Get Seasonal: Spring Recipes You’ll Love

April 12, 2021 by  
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To celebrate the season, we’re getting creative with the three As of spring: Asparagus, artichokes and arugula. The post Get Seasonal: Spring Recipes You’ll Love appeared first on Earth911.

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Get Seasonal: Spring Recipes You’ll Love

Get Seasonal: Spring Recipes You’ll Love

April 12, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco

To celebrate the season, we’re getting creative with the three As of spring: Asparagus, artichokes and arugula. The post Get Seasonal: Spring Recipes You’ll Love appeared first on Earth911.

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Get Seasonal: Spring Recipes You’ll Love

An Upstate New York studio heated and cooled without fossil fuels

April 5, 2021 by  
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With retirement and grandchildren on the horizon, a Manhattanite couple reached out to  GRT Architects  to design their new home in Upstate New York’s Dutchess County. Since the clients were on the fence about leaving New York City, the architects started by building a small studio that sensitively frames views of the 24-acre site’s pastoral landscape. Simply dubbed the Dutchess County Studio, the 800-square-foot dwelling provides an elegant getaway in nature and reduces its carbon footprint with a fossil-fuel-free heating and cooling system that relies on  radiant energy .  Located by a lake with zero neighbors in sight, the Dutchess County Studio was developed as part of GRT Architects’ site-sensitive master plan that includes schematic signs for a three-bedroom house, a workshop, a swimming pool, fire pit and dock along with a new shared driveway, septic system, well and electrical service. Knowing that the clients once lived in a  Frank Lloyd Wright -planned Usonia community, the architects also drew from Wright’s nature-centric design philosophy to place each building “where it would have a view but not be the view.” To recede the studio into the landscape, the architects clad the building in textured black brick and, to lend a sense of warmth to the exterior, topped the roof with natural cedar shakes with copper trim. The 800-square-foot  open plan  studio comprises three equally sized volumes arranged in a pinwheel formation and placed to follow the topography. Built-in volumes help maximize interior space while subtly delineating the three different rooms — cooking, living and sleeping — each of which is oriented to different landscape views. The living room includes a  Murphy bed  to accommodate guests.  Related: Cold Spring Residence, a family’s low-impact weekend retreat Happy with the successful design and build of the studio, the clients have given the architects the green light to move on with other elements of the master plan, with planning for the home underway. + GRT Architects Images by Ithai Schori

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An Upstate New York studio heated and cooled without fossil fuels

11 Sustainable Men’s Clothing Brands for Spring & Summer Style

March 19, 2021 by  
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The men’s fashion industry has churned out clothing for more than 150 years, and the… The post 11 Sustainable Men’s Clothing Brands for Spring & Summer Style appeared first on Earth911.

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11 Sustainable Men’s Clothing Brands for Spring & Summer Style

Seed, Sprout, Spectacular: Tips for Starting Your Garden From Scratch

March 12, 2021 by  
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As the spring flowers start to appear and the days … The post Seed, Sprout, Spectacular: Tips for Starting Your Garden From Scratch appeared first on Earth 911.

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Seed, Sprout, Spectacular: Tips for Starting Your Garden From Scratch

Companion plants to consider for your spring garden

March 11, 2021 by  
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Like humans, good plant companions bring out the best in each other. Throughout the forest, certain plants need the same resources and will cause competition between plants. In contrast, companion planting ensures plants are good neighbors, supporting each other instead of clashing. As an example, look to nature, where smaller plants take shelter from taller trees. In the gardening realm, this means equitably sharing nutrients and upholding each other, in a very literal way. It also means improving the health and overall yield of individual plants. When it comes to your garden, think about partnering up some classics that will benefit your landscape and your favorite garden-fresh recipe . Benefits to companion planting Choosing the right plants to combine in a space means being able to use every square foot. Intercropping results in lower plants growing upward by using taller plants as support. It also means different plants aren’t fighting for the same resources, so while carrots grow underground, an adjacent and shallow-rooted lettuce won’t infringe. Related: Top gardening trends of 2020 and what to watch for 2021 In addition, appropriately matched companion plants will provide insect control for the entire space. Similarly, many flowers attract desirable insects (like bees !) that can help out in the garden, naturally. For example, carrots, dill, parsley and parsnip attract beneficial insects like praying mantises, ladybugs and spiders that dine on problem insects on other garden plants. Other benefits of one plant to another include natural shade protection, weed suppression and healthier soil. The famous trio — The Three Sisters Any book on companion planting will mention a Native American discovery known as “ Three Sister Planting .” This trio brings together corn, beans and squash and serves as a perfect example of the power of companion plants. The corn, tall and sturdy, supports the beans below that naturally climb the stalk. The beans, like all legumes, balance nitrogen in the soil, which feeds the corn. Meanwhile, the squash, often in the form of pumpkins, quickly develops large leaves that provide shade and natural weed-blocking for both the beans and the corn. Companions to popular spring crops Here are some excellent suggestions for what to pair with the most popular plants going in the ground this spring. Tomatoes When you get the tomatoes in the ground, surround them with dill and basil to protect them from invasive hornworms. Lots of crops partner well with tomatoes, including asparagus, beans, carrots, celery, lettuce, melons, mint, onions, parsley, peppers, radishes, spinach and thyme. As you move through the seasons, replace the cool weather, early season options with those that perform better during the summer heat. Cabbage Although you don’t want to put cabbage next to tomatoes, they do have several companions in common. Intermingle sage to deter cabbage moths. Also add in beans, celery, cucumbers, dill, kale, lettuce, mint, onions, potatoes, spinach and thyme as the weather and seasons allow. Radishes Radishes are quick-growing, cool weather veggies perfect for spring planting. Radish is also a great partner for other garden inhabitants, because it grows underground. Common radish companion plants include basil, beans, carrots, cucumber, coriander, lettuce, melons, onions, peas, spinach and tomatoes. Keep radishes away from kohlrabi and hyssop. Lettuce All leafy greens appreciate the cool days of spring and start to struggle with the heat that summer brings. The many varieties of lettuce partner well with just about anything else you’re able to plant, and some plants will even keep lettuce shaded and cool enough to extend its season a bit. Good garden neighbors for lettuce include asparagus, beets, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, onions, peas, potatoes, radishes, spinach, strawberries, sunflowers and tomatoes. Just keep lettuce away from broccoli. Peas Snow, snap and string peas also excel in a spring garden, especially when paired with beans, carrots, corn, cucumbers, radishes and turnips. Do not allow peas to share garden space with onions and garlic. Onions and garlic Like co-workers after a garlicky lunch, these plants deter a wide range of pests. Even with their notoriously strong statement as a vegetable, the plants are mild and friendly with most garden neighbors. The exception is beans and peas, which are stunted when paired with onions and garlic. Potatoes Avoid putting potatoes next to sunflowers. Otherwise, they are fairly happy in any neighborhood. They do especially well when coupled with beans, cabbage, corn, eggplant and peas. Overall good neighbors There are some plants that are generally seen as good neighbors to everyone. As pest control, marigolds are universally acknowledged for the ability to repel nematodes, a particularly aggressive little bugger. Nasturtiums, in contrast, draw aphids toward them, keeping the insects from munching down nearby tomatoes, lettuce, kale and cabbage. Related: Companion planting for beginners Although toxic to livestock, tansy can be a welcome addition to the garden as a repellent for cutworm , which can decimate asparagus, bean, cabbage, carrot, celery, corn, lettuce, pea, pepper, potato and tomato plants.  Many herbs including catnip, hyssop, rosemary and sage will scare off the cabbage moth, an enemy of crops like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, turnip and radish. Also note that you can improve your pest control by avoiding planting large groupings or rows of the same type of vegetable, which can serve as a bullseye for problematic pests. Space considerations In addition to balancing out each other’s needs, companion plants work together to provide the greatest yield in the smallest space. Efficiency and organization in your garden means placing quick-growing spring selections like lettuce, spinach, radishes, swiss chard and carrots in between the early buds of long-season crops like melon, pumpkin and squash. With this technique, the quick crops will be ready for harvest before the sprawling plants need more real estate to grow. Images via Adobe Stock

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Companion plants to consider for your spring garden

A three-handed robot quickly and efficiently sorts recycling

February 15, 2021 by  
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Robots contribute to efficiency and productivity in businesses around the globe daily. So when Matanya Horowitz, founder of AMP Robotics, discovered how inefficient the recycling business had become, he put his company to work to develop a solution. The result is a three-handed robot that views, makes decisions and sorts recycling on the line. Industry studies have shown a huge amount of recycling waste. Although education and improvements in curbside recycling availability have increased the amount of recycling at the business and consumer levels, a huge portion of that is pulled off the recycling conveyor belt and ends up in the trash anyway. Additionally, the stricter purity specifications from international buyers, such as China, have created more of a waste stream. Related: Oil and plastic industry spent millions to mislead the public about plastic recycling “There’s a tremendous amount of value captured in paper, and plastic, and metal, that right now is lost at the landfill” Horowitz explained in a video. “The trouble is that the value of this material is really eroded by the cost of sorting it out in these recycling centers.” This tedious manual sorting can now be done by a robot that analyzes and sorts 80 plastic , metal and paper items of recycling per minute, which is estimated to be twice the rate of human sorters performing the same task. Plus, accuracy is rated at 99%; the company reported, “We can recognize and recover material as small as a bottlecap and as unique as a Keurig coffee pod or Starbucks cup that may require secondary processing to ensure they are recycled.” The robot uses the same “seeing” vision as self-driving cars, which allows it to analyze and make decisions about materials as they approach. It then either tells its suction cup ‘hands’ to pick an item up or allows it to float by. The system is also equipped with artificial intelligence that allows it to continuously improve accuracy, including the ability to identify squished or faded containers. With the improved speed and efficiency, this innovation could dramatically increase the amount of recycled and reused materials. In turn, this means a reduction in waste and carbon emissions at the landfill. “Globally, more than $200 billion worth of recyclable materials goes unrecovered annually,” Horowitz told Inverse. “A.I.-driven automation enables the efficient recovery of more material, which increases recycling rates and reduces human impact on the environment.” While the entire system is high-tech and sounds a bit sci-fi, the installation is easily mounted over conveyor belts in as little as 48 hours. Following a weekend installation, recycling centers can implement the robot for $6,000 a month for an estimated cost savings of 70%. However, AMP Robotics recognizes the cost of human job loss and encourages employee retraining programs. In the spring of 2020, AMP Robotics reported robot installations in more than 20 states, estimating a reduction of half a million tons of greenhouse gases . The company claims to have processed more than one billion individual items in the waste stream over a 12-month period. Robots are here to stay in nearly every aspect of our lives, from cars to vacuums to food delivery, an idea further supported by the fact that the company entered into a contract with one of the largest waste management companies in the country, Waste Connections, to install 24 robots on recycling lines last year alone. + AMP Robotics Via Inverse Images via AMP Robotics

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A three-handed robot quickly and efficiently sorts recycling

A three-handed robot quickly and efficiently sorts recycling

February 15, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green, Recycle

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Robots contribute to efficiency and productivity in businesses around the globe daily. So when Matanya Horowitz, founder of AMP Robotics, discovered how inefficient the recycling business had become, he put his company to work to develop a solution. The result is a three-handed robot that views, makes decisions and sorts recycling on the line. Industry studies have shown a huge amount of recycling waste. Although education and improvements in curbside recycling availability have increased the amount of recycling at the business and consumer levels, a huge portion of that is pulled off the recycling conveyor belt and ends up in the trash anyway. Additionally, the stricter purity specifications from international buyers, such as China, have created more of a waste stream. Related: Oil and plastic industry spent millions to mislead the public about plastic recycling “There’s a tremendous amount of value captured in paper, and plastic, and metal, that right now is lost at the landfill” Horowitz explained in a video. “The trouble is that the value of this material is really eroded by the cost of sorting it out in these recycling centers.” This tedious manual sorting can now be done by a robot that analyzes and sorts 80 plastic , metal and paper items of recycling per minute, which is estimated to be twice the rate of human sorters performing the same task. Plus, accuracy is rated at 99%; the company reported, “We can recognize and recover material as small as a bottlecap and as unique as a Keurig coffee pod or Starbucks cup that may require secondary processing to ensure they are recycled.” The robot uses the same “seeing” vision as self-driving cars, which allows it to analyze and make decisions about materials as they approach. It then either tells its suction cup ‘hands’ to pick an item up or allows it to float by. The system is also equipped with artificial intelligence that allows it to continuously improve accuracy, including the ability to identify squished or faded containers. With the improved speed and efficiency, this innovation could dramatically increase the amount of recycled and reused materials. In turn, this means a reduction in waste and carbon emissions at the landfill. “Globally, more than $200 billion worth of recyclable materials goes unrecovered annually,” Horowitz told Inverse. “A.I.-driven automation enables the efficient recovery of more material, which increases recycling rates and reduces human impact on the environment.” While the entire system is high-tech and sounds a bit sci-fi, the installation is easily mounted over conveyor belts in as little as 48 hours. Following a weekend installation, recycling centers can implement the robot for $6,000 a month for an estimated cost savings of 70%. However, AMP Robotics recognizes the cost of human job loss and encourages employee retraining programs. In the spring of 2020, AMP Robotics reported robot installations in more than 20 states, estimating a reduction of half a million tons of greenhouse gases . The company claims to have processed more than one billion individual items in the waste stream over a 12-month period. Robots are here to stay in nearly every aspect of our lives, from cars to vacuums to food delivery, an idea further supported by the fact that the company entered into a contract with one of the largest waste management companies in the country, Waste Connections, to install 24 robots on recycling lines last year alone. + AMP Robotics Via Inverse Images via AMP Robotics

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A three-handed robot quickly and efficiently sorts recycling

Climate change increases pollen and worsens allergies

February 11, 2021 by  
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If you feel like you’re going through hankies faster than ever, you’re not just imagining it. Climate change is making allergy season even worse, according to a new study. Researchers concluded that pollen and planetary warming are closely tied in a study published on Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences . Allergy season is both beginning sooner and generating more pollen overall, thanks to a sneeze-inducing mixture of warmer air and more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The study’s authors found that pollen season in North America now starts about 20 days earlier than it did in 1990 and produces about 21% more pollen. Research predicts that this trend will accelerate. Related: Avoid allergies this spring with these 7 natural remedies The study used attribution science techniques to estimate the degree to which wildfires, rainfall during hurricanes, and other extreme weather events are worse than they’d be if the planet wasn’t getting toastier. “It’s a great piece of work,” Kristie Ebi of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at the University of Washington said of the study. “There has been very little research on the application of detection and attribution analysis to the health risks of a changing climate.” By examining data from 60 pollen-monitoring stations around the U.S., the researchers found the runniest noses and most watery eyes in Texas, the Southeast and the Midwest. Less pollen-driven mucous production was happening in the northern states. The greatest increase in pollen is coming from trees, not the more traditional culprits of grasses and weeds. While a runny nose is annoying enough, allergies can have serious effects on public health. Asthma and respiratory diseases are life-threatening and can increase the severity of respiratory viruses like COVID-19 . + PNAS Via The New York Times Image via Magda Pawluczuk

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Climate change increases pollen and worsens allergies

From raising cows to growing veggies: ranchers go vegan

February 11, 2021 by  
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Richard and Cindy Traylor are part of a growing number of ranchers who have made the surprising switch to plant-based agriculture . In 2018, Honey, Cindy’s favorite cow, was injured. Cindy had become so attached to Honey that she didn’t want the cow to go to a slaughterhouse. She got in touch with Renee King-Sonnen of Rowdy Girl Sanctuary , who introduced the Traylors to a whole new way of living. The Traylors shared their experiences with Inhabitat about making the change to a vegan diet and livelihood on their Huntsville, Texas ranch. Related: Why American ranchers are feeding Skittles to their cattle Inhabitat: What have been the reactions of neighbors, family members and others in your life to halting ranching and switching to veganism? Cindy: Everyone we have talked to has been supportive. When we explain that we now eat vegan and how good we feel, they seem curious; however, so far we have not heard that anyone has tried to change their diet. We do have a young friend who was wowed when he sat and ate spaghetti and “meatballs.” Richard: When I was first confronted with veganism, I get the same ignorant response from others, which is “I’m carnivorous. I’m a meat eater. I need the protein. I’m healthy enough. It doesn’t hurt the environment that bad. There are other things that hurt the environment just as bad.” Inhabitat: Tell us a little bit about why Honey the cow was so special to you. Cindy: Honey was my “baby.” She would eat out of my hand and was a really gentle creature. When she gave birth, she immediately would let me know and show me her calf . I would ooh and ahh and tell her what a beautiful baby she had. She was the youngest of the mothers and she would let the other calves nurse off her. Our connection was really deep, and I hated to see her hurt! Richard: When she was a little over a year, I built a five-strand barb wire fence, one strand at a time, from the bottom up. In essence, I taught her, albeit accidentally, how to jump the fence. Each strand I put up, I thought would be the last one she would jump. The top strand, the fifth strand, she would still jump it. I have never seen a cow that could jump fences like her. She did that for several years. Inhabitat: What have been the best benefits to going vegan? Cindy: Personally, I had wanted to go vegan in my twenties. I asked my doctor, who immediately told me that I couldn’t. You see, I have Crohn’s and for decades, I was back and forth to the hospital. Now, I jumped at the chance. Not only to see how it may help me health -wise, but to do my part in ending cruelty to animals. I cannot remember feeling this good! It has really helped me with Crohn’s symptoms and my arthritis doesn’t hurt anymore. I have neuropathy in my feet, and now I don’t have that tingling all the time…it is gone! I love creating meals — everything is delicious. Richard: I don’t have knee or back pain, I have more energy that individuals half my age envy. The first thing I tell people is how good I feel! I have no muscle cramps from working and sweating. Inhabitat: What are the hardest things about going vegan? Cindy: I had been dairy-free for decades, because I have a milk intolerance, so that was not a problem for me and Richard followed suit, because I do the cooking! There were a couple of things for me that were difficult. First, it was putting together enough recipes and understanding what veggies provide essential vitamins, minerals and protein. Then, it was finding a substitute for eggs! Baking without eggs kind of stumped me at first. Then, as I read more, I found several products to solve that problem. We now use for breakfast, Just Egg and Just Fold, which we love! Another problem for Richard, was thinking that veganism was boring, tasteless and bland. He soon realized that spices can do wonders! We both wish we had pursued this decades ago. The amazing thing now is that there are so many new plant-based products in the grocery stores and in the fast-food markets. Inhabitat: Tell us a little bit about what the RAP Summit is and your involvement in it. Cindy: Well, we attended the first Summit in November, as ranchers in transition. Right now, we do not have our cattle on our property, so in order to have an agriculture exemption, we need to find our “niche” for the future. There are a lot of options, and our state is specific as to what we can grow. The Rancher Advocacy Program (RAP) is helping us find our way. Renee and Tommy [Sonnen] are there to help us with any questions and find experts in whatever direction we choose to go. We have held Zoom meetings with everyone to brainstorm and talk about what we need to do. Renee and Tommy have been incredibly supportive. Inhabitat: What are some of the new uses you’re considering for your land? Cindy: Right now, we have several ideas: growing hemp for CBD oil, peas and fava beans for protein sources (this was something that vegan cheesemaker Miyoko Schinner mentioned at the Summit), as we want to produce a product that will be marketable and beneficial for the environment. Bamboo is another option we have been considering; however, this may not be doable for us at this time. Inhabitat: How do animal and plant-based agriculture compare as far as making a living? Cindy: Well, animal agriculture is less intensive during the warm months, as the pastures provide most of the cattle’s feed. We have two ponds for drinking, so that is also taken care of. There is fencing to repair, cattle to take to the market (which I always hated!), hay to buy and store. Plant-based agriculture will be more work-intensive. Irrigation, picking the produce, weeding, marketing, packaging, talking to vendors. The list goes on and on. However, it will be more fulfilling to know that we are not sending an animal to market to get slaughtered. And we are helping the environment. For example, peas and fava beans give back nitrogen to the soil. Other plants will be rotated to put back other nutrients into the soil. That way, less fertilizers are needed. Richard: We hope to give back to the soil , rather than take from the soil, which we have done for decades. We want to have a healthy environment for the future. Inhabitat: What else should others know about transitioning from raising cows to plants? Cindy: There are lots of people out there who are knowledgeable and willing to be mentors to help ranchers transition to another industry. I can attest that changing over to plants is emotionally freeing, because I used to dread when the calves got to a certain age/weight. I don’t think anyone “likes” to have their animals slaughtered. Richard: The environment is most important to protect our planet. The entire process of methane gases causing rising temperatures, growing hay, grasses equals less trees and less oxygen, the runoff of the fertilizers that end up in the creeks, bayous, rivers and oceans is poisoning the planet. + Cindy and Richard Traylor Images via Adobe Stock

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From raising cows to growing veggies: ranchers go vegan

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