Sigurd Larsen completes a luxurious, treetop hotel cabin in a Danish forest

December 2, 2019 by  
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Danish architect Sigurd Larsen has just unveiled a beautiful, angular treehouse  tucked deep into a picturesque Danish forest. Built for the Løvtag hotel group, the tiny treehouse, which is just 333 square feet, is elevated 26 feet in the air and is accessible by a wooden bridge that leads directly into a stunning, luxurious interior. The treehouse cabin is the first of nine to be built in a quaint, remote forest on the Als Odde peninsula. The idyllic location offers guests the opportunity to explore Denmark’s longest fjord, the Mariager, which is adjacent to the site. Related: Sigurd Larsen adds the ultimate grown up playhouse to Berlin’s Hotel Michelberger Elevated 26 feet off the landscape, the cabins will provide stunning views of the natural surroundings. The studio said, “The cabins are located on a small hilltop overlooking a meadow, which gives a wonderful view over the top of the forest and lets the sunshine in during the afternoon.” The entrance is reachable by a wooden bridge that leads up from the forest floor. Clad in light wood and dark metal sidings, the treehouse hotel was built around an existing pine tree, which rises straight through the cabin’s interior and roof. Designed to be an expression of “ Nordic minimalism ,” the cabins are compact but use every inch of space to create a light-filled, luxurious atmosphere. The interior includes a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom with a cantilevered shower room and main living area. Each treehouse can accommodate up to four people thanks to a double bed and a double sofa bed. The interior features a floor-to-ceiling window to let in natural light and provide unobstructed views of the surroundings from morning to night. For a comfortable space where guests can really take in the views, the cabins have rooftop terraces with plenty of seating. + Sigurd Larsen + Løvtag Cabins Via Dezeen Photography by Soeren-Larsen via Sigurd Larsen

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Sigurd Larsen completes a luxurious, treetop hotel cabin in a Danish forest

Eco-friendly subscription boxes to gift this holiday season

December 2, 2019 by  
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The holiday spirit of gift-giving can be enjoyed throughout the year. How? Giving the gift of a subscription box can provide year-round enjoyment for any recipient, especially when delivered via monthly, quarterly or semi-annual subscription plans. For those who are eco-conscious, here are some environmentally friendly subscription boxes to consider. For people striving for zero-waste and plastic-free living The greenUP subscription is curated to minimize dependence on disposable plastic. Even the company’s website emphasizes a plastic-free lifestyle, “so there’s less plastic waste ending up on our beaches and in our oceans.” Each box in this subscription is valued at $70+ and features six to eight sustainable items. Another subscription box conscientious about the planet is EarthLove , a curated box of products “that are ethically and environmentally responsible, including zero-waste packaging, natural ingredients, organic and non-GMO, gluten-free, cruelty-free, beegan/vegan and fair trade.” Then there’s MightyNest , with its MightyFix and Mighty Essentials subscription packages that promote green lifestyles. MightyNest products are free of BPA, lead, parabens, phthalates and PVC. For ethical shoppers As a verified member of the Fair Trade Federation , GlobeIn strives to support healthy working conditions for the artisans who craft the goods included in each subscription box. Thus, each GlobeIn artisan box is filled with ethically handmade products. GlobeIn offers more than five monthly box themes to provide a variety of choices to subscribers. For the skincare-obsessed For those who prefer toxin-free personal care products, the Natural Vegan Body Care subscription is the perfect gift. Goodies on offer in this box are all-natural, cruelty-free and biodegradable. This includes natural balms, deodorants, hair care supplies and hand soaps all free of unwanted synthetics. Bamboo toothbrushes and organic loofahs also complete the packages. For parents and kids The monthly Ecocentric Mom subscription box offers products perfect for motherhood, ensuring green home care from the first trimester to the toddler years. There are often up to six products provided that include organic self-care products, toxin-free baby products, accessories suited for developmental milestones, eco-conscious practical home care items for the growing family and non-GMO snacks. Related: A guide to the best eco-friendly holiday gifts for children Ethical fashion for babies and toddlers can be found in the SmockBox . Each box includes an outfit, an accessory and a toy — all made ethically. Meanwhile, Dyper offers an eco-friendly diaper subscription. These diapers are made with fibers from renewable bamboo and other biodegradable materials. They are also free of “chlorine, latex, alcohol, perfumes, PVC, lotions, TBT and phthalates.” Wipe On Us correspondingly offers bamboo wipes as a family subscription. The wipes have no plastic packaging whatsoever. Kids will rejoice at receiving the eco-friendly Little Pnuts educational toy subscription box. Little Pnuts gives well-curated packages with up to five sustainable toys, which are all handmade from natural materials and non-battery operated. For low-maintenance plant enthusiasts Succulents are quickly becoming a favorite among urban gardeners because of their low-maintenance needs. There are numerous subscription boxes out there for succulents. Gift two unique succulents in biodegradable pots a month from Succulent Studios , three succulents monthly from Leaf & Clay , four succulents with a mystery bonus plant from Mountain Crest Gardens , five hand-picked succulents from the Succulent Source or up to four succulents or one air plant a month from Succulents Box . For gardeners Arcadia Seed Company is a purveyor of seeds, and its box offers four packets of vegetable or herb seeds along with a surprise packet of unusual or exotic seeds. Meanwhile, the Click and Grow subscription provides pre-seeded, biodegradable pods that can be planted in a self-sustaining Smart Garden device that is “100 percent free of GMOs and harmful substances,” with 45 different fruits, vegetables and herbs to choose from. Yet another is SproutBox , with a BPA- and BPS-free sprouting device, which creates natural aeration for sprouts that emerge from the organic, non-GMO seed packs. The highly curated Horti box includes care instructions for the plants delivered to every urban gardener who subscribes. To encourage self-assurance in gardening, the company begins by sending hardy plants as an introduction into taking care of plants. Pet-friendly plants are also available to prevent any mishaps with canine and feline friends. For foodies UrthBox offers natural, non-GMO and organic snacks and beverages, with gluten-free and vegan options, too. For more adventurous palates, there’s a Fermented Farmacy subscription box with flavorful foods packed with probiotics and enzymes to help maintain optimal gut health. Similarly, the Sun Basket subscription box has options for lean-and-clean, Mediterranean, pescatarian , vegetarian and gluten-free diets. Those who prefer raw, plant-based snacks that are also wheat-free, soy-free and refined sugar-free will find RawBox subscription to be a good match. For pet owners Canine parents can subscribe to Ollie for vet-formulated, freshly cooked recipes with zero fillers, byproducts, artificial flavors or preservatives. The Farmer’s Dog similarly offers healthier pet food made fresh then sent directly to subscribers in eco-friendly packaging. Another wonderful subscription box is offered by Nom Nom Now , which caters to both canine and feline palates, with nutrient-rich, easy-to-digest and byproduct-free foods. Related: A guide to the best eco-friendly gifts for pets Pure Earth Pets is “designed with your pet and the Earth in mind,” offering environmentally conscious products like recycled toys and treats made from natural ingredients, all packaged in biodegradable boxes. As for fishkeepers, My Aquarium Box subscribers can select from saltwater, nano tank, freshwater and planted tank offerings. Avian aficionados, meanwhile, can subscribe to the PollyWannaBird box that keeps birds happy with healthy treats, therapeutic perches and bird-safe wood toys for beak conditioning. For outdoor-lovers The Homestead Box offers three options of packages — for the gardener, the backyard chicken raiser and the woodsman — all of which cultivate simple self-sufficiency, subsistence agriculture and a closer bond to what nature has to offer. Children can also connect, interact and engage with nature via the Mud + Bloom or even the Little Hiker subscription boxes. Hiker Crate ’s subscription is for those with hiking proclivities, whereas the KinderBox is a better fit for those with a truly rugged sense of adventure. Images via Good Soul Shop , Natasha Ong , Paul Gaudriault , Y Tanaka , Skyla Design , Eco Warrior Princess , RawBox , NomNomNow and Rudolf Mark

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Eco-friendly subscription boxes to gift this holiday season

Sigurd Larsen unveils a stunning prefab home in the Austrian Alps

November 18, 2019 by  
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Prefab design offers an infinite number of benefits, but it is especially useful when constructing in extreme landscapes and climates. Danish architect Sigurd Larsen has almost entirely relied on prefabrication to construct the Mountain House, an incredible family home nestled deep into the spectacular, mountainous landscape of the Austrian Alps. The Mountain House is a beautiful home that blends seamlessly into its surroundings. An elongated volume with a pitched roof, the structure cantilevers over the landscape’s natural slope, creating the perfect height to take in unobstructed views of the stunning mountainside. Related: Sigurd Larsen adds the ultimate grown up playhouse to Berlin’s Hotel Michelberger The two-level home’s walls and roof were prefabricated in a factory before they were assembled on-site. This decision was strategic to not only reduce costs and construction time but also the overall efficiency of the project. Building in the remote landscape of the alps is nearly impossible during the cold winter months, so using a heated factory to manufacture the components helped to facilitate the project on various levels. In fact, once the materials were delivered to the site, the exterior was constructed in just 12 hours. Clad in locally sourced larch timber stained a dark gray, the mountain home is chic and sophisticated, and it emits a welcoming cabin feel inside and out. The bottom floor is clad in floor-to-ceiling panels. These glazed facades allow for the family to feel a strong connection to the natural setting. Additionally, the home boasts an open-air deck that is covered by the upper floor, creating a serene outdoor place to enjoy the views and fresh mountain air. Throughout the interior , natural wood is used for the flooring and the walls, again creating a natural, minimalist living space. Keeping the focus on the views, the furnishings are sparse and space-efficient. The architects called on local woodcutters to create several pieces of built-in furniture, such as a kitchen bench and a wooden staircase. + Sigurd Larsen Via Architectural Digest Photography by Christian Flatscher via Sigurd Larsen

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Sigurd Larsen unveils a stunning prefab home in the Austrian Alps

10 vegan myths, debunked

November 18, 2019 by  
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Vegans and vegetarians are often the target of jokes, scorn, concern and/or fear by a majority culture that routinely consumes animals. The upcoming holidays are a prime time for omnivorous family members and friends to heckle a loved one who is vegan while brandishing a turkey leg or Christmas pudding. So, just in time for those awkward holiday encounters with family, here are 10 vegan myths, debunked. Tucson-based Alison Ozgur , registered dietitian at Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa and an instructor for the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies , kindly assisted with her solid nutritional knowledge. Vegans don’t get enough protein. Every vegetarian and vegan has heard this approximately a gazillion times. “This is a common myth that needs to be eliminated,” Ozgur said. “Here in the United States, we have never had a protein shortage, and the sad truth is, protein is being unnecessarily added to many foods. Vegetables, fruits and grains all have ample amounts of protein for optimal health and achieving a healthy body weight.” If you’re consuming enough calories, she said, you’re getting enough protein. Vegans can’t get calcium without dairy. The dairy industry has long campaigned to convince Americans we will keel over if we don’t guzzle milk. Not true, said Ozgur. “Yes, dairy products contain calcium, but they can also contain artery-clogging saturated fat, cholesterol and contaminants. Fortunately, plant-based foods are a healthier option.” She recommends leafy greens like kale, mustard greens, collard greens and Swiss chard as well as legumes, broccoli, organic soy foods — such as tempeh and tofu — almonds and calcium-fortified plant-based milks. It’s too expensive to be vegan. Those turmeric smoothies, packaged organic kale chips and meals in upscale vegan restaurants can certainly break the bank. “Eating vegan can be expensive,” Ozgur explained. “However, the cost of treatment for chronic disease is far more expensive. A diet rich in nutrient-dense, whole plant foods is our first line of defense for disease prevention and reversal.” That said, if you forego the prepackaged options and buy staple dry foods like bulk beans, lentils and oats, you’ll save money. Many vegetables, such as carrots and cabbage, are also inexpensive. All vegans are white. If this were true, you wouldn’t find websites like Black Vegans Rock or celebrations like the Vegan SoulFest . Activist Aph Ko, founder of Black Vegans Rock , raised awareness about the many vegans of color by publishing a list of 100 prominent black vegans in 2015. Vegans of color also own vegan restaurants and write vegan cookbooks, just like white vegans, but with roots of their own. Non-white vegan traditions include Rastafarians in Jamaica, Jainism in India and the part-time veganism of Ethiopia ’s fasting season. All vegans are hippies. Depending on who you ask, being called a hippie could be an insult or a compliment. The Merriam-Webster dictionary offers a more objective definition, “a usually young person who rejects the mores of established society (as by dressing unconventionally or favoring communal living) and advocates a nonviolent ethic. Broadly: a long-haired unconventionally dressed young person.” So, if we’re talking about vegans in a society dominated by meat -eaters, there’s some truth in this myth. Vegans are rejecting mores of the established society and advocating nonviolence, at least against farm animals. As for being young, dressing unconventionally, living communally, having long hair or, as found in other online definitions of hippies, taking hallucinogenic drugs, we’d need to evaluate vegans on a case-by-case basis. Vegans are weak. You’d better not say that to Bryant Jennings, pro boxer, or karate expert Tammy Fry Kelly — they just might take you out. Then, there are the vegan charismatic megafauna, like gorillas and elephants . “There is no shortage of athletes and fitness enthusiasts who thrive on a vegan diet,” Ozgur said. “Plant-based foods can speed up muscle recovery time and decrease inflammation due to their high amount of antioxidants and phytonutrients.” She recommends the documentary movie Game Changers to see just how strong vegans can be. If I went vegan, I’d always be hungry/tired/sick. Not true, as long as you’re eating enough. “ If you decrease your daily calorie intake to below your body’s requirement, indeed you will be hungry, tired, sick and eventually dead,” Ozgur explained. “Choosing a colorful variety of whole plant foods nourishes your body and cells, thus increasing your immunity and longevity. Chronic inflammation is linked to a variety of diseases, and numerous studies have confirmed that a plant-rich diet high in fiber is beneficial for disease prevention.” If everybody went vegan, cows and pigs would go extinct. What would happen if every paddock door was opened — if all the chickens pecking each other’s eyes out in tiny cages were freed; if farmed fish were tossed into rivers? Would sheep starve? Would hogs take over the world? “Billions of farm animals would no longer be destined for our dinner plates, and if we couldn’t return them to the wild, they might be slaughtered, abandoned or taken care of in sanctuaries,” journalist Paul Allen wrote on BBC’s Good Food website. “Or, more realistically, farmers might slow down breeding as demand for meat falls.” Allen theorized that the number of returned animal populations would fluctuate, then eventually reach a balance, depending on predators and available resources. “It’s worth noting that not all animals could simply ‘go free.’ Some farm breeds, such as broiler chickens, are now so far removed from their ancestors that they couldn’t survive in the wild. Others, like pigs and sheep, could feasibly return to woodlands and grazing pastures and find their own natural population levels.” Plants feel pain, too, so it’s just as bad to eat them. According to Jack C. Schultz, professor in the Division of Plant Sciences at the University of Missouri in Columbia, plants “are just very slow animals.” They fight for territory, seek food, trap prey and evade predators, he said. It’s possible they feel pain, too, despite lacking a central nervous system, nerves or a brain. However, is it as unkind to eat a tomato as a cow? Everybody draws the line somewhere. For some people, all non-human animals are fair game. Many others think it’s okay to eat a cow but not a dog or cat. Vegans just draw that line even higher. As the PETA website points out, “We have to eat — it’s a matter of survival. And eating plants directly — rather than feeding them to animals and then killing those animals for their flesh — requires far fewer plants and doesn’t hurt animals, who, we already know for sure , feel pain.” If men eat tofu, they’ll grow breasts. Ozgur assured this won’t happen. “There is no valid medical evidence supporting men increasing breast size from eating soy foods,” she said. “This myth surfaced over 10 years ago when a man was diagnosed with gynecomastia from drinking three quarts of soy milk per day. Upon discontinuing his soy milk intake, his breast tenderness resolved. Asian men consume soy daily, yet do not experience gynecomastia.” Ozgur recommends choosing organic whole soy foods and avoiding soy protein isolates or fractionated soy ingredients. Images via Shutterstock and Teresa Bergen / Inhabitat

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Sigurd Larsen adds the ultimate grown up playhouse to Berlin’s Hotel Michelberger

February 8, 2016 by  
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Berlin Showroom Features Sherlock Holmes-Style Bookcase That Opens to a Secret Room!

October 24, 2011 by  
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Read the rest of Berlin Showroom Features Sherlock Holmes-Style Bookcase That Opens to a Secret Room! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: berlin , eco design , green design , industrial space , K-MB Creative Network , Sigurd Larsen Architects , storage drawers , sustainable design , swing wall

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Berlin Showroom Features Sherlock Holmes-Style Bookcase That Opens to a Secret Room!

Maria Fernanda Cardoso’s Gorgeous Jewel-Toned Artworks Are Made From Butterfly Wings

October 24, 2011 by  
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Read the rest of Maria Fernanda Cardoso’s Gorgeous Jewel-Toned Artworks Are Made From Butterfly Wings Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: beauty and death , Butterfly Drawings , butterfly wings , eco design , green design , Kaleidoscope , Maria Fernanda Cardoso , sustainable design

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Maria Fernanda Cardoso’s Gorgeous Jewel-Toned Artworks Are Made From Butterfly Wings

Beehive-Shaped Honey Lampshade Made From Eco-Friendly Felt

October 24, 2011 by  
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This flat-pack Honey Lampshade by The Small Green Company features a beautiful beehive-inspired form that settles into its full shape after hanging for a few days. The lampshade is made from environmentally friendly dyed wool felt – simply screw in an energy-saving bulb to add a cozy glow to any room. + Honey Lampshade Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “lighting design” , beehive lampshade , felt lampshade , green light fitting , honey lampshade , lattice lighting , patterned lampshade , small green company

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Beehive-Shaped Honey Lampshade Made From Eco-Friendly Felt

House M: Daylit Japanese Home Preserves Privacy With a Beautiful Louvered Facade

October 24, 2011 by  
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Floating Marine Solar Cells Harvest Energy from the Sun and Waves

October 24, 2011 by  
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Marine Solar Cells (MSC) by Phil Pauley are conceptual hybrid solar and wave energy generators designed to generate renewable energy off shore. The solar wave unit captures wave energy through natural buoyancy displacement and solar energy through photovoltaic cells, taking advantage of natural light reflecting off the ocean’s surface to increase solar capture by 20%. This ability contrasts with conventional solar farms or wave power designs which only harvest one form of power. Hundreds of low-cost solar-wave units could be installed together in off-shore energy batteries or plants, generating thousands of jobs and a new solar-marine industry with worldwide implications. + Phil Pauley Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “solar energy” , eco design , green design , Marine Solar Cells , pauley interactive , phil pauley , phillip pauley , renewable energy , Solar Power , sustainable design , wave energy , wave power

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Floating Marine Solar Cells Harvest Energy from the Sun and Waves

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