This LEED Gold wastewater treatment center is helping a community rethink poo

June 13, 2018 by  
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As anyone who’s been to a community meeting knows, the NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) syndrome is often a frustrating roadblock. So when Vancouver-based firm PUBLIC: Architecture + Communication was approached to build a wastewater treatment center in the middle of a residential neighborhood in British Columbia, the project predictably ran up against some challenges. Fortunately, the architects turned widely held perceptions of the sewage treatment plant on their head with the design of the Sechelt Water Resource Centre, a stunning LEED Gold -certified facility with a built-in educational component that shows the public the fascinating lifecycle of its waste. The multimillion-dollar Sechelt Water Resource Centre replaces the Ebbtide Wastewater Treatment Plant, an aging facility that was noisy and infamous for its odors. The new treatment center not only contains its smells and sounds more effectively, but also discharges 10 times less solid waste into Trail Bay and is more cost-efficient to operate. Moreover, resources — including biosolids, heat and reclaimed water — that were once wasted are now reused for industry, parks and agriculture. “The LEED Gold-certified Sechelt Water Resource Centre (SWRC) rethinks traditional municipal wastewater treatment by creating a transparent space in the residential heart of Sechelt that engages the public in meaningful ways,” PUBLIC: Architecture + Communication said in a statement. “Instead of sequestering this essential service behind a locked chain-link fence, the facility reveals mechanical and biological systems that clean wastewater, encouraging the public to witness their role in the hydrological cycle. The current incarnation of flush toilet infrastructure — by way of magic, a sort of ‘disappearing’ by water — is no longer viable in our times.” Related: Bicycle highway in the Netherlands built using recycled toilet paper The wastewater treatment center tells the story of the water recycling process through the teaching facility, botanical garden and sewage treatment plant. The waste moves from primary treatment to a plant-based filtration system and finally through UV disinfection, after which the water is redirected to industry. The greenhouse , located in a striking glass structure with a roofline inspired by surrounding residential architecture, grows a variety of plants including tomatoes and roses fed by treated water. The office spaces are clad in charred cedar in reference to the carbon used in filtration, while the heavy equipment areas are sheathed in sulfur-yellow cement board. + PUBLIC: Architecture + Communication Images by Martin Tessler

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This LEED Gold wastewater treatment center is helping a community rethink poo

This custom tiny home features a surprisingly spacious interior

June 13, 2018 by  
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Creating a comfortable living space is the always first challenge of tiny home design . Although many people decide to forgo a spacious sleeping area for a larger living room, the savvy tiny home builders from Alabama Tiny Homes have created the ultra-sophisticated Journey tiny house, which includes a gorgeous loft space with high ceilings guaranteed to not bump heads. The Journey was specifically crafted for a client who was looking for a micro-dwelling on wheels with a relatively spacious interior. The result is a beautiful tiny home with an interior that rivals any contemporary home twice its size. Related: These solar-powered tiny homes are designed just for millennials Clad in 6-inch cedar planks with aqua blue accents, the exterior of the structure is rustic, but sophisticated. This luxury cabin feel continues into the 324-square-foot interior, which is strategically comfortable, functional and stylish. The kitchen is large, with plenty of counter space. Along with a stainless steel fridge, stove top oven and dishwasher, the kitchen offers a six-bottle wine stand. The living area, designed in a parlor layout, is extremely inviting. Well lit with an abundance of natural light , this space is a homey lounge with various seats configured to encourage conversation. When guests stay, the room can be easily cleared out for a trundle bed, which is stored in the bathroom when not in use. Although the first floor’s design is stunning to say the least, at the very core of the Journey’s design is its ultra-high ceiling. This enabled the designers to go vertical and add a second level. Starting at the kitchen, a stairwell with built-in drawers leads up to the sleeping loft , which is big enough for a queen-sized bed. The tiny home includes several energy-efficient features in order to withstand various climates. A closed cell spray foam insulation and double-pane windows help the residents save money on utilities.  LED lighting throughout the home, along with an electric hot water heater, also reduces energy usage. + Alabama Tiny Homes Via New Atlas Images via Alabama Tiny Homes

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This custom tiny home features a surprisingly spacious interior

That Old Air Mattress: Recycle or Reuse?

June 7, 2018 by  
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Whether you use them for camping, spending the night with … The post That Old Air Mattress: Recycle or Reuse? appeared first on Earth911.com.

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That Old Air Mattress: Recycle or Reuse?

How to Reuse Cardboard Boxes Around the Home

December 26, 2017 by  
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By Barry Tabor A staggering amount of cardboard is thrown … The post How to Reuse Cardboard Boxes Around the Home appeared first on Earth911.com.

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How to Reuse Cardboard Boxes Around the Home

Sweden wants to fight waste with new tax breaks for repairs

September 21, 2016 by  
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The Swedish government is unveiling an intriguing plan to discourage throwaway culture. The new proposals would slash the VAT tax rate on repairs to bicycles , clothes, and shoes by half in order to encourage consumers to reuse their old items rather than simply replacing them. The law would also allow residents to claim back income taxes on the cost of repairs to large appliances such as ovens, dishwashers, and washing machines. The tax breaks are the work of Sweden’s ruling Social Democrat and Green party coalition. The VAT cuts are expected to not only reduce the cost of repairs, but to also help stimulate the repair industry within the country. Officials are hoping the development of a new home-repairs service industry will help provide jobs for immigrants lacking a formal education. Related: Repair is Beautiful: Paulo Goldstein Repairs Broken Objects to Be Better Than Before The incentives are part of a wider effort in Sweden to reduce carbon emissions , and cutting the amount of new household goods produced will go a long way toward that goal. The proposals will be presented before Sweden’s parliament as part of the government’s budget, where lawmakers will vote on whether to approve the measure. If passed, the new law would go into effect at the start of 2017. Via The Guardian Images via PixaBay and Wikimedia Commons

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Sweden wants to fight waste with new tax breaks for repairs

Teenager turns a $200 run-down camper into a beautiful cozy escape

August 28, 2016 by  
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When summer rolled around, 14-year-old Ellie Yeater chose to spend her school break a bit differently than her peers. The ambitious teenager purchased a run-down 1974 Wilderness camper for $200 and transformed it into a cozy and beautiful backyard retreat. Crafted with upcycled finds and homemade fittings, the highly personalized renovation boasts a distinct vintage-reuse theme.

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Teenager turns a $200 run-down camper into a beautiful cozy escape

INFOGRAPHIC: What could our world look like in 50 years?

July 13, 2016 by  
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In today’s “use it and lose it” society, everything seems disposable. The majority of food and drinks consumed in cities are served in single-use containers, and recycling rates are still abysmally low. Even the amount of food consumed per person has skyrocketed in the last 50 years. Meat consumption alone went from 138 pounds per person per year in 1950 to 195 pounds per person per year in 2000. By the year 2100, unless the production of greenhouse gasses isn’t dramatically halted, some estimate that we could face a sea level rise of up to 32 feet, which would devastate cities like New York, London, and Shanghai. ReuseThisBag created an infographic with some of the worst predictions as well as visionary ideas that could help turn the tide. + ReuseThisBag

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INFOGRAPHIC: What could our world look like in 50 years?

hearO is a discarded tennis ball turned into a Bluetooth speaker

June 15, 2016 by  
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Consider what happens to the thousands of tennis balls that are left over after a major professional tennis tournament. For Wimbledon alone, Slazenger supplies over 55,000 balls each year. If you include all the major tournaments around the world, 230,000 championship tennis balls are discarded annually. hearO brings this memorabilia to life, imbues it with energy and makes it a useful wireless speaker for everyday life. A tennis ball is a perfect ergonomic object and is covered in a tactile felt that is exceedingly durable. hearO uses these properties to create a portable Bluetooth speaker that blends usability and sustainability with a refined aesthetic. The product fuses into an ideal portable media companion. + hearO

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hearO is a discarded tennis ball turned into a Bluetooth speaker

#ClearThePitch helps make fields safe from landmines so kids can play soccer

April 6, 2016 by  
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Grey for Good, the philanthropic arm of Grey Group Singapore , has teamed up with DanChurchAid (DCA) to drive support for creating safer communities in post-conflict zones around the world – communities free of dangerous remnants of war such as land mines, unexploded ammunition and cluster bombs. This campaign tackles a topic often described as one of the most evil problems affecting millions of civilians in over 60 countries around the world. And while it will take a mammoth effort by DCA and other organizations to eradicate, the topic does not feature a lot in the public conversation or the media. To change this, the initiative #ClearThePitch builds an emotional link to one of the world’s biggest sports: soccer . It’s a universal sport and is played on streets, fields, playgrounds, parking lots and many more places. But due to remnants of war such as land mines, cluster bombs and unexploded ammunition, in large parts of the world playing soccer on fields can be extremely dangerous. Especially for children. With #ClearThePitch, you can help bring attention to the problem and help clean up these areas so kids can play safe again. + DanChurchAid + Grey

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#ClearThePitch helps make fields safe from landmines so kids can play soccer

Researchers discover toxic heavy metals in Portland’s trees and air

April 6, 2016 by  
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We don’t often think about whether there are toxins in the trees around us, but researchers in Portland, Oregon recently made a very unsettling discovery. Common tree moss in the area contains dangerous  heavy metals  like arsenic, and it isn’t just in the trees – it’s in the air, too. Read the rest of Researchers discover toxic heavy metals in Portland’s trees and air

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