8 gorgeous green hotels to add to your bucket list

May 11, 2017 by  
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Need an escape but don’t want to harm the environment in the process? There are hotels throughout the world centered around sustainability – from a seaside resort in Thailand that grows 100% of its produce to a self-sustaining vacation spot in Mexico. Featuring beautiful design and eco-friendly accommodations, these hotels allow you to satisfy your wanderlust in a conscious way. Hit the jump to check out the eight green hotels we’ve rounded up, and get your adventure started. Blue Lagoon hotel connects with Icelandic landscape When you think of Iceland , you probably think of the famous Blue Lagoon , colored via minerals in waste – but safe! – seawater from a nearby geothermal plant. But you may not know there’s a new resort, the Moss Hotel, under construction there, perched near the pools. The resort design is meant to connect seamlessly with the landscape. Visitors can explore lava corridors and waterfalls in a subterranean spa , and a new restaurant will feature seasonal and local ingredients. The 62-room hotel will open this fall. Related: Solar-powered cylindrical treehouse in Mexico is made with sustainable bamboo Thailand resort grows 100 percent of its produce Traveling to Thailand ? Look no further than The Tongsai Bay Hotel . The hotel was constructed with the environment in mind; not even one tree was cut down to make room for the family-owned resort. 66 species of birds and wildlife reside within the hotel’s 28 and a half acres. The resort also grows 100 percent of its produce , with food waste getting a second life as fertilizer. They practice radical reuse; a few examples include reusing old bathtubs as planters and old sheets as napkins. 121-year-old warehouse on Singapore River given new life as chic hotel An old Singapore warehouse – that once acted as an opium den – got a second chance as the classy Warehouse Hotel . The waterfront warehouse is 121 years old, but Zarch Collaboratives gave it new life with a design inspired by its industrial past in 37 rooms and a double-height lobby. The hotel kept some original elements of the warehouse like its peaked roofs and renovated others like the louvre windows. Self-sustaining Mexico resort incorporates permaculture principles Near Tulum, Mexico rests a self-sustaining, eco-luxe villa that’s the stuff of travel daydreams. The resort designed by Specht Architects is cooled in part by large cutouts in the walls and insulated with native plants adorning the roof. Solar-powered , the villa collects and filters rainwater for use. It even utilizes constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment. Not only does the hotel boast impressive sustainability but stunning bay views and gorgeous modern design as well. Switzerland visitors enjoy connection to nature in open-air hotel Brothers and artists Frank and Patrik Riklin took sleeping under the stars to a whole new level with their one-room, open-air hotel in Switzerland – with no walls or roof. Visitors to the second reincarnation of Null Stern (the first being a nuclear bunker turned luxury hotel) may not have access to a bathroom but do have a butler for the night who will bring breakfast in bed. The minimalist experience provides stunning views of the Swiss Alps . Sweden’s famed Treehotel welcomes Snøhetta-designed 7th room amidst the pines Treehotel , a collection of designer treehouses in Sweden , recently welcomed their 7th room designed by Snøhetta . The cabin is lifted over 30 feet above ground and immerses guests among the enveloping pine trees – Snøhetta said their goal was to bring nature and people closer together. Massive windows and skylights afford opportunities to gaze at the Northern Lights, and a pine tree print across the bottom of the cabin makes it appear invisible from underneath. Locally sourced, natural materials comprise spruce-clad Swedish hotel As you might guess, there’s more than one eco hotel in Sweden. Kjellgren Kaminsky Architecture designed Öijared Hotel with a similar aim of blending the buildings into surrounding nature . Locally sourced and natural materials were used in the hotel’s 34 prefabricated rooms. Natural wood materials inside add to the earthy aesthetic. Whimsical hotel in Romania built with sand and clay In Romania , a storybook hotel built of clay and sand, hearkens back to both ancient stories and ancient building techniques. The Castelul de Lut Valea Zanelor , designed by owners Razvan and Gabriela Vasile along with eco architect Ileana Mavrodin , includes 10 rooms and was constructed without drawing on any modern building techniques. Natural materials , shaped by local craftsmen, give the hotel a fairytale feel. Images via Blue Lagoon , Laura Mordas-Schenkein for Inhabitat, Warehouse Hotel , © Taggart Sorensen, Null Stern , © Johan Jansson, Kjellgren Kaminsky Architecture , and Castelul de Lut Valea Zanelor

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8 gorgeous green hotels to add to your bucket list

"Piggy Bank," a turtle that swallowed 915 coins, has died

March 23, 2017 by  
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A venerated sea turtle who was fed hundreds of coins by supplicants seeking good fortune is dead . The 25-year-old animal was living in a pond in a town near the Gulf of Thailand in late February when rescuers found her close to drowning from the weight of her cache—about 11 pounds worth. After naming her Omsin, which is Thai for “piggy bank,” a team of veterinary surgeons operated on the turtle for seven hours. By the time they were finished, they had filled a bucket with 915 coins, in currencies both foreign and domestic. Omsin was expected to survive, if not thrive. By all accounts, her rehabilitation at Bangkok’s Veterinary Medical Aquatic Animals Research Center went smoothly. She received laser therapy on her belly incision. A large kiddie pool, coupled with physical therapy for a wonky flipper, helped her ease back into water. Following a liquid diet, Omsin returned to eating solid food. “She is getting stronger,” Nantarika Chansue, a veterinary scientist who tracked Omsin’s progress on Facebook, wrote on March 9. Just as her doctors began planning her release to the wild, Omsin’s condition suddenly deteriorated. They found her intestines in a tangle in the space where the coins once filled. An infection had developed, causing her abdomen to swell up with gas and fluid. Related: Sea turtle is rescued after being dragged onto a beach and beaten for selfies Despite rushing the turtle into intensive care on Sunday night, then emergency surgery on Monday, Omsin lapsed into a comma. On Tuesday, she died, a victim of ignorance and superstition. “At 10:10 a.m., she went with peace,” Nantarika said during a news conference. Visibly weeping, she called Omsin her “friend, teacher and patient.” Nantarika was comforted by just one thought. “She at least had the chance to swim freely and eat happily before she passed,” she said. Via the Washington Post Photos by Unsplash

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"Piggy Bank," a turtle that swallowed 915 coins, has died

First cases of Zika-related microcephaly confirmed in Thailand

October 3, 2016 by  
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Health officials just confirmed the first two cases of microcephaly linked to the Zika virus in Southeast Asia . The cases were both in Thailand , although officials haven’t said exactly where in the country. Zika outbreaks across Southeast Asia prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to warn people, especially pregnant women, against traveling to the area. Out of three cases tested, laboratory tests linked two to the Zika virus in Thailand. Statistics collected by health officials reveal that since the start of 2016, there have been 349 confirmed cases of the Zika virus in the nation; 33 of those cases were pregnant women. Some experts have said Thailand has not been forthcoming about the presence of the Zika virus in the country to protect tourism, but Department of Disease Control adviser Prasert Thongcharoen said “Thailand is not hiding anything and is ready to disclose everything.” Related: Zika outbreak declared in Miami Beach The World Health Organization said governments and locals should work to control mosquitoes , said to transmit the Zika virus as well as other illnesses Thailand faces such as dengue , chikungunya, and malaria. Other health officials in the region said they would be monitoring, but they think the number of people who have the Zika virus is likely higher than they know. Philippines health secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubia told Reuters, “We do not test everybody, we test only those who are symptomatic. Yes, we are positive that the number is higher because we are not testing everyone.” Around 80 percent of infected people don’t have any symptoms of the Zika virus. In Singapore , there have been 393 cases of Zika, including 16 pregnant women. The CDC said tourists should think about postponing trips to Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia, Maldives, Laos, Philippines, Brunei, Timor-Leste, and Myanmar. There is already an Alert Level 2 travel notice in place for Singapore. Via The Los Angeles Times and Reuters Images via Pixabay and screenshot

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First cases of Zika-related microcephaly confirmed in Thailand

Thailand’s tallest building opens with new green spaces for Bangkok

September 1, 2016 by  
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Ole Scheeren designed the tower while working at Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) and completed the project with his own studio Büro Ole Scheeren. Located in the Central Business District in Bangkok , the new tower might not stay the tallest building in Thailand – the Rama IX Super Tower slated for completion in 2019 is expected to be almost twice as high as MahaNakhon. The solid facade of the tower is broken up by a pixelated effect meant to reveal parts of the inner life of the building. The carved volume forms green areas and balconies that offer great views of Bangkok. In addition to various residential and commercial spaces, the tower includes a large public space with public gardens and a transportation hub. + Büro Ole Scheeren Via Archdaily

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Thailand’s tallest building opens with new green spaces for Bangkok

Scientists discovered the world’s oldest fossils – and they date back 3.7 billion years

September 1, 2016 by  
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A new study shows evidence that life on Earth may have begun even earlier than previously thought. Researchers from the University of Wollongong have found fossilized evidence of ancient microbial life in Greenland dating back 3.7 billion years. The new discovery predates the previous earliest signs of life by about 220 million years. Ironically enough, the discovery was only possible due to global warming . The ongoing melting of Greenland ’s perennial snow and ice gave geologists a look into some of the oldest rocks on Earth, preserved throughout the ages by the cold. Generally, these types of metamorphic rocks are simply too weathered by the elements to reveal any clues about their geologic past. These particular rocks contain formations known as stromatolites – a sedimentary formation created by the layered growth of microorganisms . In other words: these rocks are the fossils of millions of years of bacteria-like organisms living, growing, and dying. By analyzing the rocks, scientists have been able to piece together knowledge about the environment in which these ancient organisms lived: it was likely warm, in shallow water – a surprisingly hospitable environment considering that the Earth was bombarded with asteroids and the eruptions of super-volcanos at the time. Related: Scientists discover microorganism that hasn’t evolved for over 2 billion years This new research strengthens the evidence that life on our planet emerged over 4 billion years ago, perhaps only 540 millions years after the Earth itself was formed. The study has been published in the journal Nature . + Nature Via Gizmodo Images via University of Wollongong

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Scientists discovered the world’s oldest fossils – and they date back 3.7 billion years

Steve Axford captures the hidden world of rare and undocumented fungi

August 11, 2016 by  
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The unusual diversity of shapes, colors and textures of these fungi is a visual reminder of just how beautiful life on this planet really is. Each specimen, photographed in its natural environment, is a testament that nothing exists in isolation, and everything is interconnected.  All of the fungi is left untouched and unaltered, documented by Axford so that people around the world can enjoy the ethereal beauty. Related: Surprising Photos Reveal the Enchanting World of Fungi Some months ago Axford left his beloved Australia to wander around with his camera throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of Xishuangbanna, in China and Chiang Mai, in Thailand . What he found was a handful of species that may be unknown to science and documented for the first time. The new images include a types like the Amanita hemibapha eggs and Cookeina Tricholoma , a bizarre-looking cup-shaped, hairy fungi we can now admire thanks to the photograph’s lens. + Steve Axford Via This is Colossal Photos by Steve Axford

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Steve Axford captures the hidden world of rare and undocumented fungi

Bangkok’s Siam Discovery retail center gets a major redesign from Japanese firm nendo

May 31, 2016 by  
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The previous design of the retail center , with its deep layout and narrow entry, created problems for the traffic flow of pedestrians, which is one thing a shopping center does not want. The architecture and design firm was called in to help, with the new design addressesing the previous issues by extending the circular atriums throughout and creating a canyon-like path stretching nearly 200 feet to the back of the building. Related: Nendo’s Trace collection of cabinets and lights look like drawings come to life Along one side of the atrium, a series of 220 frame-shaped boxes hold video monitors, digital signs, and displays of merchandise, which together create a unique and innovative ‘directory’ of sorts for the five-story department store. The design team at nendo devised a double-skinned facade to protect the interior from the sun, creating a tranquil shopping experience. The patterns on the facade echo the “stacked box” installation in the atrium. The overall theme for the interior design is unusual for a retail center. The designers call it a “Lifestyle Laboratory,” using motifs in 13 locations around the sales floor featuring laboratory equipment such as beakers, flasks, and test tubes, as well as diagrams of molecular structures, nucleotide DNA sequences, microscopes, and amoeba. Despite the sanitized air of the lab schema, the space maintains a relaxing feel which just might inspire visitors to spend a little more money than they intended. + nendo Images via Takumi Ota

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Bangkok’s Siam Discovery retail center gets a major redesign from Japanese firm nendo

New US government study links cell phones to cancer

May 31, 2016 by  
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A new study backed by the U.S. government suggests a new link between cell phone use and cancer . The National Toxicology Program ’s study is still incomplete at this time, yet partial findings reveal a relationship between specific radio frequencies and tumor growth in male laboratory rats. At the very least, we can no longer say there is no risk at all in using cell phones . The way some publications are reporting the news, you would expect to have a grapefruit-sized tumor growing in your skull this very moment, but the preliminary findings are a bit more complicated. The $25 million study , overseen by the National Institutes of Health , found “low incidences” of gliomas in brain glial cells and schwannomas in the hearts of some of the male rats used in the study; female rats did not yield a similar association. Related: World Heath Organization declares that cell phones may cause cancer The radio frequencies emitted from cell phones were reproduced in the rat experiments, raising concern for the same results possibly popping up in humans who use mobile devices. The partial findings warn, according to The Wall Street Journal , “Given the widespread global usage of mobile communications among users of all ages, even a very small increase in the incidence of disease resulting from exposure to [radio-frequency radiation] could have broad implications for public health.” Labeling cell phones as possibly carcinogenic is not a new thing, as the World Health Organization did so after reviewing similar epidemiological studies which revealed a cancer link. The NTP’s study, however, is the largest and most comprehensive experimental trial concerning cell phones and public health and may influence the Federal Communications Commission to alter their safety guidelines in the near future. The full results are expected to be released in the fall of 2017. Via The Wall Street Journal Images via Pexels ( 1 , 2 )

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New US government study links cell phones to cancer

Apple-inspired timber sauna is hidden within a grassy green slope

May 31, 2016 by  
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The sauna takes on a circular shape in reference to the shape of an apple and the cycle of nature. The curved concrete entrance envelopes visitors within a welcoming shaded nook with outdoor furnishings. Inside, the small sauna is lined with timber and features rows of wooden seating that evoke the classic apple crate. Contemporary spherical lamps are suspended from the ceiling, however, are unnecessary in the daytime when ample amounts of natural light stream through a full-height glazed rear window that overlooks the apple groves. Related: Historic Dutch farm in South Africa renovated for ultimate bliss and relaxation “It was essential to us to bring the charm of the surrounding garden and nature into the interior; different elements of the historic apple harvest inspired the design,” said noa* designer Christian Rottensteiner. In addition to the sauna, the structure includes changing rooms, showers, and a space for relaxation. The hotel grounds also include a restaurant, a museum with a shopping corner, and new suites located in a renovated stable. + noa* Images via noa*

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Apple-inspired timber sauna is hidden within a grassy green slope

The world’s largest water fight to continue amid a devastating drought

April 12, 2016 by  
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Every year Thailand makes a splash with the world’s largest water fight. Half a million people flock to the country for Songkran, the New Year festival that’s celebrated with everything from water guns to hoses to elephants spewing water. This year, however, officials are asking participants to curb water use in the face of the worst drought in more than 21 years – though some critics claim the celebrations shouldn’t take place at all. Read the rest of The world’s largest water fight to continue amid a devastating drought

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