet full of reusable…

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Celebrate Cinco de Mayo: Make Your Own Recycled Piñata

Beer made from recycled bread is coming to the U.S.

May 5, 2017 by  
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A brewery in London is taking a bite out of food waste . Launched last year, Toast makes its beers from surplus fresh bread, including the heel ends of loaves, that would otherwise feed the landfill. Toast combines the bread with malted barley, hops, yeast, and water to craft its lagers, which are sold to raise money for charity. A full 100 percent of its profits, in fact, goes to Feedback , a nonprofit working to end wasted food across the globe. It is the rare bakery that doesn’t have a ton of leftover bread at the end of the day—more, perhaps, than any food bank can distribute. In fact, as much as one-third of loaves likely head directly from the oven to the landfill. Related: Quebec food waste program to rescue 30.8 million pounds of food Although food waste is somewhat of a modern concern, brewing tipple from bread isn’t. Toast uses a recipe based on a formula that hails from 4,000 B.C., when people in Mesopotamia and Egypt made a “divine drink” from bread baked from emmer wheat. Now, Toast wants to take its show on the road, specifically to New York City, where it hopes to produce an American pale ale by the Fourth of July. Related: British supermarket chain launches trucks powered by food waste “NYC bakeries are already knocking down our door to bring surplus loaves directly from their ovens to the brewery?,” it wrote on its crowdfunding page. “This campaign will guarantee our ability to produce 100 [barrels] of beer in NYC—with that, we’ve got a social business on our hands!” Cheers to that! + Toast on Indiegogo + Toast Via Treehugger

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Beer made from recycled bread is coming to the U.S.

Black Magic home sits lightly in a mountain oasis

May 5, 2017 by  
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Nature lovers will feel right at home with Black Magic. Designed by Colorado-based Rowland + Broughton , this glass-clad mountainside home embraces the landscape and gives homeowners the impression of sitting among the trees even when indoors. Coupled with Snowmass, Colorado’s lush surroundings, the contemporary dwelling’s clean lines and airy feel appears like a “penthouse living in a mountain oasis.” When Rowland + Broughton was asked to design the Black Magic house from scratch, they created the self-imposed restriction to minimize site disturbance as much as possible. Thus the project’s first step began with careful siting and working with existing topography to reduce site excavation. The project is rewarded with close proximity to native grasses and mature fir, oak, and aspen trees. Related: Prefab Pyrenees cabin minimizes site impact and building costs Black Magic is clad in a black metal corrugated skin that contrast with the leafy mountainside. Large windows punctuate the black metal facade to frame views of the outdoors and bathe the white oak-lined interior in natural light. The Black Magic home spans two levels with two bedrooms, a storage area, garage, and laundry room on the ground floor. The best views in the home are enjoyed from the upper floor, which contains the master suite on one end and an open-plan kitchen, dining area, and living room on the other. The living room opens up to a south-facing outdoor deck. + Rowland + Broughton Via Dezeen Images via Rowland + Broughton

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Black Magic home sits lightly in a mountain oasis

Researchers want to save shrinking Swiss glacier with 4,000 snow machines

May 1, 2017 by  
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Climate change is shrinking the Morteratsch glacier in Switzerland by around 98 to 131 feet every single year. Scientists led by Johannes Oerlemans of Utrecht University think they have an answer: artificial snow . 4,000 snow machines could recycle water into flakes that could hopefully preserve the famous glacier. Oerlemans presented the idea in late April at the European Geosciences Union annual meeting. He thinks artificial snow blown over the glacier during the summer could help protect its ice . Sunlight melts that ice, but as Oerlemans said, “as long as there’s snow on top, the ice beneath is unaffected.” According to New Scientist, if artificial snow was put over the glacier, it would be the first attempt in the world to protect a glacier on this large of a scale. Related: Scientists hatch crazy $500 billion plan to refreeze the Arctic Morteratsch draws tourists every year because its snout, or the end of the glacier, is easy to reach. Oerlemans said, “Locals claim it’s the only place you can reach a glacier from a wheelchair.” But the natural wonder has dwindled from an 1860 length of five miles to 3.7 miles today. Residents of nearby Pontresina asked Oerlemans and other colleagues to save their treasure. They’d heard white fleece coverings on the smaller Diavolezzafirn glacier helped it grow around 26 feet across a decade. Oerlemans thinks Morteratsch could win back a length of around 2,625 feet in 20 years with some type of covering. A few centimeters of artificial snow fanned across a 0.2 square mile plateau high upon the glacier could help save it, according to the scientist. That may sound like a relatively small area, but it would still take 4,000 snow machines, using water recycled from meltwater lakes near Morteratsch. Scientists are starting with a pilot project at Diavolezzafirn’s foot. They’ll blow snow over an artificial glacier to see how the method works. If they’re successful, researchers hope the Switzerland government might fund the project with the millions of Euros required for Morteratsch. Via New Scientist Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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Researchers want to save shrinking Swiss glacier with 4,000 snow machines

3 Sneaky Ways Your Bathroom Is Hurting the Earth

May 1, 2017 by  
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You use organic cleaners to scrub the tub, buy all-natural shampoo and always recycle your lotion bottles, but you may still have some environmental dangers lurking in your bathroom. Here’s what to be on the lookout for: 1. Low-Quality…

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3 Sneaky Ways Your Bathroom Is Hurting the Earth

UK tests cheaper, longer-lasting roads made with recycled plastic

April 25, 2017 by  
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Around 24.8 million miles of roads crisscross the surface of Earth. And hundreds of millions of barrels of oil have been used for that development. Engineer Toby McCartney came up with a solution to that waste of natural resources and the growing plastic pollution problem. His company, Scotland-based MacRebur , lays roads that are as much as 60 percent stronger than regular asphalt roads and last around 10 times longer – and they’re made with recycled plastic. Our city roads require a lot of maintenance over time as weather deteriorates them and potholes open up. Meanwhile there are around five trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean. McCartney came up with an answer to both issues. He turns 100 percent recycled plastic into what he calls MR6 pellets, or small pellets of waste plastic, which replace bitumen , the material used to bind roads together (extracted from crude oil) and sold by oil companies like Shell. Related: Vancouver Becomes First City to Pave Its Streets With Recycled Plastic Normal roads are comprised of around 90 percent rock, sand, and limestone, with 10 percent bitumen. MacRebur’s process replaces most of the bitumen, using household waste plastic, farm waste, and commercial waste. Much of the trash would have otherwise ended up in a landfill . At asphalt plants the MR6 pellets are mixed with quarried rock and a bit of bitumen, and a plant worker told the BBC the process is actually the same “as mixing the conventional way with additions into a bitumen product.” McCartney was inspired to design plastic roads after his daughter’s teacher asked the class what lives in the ocean, and his daughter said, “Plastics.” He didn’t want her to grow up in a world where that was true. He’d also spent time in India, where he saw locals would fix holes in the road by putting waste plastic into the holes and then burning it. He started MacRebur with friends Nick Burnett and Gordon Reid. MacRebur’s first road was McCartney’s own driveway, and now the company’s roads have been laid in the county of Cumbria in the United Kingdom . + MacRebur Via the BBC Images via MacRebur Facebook

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UK tests cheaper, longer-lasting roads made with recycled plastic

Artist builds incredible stained-glass cabin in the middle of the woods

April 25, 2017 by  
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Those who live in glass houses… probably wish they had held out for this gorgeous, hand-crafted stained glass sanctuary. Built by artist and jeweler Neile Cooper, the dreamy Glass Cabin is located in the middle of a lush green forest. The tiny retreat is made almost entirely from repurposed window frames and lumber, and its handcrafted stained glass panels depict flowers, birds, butterflies, and other nature-inspired scenes. Cooper built the glass sanctuary behind her home in Mohawk, New Jersey to use as a reading space and art studio. Using repurposed window frames and lumber for the frame, she clad the tiny structure with her own colorful designs. The idyllic setting gave her the ideal place to showcase her nature-inspired artwork. Related: Wim Delvoye’s Creepy Stained Glass Windows Are Made From Recycled X-Rays Cooper’s work includes beautiful hand-crafted jewelry made from real butterfly wings . She drew upon these pieces as inspiration for the dreamy glass structure. The large panel over the door has a large amber butterfly, and the rest of the panels feature detailed, colorful renderings of nature and wildlife. + Neile Cooper Images via Neile Cooper Instagram

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Artist builds incredible stained-glass cabin in the middle of the woods

Apple announces plans to make all products from recycled materials

April 20, 2017 by  
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Apple just announced plans to close the loop and make all of its products from recycled materials. We tend not to realize how damaging our electronics are for the environment – from mining materials to the toxic effects when we dump them . Apple starting tackling these problems last year with its  recycling robot , and now the electronics giant wants to only use recycled materials in its devices. Apple recently released its latest environmental report, and in it, the company claims that it is working towards using recycled materials to create its next generation of products. This will happen, in part, by reclaiming and re-using old Apple devices. Obviously they aren’t there yet, but Apple has never been shy when setting goals. Related: Apple just unveiled a blazing fast iPhone recycling robot Apple has been steadily shifting towards renewable resources. Its data centers all run on renewable energy , and it has partnered with or built its own solar and wind farms to generate the energy it needs. The company has also been recycling old devices, which saved Apple over $40 million in gold re-use alone. Via Engadget

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Apple announces plans to make all products from recycled materials

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