Banks steer maritime shipping toward climate goals

June 19, 2019 by  
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Citi, Societe Generale, ING and DNB have all signed onto a new set of standards for lending to shipping banks that include climate targets.

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Banks steer maritime shipping toward climate goals

Can the circular economy end the era of ‘throwaway living’?

June 19, 2019 by  
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It will take innovation in three places: processes, products and business models.

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Can the circular economy end the era of ‘throwaway living’?

Repurposed shipping container now holds a trendy beer stand in Tokyo

May 22, 2019 by  
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In a creative project that will appease both advocates of recycling and lovers of food and drink, the designers at I IN used a corrugated metal shipping container to create the Schmatz Beer Stand in Tokyo, Japan. Rather than stepping into a dark shipping container , guests will enter a warm and inviting beer stand completely contrasting with the industrialized exterior. Light timber wood lines both the walls and the floor, matching the exposed wooden bar and bar stools. If there was any confusion as to what type of food the bar serves, one would only need to look to one of the bright neon hot dog signs that adorn the walls. Behind the bar, stainless steel adds a touch of modern in an otherwise industrial design, and clean lines within help keep the necessary uniformity that is essential to such a small space. Related: Shipping container food halls slated to revitalize Southern California neighborhoods Schmatz was inspired by beer stands popularized in Germany, and in true German beer stand fashion, the beers on tap here are in the Kolsch, wheat beer and pilsner styles. The establishment also has German fare such as sausages and pork schnitzel available on the menu. Additionally, the style of the structure took inspiration from the famous Tokyo Dome baseball stadium nearby, just a few miles from the stand. This is evident in the sporty style of the container, with a bar seat setting, beer taps and neon signs. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy a drink before or after a big game. The design team kept the majority of the shipping container’s original exterior, jazzing it up with a fresh coat of paint, gallery lights and large windows to make the tiny interior feel much larger. What’s more, the windows allow potential customers to peer into the beer stand from outside. If there are no seats available, handy “order” and “pick-up” windows allow customers to stop by the establishment with ease without having to come inside. + Schmatz + I IN Images via I IN

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Inside The Mohicans: an Ohio treehouse empire

May 22, 2019 by  
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Waking up in a tree 30 feet off the ground with no noise but birdsong, you might not think you were halfway between Columbus and Cleveland. But The Mohicans is a collection of treehouses and cabins in the quiet woods of Ohio’s Amish country. The treehouses are situated off the road and far enough apart that you can spend a night or two and never run into your human neighbors. Kevin Mooney began building treehouses on his property in 2012. Now, he’s a treehouse addict— with seven completed and a couple more nearly done. “When I hit 20, I might slow down,” he said. Building a Treehouse Empire Mooney was in junior high school when he first visited this area of woods, Amish farmhouses, rolling hills and the canoe-friendly Mohican River. A friend’s family owned 300 acres and Mooney and his classmates spent many weekends in an old farmhouse . Mooney loved the area at first sight. As an adult, he bought land near his old friend’s house. When he left his work as a banking entrepreneur 15 years ago, Mooney decided to share his land with visitors. He started building cabins. Related: Futuristic treehouse in Arkansas is designed to inspire imagination Then a friend showed Mooney a book by master treehouse builder Pete Nelson. “I looked at the treehouse book and I had one of those ‘ah’ moments.” Immediately he saw treehouses in his future. “I really believed in treehouses. I thought, people are going to come here to stay in treehouses.” Mooney was already working closely with an Amish builder named Roman Hershberger. The two men studied Pete Nelson’s treehouse books and began figuring out how to construct them. Mooney then decided to contact Nelson, who eventually visited Ohio and built a treehouse on Mooney’s property for the first season of his Animal Planet/Discovery Network show,  Treehouse Masters. The show introduced The Mohicans to a worldwide audience. Meet the treehouses The Little Red Treehouse Nelson built for his show is the most immediately striking. Its bright red exterior and gothic faux stained glass windows make it look like a cross between a chapel and a one-room schoolhouse. The neutral colors of the other treehouses blend into the forest . The Old Pine Treehouse was built inside the property’s only pine stand from reclaimed barn siding. Inside, the feel is rustic, with hand hewn beams and vintage touches. White Oak Treehouse, suspended from oak and hickory trees, is the most spacious, with two full bedrooms. The romantic Moonlight Treehouse boasts a crystal chandelier. The Octagonal Nest treehouse, designed by the famous treehouse builder Roderick Romero, includes cathedral windows and is popular with honeymooners. The more modern Tin Shed Treehouse has a corrugated metal exterior, big windows and a rolling garage door that opens onto a deck. Other treehouses are coming soon, including an aerial Airstream trailer. Each treehouse has its own staircase and suspension bridge, which is part of the fun of staying there. How many hotel rooms come with a private bridge? Eco measures  Standing in a cabin at The Mohicans, it seems like the lights are on. But that’s the clever placement of skylights .  Since the Amish don’t use electricity, they are masters at maximizing passive light and energy. They’re firm believers in insulation and even take advantage of the earth’s seasonal tilt. “We built our overhangs about three feet out from the structures,” Mooney said, “so in the wintertime the sun comes in the structure and in the summertime it doesn’t.” Buildings at the Mohicans that sit on the ground, rather than in the trees,  such as the cabins and the wedding venue, are heated through hot water lines on the floor. In summer, these structures are 20 degrees cooler inside than out. “We do a lot of repurposing,” Mooney said. Whether it’s buying two thousand dollars’ worth of repurposed insulation or disassembling four old barns from Toledo, Ohio and Erie, Pennsylvania, it’s likely that parts of Mooney’s treehouses had a previous life. Weddings Mooney soon discovered that brides and grooms were drawn to The Mohicans’ rustic charm and beauty, so he began to dream up a central building. His Amish crew built the grand barn wedding venue without a drawn plan. The builder stood on the site, calling out to his assistant the size of the lumber he needed; the assistant would go cut a tree and saw it to the correct length. The result is a fabulous rustic barn that incorporates 100-year old barn siding, hand hewn beams, re-purposed windows and doors, and endless vintage accents and details such as sliding barn shutters, hay loft ladders and solid pine trusses. Old wagon wheels have been turned into chandeliers. Despite the warnings of friends who told Mooney his rustic weddings would never catch on, lots of couples find treehouses romantic. He’s had many out of state couples, and some from as far as Norway and England. One couple from London got engaged there; the bride insisted they come back this June for the wedding. The Treehouse Experience Like many of the treehouses, the octagonal El Castillo is made from old barn wood. This treehouse is so new it isn’t even on the website yet. Red textiles and wrought iron light fixtures bolster its castle image. Downstairs is one good-sized room— large enough for a person to do yoga or two people to have a restrained dance party— which serves as the sitting area and kitchen, unless you pull down the Murphy bed— which takes up most of the downstairs room. The kitchen is well-stocked with pots, pans, a two-burner hot plate and a microwave. Related: This Costa Rican treehouse is built entirely out of locally sourced teak wood If you don’t want to drive five miles to the nearest restaurant, you need to plan ahead and bring all your food , including spices and cooking oil. This is especially important if you have special dietary restrictions. Vegans , take heed and buy provisions in Columbus before you drive into the woods. Also, bring your own soap. A gorgeous, rustic spiral staircase takes you to El Castillo’s upstairs bedroom. The king-sized bed is comfortable, so plan to sleep in. El Castillo has a small balcony off the bedroom and a larger one off the sitting room. A small bathroom is downstairs. There’s also an outside shower on the lower balcony. The amount of insulation inside these treehouses is surprising. Inside was cool, quiet and bug-free. The treehouses are an interesting combination of remote yet modern. There’s no Wi-Fi and you probably won’t have cell service, but there are tons of outlets for charging all your devices. While El Castillo technically sleeps four, most would find that crowded. however, couples, friends and especially families delight in the treehouse experience. Mooney’s favorite thing about running a treehouse empire? Without hesitation, he says, “Hearing the kids run across the bridge laughing.” Via The Mohicans Images via Inhabitat

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Inside The Mohicans: an Ohio treehouse empire

Study shows meal kits are more sustainable than grocery shopping

April 25, 2019 by  
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Meal kit delivery companies eliminate the weekly rush to the grocery store, making meal preparation easier than ever, but are they good for the environment? While some may dismiss these services as being wasteful, a new study reveals that they are actually more eco-friendly than you might think. Researchers compared ingredients commonly used in meal kit deliveries to their grocery store counterparts and found they have a much smaller carbon footprint. According to NPR , meals prepared with ingredients purchased from local grocery stores create around 33 percent more emissions than a meal that comes delivered to your doorstep. “Folks are really focused on the plastics and packaging in meal kits,” University of Michigan’s Shellie Miller explained. “That’s important, but it’s not the full story.” Related: 5 simple ways to reduce your food waste right now Overall, food production makes up around 19 to 29 percent of harmful emissions every year. Plastics are used to keep food preserved, but they actually contribute less to carbon emissions than the production process itself. A good majority of the carbon footprint is related to food waste , a category in which meal kits excel at minimizing. The biggest question, of course, is whether or not the carbon savings offset the plastic use. In the new study, which was published in the peer-reviewed journal, Resources, Conservation and Recycling, researchers subscribed to a meal kit delivery service and purchased the same ingredients they received at a local grocery store. They discovered that they used all of the food provided in the meal kit, producing next to no waste . They were forced to buy larger quantities from the store for each meal, resulting in much larger amounts of food waste, even after accounting for leftovers. While meal kits produce less food waste, they do come with a number of concerns. Plastic waste , mostly from packaging, is one of the biggest issues. It is also difficult to determine how much pollution and energy goes into the shipping process, though most meal kits are sent without using specialty resources. On the whole, researchers hope that the study encourages people to look into where they get their food and consider environmental impacts. Which meal kit services are the best, both in terms of the environment and your budget? There are many meal kit options on the market, each with its own pros and cons. Here are some of the most common services. Sun Basket Sun Basket promises quality in its ingredients over anything else. All of the produce you receive is organic while the meats are free of harmful antibiotics and hormones. You can also select a wide variety of meals based on your diet. For example, Sun Basket offers plans for vegan , paleo, pescatarian and vegetarian diets. Sun Basket offers a two-person plan at $72 a week or a four-person kit for $88. The company delivers all across the United Stations, except for Hawaii, Montana, Alaska and portions of New Mexico. Blue Apron Blue Apron is one of the most popular meal kit delivery services in the country. The company ships you a box every week with fresh ingredients , all of them pre-measured for specific dishes. The company does have a vegetarian option, and its plans start at $56 a month, making it one of the more affordable services out there. Blue Apron delivers all across the contiguous United States, and you can always skip or pause your subscription as needed. Home Chef Home Chef offers a variety of dishes that cater to your every need. You can pick from a dozen different meals and tailor them to fit any dietary restrictions. This includes avoiding nuts, soy, dairy , meats and wheat. The company’s website also features some DIY cooking instructions, which are a great resource if you are not accustomed to cooking at home. When it comes to cost, Home Chef comes in at around $10 a serving. If you pick a plan above $45 a month, then shipping is free. Home Chef delivers nationwide. HelloFresh HelloFresh is another popular meal kit. The company ships you pre-measured ingredients every week, complete with easy-to-follow recipes. You can choose between three weekly options that feed anywhere between two and four people. There are also vegetarian plans that feature three different recipes each week. HelloFresh delivers across the nation and only uses recyclable packaging in the shipping process. Plans with HelloFresh run around $9 a serving for two people and $7 for a family. Gobble Gobble works very similar to Blue Apron in that it does all the meal prep for you — marinating, cutting, peeling — so that you can have a home-cooked meal is around 15 minutes. This is a great service if you have a large family and not enough time to fully prepare meals every day. Like the other companies on this list, Gobble offers a variety of dietary options, including gluten-free, low carb, vegetarian and dairy-free. Gobble’s prices are a little steeper at $71 a week, though its family deals are better. This meal kit delivery service is available across the nation and even comes with a breakfast plan. Via NPR Images via Pixabay ( 1 , 2 )

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An elegant car center in Thailand is made from 8 repurposed shipping containers

February 28, 2019 by  
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Thailand-based firm Archimontage Design Fields Sophisticated has repurposed eight old shipping containers into a beautiful car center in the Thai city of Nonthaburi, a suburb of Bangkok. The elegant, light-filled building is made up of four small containers and four larger models, which were arranged strategically to fit into a very compact and narrow corner lot. When the owners of an existing building on the same site approached the architects with the desire to expand their car care business, the designers immediately went to work strategizing the best way to build on the 3,000-square-foot lot, which was quite long and narrow. Accordingly, the team decided to create a custom vertical design that would make the most out of the space without overwhelming the streetscape. Their solution was to use several repurposed shipping containers to create a three-story building that could serve as a flexible, multi-purpose space for years to come. Related: Shipping container food halls slated to revitalize Southern California neighborhoods The ground floor was designed to house the overflow business of the existing car company and for extra storage. Although the space is currently empty, a restaurant and bar are planned for the second floor. The third floor was turned into a light-filled office space. An outdoor staircase lets visitors head up to the upper floors without entering the car storage area. The arrangement of the containers was based on a two-fold strategy: to make the most out of the space provided and to optimize the amount of natural light. The design also revolved around a number of passive features, including metal sunshades that were installed on the west façade and the roof to reflect the sunlight and provide shade from the blaring Thai heat. Additionally, the architects painted the exterior of the building in a matte black, not only as a way of blending it into the urban surroundings but also to reduce solar radiation . By contrast, the interior spaces were painted a bright white that modernizes the industrial design. + Archimontage Design Fields Sophisticated Via Archdaily Photography by Chaovarith Poonphol Photography via Archimontage Design Fields Sophisticated

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An elegant car center in Thailand is made from 8 repurposed shipping containers

10 Tips for Staying Waste-Free at Work

February 26, 2019 by  
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It’s tough to keep your environmental impact to a minimum … The post 10 Tips for Staying Waste-Free at Work appeared first on Earth911.com.

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10 Tips for Staying Waste-Free at Work

Harbor town in Germany unveils urban-chic hostel made out of repurposed shipping containers

December 28, 2018 by  
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Berlin-based Holzer Kobler Architekturen and Kinzo Architekten have collaborated on Germany’s first upcycled hostel and its nothing short of spectacular. The Dock Inn is made out of multiple repurposed  shipping containers that have been carved out to create 64 guest rooms which all feature a vibrant interior design that mixes urban chic with industrial charm. Located in Warnemünde, Germany, the Dock Inn shipping container hostel is surrounded by the local harbor and shipyard. According to the designers, the rough charm of the industrial location was the perfect place to pay homage to the shipping containers’ former life at sea. Related: Gorgeous Catalan building renovated into an eco-friendly hostel in Barcelona The hostel design used the industrial nature of the containers to create a modern, contemporary hostel with a vibrant urban feel. A maritime theme runs throughout the space, which is filled with reclaimed furnishings, to pay homage to the containers’ seafaring past. The hostel’s various shipping containers were configured in a way to house 64 rooms with 188 beds, with most looking out over the harbor. There are varying sizes of guest rooms, from private rooms to dormitory-style spaces that have eight single beds. The rooms are compact, but with sleek interiors that give off a sophisticated, contemporary aesthetic. Bright red walls contrast nicely with all white linens in some rooms, while upholstery made of natural materials in muted colors give off a nice earthy feel in other rooms. Throughout the interior, large windows allow natural light to flood the interior spaces. The hostel also has a number of social areas such as a large lounge, computer room, galley kitchen, on-site restaurant and even a spa on the rooftop level. Throughout the common areas, the designers used several reclaimed materials such as the old shipping pallets that were configured into ample seating space in the lounge. + Holzer Kobler Architekturen + Kinzo Architekten + The Dock Inn Photography by Max Schroeder and Sebastian Dörken

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Harbor town in Germany unveils urban-chic hostel made out of repurposed shipping containers

Stacked shipping containers transform into a thriving arts space in Venezuela

December 26, 2018 by  
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Venezuela-based architecture practice Pico Colectivo has stacked recycled shipping containers together to transform a vandalized property into the new Cultural Production Zone in the city of Guacara in Carabobo State, Venezuela. Built atop an existing structure, the colorful cargotecture addition offers a creative gathering space for the community with mixed programming that ranges from a skate plaza to a recording studio and music room. The Cultural Production Zone is located on a site where the existing building had been vandalized during protests. In a bid to reactivate the depressed site and address the lack of centrally located creative spaces in the city, Pico Colectivo was tapped to breathe new life to the property. Funds from a state program were used to purchase the project’s shipping containers , technical equipment and cultural tools. “The strategy is based on supplying the old building with these devices, inserting multiple structures into a single, more complex system, like parasites that lodge on a foreign body,” the architects explained of the additive architecture. “The design establishes a use of parts and components from modules and patterns similar to the properties of the same structuring objects. A substructure supported by previous foundations. A building assembled on top of another, by means of individual terminals that are added until organizing the whole.” Related: Shipping container food halls slated to revitalize Southern California neighborhoods Completed in 2016, the 550-square-meter Cultural Production Zone comprises three floors. On the ground floor, the TV studio, administrative office, bathrooms and a recording studio and control room are housed within the original building. Stairs placed inside an angled shipping container lead up to the second and third floors that include the exhibition gallery, image lab, rehearsal studio and control room, meeting area and an open-air coffee bar with elevated views of the city. The grounds include a skate plaza and an  urban garden . + Pico Colectivo Photography by José Alberto Bastidas via Pico Colectivo

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Stacked shipping containers transform into a thriving arts space in Venezuela

Henning Larsen completes award-winning Wave apartments in Denmark

December 26, 2018 by  
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Copenhagen-based Henning Larsen Architects has completed The Wave, a striking wave-shaped apartment complex that has made splashes internationally long before the project was finished. Located in Vejle, Denmark, the award-winning building was designed as an extension of its surroundings, from the waterfront location to the rolling, forested hills that rise from Vejle Fjord. The Wave’s sculptural silhouette comprises five rounded towers that create a new visual landmark for the town and are visible from rail, road and sea. Spanning an area of nearly 3.5 acres, The Wave consists of more than a hundred luxury apartment units along with a new public pier in front that aims to revitalize the waterfront. Although construction on the complex started in 2006, the financial crisis halted all progress after the completion of only two towers; construction resumed on the remaining three towers in late 2015. The wave-shaped towers consist of nine floors each and appear identical to one another to create the appearance of a unified building. The fifth and final tower of The Wave was finalized in November 2018. “The land surrounding Vejle is unique for its rolling hills, which are an uncommon sight in Denmark ,” explained Søren Øllgaard, partner and design director at Henning Larsen. “We designed The Wave as striking new presence in the Vejle skyline, one that reflects and embodies the surrounding area. We feel our design merges our own contemporary designs with a strong sense of local identity.” Related: Henning Larsen’s energy-efficient Kiruna Town Hall opens to the public The spectacular nature-inspired building garnered international attention and awards even before the project was completed. In 2009, The Wave’s two completed towers were crowned ‘Residential Building of the Year’ by Danish trade magazine Byggeri. The project has also earned an ABB LEAF Award for innovative architecture in 2012 as well as the prestigious Civic Trust Award in 2013. + Henning Larsen Architects Photography by Jacob Due via Henning Larsen Architects

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