Recycling Mystery: Blister Packs

April 6, 2018 by  
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Ah, the blister pack, used to package everything from medications … The post Recycling Mystery: Blister Packs appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Recycling Mystery: Blister Packs

Does Recycling Plastic Do More Harm Than Good?

March 29, 2018 by  
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Plastic is everywhere. Unless you’re a hermit living in the … The post Does Recycling Plastic Do More Harm Than Good? appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Does Recycling Plastic Do More Harm Than Good?

China’s Recycling Ban: What Do We Do with Our Plastics Now?

March 15, 2018 by  
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Thanks to curbside recycling programs, most Americans have developed an … The post China’s Recycling Ban: What Do We Do with Our Plastics Now? appeared first on Earth911.com.

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China’s Recycling Ban: What Do We Do with Our Plastics Now?

Aldi cracks down on plastic waste

March 9, 2018 by  
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The international discount grocer just set a goal to ensure packaging for products carrying its own label will be recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2022.

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Aldi cracks down on plastic waste

Aldi cracks down on plastic waste

March 9, 2018 by  
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The international discount grocer just set a goal to ensure packaging for products carrying its own label will be recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2022.

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Aldi cracks down on plastic waste

A step-by-step guide to zero-waste events

March 6, 2018 by  
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Zero waste shouldn’t be optional for any cutting-edge company — and neither should bin guarders.

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A step-by-step guide to zero-waste events

LEGO is rolling out their first plant-based plastic pieces

March 5, 2018 by  
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Plants from plants: that’s LEGO’s description for their first sustainable bricks . They’ll be rolling out botanical elements like trees, leaves, and bushes manufactured with plant-based plastic sourced from sugarcane this year. The move is part of their goal to utilize only sustainable materials in their packaging and core products by 2030. LEGO is utilizing plastic polyethylene based on sugarcane material: specifically, ethanol . LEGO Group Environmental Responsibility vice president Tim Brooks said plant-based polyethylene possesses the same properties as regular polyethylene, so kids and parents probably won’t notice a difference in the look and quality of the new bricks. Related: Build your own BIG-designed LEGO House with LEGO Architecture’s newest kit What does the term ‘sustainable material’ mean to LEGO? According to the company, “The LEGO Group believes a new sustainable material must have an ever-lighter footprint than the material it replaces across key environmental and social impact areas such as fossil resource use, human rights , and climate change .” The sugarcane is sustainably sourced, according to the company, “in accordance with guidance from the Bioplastic Feedstock Alliance ,” which is a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) initiative. It’s also “certified by the Bonsucro Chain of Custody Standard .” LEGO partnered with WWF “to support and build demand for sustainably sourced plastic” and joined the Bioplastic Feedstock Alliance. Give your biggest "green" to the very FIRST #sustainable LEGO Bricks! LEGO botanical elements including leaves and trees will now be made from sugarcane-based plastic.The first “greens” are to appear in LEGO sets later this year. Sweeet? #PlantsfromPlants https://t.co/rZKijykjYO pic.twitter.com/yraEOLq5NM — LEGO (@LEGO_Group) March 1, 2018 LEGO’s press release did not include information on recycling the sustainable bricks; but The Guardian said the bioplastic could be recycled several times, although it’s probably not 100 percent biodegradable . As of now, polyethylene elements comprise one to two percent of all the plastic elements produced by the company. The sustainable trees, bushes and leaf pieces will be comprised entirely of plant-based plastic, and they will pop up in LEGO boxes in 2018. Brooks said, “This is a great first step in our ambitious commitment of making all LEGO bricks using sustainable materials.” + LEGO Images courtesy of LEGO

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LEGO is rolling out their first plant-based plastic pieces

China will make EV manufacturers responsible for battery recycling

February 27, 2018 by  
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Electric automakers in China now have an added task beyond just manufacturing vehicles: dealing with batteries. Reuters said the country’s industry ministry put out interim rules this week holding electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers responsible for creating facilities for collecting and recycling spent batteries in an effort to address waste . Lithium battery waste could reach up to 170,000 metric tons in 2018, and China’s government is hurrying to improve recycling capabilities, according to Reuters, as the waste threatens to become a mounting pollution source. The new rules say carmakers must recover EV batteries, and set up service outlets to gather and store the devices, and transfer them to specialist recyclers. Related: Hong Kong faces ‘growing mountain of waste’ in wake of China’s trash ban The ministry also said these EV companies must establish what Reuters described as a maintenance service network enabling people to either repair or exchange old batteries easily. The notice said companies should adopt measures inciting good practices among customers, like battery repurchase pacts or subsidies. EV carmakers — with battery manufacturers and sales units — also have to erect a traceability system to identify owners of batteries that were discarded. Battery makers also have another responsibility under the new rules: providing technical training for automakers to dismantle and store old batteries. They’re encouraged as well to adopt standardized designs for batteries that can be easily taken apart. China began promoting electric vehicles just under a decade ago, in 2009, according to Reuters, and aim to be a leading producer for the world. The industry could help the country restrain emissions from cars, promote technology industries, and boost energy security . How will these rules impact the EV industry in China? The answers remain to be seen — and time will tell if the new rules do indeed curb waste. Via Reuters Images via Depositphotos and Wikimedia Commons

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China will make EV manufacturers responsible for battery recycling

Steve Areen’s incredible DIY wagon home built with mostly recycled materials

February 27, 2018 by  
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Steve Areen is one of those people who turns everything into gold. And by gold, I mean magic. I mean soul. We saw it with his lovely dome home in Thailand , and now, what was supposed to be a simple dwelling in Australia evolved into an extraordinary modern caravan that he built by hand with mostly recycled materials . The roaming flight attendant, 52, started with a 5×10 trailer, to which a local artisan helped add a curved steel frame. Then the muse stepped in. Complete with custom furniture, a round window seat and wood-fired stove, the cylindrical Unity Wagon — perched on Yandoit Farm about 80 miles northwest of Melbourne — will set your tiny home-heart on fire. Read on for a closer look at some of the details that give Steve’s latest project such charm. Steve says he has been living part-time on Yandoit Farm for the last few years. “My friends Michael and Lisa, with help from volunteers from around the world, are doing an amazing job transforming what was once a dried up ranch into a lush organic farm, using permaculture principles,” he adds. So, he decided to build a small structure that keeps bugs and snakes at bay (the experience with a poisonous snake in his bed elsewhere in Australia probably a motivating factor). As we now know about Steve, he loves curvy structures, which have a range of benefits . For him, it’s about the look, feel and “amazing energy”. He told Inhabitat, “I decided to make my own version of a covered wagon, with a pulley system that made it easy to roll the canvas all the way up and a strap that pulls it down back down. I had never seen this done before, but it sure worked well in my head.” Starting with the shiplap timber cladding, all discards from a local mill, Steve sanded and oiled each piece by hand. He said some of the worst-looking boards ended up being the most beautiful after a bit of tender loving care, though attaching the warped pieces to the steel skeleton was sometimes tricky. The name Unity Wagon was inspired by the way the various Australian hardwoods, each with their own history, came together. The double wall allowed him to create round cutouts that also serve as storage and lighting, as well as his signature round window seat. These details combined with rope trimming gives the caravan something of a nautical aesthetic , he tells Living Big in a Tiny House in the above video. Related: Magical dome home in Thailand constructed in six weeks for just $8000 He calls his bed “optimistic”. Normally, it’s sized for a single person. But if he has company, he can expand it, sliding out the base and adding a couple of cushions. This extends to guests as well. Since the caravan is parked on the farm, he hopes other people will be able to enjoy the use of it, with all proceeds going to either educational programs or more “fun structures.” And when he is around, a sliding table pulls out between two benches covered in richly-hued fabrics, providing enough space for up to seven people to sit and share a meal. A full blown party on the cards? No problem. Unity Wagon was built for play. Steve promotes climbing on the roof and in general having fun in and with the space. At some point, he hopes to take his tiny home to festivals. A work in progress, and an artwork at that, Unity Wagon isn’t designed for full-time living. Steve can use the stovetop to boil water and other basics, and he left room to install a cooking stove, but for now he has to use the farm’s ablutions (hot water powered by a giant compost pile – yay!) A small solar system provides power for the interior lighting. But because his home is small and compact, with plenty of crafty storage nooks, he doesn’t need much else. On a clear day, it’s possible to completely open the wagon to the elements. If the insects are out in force, Steve has fly screens secured tightly with velcro, and with any hint of inclement weather, he can pull the canvas cover in a jiffy. On his first night in the completed caravan, he left the cover off, sleeping under a sweep of stars. All told, it cost under $15,000 to build the wagon, much of which went to skilled labor. Despite some frustrating moments, Steve describes the months he spent working solo in an open hay shed, dreaming up new ideas and solutions, as “crazy fun.” And this won’t be the last we’ll see of him. “Though I have no interest in being in the building business,” he says, “I do look forward to building more fun structures, ones that keep people connected to nature, are interactive and of course… curvy.” + Steve Areen All images by Steve Areen

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Steve Areen’s incredible DIY wagon home built with mostly recycled materials

Beautiful cedar-clad Bridge House crosses a ravine in Ontario

February 27, 2018 by  
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This elegant  timber house bridges a ravine near the shores of Mary Lake in Port Sydney, Ontario. Architecture firm LLAMA urban design created the inspiring home to have minimal impact on the landscape and to celebrate the beauty of the surrounding environment. The house is located two hours north of Toronto , and it sits across the steepest part of a wide ravine. Its overall length – 124 feet – creates a strong linear gesture that allows the residents to immerse themselves in the surrounding landscape. The home is held aloft by an inverted V–shaped glulam structure, and the architects used locally sourced wood and unstained cedar siding for the exterior cladding. Related: This Iowa home built across a ravine is heated and cooled by the earth The main façade of the house faces the lake and creates a feeling of being among treetops. The second façade faces the forest and features expansive transparent surfaces. An inverted V–shaped Glulam structure holds up the house and connects the interior social area with the roof deck. + LLAMA urban design Via Archdaily Photos by A-Frame studio/ Ben Rahn

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Beautiful cedar-clad Bridge House crosses a ravine in Ontario

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