This Cradle to Cradle certified outdoor furniture raises the bar on sustainability

February 21, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

It’s no secret that single-use plastic has caused massive worldwide pollution . While some companies have embraced the technology behind turning single-use plastic into fabrics and other materials as a way to remove it from the waste stream, they often only include a percentage of the recycled material, still relying heavily on virgin materials. They often are still producing waste during the process and after consumption of the product. Meanwhile, one company, Loll Designs, has taken the  plastic  recycling method to the top level by maximizing the percentage of recycled materials in its outdoor furniture line as well as ensuring that the products are recyclable at the end of their usable lifespan. Loll Designs’ durable, all-weather outdoor furniture is made from 100 percent  recycled materials, such as single-use milk jugs. This has resulted in recycling more than 95 million milk jugs into modern furniture. In addition to responsibly sourcing materials, the company understands the impact of manufacturing, so 95 percent of manufacturing waste heads directly to local recycling plants to be used again. Even better, at the end of the life cycle, all components of the products, from the plastic to the brass inserts and steel fasteners, are recyclable. Related: Interview with green architect and Cradle to Cradle founder William McDonough As a manifestation of this dedication to sustainable practices in the sourcing of materials and throughout the manufacturing process, Loll Designs recently earned the coveted Cradle to Cradle certification for its efforts. With the highest level of transparency and required third-party verification, this is a pinnacle achievement in the industry. Cradle to Cradle certification is measured through an intense review of five categories including material health, material re-utilization, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship and social fairness throughout the organization as well as the supply chain. C2C certification is an empowering way for consumers to know their purchasing dollars are supporting sustainable practices. As a further marker of the company’s investment in sustainability and human health, it participates in 1% for the Planet, makes its furniture in the U.S. to support local economies and reduce transportation emissions  and regularly plants trees as well as participates in community trash pick-up events. + Loll Designs Images via Loll Designs

More here: 
This Cradle to Cradle certified outdoor furniture raises the bar on sustainability

Cargill announces plan to reduce deforestation from cocoa

January 29, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Cargill announces plan to reduce deforestation from cocoa

One of the worlds top three food corporations, Cargill, announced a plan to reduce deforestation caused by their cocoa farmers. The plan, Protect our Planet , promises 100 percent traceability of cocoa beans in Cote d’Ivoire by 2020 and zero clearing of forested land for plantations in both Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. The plan also covers Brazil, Indonesia and Cameroon and includes a wide scale mapping project that identifies the exact size and location of every small farm. Cargill has already mapped 90,000 farms and conducted risk assessments for over 2.3 million hectares. The mapping aims to improve traceability, transparency and accountability. Through GPS technology , Cargill can track farmers’ tree cover, cultivation methods, fertilizers, boundaries and can therefore refuse beans from farmers who spread into forested or protected lands. An improved barcode and electronic payment system, combined with finance training for farmers, means that beans can be traced back to farmers and ensures they are compensated right away. Deforestation is largely due to increasing demand for chocolate combined with poverty, which forces farmers to exploit their land for increase production, such as using harmful chemical fertilizers. When old trees become less productive and land is degraded, farmers often seek new land and may clear forested areas. Related: Deforestation could wipe out over 50 percent of species in Haiti “Global production relies almost entirely on five to six million smallholders,” a study on cocoa-related deforestation reports. “While the deforestation occurs at the smallholder level, it is the companies, governments, and NGOs that need to take action due to the limited technical and economic capacity of smallholders to enact the necessary reforms on their own.” Many small farmers lack government-recognized land rights, which could impact their access once all farms are officially monitored and mapped. Despite investments in building community awareness about climate-smart agriculture , when farmers exhaust cocoa production on their land, will this plan limit their individual growth and livelihoods while Cargill still has the option to move on to farmers with more productive land? When Cargill’s emissions are calculated in combination with the other four largest food corporations, their carbon footprint is larger than BP, Exxon Mobile or Shell. Though serious action on deforestation by major corporations is overdue and paramount to making an impact of scale, it remains to be seen how much this sustainability plan will impact small farmers, while Cargill’s unrivaled power and polluting capacity remain unchecked. Via AllAfrica Image via Shutterstock

Original post:
Cargill announces plan to reduce deforestation from cocoa

This countertop dishwasher promises to wash your dishes in just 10 minutes

January 28, 2019 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on This countertop dishwasher promises to wash your dishes in just 10 minutes

Living in a tiny apartment — or tiny home  — no longer needs to mean giving up the luxury of a dishwasher. Meet Tetra, an award-winning countertop dishwasher that’s not only compact and cute as a button, but is also easy to install (no plumbing needed) and affordable with a limited pre-order price of $299. Produced by Heatworks and designed by frog , the small-but-mighty Tetra is marketed with a 10-minute load cycle and was recently demoed at CES 2019 earlier this month. Winner of the CES 2019 Best of Innovation Award, the Tetra dishwasher is unlike its more traditional sibling in that it only requires an electrical outlet — no plumbing needed. As part of Charleston-based Heatworks’ commitment to energy-efficient and resource-saving products, this countertop dishwasher is also designed to save energy and comes with its own reservoir that allows control over the amount of water used, depending on the number of dishes inside. According to Heatworks, hand-washing dishes can use up to 10 times more water than dishwashers. The Tetra countertop dishwasher measures 18 inches in width, 16.75 inches in height and 14 inches deep, and it comes with an internal detergent compartment as well as colorful modular racks that can be swapped out depending on what items need to be washed. The appliance is powered with the Heatworks’ patented Ohmic Array Technology, which the firm said allows for “precise temperature control,” quick cycles and gentle cleaning or even sanitation of baby bottles. Related: Learn which appliances suck up the most energy in your home “Instead of having elements that get really hot and then transfer the heat to the water, we actually pass electrical currents through the water itself,” the firm explained of the technology’s tankless heating. “Using graphite electrodes and electronic controls, we increase the energy state of the water molecules, so they move faster. The faster they move, the more kinetic energy they have. This causes the molecules to begin to bounce off each other; that kinetic energy turns into heat. Through direct energy transfer, your water is heated instantly, within (+/-) 1 degree Fahrenheit of the temperature setpoint.” Pre-orders for the Tetra are slated to open in Q1 2019. + Tetra Images via Heatworks

Read more: 
This countertop dishwasher promises to wash your dishes in just 10 minutes

From field to fork: Tyson harnesses ag tech for sustainable food production

January 23, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on From field to fork: Tyson harnesses ag tech for sustainable food production

The biggest food company in the world is expanding animal agricultural technology.

Read the original:
From field to fork: Tyson harnesses ag tech for sustainable food production

These AI-powered cameras can sense poachers and save wildlife

January 14, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on These AI-powered cameras can sense poachers and save wildlife

Animal poaching is on the rise as people find interest in ivory,  fur , skins and more for their financial value. Previous technologies have tried to capture poachers in the act, but often failed because the poachers could ping cell towers and find (and avoid) the tracking technology. Now, Intel is debuting a smart system of cameras that relies on radio frequencies and artificial intelligence to catch the criminals and save the wildlife. We gave this technology a go at CES 2019, and here is how it works. Intel’s new TrailGuard uses “ AI for social good.” This technology is powering cameras with artificial intelligence to stop illegal poachers in their tracks. Each camera is hidden in natural areas where wild animal poaching is common. The cameras use motion sensors that, once triggered, turn the cameras on to start recording nearby activity. Related: Mass poaching in Botswana leaves behind 90 tuskless elephants Because the cameras use artificial intelligence, they can tell the difference between the movement of, say, an animal or wind and specific human activity, such as poacher’s body language or clothing. At CES 2019, these cameras were installed in a dark area designed to mimic nature. Even if you walk carefully, you are no match for these smart cameras. In the low light, it’s nearly impossible to find the cameras, and because they run on radio frequencies, poachers cannot pinpoint and avoid them. But the recordings capture a clear view of poachers, making it easier for authorities to end these activities and save more animals’ lives. Related: This AI food truck could bring fresh produce directly to you In addition to being showcased at CES 2019, the TrailGuard technology is also being deployed in the Congo. + Intel Photography by Inhabitat

See original here: 
These AI-powered cameras can sense poachers and save wildlife

Faux fur or real fur, which one is better for the planet?

January 9, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Comments Off on Faux fur or real fur, which one is better for the planet?

Remember the days when anti-fur advocates would sling red paint onto the fur-clad fashion lovers dressed in mink? The fur debate has come a long way since then, with many key players in the fashion world now becoming some of the biggest voices in the anti-fur movement. But, instead of ditching fur altogether, some brands have switched to lavish faux fur options, and that has pivoted the discussion. Instead of focusing on ethics and animal welfare, the spotlight is now shining on its  environmental sustainability. Is it good for the environment? Over the past couple of decades, faux fur has evolved from a cheap, itchy material to a luxurious, affordable option that looks just like the real thing. Faux fur now looks so realistic that consumers can’t tell the difference, but is this option really better for the environment? If you are morally opposed to wearing fur, then it is easy to avoid it. However, if you are just trying to make the best choice for the environment, there are some things you need to know. Just because a piece of clothing might be animal -free, it doesn’t mean it’s not causing damage. Fur industry lobbyists now argue that faux fur is a less sustainable choice because it is made from acrylic, which is a synthetic material made from a non-renewable source that takes centuries to biodegrade. “Petroleum-based faux fur products are the complete antithesis of the concept of responsible environmental conservation,” says Keith Kaplan, director of communications at the Fur Information Council of America. “Right off the top, petrol-based plastic fur is extremely harmful to the environment. It isn’t biodegradable. It’s harmful to wildlife .” Kaplan also points out that trapping wild animals like fox, coyotes and beavers— which is about 15 percent of the fur trade— actually helps manage the wildlife population, and it also provides a livelihood for many indigenous communities. What do the experts say? The research is starting to support this opinion , and we are just beginning to learn about the environmental impact of microfibers— the tiny plastic particles that synthetic fabrics shed when you wash them. A 2016 study published in Environmental Science & Technology found that when you wash a synthetic jacket, it can release an average of 1,174 milligrams of microfibers. And, whatever isn’t filtered out by wastewater treatment plants can end up in waterways, and aquatic animals will ingest them. Many designers, like London-based footwear label Mou, have taken the stance that real fur is a more sustainable option than faux fur because the synthetic is a “non-biodegradable pollutant.” Mou founder Shelley Tichborne says that the faux fabrics don’t “breathe” like natural materials, and that causes unpleasant smells and shortens the product’s lifespan. Related: This couch made from recycled water bottles is built to last a lifetime “In contrast, the natural fiber materials we use such as calfskin, goatskin, sheepskin, antelope, lambskin and rabbit fur are by-products of the meat and dairy industries — all the animals are eaten for their meat, and some produce milk for human consumption,” Tichborne says. “The skins from these animals are naturally beautiful, soft to the touch, warm, bio-degradable and durable, lasting — with care — for up to thirty years.” Anti-fur advocates admit that synthetics like faux fur aren’t the best substitute, but they say the environmental hazards in the fur manufacturing process make real fur the worse option. Advocates claim that CO2 emissions produced from feeding thousands of minks on a single farm, manure runoffs into nearby lakes and rivers and toxic chemicals used in fur dressing and dyeing is evidence enough that real fur is far worse for the environment compared to its alternative counterpart. They also mention that the traps used to hunt wild animals ensnare “non-target” animals like domestic dogs, cats and birds. Which is best? There is a ton of evidence that backs up both sides of the argument, and it is a lot of information to process. But, the reality is that banning fur outright doesn’t solve all of the issues in fashion’s supply chains since the alternatives are petroleum-based textiles. However, the consumer interest in this issue can only be a good thing. We know for sure that cheap, disposable clothing— and our tendency to buy and throw out almost all of it— is terrible for the environment. But, is it really a good idea to wear genuine fur instead of faux fur? Ultimately, it comes down to your own morals and ethics, and the debate won’t be settled anytime soon. Fortunately, with technological advancements happening every day, it probably won’t be long before we start seeing faux furs that have a smaller environmental footprint. Via Fashionista , Refinery29 , HuffPost Images via Shutterstock, Tamara Bellis

View post: 
Faux fur or real fur, which one is better for the planet?

Valser is using carbon capture technology to carbonate its beverages

December 28, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on Valser is using carbon capture technology to carbonate its beverages

Valser, a Coca-Cola-owned brand of sparkling water based in Switzerland, is embracing new climate capture technology. Coca-Cola HBC Switzerland (the bottling plant that makes Valser) has partnered with Climeworks, a pioneering company that captures carbon dioxide, to use the new technology to carbonate its water . Climeworks has already partnered with a greenhouse that uses CO2 to help plants grow faster, and since the beverage industry is one of the only existing markets that uses carbon dioxide , it seemed like the natural next step. But, the technology won’t stop there. Christoph Gebald, co-founder and director of Climeworks, says that other applications are coming, including making carbon-neutral fuel or concrete to make plastic , shoes and fish feed. But, it’s the greenhouse and beverage industries that use carbon dioxide on a large scale, and this is how Climeworks hopes to scale up its technology. At Climeworks plants, the company uses its one-of-a-kind  technology to capture CO2 inside shipping containers by pulling air inside of them and then processing it through filters — working almost like an incredibly powerful tree. When a filter gets full, the team heats the collector and release the gas in a pure form so it can be injected into deep underground storage. Related: Google Street View cars will map air pollution in cities worldwide The amount of carbon dioxide in the air is higher than it has been for millennia (about 400,000 years to be exact), and this new process from Climeworks will help address this problem. But, putting the CO2 into beverages instead of underground still allows the fizz to come out when you open the bottle. To help impact climate change , the amount of carbon dioxide we need to remove from the air could be around 10 billion tons per year — according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — and the global food and beverage industry produces about 6 million tons annually. So there is still a long way to go. “The beverage industry is really the bridge from today — no existing market — to enabling us to further work down our cost curve and industrialize the technology,” says Gebald. “It’s really the missing bridge between startups and, one day, climate-relevant scale to remove carbon from the air.” Sucking carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is currently a more expensive option than resorting to other sources, but it does make sense for some locations. Once the technology becomes cheaper, it will become a more attractive option for other businesses. Via Fast Company Images via ExplorerBob

Original post:
Valser is using carbon capture technology to carbonate its beverages

Harbor town in Germany unveils urban-chic hostel made out of repurposed shipping containers

December 28, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Comments Off on Harbor town in Germany unveils urban-chic hostel made out of repurposed shipping containers

Berlin-based Holzer Kobler Architekturen and Kinzo Architekten have collaborated on Germany’s first upcycled hostel and its nothing short of spectacular. The Dock Inn is made out of multiple repurposed  shipping containers that have been carved out to create 64 guest rooms which all feature a vibrant interior design that mixes urban chic with industrial charm. Located in Warnemünde, Germany, the Dock Inn shipping container hostel is surrounded by the local harbor and shipyard. According to the designers, the rough charm of the industrial location was the perfect place to pay homage to the shipping containers’ former life at sea. Related: Gorgeous Catalan building renovated into an eco-friendly hostel in Barcelona The hostel design used the industrial nature of the containers to create a modern, contemporary hostel with a vibrant urban feel. A maritime theme runs throughout the space, which is filled with reclaimed furnishings, to pay homage to the containers’ seafaring past. The hostel’s various shipping containers were configured in a way to house 64 rooms with 188 beds, with most looking out over the harbor. There are varying sizes of guest rooms, from private rooms to dormitory-style spaces that have eight single beds. The rooms are compact, but with sleek interiors that give off a sophisticated, contemporary aesthetic. Bright red walls contrast nicely with all white linens in some rooms, while upholstery made of natural materials in muted colors give off a nice earthy feel in other rooms. Throughout the interior, large windows allow natural light to flood the interior spaces. The hostel also has a number of social areas such as a large lounge, computer room, galley kitchen, on-site restaurant and even a spa on the rooftop level. Throughout the common areas, the designers used several reclaimed materials such as the old shipping pallets that were configured into ample seating space in the lounge. + Holzer Kobler Architekturen + Kinzo Architekten + The Dock Inn Photography by Max Schroeder and Sebastian Dörken

Continued here: 
Harbor town in Germany unveils urban-chic hostel made out of repurposed shipping containers

Floating prefab architecture addresses climate change on Chengdus Jincheng Lake

November 26, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Floating prefab architecture addresses climate change on Chengdus Jincheng Lake

Nigerian architect Kunlé Adeyemi of the firm NLÉ Architects recently unveiled his third iteration on the award-winning Makoko Floating School, a prefabricated building system aimed at addressing “the challenges and opportunities of urbanization and climate change” through sustainable and alternative building typologies. Dubbed the MFS IIIx3, the thought-provoking collection of structures has been set afloat on a lake in Chengdu, the capital of southwestern China’s Sichuan province. The project was created in collaboration with local Chengdu partners Fanmate Creative Furniture Company and Chengdu Keruijiesi Technology Company. Located on Jincheng Lake in Chengdu’s new ecological belt, MFS IIIx3 marks NLÉ Architects’ fourth prototype of the Makoko Floating School. The first prototype floating structure was built in 2013 for and by the historic water community of Makoko in Lagos, Nigeria, an area considered at-risk for climate change . Although the initial project has met its demise , the architects have gone on to improve and reiterate their designs. In 2016, the Waterfront Atlas (MFS II) was launched in Venice, Italy, as well as the Minne Floating School (MFS III) in Bruges, Belgium. In their latest take on the Makoko Floating School, the architects have recreated the modular building in three sizes — small, medium and large. All structures were prefabricated from wood and locally sourced bamboo . The collection of floating buildings includes an open-air concert hall, an indoor exhibition space and a small information center. All three spaces are organized around a communal plaza. Related: Sustainable Makoko Floating School in Nigeria is finally complete “MFS IIIx3 is introduced into the dynamics of a 2,200 year-old history of water management expertise, originating from the Min River (Minjiang) and from Dujiangyan — an ingenious irrigation system built in 256 BC, and still in use today — keeping the southwestern Sichuan province free of floods and drought and making it one of the most fertile and economically developed urban and agricultural areas in China,” the architects explained. “MFS IIIx3 offers an approach to and revives an ancient yet contemporary civilizational relationship with water, originally inspired by the water community of Makoko in Lagos, and now adapted for the water city of Chengdu.” + NLÉ Architects Images via NLÉ Architects

View original here: 
Floating prefab architecture addresses climate change on Chengdus Jincheng Lake

Innovation on the water horizon with Jason Morrison, president of the Pacific Institute

November 5, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on Innovation on the water horizon with Jason Morrison, president of the Pacific Institute

Jason Morrison, president of the Pacific Institute, one of the world’s leading research institutions for water issues, knows that this is a crucial time for global and regional freshwater. With droughts and other crises occurring with increasing frequency, finding scalable solutions has an even more urgent nature.

Original post:
Innovation on the water horizon with Jason Morrison, president of the Pacific Institute

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 3764 access attempts in the last 7 days.