These campers made from 1970’s VW Bugs are the cutest things ever

April 10, 2017 by  
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Volkswagen Beetles have skittered across roads since the 1930’s – but in the 1970’s, a company transformed these iconic cars into adorable little campers . They sold these Super Buggers for $6,000 then – and a few of the unusual RV hybrids still exist today. A Costa Mesa, California camper company developed the Super Buggers. The quirky campers aren’t nearly as large as an average RV; inside there isn’t space for much other than the seats, some storage, and a small dining area with a two-burner stove and sink. There isn’t room for a bed, but the Super Bugger would be perfect for those happy to sleep under the stars on long road trips. Related: Nigerian Student Converts a VW Beetle into a $6,000 Wind- and Solar-Powered Car According to a 1970’s advertisement, the Super Buggers get 23 to 25 miles per gallon, and only weigh an extra 250 pounds more than stock vehicles of that time. The advertisement also boasts the vehicle had two double beds, although beds can’t immediately be seen in the Super Buggers in the video or photographs. Keith and Glenna Spelrum are the owners of one blue Super Bugger. The publication MyStarCarCollector photographed the well-maintained bug camper at a summer 2016 car show. Keith said the company used a 1968 model for the bug campers because that was the last year the car had a swing axle assembly, and the camper company wanted to utilize that particular axle in their vehicles. Their Super Bugger can reportedly maintain 50 to 55 miles per hour on the road. Today the Spelrums don’t often use their Super Bugger as a camper, but more as a conversation starter. MyStarCarCollector said out of around 1,000 vehicles at the show, the Super Bugger drew the most attention. Via MyStarCollectorCar Images via Pappy_Smith on Reddit and MyStarCollectorCar

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These campers made from 1970’s VW Bugs are the cutest things ever

California governor marks official end of state’s historic drought

April 10, 2017 by  
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A wet winter that filled reservoirs with rainwater and blanketed the Sierra Nevadas with heavy snow has officially brought an end to California’s historic drought . On Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown lifted the emergency order in effect since January 2014 for all of the state except for the Central California counties of Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Tuolumne that are still dealing with dried-up wells. Brown’s executive order continues conservation measures such as the State Water Resources Control Board maintaining water reporting requirements and prohibiting wasteful practices like watering lawns right after rainfall or in a manner that causes runoff. Related: Only 9% of California is still in drought as Sierra Nevada snowpack hits 185% The severely dry conditions that began in the winter of 2011-2012 killed an estimated 100 million trees , disrupted agricultural production, reduced drinking water supplies in rural communities and diminished groundwater basins. According to the executive order, Californians responded to the drought by conserving water at unprecedented levels — reducing water use in communities by more than 22 percent between June 2015 and January 2017. Also on Friday, state agencies put forth a long-term plan to make water conservation a way of life in California as part of resiliency efforts to prepare for more frequent and severe droughts as a result of human-caused climate change . “This drought emergency is over, but the next drought could be around the corner,” Brown said in a statement. “Conservation must remain a way of life.” Via The Washington Post Images via Flickr 1 , 2

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California governor marks official end of state’s historic drought

Myanmars eco-friendly startup transforms trash into treasureand jobs

April 10, 2017 by  
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Trash is a big problem in Myanmar . Garbage is scattered in the streets with smells of burning trash never far behind—but an innovative social enterprise has found a way to turn that adversity into advantage. Tucked in the rural backwaters of Dala near Yangon city, ChuChu Design is an eco-friendly startup lifting families out of poverty with the art of upcycling . Created by Italian NGO Cesvi, the ChuChu project collects waste and teaches locals to transform trash into recycled crafts with an environmental message. With the opening of Myanmar’s economy, the fast-developing country is seeing a boom in population and consumerism but still lacks much of the infrastructure to support that growth. Absence of waste disposal options in many areas leads citizens to litter or burn their rubbish, creating toxic air pollution . With the lack of education about the environment, public acceptance of recycling and waste reduction practices remains low. ChuChu Design hopes to change that. Founded in 2014 with funding from the EU, the social enterprise is now a self-sustainable startup that teaches families how to upcycle trash into marketable crafts and currently employs 30 makers. To promote their products and message, managing directors Wendy Neampui and Friedor Jeske designed and built a workshop and showroom made largely of recycled materials . Located in Dala across the river from the country’s bustling commercial capital of Yangon, this trash-made shop shows off the potential of upcycling from its bottle-embedded walls to its beautiful products constructed of recycled materials. “We want to make job opportunities for those who have low income,” said Wendy Neampui to Inhabitat. “On the other side, we are involved with the environment. Now there are thirty people working here but not all are from Dala. Some are from Mwambi or outside of Yangon.” She gestures to the myriad of products lining the walls, including sturdy purses made of car inner tubes , potato chip bag wallets, belts made from bicycle tires , recycled wine bottle glasses, and even laptop slips woven from cement bags. The waste is usually sourced from a waste collector and downtown wholesale market or from locals hired to collect rubbish from the roadside. She continues: “We teach them how to make the designs here and then they make the products at home. Twice a week (Thursday and Saturday) we meet together here and they bring all the products they make at home and then we fix the price. The price depends on how long they worked on the product. We sell the products to our regular shops, customers, and weekend bazaar in Yangon.” Related: Off-grid solar could help everyone in Myanmar receive power by 2030 The workshop behind the showroom is filled with raw material, from piles of motorbike inner tubes to enormous plastic bags of all colors. Plastic bags are the most widely used raw material at ChuChu Design and the makers cut shapes out of different colored bags then use a machine to fuse the plastic together into sheets. The colorful patterned sheets are used for purses, pencil cases, laundry baskets and other products without the need for paint. Makers also experiment with new materials they gather from the dump. Wendy is even creating a traditional Burmese dress using a blend of cotton and recycled plastic on a loom. While Wendy does not believe ChuChu Design will dramatically change society, she hopes the project will gradually spread awareness. “Local people never buy these products because they know it is made from trash,” said Wendy, referencing the social stigma around recycled products. “Only foreigners buy. But the locals don’t notice this is our trash. We need a lot of awareness.” ChuChu Design sells its products at its showroom in Dala as well as in the Pomelo shop in Yangon, the weekend Yangon bazaar, and other locations with hopes of expanding to Bagan and Inle Lake and the online marketplace. You can contact ChuChu Design and learn more on their Facebook page . + ChuChu Design Images © Lucy Wang

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Myanmars eco-friendly startup transforms trash into treasureand jobs

Architects transform barns into solar-powered workspaces for Dutch daredevil

April 10, 2017 by  
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Rotterdam-based architecture studio Instability We Trust transformed two barns into a set of contemporary workspaces for the famous Dutch daredevil, Wim Hof . Nicknamed “The Iceman” for his ability to withstand extreme cold, Hof commissioned the adaptive reuse project to house his training seminars on the health benefits of cold exposure and breathing techniques. Located in Barneveld in the eastern Netherlands, the solar-powered building juxtaposes two visually contrasting volumes: an “extraverted” glass house and an “introverted” wooden cave-like structure. The L-shaped building comprises two interconnected gabled structures with open and flexible interiors. The gabled glass house is almost entirely transparent with an “outward atmosphere which relates to the air,” whereas the gabled timber-clad structure has a “grounded atmosphere which relates to the earth.” Though the timber volume is without windows, its connection with the glass structure allows access to natural light . Large sliding doors open the volumes up the outdoors and permits natural ventilation. Related: Historic Dutch nursery transformed into stunning solar-powered home Vertical planks of larch sourced from the sawmill next door clad the enclosed cave-like volume. The two gabled end walls were custom-made from clay plaster to create a warm and earthy environment that, combined with the suspended light sculpture, makes the space ideal for meditation. Photovoltaic cells and thermal cells generate renewable energy on site. “A visually clean and calm appearance is accomplished by combining an array of different elements such as insulation, gutters, drainage pipes, sliding door rails, glass panels and structural beams into one carefully detailed wooden slatted element, almost like a click-on facade,” write the architects. + Instability We Trust Via ArchDaily Images via Instability We Trust , © Pim Top

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Architects transform barns into solar-powered workspaces for Dutch daredevil

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