Millions of Christmas candles are heading to the landfill this month

January 10, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green, Recycle

The holiday season has come and gone, but part of our Christmas decorations will be here forever — or at least for the next 1,000 years. Millions of candles are heading to the landfill this January, and when it comes to holiday waste, candles are some of the worst offenders, according to a new report from business waste management service Business Waste . The popularity of candles is soaring. Not only were they on-trend for holiday gifting, but the Scandinavian trend of “ hygge ” is also playing a big part in the candle obsession. The Danish term that means “creating a warm atmosphere” has become a lifestyle goal for many and often includes luxurious blankets and glowing candles. Related: Time to put the flame out — scented candles can cause disease and poor air quality But the environmental impact of this big increase in candle sales can’t be underestimated. The plastic holders for popular tea light candles and the plastic wrap that many candles are packaged in wreak havoc on the environment , because most people aren’t recycling. Instead, the plastic casings and packaging (or the glass and metal casings) are ending up in landfills for up to 1,000 years. Household recycling is on the rise, but most people are focusing on food packaging, so things like candles are still ending up in the landfill. “As relaxing as a candle-lit room in the depths of winter can seem, households need to be aware that their choices as consumers have a direct impact on the environment,” said Mark Hall, communications director at Business Waste. “We see novelty candles flood the shelves throughout the run-up to Christmas, and while they make a nice, cheap gift, their long term impact is just not worth the brief enjoyment they bring.” In addition to the poor recycling rates of the packaging, most candles also have paraffin, which is a by-product of petroleum. When you burn these candles, it releases carbon dioxide. If you do choose to burn candles throughout the year, there are beeswax and soy alternatives which are much more eco-friendly. Aim to avoid plastic packaging, and properly recycle or reuse glass or metal components. + Business Waste Image via Pitsch

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Millions of Christmas candles are heading to the landfill this month

Historic apartment is rehabbed into a bright and modern home in Barcelona

January 10, 2019 by  
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In Barcelona, Spain, a historic apartment in a block of flats dating back to the 1900s has been transformed into a minimalist and modern home. Local design studio Alventosa Morell Arquitectes directed the renovation for clients who wanted a completely renewed space with greater access to daylight. Completed in 2017, the project, called the TS01 Interior Refurbishment, not only offers improved access to natural light and ventilation, but also uncovers original architectural details. Located in the Born District, one of Barcelona’s oldest and most beautiful neighborhoods, the apartment had seen multiple renovations over a hundred years. As a result, little of the original construction could be seen and had been hidden beneath layered paint and modifications. In hopes of restoring a bit of the historic value of the property, Alventosa Morell Arquitects peeled back some of the alterations and discovered original elements—such as the beamed ceiling, stone wall and timber lintels—that they restored and left exposed. “The aim of our project story on two ideas,” Alventosa Morell Arquitectes explain. “On one hand, detect, recuperate and show the structural original elements of a high historic and constructive value; and on the other hand, generate a diaphanous space to improve the lighting conditions and natural ventilation existing.” To improve access to light, they removed all non-load-bearing partitions and the false ceiling. The walls were painted a bright white and the finish floor was removed and replaced with a continuous light-gray cement floor. Related: Alventosa Morell squeezes a narrow, day-lit home between two blocks of flats in Barcelona Crucial to the redesign of the apartment is the addition of a large timber unit that houses wardrobe space and doubles as an organizing element dividing the two bedrooms from the galley kitchen and dining area. The architects conclude: “Throughout a scheme of simplicity, our project for the rehabilitation of this old and nice apartment called for improving lighting and spaces; has been real. We feel proud because the aims of our project are achieved, besides the significance acquired by the old constructive elements.” + Alventosa Morell Arquitectes Via ArchDaily Images © Adrià Goula

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Historic apartment is rehabbed into a bright and modern home in Barcelona

10 Sustainable Snack Recipes for an Active Lifestyle

January 2, 2019 by  
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You’re bound to get a little peckish throughout the workday, … The post 10 Sustainable Snack Recipes for an Active Lifestyle appeared first on Earth911.com.

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10 Sustainable Snack Recipes for an Active Lifestyle

Seattle’s Been Sleepless, Now It Goes Strawless

September 5, 2017 by  
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September is the month Seattle stops sucking. At least, that’s what nonprofit organization Lonely Whale Foundation hopes as it launches “Strawless in Seattle” throughout the Pacific Northwest city. The campaign urges residents and businesses to…

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Seattle’s Been Sleepless, Now It Goes Strawless

Where Does My Trash Go?

March 23, 2017 by  
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How many times have you personally thought about the items you’ve thrown away throughout the day? How many produce nets or twist ties during your supermarket runs? How many plastic coverings and bags in a frozen meal? How many tossed…

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Where Does My Trash Go?

INFOGRAPHIC: How food waste has become a huge global problem

May 20, 2015 by  
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Every year, an estimated 1.2 to 2 billion tons of food is wasted—a massive amount of food that, if saved, would be more enough to feed the world’s hungry. Food waste isn’t just a humanitarian issue however; the problem is also a waste of land, water, energy and money. To put food wastage in perspective, Arbtech created an infographic that points out some of the world’s worst offenders and explains how food loss occurs throughout the supply chain. Click through to learn more about food waste and, most importantly, what you can do to help. Read the rest of INFOGRAPHIC: How food waste has become a huge global problem Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Arbtech , food wastage , food waste , infographic , reader submitted content

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INFOGRAPHIC: How food waste has become a huge global problem

Biomimetic Vascular Solar Cells

October 9, 2013 by  
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Researchers at North Carolina State University have come up with a new way of making solar cells with a method that uses circulation much like that in plant leaves to maintain the efficiency of the cells. Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC) are organic cells that use light-sensitive dyes to generate electricity. These cells could eventually make low-cost and more environmentally-friendly collectors for solar energy, but until now, the problem has been that the dyes eventually break down due to ultraviolet rays from the sun and lose their efficiency. The NCSU scientists have created a cell with vascular chanels, much like the veins in a leaf, to allow them to replenish the dye and thereby maintain the efficiency of the cell. Lead author Prof. Orlin Velev describes the process : “We considered how the branched network in a leaf maintains water and nutrient levels throughout the leaf. Our microchannel solar cell design works in a similar way. Photovoltaic cells rendered ineffective by high intensities of ultraviolet rays were regenerated by pumping fresh dye into the channels while cycling the exhausted dye out of the cell. This process restores the device’s effectiveness in producing electricity over multiple cycles.” DSSCs are made with “a water-based gel core, electrodes, and inexpensive, light-sensitive, organic dye molecules that capture light and generate electric current.” The simpler, non-metallic makeup of these cells could make them less expensive to produce, and could mean less extraction of rare minerals required in order to continue to provide solar energy. via: Cleantechnica

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Biomimetic Vascular Solar Cells

Saving a Solar Archive

October 5, 2013 by  
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Six decades of collected research and information about solar energy was nearly lost last month when torrential rains flooded parts of Boulder CO. The American Solar Energy Society , a non-profit organization supporting solar energy research and implementation is based on Boulder. The archives are now sitting in the organization’s executive director’s garage, but the organization has bigger plans in store. The ASES is running a Kickstarter to raise funds to digitize 60 years of archives . The fundraiser seeks to raise a relatively modest $118,977 to not just scan the documents, but also to OCR the information and make it more readily useful. “After a page is scanned from a paper format, whether it’s a book, magazine, research paper, or pdf, it will be converted to plain text via OCR. The images and diagrams will also become separate entities with their own tagging and categorization methodology that allows searching to be optimized as well as displayed in different contextual formats.” ASES plans to make all of this information freely available. “Similar to the way that the open source code community shares information, where code is open for others to see and build or improve upon, within open systems, creativity and innovation are able to grow exponentially. We want the same thing to happen with solar and renewable technologies.”

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Saving a Solar Archive

Solar Decathlon 2013 Is Underway

October 3, 2013 by  
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The biennial competition to build attractive, appealing, solar-powered homes is now underway, with the 2013 Solar Decathlon’s opening ceremonies being held today. Unlike previous years, when the event has been held on the National Mall in Washington DC, this year the Decathlon is being held in Irvine CA. Nineteen teams from across the US and Canada, as well as teams from Austria and the Czech Republic are taking part in this year’s event. The Solar Decathlon is made up of 10 different events judging a range of features of these designs, including their energy performance, the livability of each house, and the overall construction budget. This year’s entrants are targeting an estimated real-world construction cost of not more than $250,000. In addition to the competition itself, there is an exposition called XPO being held adjacent to the Decathlon. This program contains a number of clean, renewable, and energy efficient products and demonstrations. According to the Department of Energy, “The winner of the overall competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency. ” The competition and exhibition of these projects continues through Sunday, October 13, 2013. The overall winner of this year’s Decathlon is scheduled to be announced on Saturday, October 12. image credit: Richard King/U.S. Department of Energy

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Solar Decathlon 2013 Is Underway

Inhabitat is Now on Google+!

May 31, 2013 by  
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Hey, Inhabireaders! We’ve just launched our Google+ page and we’re hoping that you’ll join us in sharing the latest and greatest in green design and technology with the world. We’ll be posting our favorite Inhabitat stories  here throughout the day, in addition to other breaking news and cool stuff we find across the web and through our readers (that’s you). Join in on the action and follow us here ! FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE+ HERE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: g+ inhabitat , google plus , google+ inhabitat , inhabitat , inhabitat google plus , inhabitat on google plus        

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