Trend: Shipping sails toward decarbonization

January 20, 2020 by  
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The following is adapted from State of Green Business 2020, published by GreenBiz in partnership with Trucost, part of financial information and analytics giant S&P Global.

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Trend: Shipping sails toward decarbonization

New shipping rules are on the horizon. Is your supply chain ready?

December 3, 2019 by  
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The negative consequences could be both financial and reputational, and should be of particular concern to the traditional fossil-fuels energy supply chain.

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New shipping rules are on the horizon. Is your supply chain ready?

Shipping’s voyage to zero carbon is uncertain

November 7, 2019 by  
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Future goals around carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases require major breakthroughs in fuel and propulsion technologies.

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Shipping’s voyage to zero carbon is uncertain

California’s Advanced Clean Truck Rule is not strong enough to ensure a cleaner future

November 5, 2019 by  
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A 2019 report shows seven of the top ten most ozone-choked cities in America are in California.

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California’s Advanced Clean Truck Rule is not strong enough to ensure a cleaner future

Are we nearing ‘peak car’?

November 5, 2019 by  
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People are increasingly realizing driving is no longer fun nor convenient, and investors should take note.

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Are we nearing ‘peak car’?

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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Repurposed shipping container now holds a trendy beer stand in Tokyo

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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Study shows meal kits are more sustainable than grocery shopping

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