These solar-powered cabins are made of natural materials and shungite plaster

June 29, 2020 by  
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The Karg Cabin provides owners with a cozy opportunity for off-grid living with 100% solar-power capabilities (and that’s not even its most sustainable feature). These honeycombed-shaped micro-homes are also made completely out of natural materials . The solar-powered Karg Cabins come in three different designs: a standard cabin, a micro-home (measuring about 129 to 215 square feet) and a sauna. Karg Cabins can be used year-round and are easily transported via flatbed to a variety of rural or urban locations without a need for environmentally damaging foundations. Solar energy is used to provide 100% of the power needed for everything from lighting to ventilation to electrical sockets. Related: Check out these amazing sustainable cabins by ZeroCabin The compact design, ease of transportation and variety of different model types makes the Karg perfect for a traveling office, guest house, micro-home or just a spot to detox and disconnect from normal, everyday life. When it comes to building materials, the company chooses only those that can be found in nature. The majority of the structure consists of straw panels, cellulose wool for insulation , wood and shungite, a type of carbon-rich mineral found in Russia that is known for its healing properties. The straw panels help ensure proper insulation due to its ability to store heat and provide long-term, stable temperatures indoors. Cellulose wool collects moisture and is breathable enough to maintain a comfortable interior climate yet strong enough to eliminate condensation and keep the construction damage-free during the wet season. Shungite plaster is believed to block electromagnetic waves (EMF), improving the sleep quality of those living inside the home and keeping the interior very quiet. Triple-glazed, reflective windows help bring in natural light and connect the occupant with the outside environment. The Estonian company offers an online feature where those interested can build their own Karg on the website to find out exactly how much their personalized, off-grid cabin or sauna will cost. + Karg Images via Karg

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These solar-powered cabins are made of natural materials and shungite plaster

Green Building in Cold Climates: Inhabitat Interview with Bernat and Kate of Maison Durable Portneuf

March 21, 2014 by  
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We’ve seen many examples of how well green buildings can work in temperate and warm climates, but what about the harsher conditions that can lash homes in rural Quebec? Inhabitat recently had the opportunity to interview Bernat Ferragut and Kate Alvo of Maison Durable Portneuf  about the innovative techniques they used to create their eco-friendly, sustainable, elegant home in the woods of Portneuf, Quebec, and how they can help others do the same. Read the rest of Green Building in Cold Climates: Inhabitat Interview with Bernat and Kate of Maison Durable Portneuf Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: breathable paint , compost , composting toilet , earth berm , eco home , eco paints , eco-friendly , house on stilts , humanure , Kate Alvo , Maison Durable , paint , passive solar , permaculture , Prefab , prefabricated , recycled , recycled wood , recycling , solar , solar panels , Solar Power , Straw , Straw Bale , straw bale home , straw bale homes , Sustainability        

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Green Building in Cold Climates: Inhabitat Interview with Bernat and Kate of Maison Durable Portneuf

Americans Put the Environment Ahead of Economic Growth For the First Time Since the Recession

March 21, 2014 by  
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Photo from Shutterstock A few years ago, when the economy took a nosedive, a majority of Americans decided for the first time since the 1980s that the economy was more important to protect than the environment. Fortunately, that trend has reversed itself once again. Gallup has released a poll which shows that Americans once again prioritize the environment over economic growth by a 9 point margin, with Democrats leading the shift. Read the rest of Americans Put the Environment Ahead of Economic Growth For the First Time Since the Recession Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Democrat environment , economic growth , economic policy , economy poll , economy vs environment , environment poll , environmental destruction , environmental policy , environmental protection , Gallup , Gallup economic growth poll , Gallup environmental poll , Gallup Poll , Gallup poll economy , Gallup poll environment , Gallup poll environment vs economy , Republican economy        

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Americans Put the Environment Ahead of Economic Growth For the First Time Since the Recession

German Scientists Believe Straw Could be Used to Power Millions of Homes

October 21, 2013 by  
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Scientists from the Thueringian Regional Institute for Agriculture, the German Biomass Research Center , and the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research have concluded that common straw could be used to provide power and heat to millions of homes throughout Germany. The team estimate that out of a total of 30 million tons of cereal straw produced annually in Germany, between 8 and 13 million tons could be used to produce energy or fuel. This would provide 1.7 to 2.8 million average households with electricity and 2.8 to 4.5 million households with heating. Read the rest of German Scientists Believe Straw Could be Used to Power Millions of Homes Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable energy” , biomass , Denmark , EU , German biomass research center , germany , Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research , renewable energy , Straw , Thueringian regional institute for agriculture        

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German Scientists Believe Straw Could be Used to Power Millions of Homes

L’ Uritonnoir Turns Festival Goers’ Pee into Rich Compost

April 26, 2013 by  
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Festivals and beer go hand in hand, and the wait in line for the nearest port-o-potty or urinal is usually a long one. French design firm Faltazi sees this need to pee not as a hindrance, but as an eco-friendly opportunity. Their l’Uritonnoir outdoor urinal may just look like a straw bale, but the simple apparatus is really a center of upcycling- turning the urine from endless festival fans into nutrient-rich compost! Read the rest of L’ Uritonnoir Turns Festival Goers’ Pee into Rich Compost Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: composting toilet , composting urinal , eco design , faltazi , green design , l’uritonnoir , Straw bale urinal , sustainable design        

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L’ Uritonnoir Turns Festival Goers’ Pee into Rich Compost

Best ways to recycle plastic drinking straws

August 30, 2011 by  
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Babita Sajnani: Hawaian Lei Beautiful exotic Hawaiian garlands made out of straw As we all know, plastic takes hundreds of thousands of years to decompose, during which time its toxic attributes pollute the ecosystems and sometimes even pollutes the scarce groundwater reserves. However, plastic being affordable and water resistant at the same time, is being used to produce everything from electronic gadgets to drinking straws. While there are some plastic products which we use for a longer period of time, products such as plastic water bottles and straws are discarded after single use. Trying to solve the issues related to single use plastic products, several ingenious minds have thought of creative ways to recycle straws into innovative products that can be reused. Here is a list of 10 such products that are crafted out of plastic drinking straws. 1. Plastic straw necklace Straw necklance interconnecting straws to make a fine necklace This is a perfect necklace made out of plastic straws that is easy to make and would be a great fun activity for your little girls! You can even try to make a matching bracelet and ring with the straws. For making the necklace, you would need yarn, straws and a pair of scissors. Firstly, one straw should be cut 5 inches long and then the pieces should be folded along the middle and fastened with a long piece of yarn – leaving a good length of yarn on either sides. Then the remaining straws should be cut into smaller pieces. These pieces can then be strewn with the help of the yarn on both the ends. After achieving the right length, tie a knot with the two ends of the yarn and voila your necklace is ready. 2. Sweet Candy Gift Box A pinwheel with a straw candy stand Perfect craft to treat your friends to candy This candy pinwheel-cum-gift box is a great party decoration and is also very simple to make. The things that we require for this craft is 2 pieces (15 cm) colored paper of good thickness, two smaller square pieces with sides measuring 5 cm, red paint marker, scissors, glitter glue that matches the design on the paper, 1 straw, one pin, a piece of crepe, a pencil and candies. Base: The craft has to be done in two parts. In the first part i.e. making the base, you have to first take a large piece of paper and fold it equally and then unfold on either sides. Then you must bring each corner to the middle and press the paper down. Now turn the paper over and do the same on the other side. Then gently pull out the edges so that it looks like a 4-cup container . Pinwheel: In the second part i.e. make a pinwheel and fasten it with a circle cut from the crepe paper and a pin. The pin should be fastened to the straw. Now join the two parts – the candy-filled base and the pinwheel by making a small slit in the base to slip the straw smoothly. Fill the base with lots of candies. 3. Straw Plane Straw airplane A fuselage made with straw This easy straw craft is basically a tissue-filled fuselage with cardstock wings and the best part is that it can fly pretty smoothly too! For making the straw plane you would require a flexible straw, a sheet of cardstock, a soft paper napkin, tape (light), and a pair of scissors. Firstly, you must cut the straw from the bend and then twist a napkin and stuff it in the cavity of the straw so that it completely fills it up. Then fold the cardstock in half and outline one wing and tail – which, when cut, will produce two joined tails and wings. Stick them carefully on to the straw fuselage with tape and your plane is ready to take-off! 4. Hawaiian Lei Hawaian Lei Beautiful exotic Hawaiian garlands made out of straw Girls enjoy making crafts that are exotic and wearable too, so the Hawaiian Lei would make a great activity. For this, you would required Crayola Color Explosion paper which you can cut into many flower shapes and can also decorate them with glitter. Punch holes in the middle of the glowers and then take a ribbon/yarn which would be around 61 cm long. Cut the straws into 5 cm pieces each and string them with the help of the yarn – alternating between a flower and a straw piece to create a beautiful Hawaiian Lei. 5. Baby big eyes Baby Big Eyes Straw colorful toy for attracting babies This is a beautiful and colorful craft that can really hold a baby’s attention with its vibrant colors and patterns. For making this, you would need to cut a sheet of construction paper in half to make a long and thinner strip. Fold the paper into a wide fan to make four blocks. Then use Crayola Washable Classic Broad Line Markers for drawing dark beautiful patterns on each block. Stick and wrap the ends on to a straw with glue. 6. Basketball Hoop Game This is a craft that is suitable for children who are 8 years and above. For this craft, you would require craft foam, egg carton cup, masking tape, cardboard, straw, scissors, hot glue gun and glue sticks, a chenille stem (optional) and also a pom-pom (2.5 cm in diameter). Firstly, you must cut the egg carton cup (9 x 12 cm) and poke a hole at the bottom and cut it off big enough to fit a pom-pom. This forms the basket ball net. Cut the back board out of craft foam and fasten it to a straw along with the egg carton. Then the entire structure can be place on the cardboard for which you need to make a small hole and then fill it up with hot glue and fasten the straw into it. Then you can use a pompom to play basketball! 7. Circles Lollipop For this craft, you would require construction paper or craft foam, a glue stick, drinking straws, scotch tape, compass, scissors and glitter glue. First, draw three circles small medium and large and cut them out. Glue the circles together – from big to small and then fasten a straw to the back with tape. You can now decorate your lollipop by using glitter glue. 8. Crepe Paper Roses Straw crepe roses Straw and crepe roses are great for Valentines. For paper roses you would require, red and green crepe paper, green paper straws or plastic straws, scissors and tape. First take a rectangular piece of red crepe paper and fold it in 9 rectangular segments around 7cm x 10 cm each. Then sketch a petal to the center of the folded crepe paper and cut to make 9 petals. Then spread the petals with the help of your thumb to give it a flower shape. Attach each petal to the straw using tape until all the petals are arranged to make a flower. 9. Beaded Curtain For this craft you would require yarn, neon colored straws and beads. You can make cheaper and amazing looking beaded curtains by simply cutting plastic straws into 2 inch segments and then threading them into 5 feet of yarn with beads in between for decoration. The beaded curtains not only turn out to look beautiful but are also very durable – making it an excellent way to recycle old plastic straws! 10. Bubble Mania Bubble Mania Bubble making with straws For this fun bubble craft, you would require a sheet of card stock (8.5″ x 11″), bowl and spoon, scissors, tape, 1 cup water, 2 tbsp dish-washing liquid, plastic straw and 2 tbs glycerin. For this, you need to make a bubble blower by rolling the card stock into a conical shape and affixing it with tape. The narrow end should be trimmed to 1/2 inch diameter. Then prepare a mix of water, glycerin and dish-washing liquid in order to perform many tricks. In the first trick, dip the wider end of the cone into the bubble mix and hold it inside for a couple of seconds, take it out and then quickly immerse it inside the solution again. Then point the cone to the ground and blow a large bubble and leave it attached to the cone by sealing the narrow end with your finger. Now poke the bubble with a pair of scissors, and the bubble will not burst but the scissors will pass through the bubble very smoothly without bursting it. In the second trick blow a bubble just like in the first trick and then also dip the straw in the bubble solution (just wet 2 inches of it). Insert the soapy end of the straw inside the big bubble and then gently blow the straw to create a bubble within a bubble.

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Best ways to recycle plastic drinking straws

How can I reuse or recycle straw coasters & placemats?

October 15, 2010 by  
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We’ve had an email from Katy: Cleaning out my mum’s cupboards I’ve found some tatty straw tablemats and a set of coasters that must be as old as me! Can I compost them? Maybe.

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How can I reuse or recycle straw coasters & placemats?

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