Rammed-earth walls make up a beautiful retreat hidden in the Zhejiang mountains

October 10, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Hidden in the misty mountains of Zhejiang , a new eco-sensitive resort made from local materials entices visitors with spectacular views and laid-back charms. International architecture firm kooo architects designed the Retreat Village, which comprises a cluster of luxury suites, for their client Hangzhou Origin Villa Hotel & Resort in the Dashan Village in Zhejiang, China. Taking inspiration from the local vernacular, the architects used local materials and techniques, such as rammed-earth construction, to create a resort that blends into its surroundings. Completed over the course of two years, the new Retreat Village is located on a remote, rural mountain. Although most of the original village architecture was built from rammed earth walls using local soils, the architects decided to only use rammed earth for a portion of the new construction so as to keep the interior from feeling too dark and constrained. The earthen walls are complemented by a natural material palette of bamboo, red bricks, stone and carbonized wood. To reduce site impact, the architects used locally produced as well as recycled materials and carefully sited the buildings to follow the natural contours of the mountain. Each of the buildings point in different directions to preserve privacy and to maximize views. An indoor- outdoor living experience is also emphasized in the design. Moreover, the use of natural materials and careful siting help make the village disappear into the landscape. Related: MAD’s ethereal Yiwu Grand Theater will “float” on Zhejiang waters “There is no light coming from this lonely village’s surrounding at night, so one can feel sufficient brightness even with a minimum amount of lighting,” adds the firm. “We kept the lights that can illuminate the entire space uniformly, such as downlights, to the minimum, and used all-directional soft umbrella-like lights such as free-standing lamps and table lights throughout the space. These fixtures project soft arches of light and shadow, illuminating the seamless finish and rounded edges of the walls and ceilings. Wrapped with the warmth of light, the rooms feel more calming and comfortable.” + kooo architects Images by Keishin Horikoshi / SS

See more here:
Rammed-earth walls make up a beautiful retreat hidden in the Zhejiang mountains

Light your pumpkins the EEK-o-friendly way this Halloween

October 10, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

With spooky season upon us, consider illuminating your jack-o’-lanterns in an eco-friendly way. But what are some good light sources to place within or even near pumpkins? You, of course, want to avoid toxins from certain sources, so here are some of Inhabitat’s sustainable suggestions this autumn. Soy or beeswax candles Steer clear of paraffin, because it is a petroleum-based product that produces soot. Paraffin candles have also been known to release acetaldehyde, acrolein, benzene, formaldehyde, naphthalene and toluene — all of which are toxins . Instead, choose “cleaner” candles made either of soy or beeswax. These options are all-natural, burn at lower temperatures, and last longer — ensuring a healthier light to place within your carved pumpkins. Related: Time to put the flame out — scented candles can cause disease and poor air quality Flameless LED artificial lights LED lights can be in the form of tea lights, string lights, even bike lights — making them wonderful choices for your jack-o’-lanterns. They are, after all, more energy-efficient and have longer lifespans than other types of artificial lighting. They are also a safer choice for inside a pumpkin because they don’t emit much heat, thereby lowering the risk of fire. They can operate at a wide range of temperatures — whether hot or cold — without significant degradation. For these reasons, LED lights are safer and more budget-friendly for a sustainable Halloween. Solar lights Go green this year by utilizing your garden decor to fashion a solar-powered jack-o’-lantern. How does one solarize pumpkins? First, you’ll have to allow your solar garden lights to collect energy from the sun throughout the day. While your yard’s solar lights are soaking up the sun, that is when you can cut out the bottom of your carved pumpkins. Then, at night, you can place those jack-o-lanterns atop the now-glowing solar garden lights. Voila! Your yard will come alive with solarized jack-o’-lanterns to ghoulishly light up your Halloween night . So this Halloween, if the kids are asking why your pumpkins have bigger smiles, goofier faces or even epic expressions, you can explain that it is all because they are all lit up in EEK-o-friendlier ways. Via Chester Energy and Policy Image via David Menidrey

Read the original here:
Light your pumpkins the EEK-o-friendly way this Halloween

This 1973 Airstream could be yours for $68,900

October 10, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

A clean, modern design. Plentiful storage. An abundance of natural light. What more could you want in a tiny home on wheels? Renovated by DIY experts Nate and Taylor, from Augustine Along the Way, this 1973 Airstream has a new life as Mattox . Mattox is a 25-foot Airstream trailer with a gorgeous interior design featuring bamboo hardwood floors and plenty of plants. The ambitious duo put a ton of work into renovating the old Airstream , and now, the shiny little home can be yours for just $68,900. Inside and out, Mattox is a beautiful example of a DIY Airstream renovation. Starting with the trailer’s signature aluminum exterior, Taylor and Nate polished its formerly dull facade into a gleaming, mirrored finish. The Airstream even comes with a retractable rolling awning that provides a shaded, open-air place to dine or simply enjoy the fresh air just outside the front door. Related: A dull, 26-year-old Airstream becomes a bright, cozy home on wheels Although Mattox’s gleaming exterior is impressive, its interior design is what shines the brightest. The compact living space feels bright and open thanks to an abundance of windows and a fresh coat of white paint on the walls and ceiling. Contrasting nicely with the all-white background, beautiful and ultra-durable bamboo hardwood floors with eucalyptus backing run the length of the interior. Just across the front door, the kitchen sits at the middle of the Airstream. The kitchen includes everything one would need to create culinary masterpieces, including a two-burner stove and a new refrigerator. The Zellige tile backsplash adds an earthy touch. Facing the kitchen and beside the entrance is the lounge area, which comes complete with a custom, built-in couch with storage underneath. In fact, most of the furniture in the Airstream was custom-made to use every inch of space strategically . This includes the two-person, drop-down walnut dining table and small desk area complete with book storage. In the back of the classic trailer is a bedroom big enough for a full-sized bed. This space also fits in plenty of storage both underneath the bed and in a small closet near the entrance. For those adventurers out there who would like to take Mattox on the road, rest assured that the Airstream’s mechanical systems have also been completely renovated. New tires, brakes, bearings, propane hook-ups, fresh water hook-up and more will give you peace of mind while you are exploring. + Augustine Along the Way Via Tiny House Talk Images via Augustine Along the Way

Read more from the original source: 
This 1973 Airstream could be yours for $68,900

Sail your cares away in this incredible floating villa near Sydney

October 8, 2019 by  
Filed under Green

Nothing says romance like floating down a calm waterway while taking in the sound of bird calls from the shores. If you’re in the mood for a romantic getaway near Sydney , this incredible floating villa is the perfect choice. The tiny retreat features enough space for two lovebirds, who can spend their days watching the world go by from a glorious open-air deck. Ready to set sail along the pristine coastline of Palm Beach, New South Wales, this beautiful, two-story floating villa makes for a dream glamping retreat. The structure is compact but comes with a stunning, modern design that makes the space seem much bigger. Related: Sail away from it all in this gorgeous floating tiny home The interior of the floating home features a large living area on the first floor that opens up to the structure’s most impressive space, the outdoor deck. From here, guests can enjoy stunning views of the cliffs and wild landscapes found along the coast of Palm Beach. The deck comes with plenty of seating space and a barbecue, where you can cook shrimp on the, well, you know. Throughout the interior, guests will feel right at home thanks to contemporary furnishings and amenities. The living space welcomes in plenty of natural light through various windows and the folding glass doors that open up to the deck . The living area even comes with a nice fireplace for those chilly nights. A compact bathroom nearby includes a full-sized shower and toiletries. Additionally, the home comes with a kitchenette, which comes with all of the basics to whip up a tasty meal: an oven, a stove, a microwave and a fridge. The master bedroom is located on the sleeping loft, accessible via a narrow staircase. The pitched roof adds extra vertical space for the bedroom, which comes with a plush, king-sized bed and quality linens. Guests to the tiny villa will enjoy a healthy breakfast each morning as well as a 24-hour concierge service. For active travelers, the accommodation also comes with the use of the stand-up paddleboards and fishing gear. + Glamping Hub Images via Glamping Hub

Here is the original post:
Sail your cares away in this incredible floating villa near Sydney

How to grow your own pumpkins

October 4, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Fall is the time of year when we pull out the sweaters and boots, add a jacket to our attire and immerse ourselves in all things pumpkin. From creamer to donuts to home decor , pumpkins represent autumn from when the first leaf falls to long after the Thanksgiving dishes have been dried and put away. Of course, there is also the age-old practice of carving pumpkins for Halloween. While every supermarket has mounds of pumpkins ready for purchase, with a little planning you can grow and harvest your own pumpkins for everything from jack-o’-lanterns to pumpkin bread. Plan ahead By the time October hits, all you can really do is plan for next year’s garden (which is a great idea!). Seeds should go into the ground between the end of May and mid-July, depending on where you live. Be sure you don’t plant too early in the season. Although the plants will thrive and produce fruit happily throughout the late summer and early fall, you may find yourself with rotten fruit before the pumpkin-carving party if they ripen months beforehand. Provide space Pumpkin plants ramble. In fact, they will take over and may cause problems if confined, so give them a dedicated area to thrive. This is not a plant that will be successful on an apartment balcony. Allow them ample room to bush out without running into other garden crops, outbuildings or fencing. For planning purposes, set aside around 9-10 feet in each direction for each mound of plants (around 100 square feet). Related: How to cook a whole pumpkin (seeds, guts and all) Mound it up Rounded mounds of soil provide the drainage and depth pumpkins need to thrive. Pumpkin seeds and vines are finicky, so you don’t want to handle or transplant them once they are in soil . To avoid disturbing them, make sure your mounds are established before planting. Set them at least 5-6 feet apart from each other. Let it shine When choosing the location for your pumpkin mounds, select a space that receives a lot of sunlight . Pumpkin seeds don’t do well in cold soil or dirt that is too wet. They prefer a warm environment, so choose your selection with that in mind. Choose preferred varieties There are many varieties of pumpkins, some that look more like squash in shape and color. In fact, many people use the labels squash and pumpkin interchangeably. There are also a variety of sizes, from small decorative options to giant, 100-pound versions. Choose your seeds well to match the space you have available. Related: How to cook and enjoy 10 types of squash other than pumpkin Make them share Pumpkins grow well in clusters. To find the strongest plants, plant five or six seeds per mound. Seeds should be pressed into the soil about one inch deep and lightly covered. Once they are well-established, thin to the healthiest two to three plants per mound. Each plant will produce multiple pumpkins . You can see the potential when the plants bloom flowers. Soon, each of those flowers will have a pumpkin behind it beginning to form. Be mindful though — only female flowers produce fruit. The male flowers bloom briefly, giving bees an opportunity to find the flowering vines. Then, they drop off the plant. Female flowers, however, will show the bulb of the green emerging fruit behind them. Keep the weeds out Weeds can choke out the productivity of your pumpkin plants, so keep them at bay by frequently checking for new growth and removing them early on. A hoe works well for this task to avoid the back and knee strain from getting on the ground. Try not to dig too deep, which could interfere with the roots of the pumpkin plants. Avoid harmful weed killers anywhere near your plants (and preferably your entire yard). Applying mulch to pumpkin plants will help keep the weeds away and hold the moisture in. Stick to a watering schedule Pumpkins are fairly forgiving of a little neglect when it comes to water , as long as they have a chance to get established with reliable drinks. Give them a drink at least once each week, saturating the soil around the base of each plant while avoiding leaves and fruit wherever possible. In the beginning though, avoid flooding the seed and seedlings as they become established. Instead, give them shallow drinks. Schedule an extra watering if the weather is extreme during the early summer growing season. Growing care You won’t have to dote on your growing pumpkins too frequently. Given the right location, soil and temperature, they are pretty self-sufficient. If you are planning to use your pumpkins for carving, you may want to gently rotate them occasionally. This will help avoid pumpkins with a flat side and help them grow into a more uniform shape; however, the vines are persnickety, so use caution or the vine may be damaged. Tip: Set each pumpkin on a piece of cardboard and gently rotate it every few weeks for even heat and light. Harvest Your pumpkins will likely be ready to harvest during the last two weeks of September. They are ready when the stem is firm and the pumpkin turns from green to deep orange. Cut the stem carefully as most have sharp prickles. Use gloves and a sharp blade. Leave around 3-4 inches of stem attached to the pumpkin. You can leave the pumpkin attached to the vine, or cut it and leave it outside. However, if freezing weather is coming, cut your pumpkins and store them in a cool, dry location. Use as soon as possible for decor or your favorite recipe . Images via James Wheeler , Waldo Jaquith , Austin Kirk and K. Sayer

View post: 
How to grow your own pumpkins

New app could save Puget Sound whales from boat strikes

October 4, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Boat strikes are a major cause of injury and death for whales. This week, Washington State Ferries implemented a whale report alert system ( WRAS ) app that notifies ferry captains of the whereabouts of orcas and other cetaceans in Puget Sound to help prevent collisions. The app, created by Ocean Wise Research in Vancouver , British Columbia, is only for use by commercial maritime operations, including ships, ferries and tugboats. But the app relies on members of the public reporting real-time whale sightings. Once a trusted observer spots a whale, dolphin or porpoise, they submit the siting to the app. The siting is verified, then the app alerts commercial mariners on the water within 10 miles of the siting. Staff at the ops center can also receive an alert and communicate it to nearby vessels. Related: 14 apps to help you live a more sustainable lifestyle Armed with this information, ferry captains will be able to make better decisions about their courses and speed to avoid collisions with marine animals. Mariners can leave feedback in the app, reporting any mitigation actions they took. “Because we operate our 22 ferries on Puget Sound and manage 20 terminals on its shores, we have an obligation to ensure WSF is doing everything we can to protect our environment, including marine life,” said Amy Scarton, assistant secretary for Washington State Ferries . WSF is the country’s largest ferry system, transporting nearly 25 million passengers every year. The ferries run between Anacortes, the San Juan Islands, Port Townsend and other Washington towns. According to NOAA Fisheries , blue, fin, humpback and gray whales are the West Coast’s whale species that are most vulnerable to ship strikes, because shipping traffic is heavy between Los Angeles /Long Beach and Seattle. Whales migrate along the West Coast and often use the coastal area for feeding. In May, a juvenile humpback whale breached three minutes into a ferry run from Seattle to Bainbridge Island. The ferry struck — and presumably killed — the whale. Developers of the WRAS app hope that the alert system can help avoid similar tragedies in the future. + Washington State Ferries Image via C. Emmons / NOAA Fisheries / Oregon State University

Originally posted here:
New app could save Puget Sound whales from boat strikes

Spectacular installation in London turns scaffolding planks into sculpture

October 4, 2019 by  
Filed under Green

In the most ambitious of British Land’s Landmark installations to date, internationally renowned British designer Paul Cocksedge has transformed more than a thousand scaffolding planks into a large-scale structure with undulating curves. Named Please Be Seated, the installation provides Broadgate, London’s largest pedestrianized neighborhood, with a beautiful piece of art that doubles as seating. The art piece was created in collaboration with Essex-based, high-end interiors company White & White as part of the 2019 London Design Festival. Located at Finsbury Avenue Square, the Please Be Seated landmark project is a physical representation of the community’s changing rhythms. The curvaceous, wooden structure spans 15.5 meters across, while its curves reach a peak height of 3.4 meters, high enough for people to walk under and comfortably rest against when sitting or lounging. The installation was constructed from 1,151 reused scaffolding planks bent into three ribbon-like concentric circles. Related: Artist suspends a giant cube filled with images of ocean plastic inside a London museum “Every single aspect of the installation is tailored to its environment as well as the function it serves,” Cocksedge said in a press statement. “The curves raise up to create backrests and places to sit, as well as space for people to walk under or pause and find some shade. It walks the line between a craft object and a design solution. It occupies the square without blocking it.” Supported by Broadgate and British Land, Please Be Seated was presented to the public on September 14, 2019 in parallel to the London Design Festival . An exhibition of Cocksedge’s work that was displayed at Broadgate’s The Space | 3FA also showed the process behind creating Please Be Seated. The installation will remain in place until October 11, 2019. + Paul Cocksedge Photography by Mark Cocksedge via Paul Cocksedge

See more here: 
Spectacular installation in London turns scaffolding planks into sculpture

This bold, tiny retreat in Ontario measures just 100 square feet

September 27, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on This bold, tiny retreat in Ontario measures just 100 square feet

When you want to keep a building footprint small, sometimes the only way to go is up. The Red Tower tiny retreat is a 10 foot by 10 foot tower that feels much larger than its tight square footage thanks to a vertical design and its vast surroundings of remote wilderness in Ontario. With a spacious outdoor deck to enjoy, the glamping retreat is the perfect location for anyone looking to enjoy all that nature has to offer. The bright red tiny house is located in the town of Castleton, less than an hour from Belleville, Ontario. Surrounded by lush forest, the tower sits on a small hill with a large outdoor deck, which serves as the main living area for the retreat. Related: Energy-efficient ‘tiny tower’ home is organized like a full-scale skyscraper Inside the tower, the living space is compact but spacious enough for two guests. The interior is lined with wooden flooring and walls, giving the space a warm, cabin feel . On the first floor, guests can take advantage of a comfortable lounge space as well as a kitchenette, which comes equipped with a toaster oven, a hotplate and a microwave. The bedroom is found on the second-level sleeping loft . Guests will find a double bed with linens provided. For personal care, there is an outhouse with an outdoor sink and open-air shower facility just a short walk away from the tiny home. The rustic retreat is suited for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of urban life. The dual lounge chairs on the extended front deck are just the place to cuddle up with a good book. There is also a small dinette set for dining al fresco and a fun hightop bar area for after-dinner toddies. The Castleton area is known for its picturesque landscapes of rolling hills and forests, which offer a lot in terms of active travel. In the area around the tiny tower, there are plenty of trails for hiking and biking. The location is just a 25 minute drive to Lake Ontario, where guests to the tiny home retreat can explore the marsh, soak up some sun at the beach and enjoy long walks in the natural meadows. + Red Tower Via Glamping Hub Images via Glamping Hub

The rest is here:
This bold, tiny retreat in Ontario measures just 100 square feet

How your salon visit contributes to your carbon footprint

September 24, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green, Recycle

Comments Off on How your salon visit contributes to your carbon footprint

As the services available at salons evolve, waste, pollution and exposure to toxins have increasingly become part of the experience. When one considers that the beauty industry creates 420,000 pounds of waste every day in America alone, it’s not difficult to see why we should be aware of the carbon footprint your hair services actually create. One salon is hoping to change that to help clients feel their best without increasing their carbon footprints. Benjamin Novak Hudgins of Novak Hair Studios in the Dallas-Fort Worth area took a stand against this waste, and now runs a massive, 10,000 square-foot, zero-waste salon that employs more than 70 stylists and provides hair care for over 5,000 clients each month. Novak Hair Studios has successfully taken steps to remedy the many wasteful practices and is setting an example for other salons around the world. Related: Find Bliss in this natural, cruelty-free and affordable skincare Water  Reports have estimated that stylists use anywhere between 16 and 75 gallons of water per hour from rinsing out color, washing hair and cleaning supplies. Most of this is flushed directly down the drain. Multiply that by 6 to 12 clients each day per hairdresser, and you can begin to see the issue. To handle water consumption, the salon installed fixtures designed to cut water usage by 65 percent. All hair color is collected so that it doesn’t head into the sewer system, and even hair trimmings are put to good use. “We even found a way to repurpose human hair for cleaning up oil spills in rivers, lakes and oceans,” Hudgens said. Hair dye Ammonia and other chemicals included in hair dyes are rinsed into the drainage system. Although treated, commercial filters do not remove all of these chemicals, some of which have been linked to cancer, before they are reintroduced into the supply of potable water. In addition, the chemical offsetting during application puts the stylist and client at risk for inhaling the toxins. According to Hudgens, all hair color at Novak Hair Studios is diverted from being filtered back into the community’s drinking water, and the salon uses a plant-based hair product line, Eufora. Waste At most salons, trash cans overflow with plastic, foil, tubes, gloves and other waste that totals about 150,000,000 pounds of trash annually for the beauty industry. The average hair color treatment requires around 25 feet of aluminum foil. While foil can be recycled , it is only accepted if it is clean and dry, a step rarely taken in salons. In the trash heap, foil can take 200 to 400 years to break down. The salon boasts an impressive 95 percent rate of waste being diverted from landfills through its dedication to sustainable actions. In addition to sorting out hair clippings and dyes, all foil is cleaned and recycled; paper products, plastics and hair color gloves are also recycled. “The most effective solution we have found is partnering with Green Circle Salons, who helps manage all of the recycling solutions,” Hudgens said. “When you pair Green Circle’s resources up with creating accessible recycling stations throughout the salon, it makes sustainability a breeze.” To reduce electricity waste, the entire salon uses motion-sensored LED lights in addition to an abundance of windows that provide natural light. Air quality As part of Hudgens’ Clean Air Initiative, the salon revamped its air system and incorporated air-filtering plants into the space, providing consistent fresh air to the dozens of stylists and clients at all times. “My first fight was to confront cancer-causing and allergy-inducing products that are so commonly used in salons,” Hudgens said. “The final step to that initiative was the architectural design of our space. By leaving each individual studio’s ceiling exposed, we were able to create an open path for chemicals to directly enter the air filtration system and allow clean air flow into every space.” A salon changing the industry standard The biggest piece of the puzzle is awareness. There is a need for change that can only come about when the industry and clients realize the impact hair services have on the planet and make a conscious decision to do something about it. Consumers appreciate a conscientious business, meaning that sustainably minded salons will likely see an increase in business, which is a win for the company and the environment. Plus, it makes you and me feel better about that visit to the salon. “I quickly learned Fort Worth cares more than I could have ever imagined,” Hudgens said. “In just a year and a half of being open, we see more than 5,000 people a month. Not a single day goes by without our team being thanked for making a difference in our global impact and giving our clients the opportunity to choose a sustainable future in beauty.” + Novak Hair Studios Images via Novak Hair Studios, Social Butterfly MMG , Maria Geller , Arturs Budkevics and Adam Winger

Continued here: 
How your salon visit contributes to your carbon footprint

Canadas largest shipping container market welcomes crowds in Toronto

September 12, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on Canadas largest shipping container market welcomes crowds in Toronto

The people of Toronto are enjoying the country’s largest shipping container market, courtesy of local firm LGA Architectural Partners . Located on a two-block, 2.4 acre site, the Stackt market is comprised of various repurposed shipping containers, configured to make the most of the space in order to create a vibrant market area that serves as a community hub. The project is located at Bathurst and Front Streets. The lot is slated to be converted into a public park in the future, but in the meantime, LGA Architectural Partners collaborated with the local council to utilize the space to build the temporary market. Accordingly, the shipping container project had to be designed to not only serve as a community-centered public space but also in a way that it could be dismantled and installed in another area in the future. Related: Repurposed shipping containers turned into solar-powered Cycle Hubs The design of the Stackt market was focused on creating a welcoming social hub for the community. The multiple repurposed shipping containers are strategically stacked to create an open, light-filled market punctuated with several open-air courtyards. The ground level is comprised of a network of detached buildings with single- and double-height interiors that house a number of retail shops as well separate containers that have been installed with the basic utilities needed to support the businesses, such as heating and cooling systems, water infrastructure and more. The top containers are arranged in grid-like formations to create side passageways and courtyards that can be used for cultural events. The third story of containers are arranged in a staggered design that adds a unique, eye-catching dynamic to the marketplace. The market contains anchor and pop-up stores as well as several food and beverage spots, including an onsite brewery . All of the storefronts have a uniform design to create a cohesive look to the market and reduce visual clutter. While some of the stores are permanent, pop-up spaces will change with the seasons. According to Janna Levitt, partner at LGA Architectural Partners, the prime focus of the shipping container project was to create a lively space that currently meets the needs of this community and possibly another one down the road without leaving a permanent impact on the landscape . “As our world becomes more digital, retailers are looking for unique physical spaces and experiential opportunities for their customers,” Levitt said. “Shipping containers suggest an unusual and immersive retail experience while also offering a practical and sustainable building solution. Their inherent modularity means that the project can be disassembled and deployed elsewhere to create future Stackt developments, while leaving the site unscathed.” + LGA Architectural Partners Photography via Industryous Photography

Continued here:
Canadas largest shipping container market welcomes crowds in Toronto

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 1283 access attempts in the last 7 days.