Breathtaking seaside hotel in Thailand practices radical reuse, grows 100% of its produce

March 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Overlooking a private bay along the Northern Coast of Koh Samui, Thailand, The Tongsai Bay Hotel boasts more than luxurious seaside accommodations. The award-winning family-owned resort was built within a 28 and a half acre landscape that remains home to 66 different species of birds and other wildlife. The green retreat maintains its virtuous mission by growing 100 percent of its produce and turning all food waste into fertilizer and a cleaning solution for its facilities, donating the rest to the island’s stray cats and dogs. This breathtaking oasis demonstrates how hotels can thrive within a completely natural habitat. Originally built in 1987, the environmentally-sensitive design of The Tongsai Bay was in many ways ahead of its time. Not a single tree was felled or damaged during construction, allowing the natural fauna and flora to flourish for all these years. 66 different species of birds and all sorts of wildlife, including lizards, can be found roaming the property at any given time. With 28 acres of lush green space, the owners could have filled the property with many more rooms for more revenue per square meter, but their passion for preserving the natural environment was more important. There is not a bad view in sight at The Tongsai Bay. Each of its 83 rooms, villas and cottages are enveloped in greenery and welcome a breathtaking sea view. And there are no motorized water sports allowed on the premises. Mini sail boats, paddle boards and kayaks are available, helping to maintain a serene environment for guests and the exotic wildlife that call this place home. The Tongsai Bay ‘s three restaurants are supplied daily with native produce sustainably grown on the farm located just a short drive from the main site. Everything from lemongrass, lettuce, eggplants, limes and bananas are produced on the farm and served in a rotating menu. They have even reused the hotel’s old bathtubs as planters. Any food waste is then transferred back to the farm. The vegetable scraps are soaked, broken down, and liquified into all-natural veggie cleaning solution used to clean the hotel toilets. The rest of the waste, including fish scraps, are placed into an open air fertilizer that is then used to grow new vegetables on the farm, thereby completing this impressive reuse cycle. Anything leftover that is mildly edible for consumption is donated to the large community of stray dogs and cats on the island. There are no insecticides, toxic cleaners, or chemical fragrances in sight at The Tonsai Bay. Bilimbi and kaffir lime , though too sour to eat, make incredibly effective cleaning solutions, both of which are native to Thailand and grown plentifully on the Tonsai Bay farm. They are peeled, broken down and liquified into a completely natural citrus cleaner and a room freshener for oil burners. Even textiles are reused: ripped bed sheets, for instance, are turned into napkins for their restaurants. Although tourism is Thailand’s largest industry, green practices are still not common practice. In most establishments, “takeaway” food is given to customers in Ziploc-like plastic bags and even smoothies are adorned with plastic handles. The Tongsai Bay is one place that has taken the environmental education of their staff very seriously, training them to recycle and minimize waste every day. Guests are also guided to do the same, with colorful separated trash and recycling bins peppered throughout the property. With rooms starting at $260 per night, The Tonsai Bay may not be affordable for everyone, but it is a shining example of green hospitality. We hope to see more hotels around the world embrace a self-sustaining model as grand as this. + The Tongsai Bay All images by Laura Mordas-Schenkein for Inhabitat

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Breathtaking seaside hotel in Thailand practices radical reuse, grows 100% of its produce

Artist’s incredibly realistic stone animals are begging to be cuddled

March 20, 2017 by  
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In a world of angst-driven, politically-minded art , stone artist Akie Nakata is giving us some artwork we’d just love to cuddle. The Japanese artist paints cutesy animals onto smooth rocks, creating images so realistic it’s hard to fight the urge to reach out and pet them. Nakata starts her artistic process by collecting stones of all shapes and sizes. Once she finds inspiration in its shape, she begins the process of painstakingly creating the palm-sized creatures. She spends an astonishing amount of time on each project, perfecting each brush stroke so the finished product has a realistic appearance. Related: These artists create mind-bending artwork solely from autumn leaves https://youtu.be/PjyefLV2Mrk She explains that her methodical process is inspired by her spiritual respect for nature and is what keeps her enjoying the work, “What I paint on stone is inspired by the stone itself,” she explains. “In order to bring out the living being that I feel in the stone to its surface, I proceed very carefully. I consider step by step, for example, whether I am positioning the backbone in the right place. Does it feel right? Am I forcing something that disagrees with the natural shape of the stone?” You can find the artist’s work on  Instagram , Facebook , and her website . + Akie Nakata Via Laughing Squid All images via Akie Nakata

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Artist’s incredibly realistic stone animals are begging to be cuddled

Stunning mountain passive house uses burnt cedar cladding

March 20, 2017 by  
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Tucked into the sloping mountainside near historic Park City, Utah sits a modern, passive solar dream home marked by a plunging roof that slices through its middle. The 2100 square foot residence designed by Salt Lake City-based Axis Architects features a bevy of environmentally-friendly features, including charred cedar cladding that is weather, insect and fire-proof and keeps the home comfortable while helping it blend into the rugged surroundings. The home was built by Benchmark Modern, fitting seamlessly into a challenging lot sloped and limited by Park City’s land use requirements. To help it blend in, the architect’s used shou sugi ban cedar to clad the home. The sloping roof cuts through the interior of the space, dividing public and private areas. Red cedar soffits line the underside of the roof and help extend the home horizontally into the environment. This cedar also extends to the interior, blurring the line between inside and out. Related: Seattle’s Palatine Passive House consumes 90% less energy than a conventional home The architects incorporated passive solar design with 95 percent efficiency, solar power generation, LED lighting, radiant heating and smart features controlled through the owner’s phone. The owners worked with the designers to create an open space on the interior that had as few doors and storage spaces as possible. Custom cabinets in the kitchen and open cubbies in the bedroom turn storage into beautiful displays. The extended roofline and positioning help block the hot summer sun while allowing winter light to reach the interior. Large windows on the rear and sides allow for breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. This beautiful home is currently for sale by Sotheby’s International Realty for $2.4 million. + Benchmark Modern + Axis Architecture images via Sotheby’s International Realty

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Stunning mountain passive house uses burnt cedar cladding

Casa Xixim is an eco-friendly, self-sustaining resort in Mexico

September 29, 2016 by  
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The 4,800-square-foot Casa Xixim is a four-suite “eco-luxe” villa that boasts stunning views of the pristine Soliman Bay. The net-neutral building features large cutouts in the walls to allow for cooling cross breezes and to maximize views of the site. Visitors—the resort can accommodate up to 12—have access to a private pool, beach, on-site chef, and other luxury amenities. Related: Eco-friendly resort in Australia mimics the surrounding sand dunes Casa Xixim serves as a cool and modern backdrop to its tropical surroundings. Its mostly white walls are complemented by a few light timber surfaces and the interior is minimally decorated to avoid clutter and to keep the focus on the outdoor environment. The grid-tied resort is powered by a photovoltaic array that tops a canopy shading the large rooftop terrace. Rainwater is collected, filtered, and stored for use. Native plant species grow on the roof to provide insulation. + Casa Xixim + Specht Architects Images © Taggart Sorensen

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Casa Xixim is an eco-friendly, self-sustaining resort in Mexico

Mayor born in Syria converts abandoned Greek resort into a sanctuary for refugees

June 14, 2016 by  
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Now LM Village’s 38 bungalows are filled with two families each. About 320 refugees are staying there as they wait to find more permanent homes. The Greek Defence Ministry worked to make the resort habitable again. They renovated rundown buildings and outfitted the area with electricity and drinking water. The refugees have helped clean up the resort and maintain it. They dwell in brightly painted two story apartment homes, have a place to cook traditional food, and can spend time at the beach. Related: Temporary (SLICE) Refugee Hospitality Center is carved into a coastal cliff in Greece Morad is the first naturalized Greek citizen born in Syria to be elected in Greece. He at first sent clothing donations to the refugee camp at Idomeni, but felt it wasn’t enough and organized the approval and re-opening of LM Village. Now lawyers visit LM Village to provide free consultations. The new inhabitants of the resort wait for opportunities to interview with the Greek Asylum Service so they can find more permanent homes. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that ” more than a dozen ” have already moved out of LM Village, headed for new homes in Portugal. While the refugees wait for housing, they have access to a school and library set up by the Red Cross, as well as donated food. UNHCR said that they are setting up a “prayer space” for Ramadan and a “food distribution system.” Former restaurant owner Tarek Al-Felou lives in a bungalow with his wife Kindra, two children, and another family. They fled their home near Damascus and are now living in LM Village. Tarek told UNHCR, “In this place we try to forget we are refugees. We can pretend we’re on holiday.” Kindra told UNHCR, “Here, of course, is better than the other camps…Still, this is temporary. We are still looking for stability.” Via UNHCR Images courtesy of UNHCR/Achilleas Zavallis

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Mayor born in Syria converts abandoned Greek resort into a sanctuary for refugees

The 18th Maggie’s Centre is a Tranquil Prefab ‘Treehouse’ for Cancer Patients

November 26, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of The 18th Maggie’s Centre is a Tranquil Prefab ‘Treehouse’ for Cancer Patients Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “natural materials” , cancer patients , England , facade design , Maggie’s Centre , natural light , Resort , skylights , treehouse , Wilkinson Eyre Architects , wooden facade

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The 18th Maggie’s Centre is a Tranquil Prefab ‘Treehouse’ for Cancer Patients

Roaming Charlie Cart Brings Healthy Cooking Lessons to Classrooms

November 26, 2014 by  
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Teaching children about nutrition and eating well may be a logistical nightmare for some schools, but with a new concept called The Charlie Cart it doesn’t have to be. Inspired by the chuck wagons of American pioneers, the roaming cart is a fully-stocked mobile kitchen packed with enough equipment , lessons and training materials to get kids cooking in the classroom. Read the rest of Roaming Charlie Cart Brings Healthy Cooking Lessons to Classrooms Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Carolyn Federman , cooking and nutrition programs , Edible Schoolyard Project , food education , healthy education , kitchen classroom , mobile kitchen , mobile kitchen kickstarter , The Charlie Cart Project

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Roaming Charlie Cart Brings Healthy Cooking Lessons to Classrooms

Grow Fresh Herbs in Style with the Ecofarm Aquaponics Starter Kit

November 26, 2014 by  
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Growing fresh herbs at home is a popular way to bring greenery indoors, but what if you could turn that spot of gardening into an educational activity for the family? Enter the Ecofarm , an aquaponics starter kit that combines a pet fish tank and grow bed into a single stylish and space-saving design. The Ecofarm works by pumping ammonia rich fish waste into the grow bed, where it is absorbed by the hydroponic plants. Designed by Dutch company Ecobird , the Ecofarm set is currently available for pre-order on Kickstarter . + Ecofarm Kickstarter The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: aquaponics , aquaponics starter kit , ecobird , Ecofarm , herbs , kickstarter , organic herbs , reader submitted content , space-saving design

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Grow Fresh Herbs in Style with the Ecofarm Aquaponics Starter Kit

Tinywood Homes Come with Their Own Hot Tubs in the UK

November 26, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Tinywood Homes Come with Their Own Hot Tubs in the UK Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , eco design , eco rentals , eco-travel , green architecture , Green Building , green design , micro house , small space living , Sustainable Building , sustainable design , tiny house , tiny wood homes , tiny wood houses , tinywood homes , tinywood houses , UK

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Tinywood Homes Come with Their Own Hot Tubs in the UK

Mysterious 1960?s Avoriaz Ski Resort is Straight Out of a Fantasy Film Noir

March 12, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Mysterious 1960′s Avoriaz Ski Resort is Straight Out of a Fantasy Film Noir Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Architecture , Avoriaz Ski Resort , france , Gerard Bremond , Jacques Labro , Jean Vuarnet , Morzine , off the grid ski resorts , remote architecture , ski design , ski resorts        

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Mysterious 1960?s Avoriaz Ski Resort is Straight Out of a Fantasy Film Noir

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