This outdoor furniture line uses upcycled rice hulls that outperform wood

September 29, 2021 by  
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Michigan-based furniture manufacturing company Grand Rapids Chair Company has unveiled a sustainable addition to its repertoire of personalized chairs and tables. The Bowen Collection is a classically framed  table  with a twist — its top surface material is made using an ultra-durable blend of upcycled rice hulls that would have otherwise gone to waste . This agricultural byproduct of rice farming, called acre, actually holds up better than traditional wood, according to the company. Acre mimics the style of wood while providing upgraded weather, pest, water and UV damage resistance. It’s also guaranteed not to rot, crack or splinter. Acre is extremely lightweight and free from phenol,  formaldehyde  and adhesive that could off-gas into potentially harmful VOCs. Related: Designer Lucas Couto joins Precious Plastic for recycling project Veteran designers for the company, Tim Stoepker and Sara Gesink, are responsible for the collection’s aesthetic. “We landed on the picnic style slat design which we felt really spoke well to the community and the togetherness aspect of a picnic table, but higher end,” said Gesink while describing the design process. “With the hoop leg, it could visually fit inside in different environments versus going picnic style with the leg,” added Stoepker. The tables are manufactured locally in the Grand Rapids facility with rice hulls produced in Mississippi to minimize the company’s  carbon footprint. Buyers can choose between three heights for the Bowen table, including dining, counter and bar sizes, as well as pedestal and communal designs that come in 11 different stains colors. Additionally, the  steel  base for the pedestal design comes in 150 different powder coats. For those interested in using their table in an area that gets a lot of sun, there’s an option for adding an umbrella hole that fits any standard-sized umbrella in the center. Prices start at $1,006 for the pedestal table and $2,507 for the communal table. + Grand Rapids Chair Company Photography by Dean Van Dis

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This outdoor furniture line uses upcycled rice hulls that outperform wood

Greta Thunberg slams global leaders for their "blah, blah, blah"

September 29, 2021 by  
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Eighteen-year-old environmental activist Greta Thunberg has condemned global leaders for their lack of action to address the climate crisis . The outspoken activist has dismissed their words as empty talk.  Thunberg quoted U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson , saying, “This is not some expensive, politically correct, green act of bunny hugging.” She argues that global leaders have failed to live up to promises they made. Related: Rainn Wilson launches climate change web series featuring Greta Thunberg At the Youth4Climate summit in Milan on Tuesday, Thunberg called on world leaders to issue and commit to more stringent pledges. She also highlighted that carbon emissions continue to rise, despite many countries pledging to cut emissions. According to the U.N., carbon emissions are  on track to rise by 16% by 2030 . This is contrary to global environmental goals of reducing emissions to keep global heating below 1.5 degrees Celsius.  “Build back better. Blah, blah, blah. Green economy . Blah blah blah. Net zero by 2050. Blah, blah, blah,” Thunberg said in a speech. “This is all we hear from our so-called leaders. Words that sound great but so far have not led to action. Our hopes and ambitions drown in their empty promises.” Her speech comes as global leaders prepare for the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow on Oct. 31. High polluting countries such as the U.S. and China have been challenged to deliver tougher pledges to stop global temperatures from rising. While Thunberg agrees that there is a need for dialogue among global citizens, she has expressed her worries about the lack of action . She notes that, for over 30 years, global leaders have issued climate reform pledges without any meaningful action. “Of course we need constructive dialogue,” said Thunberg. “But they’ve now had 30 years of blah, blah, blah and where has that led us? We can still turn this around – it is entirely possible. It will take immediate, drastic annual emission reductions. But not if things go on like today. Our leaders’ intentional lack of action is a betrayal toward all present and future generations.” Via The Guardian Lead image via Anthony Quintano

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Greta Thunberg slams global leaders for their "blah, blah, blah"

Greta Thunberg slams global leaders for their "blah, blah, blah"

September 29, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

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Eighteen-year-old environmental activist Greta Thunberg has condemned global leaders for their lack of action to address the climate crisis . The outspoken activist has dismissed their words as empty talk.  Thunberg quoted U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson , saying, “This is not some expensive, politically correct, green act of bunny hugging.” She argues that global leaders have failed to live up to promises they made. Related: Rainn Wilson launches climate change web series featuring Greta Thunberg At the Youth4Climate summit in Milan on Tuesday, Thunberg called on world leaders to issue and commit to more stringent pledges. She also highlighted that carbon emissions continue to rise, despite many countries pledging to cut emissions. According to the U.N., carbon emissions are  on track to rise by 16% by 2030 . This is contrary to global environmental goals of reducing emissions to keep global heating below 1.5 degrees Celsius.  “Build back better. Blah, blah, blah. Green economy . Blah blah blah. Net zero by 2050. Blah, blah, blah,” Thunberg said in a speech. “This is all we hear from our so-called leaders. Words that sound great but so far have not led to action. Our hopes and ambitions drown in their empty promises.” Her speech comes as global leaders prepare for the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow on Oct. 31. High polluting countries such as the U.S. and China have been challenged to deliver tougher pledges to stop global temperatures from rising. While Thunberg agrees that there is a need for dialogue among global citizens, she has expressed her worries about the lack of action . She notes that, for over 30 years, global leaders have issued climate reform pledges without any meaningful action. “Of course we need constructive dialogue,” said Thunberg. “But they’ve now had 30 years of blah, blah, blah and where has that led us? We can still turn this around – it is entirely possible. It will take immediate, drastic annual emission reductions. But not if things go on like today. Our leaders’ intentional lack of action is a betrayal toward all present and future generations.” Via The Guardian Lead image via Anthony Quintano

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Greta Thunberg slams global leaders for their "blah, blah, blah"

Piki Poma’s conscious fashion line uses 100% recycled fibers

August 19, 2021 by  
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Clothing company Piki Poma’s founders, sisters Mirna Litovic and Ida Babic, both come from a  fashion  design background. Last year in 2020, Litovic and Babic decided to begin creating natural and eco-friendly bags, shoes and clothing made using sustainable, cutting edge materials (including 100% recycled fibers). To prevent waste, all products in the conscious fashion line are crafted by hand in Croatia in small batches, adding high quality and a custom feel to each piece. Designed with a lightweight construction for multiple seasons, Piki Poma pieces are made for lasting comfort year-round from day to night. Parts of the collection are permanently crushed and pleated to give it additional texture and playfulness. Related: Ecologyst is a truly transparent fashion brand The fabrics are crafted from REPREVE yarns, UniFi’s recycled fibers and  PET plastic bottles . The REPREVE yarn is especially innovative as it eliminates the need to reuse petroleum, helping to reduce greenhouse gases, save water and save energy during production. Some of the pieces include the Baal skirt with a detachable rope-like belt that’s pleated horizontally, the Fabela dress that combines classic with modern  style , the Tago shirt which can be worn as both a dress or a tunic, and the Moni textured scarf that’s designed to catch the light whether it’s worn tied, twisted, looped or folded.  In addition to skirts, slip-on dresses, tunics and scarves available in black, nude, red and gray, the collection incorporates Wild As A Wind clogs and Corky bags that are handmade from natural vegan leather. An extra environmentally conscious jewelry collection uses materials like tree veneer and recyclable, sustainable materials using the bentwood method — by soaking a small strip of wood veneer and wrapping the thin sheet around itself. The jewelry is dyed with organic colors, using a blend of natural oils, creating tones of gold, red, purple and blue. + Piki Poma Images courtesy of Piki Poma

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Piki Poma’s conscious fashion line uses 100% recycled fibers

Cloudy Courtyard is crystal clear in its historical inspiration

July 21, 2021 by  
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The best architecture tells a story. It honors tradition and culture. It speaks to history. Although it doesn’t require onlookers to understand the heritage behind the design, it does require the architect to have a deep understanding of the traditional elements that define the style. Such is the case with Cloudy Courtyard, a residence and hotel in Shiguan Xiang, Anqing Yuexi, Anhui. Architectural firm One Take Architects recently completed the project, which began with an idea and developed through the study and replication of “traditional houses in west Anhui.” The result is a series of spaces that are intertwined and connected by courtyards . Inside and out, these spaces connect to nature, not only with the use of varying colors and textures but with focused and generalized views of the surrounding area. Cloudy Courtyard is located at the meeting point between Anhui, Jiangxi and Hubei at the end of a rural road in a town called Yuexi, a place well-acclaimed for its architectural richness. Related: Solar Trees Marketplace honors nature, technology and Chinese culture “Yuexi has been on the main road of Hakka immigrants since ancient times. In the early Ming Dynasty, a large number of immigrants from the Poyang Lake Basin in northern Jiangxi moved from Waxieba to Anqing Mansion and elsewhere. And immigration factors made Anqing a subculture area of Jiangxi culture,” the architects explained of the significance and design influence of the location. The rural setting has a backdrop of mountains that further inspired the free-flowing but organized design elements, with an emphasis of framing the vast, countryside and mountainous views from inside the house and in the tranquil inner courtyard. The property sits at a high elevation, contributing to the use of natural ventilation as a result of carefully planned patios and shade-providing plants . The blueprint of the project consists of multiple residences with continuous patios and courtyards. The stepped gable roofline borrows elements from the Ma Tau Wall in Huizhou architecture. Using natural materials from the land around them, the owner and designers sourced pebbles from the mountain stream for use at the base of the wall. They also contracted the cutting down of bamboo from the mountain forest nearby to build the fence. Throughout the project, the architects relied on stone, sand, steel, cement and gravel to replicate the contrasting drama and peace of nature with the goal to make “the architecture symbiotic with the land instead of just building on the land.” + One Take Architects Photography by Wang Shilu (Ranshi Studio) and Nan Xueqian via One Take Architects

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Cloudy Courtyard is crystal clear in its historical inspiration

Worse poison ivy is yet another effect of climate change

July 20, 2021 by  
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Not only do  hikers  have to contend with wildfires and out-of-control ticks this year, but now even poison ivy is getting worse. This botanical bother’s increasing severity is yet another effect of climate change. Warmer soil and inflated CO2 levels are fattening poison ivy vines, causing them to leaf out robustly — and maybe even make your skin itch more when you come into contact with them. Duke University researchers just published a six-year study describing how poison ivy doubled in size when exposed to high levels of  carbon dioxide  — levels that scientists predict the atmosphere will see by 2050. Not only are these plants getting bigger, but scientists concluded that urushiol, the oil responsible for poison ivy’s famous allergic reaction, also thrives on CO2. Related: Dragonflies are losing their color due to climate change Jacqueline Mohan, an ecology professor at the University of Georgia, has also been studying poison ivy. Her experiment in a 4,000-acre forest in Massachusetts managed by Harvard University is still in the early stages, but she suspects that rising  soil  temperatures are also a boon to the poisonous plant. Her preliminary results indicate that a 9-degree Fahrenheit increase in soil temperature could accelerate poison ivy growth by 149%. “That’s just incredible,” Mohan said, as reported by Grist. “Poison ivy might love soil warming even more than it loves CO2.” Not worried yet? Unfortunately, poison ivy also loves human disturbance. Clear land for a picnic table, campsite or trail, and poison ivy is one of the first  plants  to take hold. It loves sunlight and prefers to grow in spots with few other plants. So, when you go for a hike, look out for those three-leaf clusters and veer away. Wear long pants. Pay attention. According to the Forest Service, 70-85% of the population is sensitive to urushiol and likely to become more allergic with increased exposure. “When you’re dealing with nature, be smart,” said Mohan. “Because  nature is always going to win.” Via Grist Lead image via Pixabay

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Worse poison ivy is yet another effect of climate change

You can rent the world’s first 3D-printed Airbnb tiny home

July 20, 2021 by  
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With 3D printing, a small blob of material can turn into something amazing. Fibonacci House realizes this potential, as the world’s first fully 3D-printed concrete  tiny home  to be listed on Airbnb, now available to rent .  Located in a rapidly-growing and widely popular area in the Kootenay Lake Village (KLV) project at Procter Point in Nelson, BC, the home was printed over the course of 11 days. It includes space for two adults and two children, with a tiny  footprint of just 35 square meters. The home features a sitting area, loft bedroom, fully-functional kitchen and bathroom. Related: World’s first 3D-printed neighborhood planned for Rancho Mirage, California  As Canada’s first 3D-printed home, the Fibonacci House is an example of how far 3D printing has come. Its curved walls make an architectural statement. In fact, the rounded design is the result of a challenge to develop an outline with the fewest possible straight lines. But the curvature is more than just aesthetic, with the concrete offering a solid, climate-proof,  energy-efficient  and easy-to-maintain surface.  The printer used for the project is a product from leading construction technology company Twente Additive Manufacturing, which has offices in Canada, Germany and soon, Dubai. Twente Additive Manufacturing Inc. explains, “The Design of the House was inspired by the Fibonacci Sequence, a well-known pattern that is often referred to as “the golden ratio” which can be found in nature in numerous variations: in shells, flower petals, leaf formations, etc.”  Perhaps the most unique aspect of the project is that all proceeds from rentals will go to World Housing, an organization that has built homes for thousands of families in developing nations around the world. The organization is now bringing its work to its own backyard to develop a 3D-printed community for single mothers and their children in Canada. The project, named Sakura Place, will be a cluster of five three-bedroom homes that combine to form the petals of a cherry blossom.  World Housing is using the example of the Fibonacci House to recognize a possible solution for the labor shortage within the construction industry. This project also addresses the problem of construction  waste  and affordable housing shortages.  In addition to the efficiency and  minimal site impact  of the printed material, non-concrete surfaces in the home are made up of sustainably harvested cedar and fir from KLV’s next-door neighbors, the Harrop Procter Community Forest.  + Twente Additive Manufacturing Inc. Images via Twente Additive Manufacturing Inc.

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You can rent the world’s first 3D-printed Airbnb tiny home

How to Shop for Clothes with the Earth in Mind

July 28, 2017 by  
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Take it from someone who loves to shop — building a fantastic and versatile wardrobe is super fun and helps you express your individuality. There is a certain thrill to finding a great deal or bringing that special piece home with you. That being…

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How to Shop for Clothes with the Earth in Mind

3 Clothing Recycling Mistakes You Might Be Making

July 10, 2017 by  
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Clothing consumption has skyrocketed in the past few decades, with North American consumers now buying 500 percent more than we did just 25 years ago. And while we’re buying more clothes than ever, the clothing is often so poorly made that it…

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New supersonic jet can fly from London to New York in 3.5 hours

November 17, 2016 by  
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Supersonic air travel is one of those things (like flying cars and instant pizza machines) that we thought would be ubiquitous by this point. Yet, there hasn’t been a supersonic passenger jet in consistent operation in more than 10 years. Aviation startup Boom Technology has unveiled what it hopes will change all that: the XB-1 Supersonic Demonstrator , a speedy passenger jet that is the modern answer to the Concorde. The supersonic jet will cut the duration of long trips in half – NYC to London would take 3.5 hours instead of seven, while the 15-hour flight from Los Angeles to Sydney would be slashed down to a mere 6 hours and 45 minutes. Nicknamed “Baby Boom,” the one-third scale prototype is taking the first steps to drum up excitement about the next generation of supersonic air transportation. The plane was revealed at an event Tuesday evening at the startup’s Hangar 14 at Centennial Airport in Denver, Colorado. Despite being one-third the size of an actual passenger jet, the Baby Boom was created as an accurate representation of the style, shape, and proportions of the full-size design. Although the unveiling met with oohs and ahhs from the media and industry experts, there was no incredible demonstration of supersonic speed at the ceremony. Baby Boom will not take to the air currents until sometime in late 2017. Related: Supersonic jet will fly from NY to London in 3 hours at half the price of the Concorde Boom’s full-size XB-1 is designed to carry 44 passengers on long-distance flights, and the company says it plans to be operating by 2020. A ticket on the ultra-fast jet will cost around $5,000, which the company considers affordable given the expense of the airplane and its fuel. The supersonic jet makes use of three General Electric J85-21 non-afterburning engines, Honeywell avionics, and carbon composite materials for a powerful yet lightweight aircraft. Boom says the XB-1 takes inspiration from the Concorde , particularly in regard to its design. In order to create the next-generation of supersonic passenger jets, Boom tapped experts from NASA, SpaceX, and Boeing to contribute to the design process. If Boom’s XB-1 is successful in launching commercial operations, it will be the first supersonic passenger jet to due so since the Concorde was retired in 2003 following 27 years of high-speed flights. Via New Atlas and The Verge Images via Boom Technology

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