Sumo wrestles sustainability into an all-natural, biodegradable diaper

February 14, 2020 by  
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Sustainable living is an ongoing pursuit that requires evaluating each purchase and every product we use. But some daily tasks just don’t have suitable solutions. The spotlight on disposable diapers is one example, and the only real option so far has been cloth diapers. Even though cloth diapers do keep the plastic variety from sitting in a landfill for hundreds of years, the plastic ribbing and diaper inserts typically keep cloth diapers from being recyclable. As part of her master’s thesis, Luisa Kahlfeldt created Sumo, a natural, biodegradable diaper that is as gentle on the planet as it is on a baby’s skin. Sumo diapers are created from a material called SeaCell, which is made up of algae extracts and eucalyptus wood . Both materials are soft and naturally antibacterial, making a great combination for something that will be against a baby’s skin. Additionally, SeaCell is sustainably harvested and produced with a low environmental impact. It is also biodegradable. Related: Pacific nation Vanuatu is the first to ban disposable diapers Anyone who has children knows that while it is important to strive for sustainability, if a reusable diaper doesn’t do its job, it’s out. The Sumo incorporates performance into the design with three layers of protection that include a soft inner layer, an absorbent center and a waterproof outer layer to combat leaks. Once the performance and material issues were hammered out, Kahlfeldt turned to finding an alternative to the standard elastic used for gathering fabric around the legs in traditional cloth diapers. In the process, she developed a way to knit natural yarns that stand up to the task while offering elasticity. The design is gaining notice from some notable organizations, namely the James Dyson Award, where Sumo was the winning entry from Switzerland in 2019. Kahlfeldt completed the project before graduating Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL), one of the world’s top design schools. She is currently working as a senior designer at Konstantin Grcic Design in Berlin. + Luisa Kahlfeldt Via Dezeen Images via Sumo

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Sumo wrestles sustainability into an all-natural, biodegradable diaper

South Africa’s first interior 6 star Green Star awarded to Formfunc

February 14, 2020 by  
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The Green Building Council recently awarded South Africa’s highest possible Interiors Green Star v1 certification to Capetown-based company  Formfunc Studio’s  office spaces — the first such rating to be awarded in the country for an office and distribution center. Spearheaded by local multidisciplinary environmental firm  Terramanzi Group , the design optimizes energy efficiency as well as occupant health and wellness. Designed with the Green Star Rating Tool in mind, the environmental consultants from the Terramanzi Group assessed all elements of the office fit-out to ensure ratings of between 75 to 100 credits for each evaluated category. This meant careful planning on a wide range of factors, from materials used to Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) and emissions. Key to the design was a “less is more” approach that led to a minimalist interior design with unplastered walls and exposed ceilings to minimize materials.  Low VOC  paints and sealants were used wherever possible.  Low-tech and high-tech solutions were used throughout, such as the installation of  floor-to-ceiling glazing  that takes advantage of natural daylight and the highly efficient HVAC system that improves outside air rates into the building to achieve above SANS 10400 requirements. Sensors were also installed to monitor and control carbon dioxide, water, and electricity levels. To promote responsible environmental stewardship, the office has been equipped with a recycling station and a composting unit for organic waste. Employees also have access to biking and motorbike parking on-site.  Related: This amazing green office is covered with native plants that were rescued on-site “As we are the exclusive distributor of Humanscale® ergonomic chairs, workstations and other  office  accessories to the southern African market, it was imperative that our office environment went beyond just an ergonomic solution but also reflected our brand and our philosophy of recreating workspaces that are simpler and healthier for our employees to work in,” Kim Kowalski, director and co-founder of Formfunc, explained in a project statement. + Terramanzi Group Images via Formfunc Studio

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South Africa’s first interior 6 star Green Star awarded to Formfunc

Sustainable Built Environment: Green Building Planning and Operations Strategies

January 4, 2013 by  
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This workshop will provide the business, environmental, and practical rationale for pursuing green strategies on all types of building projects, from tenant remodel to new construction. The course will also address practical strategies for maintaining the performance of those green features and integrating greener operational practices into existing buildings not originally constructed under a green framework.

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Sustainable Built Environment: Green Building Planning and Operations Strategies

How companies leverage data to make greener buildings

September 28, 2012 by  
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Can companies, NGOs and government provide greater visibility into the performance of energy-efficienct buildings? The White House wants to know.

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How companies leverage data to make greener buildings

Focus Electric Is Ford’s EV for 2011

September 20, 2010 by  
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While Nissan and GM seem to be getting the majority of the electric vehicle attention recently with the Leaf and the Volt both slated to begin reaching consumers in only a couple of months, Ford is getting its own electric vehicle ready for rollout.

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Focus Electric Is Ford’s EV for 2011

Researchers develop micro supercapacitor that delivers power in milliseconds

August 19, 2010 by  
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Eco Factor : Researchers develop micro supercapacitor with remarkable potential to power electronic gadget. A research team from France and US has developed a micro supercapacitor with remarkable potential to power mobile electronics, wireless sensor networks, biomedical implants, RFID tags and embedded micro sensors

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Researchers develop micro supercapacitor that delivers power in milliseconds

Australia identified as world’s most promising site for energy from waves

August 19, 2010 by  
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Eco Factor: World Energy Council identifies potential for wave-energy generation in Australia. The Australian government has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60 percent by the year 2050

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Australia identified as world’s most promising site for energy from waves

Pitching Tips from Unreasonable Entrepreneurs

July 20, 2010 by  
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The Unreasonable Institute brought 22 social entrepreneurs to pitch their for-profit and non-profit ventures to San Francisco yesterday to seek funding from individuals and institutions here. Happily a standing-room only crowd showed up to The Hub in SOMA to hear the inspiring entrepreneurs addressing momentous needs such as food distribution efficiencies, infectious disease detection and prevention, sufficient housing and sustainable building projects, economic development, sex-trafficking prevention and much more.

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Pitching Tips from Unreasonable Entrepreneurs

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