Sweden wants to fight waste with new tax breaks for repairs

September 21, 2016 by  
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The Swedish government is unveiling an intriguing plan to discourage throwaway culture. The new proposals would slash the VAT tax rate on repairs to bicycles , clothes, and shoes by half in order to encourage consumers to reuse their old items rather than simply replacing them. The law would also allow residents to claim back income taxes on the cost of repairs to large appliances such as ovens, dishwashers, and washing machines. The tax breaks are the work of Sweden’s ruling Social Democrat and Green party coalition. The VAT cuts are expected to not only reduce the cost of repairs, but to also help stimulate the repair industry within the country. Officials are hoping the development of a new home-repairs service industry will help provide jobs for immigrants lacking a formal education. Related: Repair is Beautiful: Paulo Goldstein Repairs Broken Objects to Be Better Than Before The incentives are part of a wider effort in Sweden to reduce carbon emissions , and cutting the amount of new household goods produced will go a long way toward that goal. The proposals will be presented before Sweden’s parliament as part of the government’s budget, where lawmakers will vote on whether to approve the measure. If passed, the new law would go into effect at the start of 2017. Via The Guardian Images via PixaBay and Wikimedia Commons

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Sweden wants to fight waste with new tax breaks for repairs

Millennia-old cave dwellings in Italy renovated into luxurious hotel suites

September 21, 2016 by  
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The architects designed four new suites, a common area and a spa for the La Dimora di Metello Hotel in Matera, a UNESCO World Heritage site located in Southern Italy. They added new walls and luxury hotel amenities to the existing configuration of dwellings that date back to the Paleolithic era. Tuff, a light porous volcanic rock, and plaster were used to recreate the earthy feel, complementing the cave walls’ existing texture. Related: 6 Awesome Caves to Call Home Details made of wood , neutral fabrics and subtle lighting fixtures make the spaces look and feel luxurious and modern. This mix marries the traditional and the contemporary, providing an exclusive space that has become a real tourist attraction. + Manca Studio Via Contemporist Photos by Pierangelo Laterza

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Millennia-old cave dwellings in Italy renovated into luxurious hotel suites

Abu Dhabi bid sets astounding new low price for solar power

September 21, 2016 by  
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Just one month after the price of solar power in Chile dropped to half the cost of coal, a new record low price has already been established. A solar plant in Abu Dhabi fetched a bid of just 2.42 cents per kilowatt hour , edging out Chile’s previous record of 2.91 cents. The new price, offered by a consortium of Chinese solar panel manufacturer JinkoSolar and Japan-based company Marubeni, is for a solar plant initially planned for a capacity of 350 megawatts (twice the size of the Chilean project), but the final result may be even larger. Embed from Getty Images PV Magazine broke the news of the bid, which marks the lowest price ever bid for solar power anywhere on Earth. The Abu Dhabi Electricity and Water Authority’s (ADWEA) tender accepted the bid for the plant, destined for the town of Swaihan northwest of Abu Dhabi. ADWEA requested bids for a 350MW solar plant, but allowed bidders to increase the size of the project, so the actual build could wind up being larger than initially planned. The new ultra-low bid is attached to a project much larger than the initial 350MW, a senior representative of Middle East Solar Industry Association (MESIA) told PV Magazine. Related: Chile’s solar price hits record global low–at half the price of coal Although the JinkoSolar/Marubeni bid is the lowest ever made, the super low price has not yet been accepted, as the auction is still ongoing. Reportedly, ADWEA is also evaluating a competing bid from a consortium of Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s energy company, EDF Energies Nouvelles and PAL Group, but the price of that bid has not been released. The new world record low price bid by JinkoSolar and Marubeni is an historic event, but the per-kilowatt-hour price is only one factor officials must weigh in order to determination which consortium will develop the solar plant. Via PV Magazine Lead image via Shutterstock

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Abu Dhabi bid sets astounding new low price for solar power

Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects design a sustainable new benchmark for Stavanger

September 21, 2016 by  
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Located near Stavanger Central Station and adjacent to the future “Tivoliparken” city park, the 18,170-square-meter tower occupies a highly visible site, and is thus designed to interweave with the urban fabric. The building is accessible on three sides and its main entrance, which faces the future green park, will invite passersby into publicly accessible space with a mixed-use program including a cafe, restaurant, canteen, lobby, flexible performance spaces, multifunctional exhibitions, and events space across two levels. The tower will also house a church, currently located on the site, on floors 3 to 5; however, the majority of the 26-story building will be used for office space. The top two floors will be open to the public and offer spectacular panoramic views as well as conference facilities, restaurants, bars, and public space. Related: Undulating Green-Roofed Hotel Opens in Norway The sleek modern building blends contemporary elements with “a clear Scandinavian architectural reference.” Vertical aluminum and glass panels clad the exterior and pour natural light into the over 1,000 workspaces. “The building design is optimized to the highest degree of user-friendliness and energy efficiency ,” write the architects. “Green terraces at different heights and orientations bring a distinct recognizable character to this new high-rise in Stavanger, which will be one of the highest in Norway.” + Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects Images via Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

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Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects design a sustainable new benchmark for Stavanger

Discarded Appliances Salvaged Using Cork

July 19, 2012 by  
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Living in a throwaway culture, many can’t imagine spending the time to tweak their old, worn out toaster when they can simply spend $12 on a new one. It’s that sort of mentality that leads to small household appliances piling up in our landfills,…

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Discarded Appliances Salvaged Using Cork

Second-Hand Sales on the Rise

April 13, 2012 by  
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A throwaway culture leads to clothing being thought of more like wrapping paper and less like reusable, functional art. It looks nice temporarily, but as soon as it’s used, it gets thrown away. However, our clothing culture is transforming,…

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Second-Hand Sales on the Rise

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