Old power station in Berlin is converted into off-grid arts center that runs on energy generated by woodchips

October 9, 2019 by  
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The former industrial town of Luckenwalde now has a beautiful new arts center that not only aims to bring a little vibrancy back to the German region, but a whole lot of sustainability. Artist Pablo Wendel just unveiled E-Werk , a defunct power station that he has turned into an innovative arts center that is projected to run on recycled wood chips rather than coal. Although an artist at heart, Wendel obviously has an admirable talent and passion for creating machinery that generates clean energy. Over the last five years, he has created numerous wind sculptures and mobile battery packs that can usurp energy from supply points. His patented Kunststrom (art electricity) system is what will be used to bring power to the local grid as the old building used to. This time, however, it will be powered by recycled wood chips. Related: Uber transforms 19th-century industrial buildings into hub for futuristic tech To create a system of clean energy for E-Werk, he developed a series of woodchip-burning machines that are compatible with the power station’s pre-existing mechanics. This means that the massive 107,000 square-foot interior has the potential to not only generate its own power, but could possibly become a functional power station that generates clean energy for the surrounding area. “At first, people were skeptical, but Kunststrom has moved far beyond an idea. We forget to talk about how much energy is needed to make art, how much energy museums use through lighting , cleaning, conservation and transport . They spend much more of their budget on this than they do on young artists. I’m offering art as a power supply,” the artists explains. Currently, the building’s eight studios have been already rented to local artists, who can make use of the welding kits, milling machines, lathes and drills. Wendel says that he hopes E-Werk is the first of many similar projects to help Luckenwalde regenerate its urban landscape through sustainable practices, “One day we hope E-Werk will power the whole of Luckenwalde as it used to.” + E-Werk Via Wall Paper Images via Kunststrom

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Old power station in Berlin is converted into off-grid arts center that runs on energy generated by woodchips

Good Clothing releases capsule collection made from hemp and organic cotton

October 3, 2019 by  
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Manufacturing is bad for the planet in general, and the textile industry is one of the leading producers of manufacturing pollution and waste . With this in mind, the Good Clothing Co. decided to implement old-school clothing production that is better for the Earth and a pleasure for the consumer. The Good Clothing Co.’s Good Apparel Capsule Collection is the most recent clothing line to come out of the Fall River, Massachusetts mill, an area connected to the textile industry since the 1800s. The company aims to live up to its name at every level, beginning with providing jobs within the United States in an industry that has been mostly moved overseas in recent decades. Related: 6 eco-friendly ways to incorporate hemp into your daily routine Rather than focusing on fast fashion to keep up with the trends of the season, Good Clothing Co. targets classic, multipurpose designs meant to be in a closet for the long-term, reducing the need to purchase a lot of clothes. In fact, the newest release is a capsule collection, meaning that the basics are interchangeable for endless attire options from the boat to the boardroom. The move to offer quality clothing that is versatile and long-lasting stems from the company’s goal to produce sustainable clothing . Made in small batches, Good Clothing Co. produces little waste compared to other mass-produced, consumed and promptly discarded clothing lines. To ensure quality, each piece is made in-house under the supervision of master tailor and founder Kathryn Hilderbrand. To further its dedication to creating sustainable clothing, the company sources materials locally as much as possible and selects earth-friendly materials such as organic cotton and hemp . Both products are made without herbicides and pesticides , toxins that can end up in our waterways. With a continued focus on the entire production cycle, from design to material selection to production to consumer use, Good Clothing Co. hopes to not only put the United States back on the map of the textile industry, but to have the country stand as a shining example of sustainable fashion . + Good Clothing Co. Photography by Shannan Grant Photography via Good Clothing Co.

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Good Clothing releases capsule collection made from hemp and organic cotton

This plant-based ski wax keeps nasty chemicals off the snowpack

October 1, 2019 by  
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For those looking to hit the slopes as the weather cools down, a new eco-friendly ski wax will not only help you glide through the fluffy snowpack but will also help keep the environment free of the dangerous chemicals found in most ski waxes. In a world where nearly all ski wax is made from petroleum, the innovative MountainFLOW eco wax is made entirely from plants. The sight of white snow-covered hills is enough for most skiers to call off of work and hit the slopes, hopefully in a sustainable retreat . But whatever we put on our skis quickly enters the snowpack, eventually making its way into local streams and rivers. Considering that most ski wax is made out of petroleum, this means that pollution during the ski months increases substantially for these water systems. Related: Top 6 sustainable winter resorts for snowboarding and skiing in the US Thankfully, the eco-conscious team at MountainFLOW has kicked off a new Kickstarter campaign to announce the launch of North America’s only line of plant-based ski wax . Designed to keep harmful chemicals out of the environment, this eco-friendly product is rapidly catching the attention of the ski world. Over the years, the team has worked to develop a petroleum-free wax that offers the same hydrophobicity, durability and ease of application that most traditional petroleum-based waxes offer. Not only have they created a product that does just that, but they have created a ski wax that is much better for the environment. Other plant-based ski waxes have been made with soy. Although the MountainFLOW wax does include a little bit of soy, the eco-friendly product uses a high-quality combination of other plant-based waxes that offer a faster, more durable product. The MountainFLOW packaging is also made from 100 percent recycled materials and is completely biodegradable. + MountainFLOW Images via MountainFLOW

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This plant-based ski wax keeps nasty chemicals off the snowpack

Two sustainable rental units dressed in reclaimed brick are self-sustaining through solar power

September 23, 2019 by  
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Melbourne-based firm Breathe Architecture has brought a bit of California flair to a Melbourne suburb. Using the empty space behind two existing Cali-style bungalows, the designers have managed to create two single, light-filled dwellings enveloped in reclaimed brick facades. The two rental properties were designed to offer the area environmentally sustainable and affordable rental housing that homogenizes with the local vernacular. Located in the area of Glen Iris, the Bardolph Garden House was designed as a building comprised of two rental units that blend in with the neighborhood aesthetic and each other. The simple, brick-clad volumes with pitched roofs emit a classic, traditional look while concealing dual contemporary interiors. Related: This home made of broken bricks features a series of rolling green roofs The two units are similar in size, both measuring just over 2,000 square feet. The entrances to the homes are through a covered courtyard and a landscaped garden area. The exterior spaces remain private thanks to several brick screens that also let natural breezes flow into these outdoor areas. When designing the layout of the two properties, the firm was dedicated to creating two energy-efficient units. As such, the project incorporated a number of passive features to reduce the homes’ energy needs. In addition to the greenery-filled pocket gardens that help insulate the properties, the gabled roofs and external steel awnings help maximize northern solar gain during the winter and minimize it during the summer months. Thanks to the region’s pleasant temperatures, the bright living spaces are incredibly welcoming. Vaulted ceilings add more volume to the interior, and an abundance of windows draw in plenty of natural light. The interior design, which features furnishings by StyleCraft and textiles by Armadillo & Co , is bright and airy with a neutral color palette that enhances the natural materials. Concrete flooring and white walls contrast nicely with the timber accents found throughout the living spaces. Additionally, the interior boasts a number of reclaimed materials, such as a repurposed timber bench tops and terrazzo tiles. Carefully designed to maximize thermal performance, the two units are completely self-sustaining. Their energy is supplied through a solar PV array on the roof, and a sustainable heat pump system supplies hot water. A rainwater collection system was also installed so that gray water could be collected and stored on-site for reuse. + Breathe Architecture Via ArchDaily Photography by Tom Ross via Breathe Architecture

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Two sustainable rental units dressed in reclaimed brick are self-sustaining through solar power

The 2019 Redress Design Awards showcased the very best of emerging eco-designers

September 17, 2019 by  
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Eco-fashion has come leaps and bounds in recent decades, but one environmental clothing organization has spent years addressing the global textile waste crisis through an annual fashion event showcasing emerging eco-friendly designers. Known for its work in reducing textile waste in the fashion industry, Redress has just hosted its 2019 Design Awards — the world’s largest sustainable fashion design competition. Let’s take a look at the winners! Launched in 2011 by founder Christina Dean, the Redress Design Awards aims to support emerging fashion designers who are striving to drive a sustainable, circular fashion system . Much more than just a fashion show, the months-long event includes an educational curriculum that aims to educate up-and-coming designers about the negative impacts of fashion’s manufacturing ways. At the end of the program, after learning about the principles of zero-waste design, upcycling techniques and reconstruction, the participants have the opportunity to show off their eco-collections at the swanky Redress fashion show. Related: Hannah Franco and Nancy Taylor celebrate sustainable fashion with époque évolution Held in Hong Kong this year, the 2019 Redress Design Awards, which drew more than 1,000 fashion industry experts, saw an inspiring collection of avant garde designs. The event was filled with various collections that showed a new wave of eco-designers might just be successful in changing the course of fashion by driving it into a more sustainable future. This year’s winner was British designer Maddie Williams, who will also have the opportunity to design a collection for the sustainable fashion brand REVERB . The runner-up of the 2019 event was Spanish designer Orsola de Castro. The People’s Choice winner was Moriah Ardila from Israel, and the Best Prize winner was Keith Chan from Hong Kong. Williams’ collection displayed vibrant, zero-waste pieces that were made out of reclaimed textiles, yarns and secondhand clothing. Williams said that she will use the Redress experience to further her part in making fashion a circular system. “Taking my catwalk competition collection into a commercial, upcycled collection will be a steep learning curve, and I’ll be trying my best to keep sustainable, circular principles at the core of what I do,” Williams said. “This is our time to tackle the environmental problems that we have inherited — we won’t get another chance!” + Redress Images via Redress

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The 2019 Redress Design Awards showcased the very best of emerging eco-designers

Innovative orange juicer 3D prints bioplastic cups out of leftover orange peels

September 16, 2019 by  
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International design firm Carlo Ratti Associati has developed an experimental circular juice bar that uses orange peels to make deliciously fresh-squeezed juice but that’s not all. Using filament made from the leftover orange peels, the “Feel the Peel” machine then 3D prints disposable cups to drink the refreshing juice on the spot. The prototype juicer, which was designed in collaboration with global energy company Eni , is a 10-foot tall orange squeezer machine topped with a massive dome. The dome is comprised of several round racks that hold up to 1,500 oranges. The machine’s base is installed with a 3D printer . Related: 10 ways 3D printing is disrupting the architecture industry Once the order is placed for freshly squeezed juice, the innovative machine begins to work its magic. The oranges slide down to a machine that squeezes the juice out of the two halves. The leftover peels fall through a tube where they accumulate at the bottom of the machine. There, the peels are dried, milled and mixed with Polylactic Acid (PLA), converting them into a bioplastic material. The bioplastic is then heated and melted into a filament that is used by the machine’s built-in 3D printer to create recyclable 3D printed cups on the spot that are filled with freshly-squeezed juice. The innovative prototype is a study of how the even the most simple, everyday treats in our lives can be part of a circular, zero-waste economy . “The principle of circularity is a must for today’s objects,” says Carlo Ratti, “Working with Eni, we tried to show circularity in a very tangible way, by developing a machine that helps us to understand how oranges can be used well beyond their juice. The next iterations of Feel the Peel might include new functions, such as printing fabric for clothing from orange peels”. The Feel the Peel juice bar made its debut at an event in Rimini, Italy this summer, but will be installed at the Singularity University Summit in Milan on October 8 and 9, 2019. + Carlo Ratti Associati Via Wired Photography by Nicola Giorgetti and video by ActingOut

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Innovative orange juicer 3D prints bioplastic cups out of leftover orange peels

Can an artificial leaf make the pharmaceutical industry greener?

September 11, 2019 by  
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Scientists in the Netherlands have developed a solar reactor that looks and acts like a leaf. By putting chemicals in the artificial leaf’s microchannels, which resemble the veins on a real leaf, and exposing it to sunlight cause solar reactions to create medicine . “Depending on the choice of chemicals, almost any kind of medicine can be created in a fast and sustainable way,” promises a video on the Eindhoven University of Technology’s website . “Maybe we could be making malaria medication in the middle of a rainforest . Or even a headache pill in outer space.” Related: Supermarket happy hour reduces food waste Researchers at Eindhoven University mimicked nature by designing ultra-thin channels running through the faux leaves, which are made of Plexiglas. “This material is cheaper and easy to make in larger quantities,” says Timothy Noël, lead researcher on the team. “It also has a higher refractive index, so that the light stays better confined. But the most important thing is that we can add more types of light-sensitive molecules in (Plexiglas). As a result, in principle all chemical reactions are now possible in this reactor across the entire width of the visible light spectrum.” The current version of the artificial leaf is a refinement of a prototype Noël unveiled in 2016. So far, the scientists have produced two drugs inside the artificial leaves: the anti- malarial artimensinin and ascaridole, which fights parasitic worms. “Artificial leaves are perfectly scalable; where there is sun, it works,” says Noël. “The reactors can be easily scaled, and its inexpensive and self-powered nature make them ideally suited for the cost-effective production of chemicals with solar light. I am therefore very positive that we should be able to run a commercial trial of this technology within a year.” If future trials are successful, this small reactor could help solve the pharmaceutical industry’s sustainability problems. Producing and transporting drugs currently requires dangerous chemicals and a lot of fossil fuels. Via New Atlas Image via TU/e

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This rechargeable camping headlamp is made out of sustainable wood and recycled aluminum

September 10, 2019 by  
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Most adventurers do what they can to leave no trace when exploring, but sometimes it is nearly impossible to find sustainable hiking gear. In fact, the search for green gear got so frustrating for nature lover Doug Rieck that he invented his own camping headlamp that is made out of sustainable wood and recyclable aluminum. Recently launched on Kickstarter, the Origin Headlamp is not only a sustainable lamp, but it also boasts a powerful 300 lumen LED light that offers at least 10 hours of light and is guaranteed to lead you straight through your epic adventures. Doug Rieck is the founder of Eukarya , an outdoor goods company that designs sustainable gear. Its products are made without chemically engineered plastics and synthetic materials that have been the standard in the outdoor industry. Related: Get ready for an adventure with this ultimate checklist of backpacking essentials Handcrafted from sustainable wood and recycled aluminum, the Origin Headlamp is a durable, reliable light for adventures. With a 300 lumen LED light , the headlamp features a rechargeable battery that guarantees 10+ hours of light. Adding to its convenient features, the battery fully recharges in two hours. Additionally, the headlamp is incredibly useful in distinct settings, because it offers high/low and strobe modes. Of course, nobody wants to be lugging around a heavy light in their camping gear , so it is a good thing that the headlamp only weighs an astonishing 85 grams — substantially less than most standard headlamps. In addition to finally offering nature lovers a variety of green options for their camping and adventure equipment, the company also gives back to the planet. According to the current Kickstarter campaign , Eukarya is promising to plant a tree for each pledge the headlamp receives in collaboration with One Tree Planted . The headlamp has limited availability to early birds for just $99 with a December 2019 delivery or is available for regular pre-order for a March 2020 delivery. + Origin Headlamp Images via Eukarya

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This rechargeable camping headlamp is made out of sustainable wood and recycled aluminum

American trophy hunter may get permit to bring slain rhino home

September 10, 2019 by  
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An American trophy hunter donates $400,000 to an anti-poaching organization in Namibia in exchange for the privilege of killing an endangered rhinoceros. President Trump may issue the permit for Chris Peyerk to bring his kill home with him, despite the Endangered Species Act specifying that it’s illegal to import endangered animals — whole or in part — unless it will enhance the species’ survival. Peyerk, owner of the Michigan business Dan’s Excavating, Inc., shot one of the last 5,500 rhinos in the world last May. The trophy hunter now plans to import the 29 year-old rhino’s skin, skull and horns as mementos. Related: Trail use by outdoor enthusiasts is driving out an elk herd in Colorado If approved, this would be the sixth such permit the US Fish and Wildlife has allowed since 2013, and Trump’s third. Fish and Wildlife also issued three under former President Barack Obama ’s final term. “Legal, well-regulated hunting as part of a sound management program can benefit the conservation of certain species by providing incentives to local communities to conserve the species and by putting much-needed revenue back into conservation,” said a Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman, according to the Huffington Post. But major conservation groups don’t think that killing animals to save them makes much sense. “We urge our federal government to end this pay-to-slay scheme that delivers critically endangered rhino trophies to wealthy Americans while dealing a devastating blow to rhino conservation,” Kitty Block, president of the Humane Society of the United States , said in a statement. “With fewer than 2,000 black rhinos left in Namibia — and with rhino poaching on the rise — now is the time to ensure that every living black rhino remains safe in the wild. … Black rhinos must be off limits to trophy hunters.” Nearly half of the world’s surviving black rhinos live in Namibia and are listed as critically endangered. Peyerk noted in his permit application that he had killed a member of the southwestern black rhinoceros subspecies, which is listed as “vulnerable” rather than endangered. International law allows Namibia to issue five permits annually for trophy hunters to kill a male rhinoceros. Via Huffington Post Image via Yathin S Krishnappa

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American trophy hunter may get permit to bring slain rhino home

This prefab tower was built using net-zero design principles

September 10, 2019 by  
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Located 100 kilometers from Beijing, the Lakeside Plugin Tower was developed as a model prototype for a city concept using sustainable, net-zero design principles. The tower serves as an important model for a low-carbon eco city concept, called “Xiong’an New Area,” being advanced by the central government. The urban design will use 100 percent clean electricity, and 10 percent of the area will be protected as permanent farmland. The structure creates 480 square meters of living and working space and was developed by People’s Architecture Office in partnership with the Shenzhen Institute of Building Research, a China-based engineering company helping to lead the country in both green design and urban development. Related: The prefab Plugin House turns ruins into livable dwellings in just one day Once completed, the Xiong’an New Area will become a congestion-free, sustainable housing region that will serve as an alternative to the capital. The government hopes to keep the new area affordable by making all housing state-owned and subsidized. Built on a foundation made of distributed concrete piers and raised one story above the ground to lessen environmental impact on the building site, the tower adheres to China’s “sponge city concept,” the idea of building structures above the ground to allow stormwater to permeate the earth below to reduce extreme flooding and surface pollution , especially in metropolitan areas. The elevated-building concept also allows for sunlight to better access the site and produce more greenery. The prefabricated process serves to both reduce costs and make construction more efficient. Panels can be installed manually through a locking system using a single tool, so entire sections of the tower can be removed or added without affecting the main structure. Solar panels cover the roof of the building, which also serve as a way to heat the floors. The windows are designed to allow for natural ventilation, and an off-grid sewer system creates on-site sustainable wastewater treatment. + People’s Architecture Office Via ArchDaily Photography by Jin Weiqi and People’s Architecture Office

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