8 gorgeous green hotels to add to your bucket list

May 11, 2017 by  
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Need an escape but don’t want to harm the environment in the process? There are hotels throughout the world centered around sustainability – from a seaside resort in Thailand that grows 100% of its produce to a self-sustaining vacation spot in Mexico. Featuring beautiful design and eco-friendly accommodations, these hotels allow you to satisfy your wanderlust in a conscious way. Hit the jump to check out the eight green hotels we’ve rounded up, and get your adventure started. Blue Lagoon hotel connects with Icelandic landscape When you think of Iceland , you probably think of the famous Blue Lagoon , colored via minerals in waste – but safe! – seawater from a nearby geothermal plant. But you may not know there’s a new resort, the Moss Hotel, under construction there, perched near the pools. The resort design is meant to connect seamlessly with the landscape. Visitors can explore lava corridors and waterfalls in a subterranean spa , and a new restaurant will feature seasonal and local ingredients. The 62-room hotel will open this fall. Related: Solar-powered cylindrical treehouse in Mexico is made with sustainable bamboo Thailand resort grows 100 percent of its produce Traveling to Thailand ? Look no further than The Tongsai Bay Hotel . The hotel was constructed with the environment in mind; not even one tree was cut down to make room for the family-owned resort. 66 species of birds and wildlife reside within the hotel’s 28 and a half acres. The resort also grows 100 percent of its produce , with food waste getting a second life as fertilizer. They practice radical reuse; a few examples include reusing old bathtubs as planters and old sheets as napkins. 121-year-old warehouse on Singapore River given new life as chic hotel An old Singapore warehouse – that once acted as an opium den – got a second chance as the classy Warehouse Hotel . The waterfront warehouse is 121 years old, but Zarch Collaboratives gave it new life with a design inspired by its industrial past in 37 rooms and a double-height lobby. The hotel kept some original elements of the warehouse like its peaked roofs and renovated others like the louvre windows. Self-sustaining Mexico resort incorporates permaculture principles Near Tulum, Mexico rests a self-sustaining, eco-luxe villa that’s the stuff of travel daydreams. The resort designed by Specht Architects is cooled in part by large cutouts in the walls and insulated with native plants adorning the roof. Solar-powered , the villa collects and filters rainwater for use. It even utilizes constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment. Not only does the hotel boast impressive sustainability but stunning bay views and gorgeous modern design as well. Switzerland visitors enjoy connection to nature in open-air hotel Brothers and artists Frank and Patrik Riklin took sleeping under the stars to a whole new level with their one-room, open-air hotel in Switzerland – with no walls or roof. Visitors to the second reincarnation of Null Stern (the first being a nuclear bunker turned luxury hotel) may not have access to a bathroom but do have a butler for the night who will bring breakfast in bed. The minimalist experience provides stunning views of the Swiss Alps . Sweden’s famed Treehotel welcomes Snøhetta-designed 7th room amidst the pines Treehotel , a collection of designer treehouses in Sweden , recently welcomed their 7th room designed by Snøhetta . The cabin is lifted over 30 feet above ground and immerses guests among the enveloping pine trees – Snøhetta said their goal was to bring nature and people closer together. Massive windows and skylights afford opportunities to gaze at the Northern Lights, and a pine tree print across the bottom of the cabin makes it appear invisible from underneath. Locally sourced, natural materials comprise spruce-clad Swedish hotel As you might guess, there’s more than one eco hotel in Sweden. Kjellgren Kaminsky Architecture designed Öijared Hotel with a similar aim of blending the buildings into surrounding nature . Locally sourced and natural materials were used in the hotel’s 34 prefabricated rooms. Natural wood materials inside add to the earthy aesthetic. Whimsical hotel in Romania built with sand and clay In Romania , a storybook hotel built of clay and sand, hearkens back to both ancient stories and ancient building techniques. The Castelul de Lut Valea Zanelor , designed by owners Razvan and Gabriela Vasile along with eco architect Ileana Mavrodin , includes 10 rooms and was constructed without drawing on any modern building techniques. Natural materials , shaped by local craftsmen, give the hotel a fairytale feel. Images via Blue Lagoon , Laura Mordas-Schenkein for Inhabitat, Warehouse Hotel , © Taggart Sorensen, Null Stern , © Johan Jansson, Kjellgren Kaminsky Architecture , and Castelul de Lut Valea Zanelor

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8 gorgeous green hotels to add to your bucket list

New hunting ban in Romania protects large carnivores

October 6, 2016 by  
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In a surprise move Tuesday, the Romanian government banned all trophy hunting of brown bears, wolves, lynx, and wild cats – a move that will protect the largest population of carnivores in Europe. This is a massive shift for the country, which has seen hunting quotas grow year by year since its acceptance into the European Union in 2007. This year had the largest hunting quotas yet, with licenses for hunters to shoot shoot 550 bears, 600 wolves and 500 big cats over 12 months. This new rule closes a loophole that hunters from around the globe were using to collect trophies from protected species. Under European law, all large carnivores are supposed to be protected from hunters – unless the animals have been proven to pose a danger to humans. Hunting associations in Romania would submit two numbers to the government each year: one, an estimate of the total population of each carnivore species, and two, the number of predators deemed to be a threat. The second number is the one that would be used by the government to determine hunting quotas. Related: Romania races to save some of the last untouched forests in Europe It should come as no surprise that the hunting industry, which rakes in millions of Euros every year, may not have been accurately reporting either number. Animals rights activists questioned how the number of “threatening” animals could be determined in advance, without any actual damage to people or property. The hunting associations likely also inflated the official count of large predators in the region by counting the same animals multiple times. This means the official statistics could be off by hundreds or even thousands. Though conservationists will cheer the news, not everyone is likely to welcome it. In Romania’s remote countryside, large carnivores are a nuisance to livestock farmers and a threat to villagers. Despite research showing that hunting these predators does nothing to reduce the conflict between humans and large carnivores (and sometimes simply causes more predators to move to the area), many in rural areas believe hunting is the only solution. If the government wants to prevent poaching, it will have to convince residents in these regions that there are better alternatives to keep the carnivore population under control. Related: 7 Animals Recently Driven to Extinction by Humans One method the government plans to use is to simply take dangerous carnivores into its own hands. A special unit will be set up within the country’s paramilitary police force specifically to respond to reports of damages by predators. Instead of authorizing the hunting of potentially dozens of unrelated animals, problem carnivores will be dealt with directly. Via The Guardian Images via Henning Leweke and Photogore

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New hunting ban in Romania protects large carnivores

Futuristic Dutch community features 50 out-of-this world spherical homes

October 6, 2016 by  
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Kreijkamp initially designed the bulbous Bolwoningen in the 1970s, in response to a special Dutch subsidy for experimental housing projects that launched in 1968. The decidedly suburban neighborhood in Maaspoort in the city of Den Bosch (formally known as ‘s-Hertogenbosch) is home to this extraterrestrial cluster of apartment homes. Inside each golf-ball shaped home is a compact apartment dwelling with a uniquely otherworldly feel. The curved walls and round porthole windows give the illusion you’re living in a spaceship, which is a little ironic because Kreijkamp actually intended the globe-like structures to bring people closer to nature , with its vantage points from nearly every angle. Related: 3D-printed micro cabin in Amsterdam welcomes anyone to spend the night Each apartment home contains three floors, with bedrooms on the ground level and a bathroom hidden on the middle floor. The upper floor houses the main living room and compact kitchen, and round windows face outward in nearly every direction, offering unique views of the world outside (including the other globe-shaped apartments, which are positioned somewhat close together). At the top floor, each home has a diameter of just 18 feet (5.5 meters), making for a cozy living space . Across the street, another subdivision is filled with traditional-style homes, highlighting the rarity of the globe-shaped apartment community. Kreijkamp passed away in 2014, but the continued fascination with what his perhaps his greatest contribution to architecture lives on. The Bolwoningen apartment community is still in good condition some 30 years after its completion, and has, as far as we can tell, been continuously occupied from the start and will continue to provide funky dwelling space for years to come. Via Ignant Images via Wikipedia, Steven Vance/Flickr and unknown (aerial shot)

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Futuristic Dutch community features 50 out-of-this world spherical homes

Storybook Transylvania hotel built with clay and sand opens soon

July 25, 2016 by  
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The hotel’s owners, Razvan and Gabriela Vasile, sold their home in Romania ’s capital city of Bucharest in order to bring this clay fairytale castle into reality. The Valley of the Fairies, situated near the tiny village of Porumbacu De Sus, is 24 miles from the city of Sibiu. Its remote location and jaw-dropping views add to the hotel’s charm and mystique, effortlessly giving visitors the sense that they have traveled not only distance, but also time, in order to arrive at their destination. Related: Passive House Che in Romania has a super fun indoor net canopy Aside from its charming design and scenic surrounding landscape, perhaps the most interesting feature of the eco-friendly hotel is how it was built. Eschewing all modern building techniques, the hotel is composed primarily of clay and sand. The 10-room chalet was designed by eco architect Ileana Mavrodin , along with the Vasiles, and built by area craftsmen. “The exterior plastering is of lime and sand and the towers are of river stone, built with lime and sand,” said Razvan Vasile. “Everything is made with natural materials, and the windows and doors are different, each room having its own separate entrance.” Soon, the Vasiles say the hotel will be ready to host guests for overnight visits, but little is known about when that will happen or what the accommodations will cost. We do know the hotel will reportedly add a restaurant by the end of the year, serving a menu of local organic food. The hotel’s Facebook page acts as a hub for updates (in Romanian), while the website is still under construction. Via Treehugger Images via Castelul de Lut Valea Zanelor

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Storybook Transylvania hotel built with clay and sand opens soon

This Russian man just rode a hot air balloon around the world in 11 days

July 25, 2016 by  
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Russian balloonist Fedor Konyukhov has set a new world record for the fastest hot air balloon trip around the world. The 11-day journey, which began on July 12, took the 64-year-old adventurer from Australia, over New Zealand, across the Pacific Ocean, South America, the Cape of Good Hope, and the Southern Ocean. Upon landing near his starting point on Saturday, July 23, Konyukhov’s crew announced his journey had broken the time record for round-the-world balloon trips. The previous record was held by American balloonist Steve Fossett, who flew around the world in 2002 in a hot air balloon on a journey that lasted 13 days. Fossett, who has since passed, was the first person to make a solo balloon flight around the globe. Despite taking a longer route, Konyukhov’s journey beat Fossett’s record by two days. Related: High-flying solar balloon farms could harness the sun’s energy miles above the clouds Konyukhov spent the lonely journey hunkered down in a tiny gondola, surrounded by the 30 steel cylinders of propane gas needed to fuel the balloon’s burner on its 21,636-mile journey around the world. He documented the adventure with periodic updates to his website . Along the way, the balloonist endured an Antarctic wind storm with temperatures as low as -69F, flying up to 33,000 feet elevation at times. After 11 grueling days in the airborne gondola, Konyukhov was reunited with family and friends after touching down outside the small town of Bonnie Rock in Western Australia on Saturday. His son, Oscar, told Australia’s Seven News that the trip means several world records for his father. “He beat the speed record, the distance record and he will be the first person to fly solo, non-stop around the world from the first attempt,” he said shortly after the historic landing. The landing was open to the public, and many who watched Konyukhov touch down were allowed to help deflate the balloon by walking across it to squeeze out the air. Incidentally, some who witnessed the landing walked off with parts of the balloon and Konyukhov’s crew has published a plea for members of the public to return their ‘souvenirs’ so that the balloon can be put on display in Moscow. Missing parts include the balloon’s valve mechanism and solar panels, which the crew insists can be returned with no questions asked. Via The Guardian Images via Fedor Konyukhov/Facebook

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This Russian man just rode a hot air balloon around the world in 11 days

How mimicking marine mollusks flooded this circular home with natural light

March 4, 2016 by  
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Oregon Senate passes historic bill to ban coal power

March 4, 2016 by  
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In the War on Coal , the Battle of Oregon will likely be a decisive defeat for the black combustible sedimentary rock. On Thursday, the Oregon Legislature secured final passage for the Clean Energy and Coal Transition Act, which will phase coal out of the Beaver State ‘s energy portfolio by 2035. The bill also mandates that the state generate at least half of its power from renewable sources by 2040. Governor Kate Brown is expected to sign the bill into law in the next several weeks. Read the rest of Oregon Senate passes historic bill to ban coal power

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Oregon Senate passes historic bill to ban coal power

Transylvanian music festival convinces hundreds of fans to hand over blood

September 23, 2015 by  
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Dracula must be seething with jealousy right now as Transylvania’s Untold music festival convinced hundreds of music fans to hand over pints of their blood. The festival organizers offered steep discounts on tickets for festival-goers who gave up their much-needed plasma at blood donation centers around Romania. Free day passes to the festival were handed out during the first weekend of the blood drive. After that, people giving blood at one of 42 donation centers around the country were offered almost 30 percent off the $97 four-day tickets. Read the rest of Transylvanian music festival convinces hundreds of fans to hand over blood

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Los Angeles declares homelessness an ’emergency’ and pledges $100 million

September 23, 2015 by  
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Los Angeles officials are taking the problem of homelessness very seriously, declaring a state of emergency and allocating $100 million to house people responsibly. With over 25,000 people on the streets, according to a January census, 5,000 of whom are concentrated in the city’s notorious Skid Row, the problem has gone from crisis to dire emergency. Read the rest of Los Angeles declares homelessness an ’emergency’ and pledges $100 million

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Los Angeles declares homelessness an ’emergency’ and pledges $100 million

Gothic-inspired Copper House blends contemporary design with medieval influences in Romania

March 13, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Gothic-inspired Copper House blends contemporary design with medieval influences in Romania Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: atrium , contemporary architecture , copper , copper house , copper panels , gothic-inspired house , minimalist , minimalist architecture , Radu Teac? , romania , Sibiu

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Gothic-inspired Copper House blends contemporary design with medieval influences in Romania

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