These funky sandals upcycle fabric from the cutting room floor

June 26, 2020 by  
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The fashion industry deserves a harsh slap on the wrist for how its manufacturing impacts the environment . From the overconsumption of resources to water pollution to material waste, it’s refreshing when companies take corporate responsibility and show concern for nature. Native Shoes is one such company, with a history of making a light footprint in the production of their footwear. The company’s newest release, Davis Repurposed, is a slight variation from their already popular Davis collection. Related: Native Shoes’ Bloom collection is made of repurposed algae The ‘repurposed’ portion reflects that these shoes use scraps of leftover material that would otherwise go to waste. By being repurposed for these bright, bold and fun sandals, the colorful fabric stays out of landfills. Featuring two-straps, adjustable buckles, an EVA midsole and a contoured footbed, Davis Repurposed serves as a versatile shoe option for day trips, hiking excursions, beach walks or backyard celebrations. The line carries adult, junior and child sizes for all genders, with the addition of a thoughtful stretchy heel strap for the toddler set. Each pair retails for $55 CAD (child), $61 CAD (junior) and $75 CAD (adult). Native is not new to the sustainable manufacturing effort, with a history of innovative research and design. For example, its Plant Shoe uses only natural glues and a  plant-based, biodegradable template . The company manufactures its Bloom collection with repurposed algae using Rise by Bloom technology. Each of these examples serves Native’s mission statement: “Our goal by 2023, is for each and every pair of Natives Shoes to be 100% life cycle managed.” Native’s Remix Project aims to provide a return method for all Native-produced shoes so consumers can easily send them back to the company, where they are then recycled into other products for the community. According to the initiative, “The unique composition of Native Shoes can be reground into versatile material that is useful in the creation of seating, playground flooring, insulation and more. Leveraging a proprietary regrind process, we are able to break down the materials found in every style of Native Shoes including sandals, slip-ons, knit sneakers and boots. From that point – there’s no telling where your soles could turn up!” + Native Shoes Images via Native Shoes

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These funky sandals upcycle fabric from the cutting room floor

Grade II listed Victorian home undergoes a green renovation

April 24, 2020 by  
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London-based firm Will Gamble Architects has breathed new life into a dilapidated building in the small village of Gretton, U.K. The complex consisted of a Grade II listed Victorian house, a disused cattle shed and a set of ruins of a former parchment factory. Although the project presented several challenges, the architects managed to strategically incorporate the existing structures, as well as several reclaimed materials found onsite, into the new design in lieu of complete demolition. The Parchment Works House represents the best of green renovation that incorporates a deep respect for the past. Because the project involved restoring a Grade II listed Victorian home, the architects had to work within several building restrictions. Buildings listed as Grade II are legally protected from being demolished, so the designers were forced to get creative with a redesign. Related: A Victorian cottage gets a stylish and sustainable makeover The original plan called for renovating the home while incorporating the  disused cattle shed. The adjacent complex, which only had stone walls remaining and was in complete ruins, was initially going to be demolished. However, Will Gamble Architects saw the value in incorporating the ruins into the new design via a “sensitive but well-conceived intervention.” With a new green renovation plan underway, the project centered around using what was onsite for construction. Working within the focus of creating “a building within a building”, the process began by inserting two modern volumes within the complex’s existing structures. Using the old masonry walls as an envelope, the new house consists of a modern interior wrapped solidly in the site’s history and rural setting. The two volumes are clad in a blend of weathered steel, oak and reclaimed brick. Additional materials found onsite were also upcycled for use throughout the Victorian home, enabling the architects to save on costs and make the renovation more sustainable. The interior of the home is thoroughly minimalist and modern. Each room is filled with natural light. The kitchen is the heart of the home and doubles as a space for gathering. Despite the house’s modern design, the interior stone walls were repaired and washed in lime to create a mottled effect while the exposed ceiling beams were repurposed from the old cattle shed for a striking contrast between past and present. + Will Gamble Architects Via ArchDaily Photography by John Dehlin via Will Gamble Architects

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Grade II listed Victorian home undergoes a green renovation

Dark Chalet in Utah will generate over 350% more energy than it needs

April 24, 2020 by  
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Los Angeles-based Tom Wiscombe Architecture will be putting the final touches on its “Dark Chalet” by October 2020. Located about an hour north of Salt Lake City on the slopes of Summit’s Powder Mountain in Eden, Utah, the mysterious, net-positive energy building will generate 364% more power than it needs thanks to an integrated commercial-grade solar panel system. Net-positive energy in architecture refers to a building that generates more power than is needed for the structure to operate, going a step further than traditional net-zero energy systems. The extra energy can be utilized for features such as electric vehicle charging and hosting large events or even as a long-term plan to help offset the energy it took to construct the building in the first place. Excess energy can also be returned to the grid. Related: Kendeda, a net-positive Living Building, opens at Georgia Tech The 5,500-square-foot Dark Chalet is meant to act as both a single-family residence and a venue for the Summit Powder Mountain community events. The main structure, which looks like a massive black diamond against the snowy white backdrop, is fitted to follow the natural slope of the mountain with a lifted section contoured to allow skiers to pass through. The entire exterior is constructed with a woven patchwork of matte and glossy solar panels embedded into each other. This design fades the system into the background unlike traditional solar panels; the arrangement helps draw little attention to the fact that energy is being generated and instead presents a sleek exterior. At the forefront of the interior, a mega-scaled fireplace will connect all levels of the house through a network of strategically embedded staircases, a design meant to inspire images of grand ski chalets and castles. The 28-foot-wide fireplace is made of black steel. Both the staircases and the fireplace will have elements including bookshelves, walkways and storage spaces. The completion of the Dark Chalet in October will mark the first phase of a 10,000-acre Summit Powder Mountain ski resort . + Tom Wiscombe Architecture Via The Architect’s Newspaper Images via Tom Wiscombe Architecture

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Dark Chalet in Utah will generate over 350% more energy than it needs

Archivist releases shirts made from recycled hotel sheets

April 17, 2020 by  
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Sometimes, being disruptive is fashionable. As for Archivist, a sustainable clothing company, its business plan counts on being disruptive in the name of fashion and corporate responsibility. With this mission, Archivist has found a unique yet luxurious inspiration for a new line of tailored shirts — hotel sheets. The story begins with a query on what happens to hotel sheets once they are discarded. The answer inspired a campaign to turn used bedding into sustainable fashion. As such, Archivist is the brainchild of partners Eugenie Haitsma and Johannes Offerhaus, Dutch designers who reached out to European hotels and quickly received 200 kilos of fine Egyptian cotton sheets. Although they were worn enough to be pulled from the hotels, these high-quality sheets still has plenty of performance life left. Archivist moved quickly to disrupt the flow of hotel sheets to landfills, instead creating a men’s leisure shirt and a women’s work shirt, two initial releases in what the company hopes to be a growing line of sustainable clothing options. Related: This biodegradable T-shirt is made from trees and algae The duo is busy reaching out to additional luxury hotels across Europe in a plan that helps them source materials while also extending an eco-friendly way for the hotels to get rid of old sheets. Transport distances are short because the hotels, located across Europe, send linens directly to a workshop near Bucharest. There, a family-run atelier thoroughly washes, cuts and manufactures the material into shirts. While there may be minor defects in the fabric, the team aims to minimize cut-off waste. Equally important, the shirt designs are timeless, offering a long lifespan instead of the disposable nature of trendy items. The men’s leisure shirt, made from 100% upcycled hotel linens, is offered in three sizes, which the company describes as flowy and oversized. The women’s work shirt is also created from sheets, but the design incorporates a subtle stripe woven into the fabric for a classic look that can be paired with a suit, slacks or jeans. It is also available in three sizes. Both shirts ship free within the EU and are priced at 150 euros (about $164). If you happen to get a shirt with a defect, Archivist will happily send you free patches. + Archivist Photography by Arturo Bamboo via Archivist

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Archivist releases shirts made from recycled hotel sheets

Archivist releases shirts made from recycled hotel sheets

April 17, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

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Sometimes, being disruptive is fashionable. As for Archivist, a sustainable clothing company, its business plan counts on being disruptive in the name of fashion and corporate responsibility. With this mission, Archivist has found a unique yet luxurious inspiration for a new line of tailored shirts — hotel sheets. The story begins with a query on what happens to hotel sheets once they are discarded. The answer inspired a campaign to turn used bedding into sustainable fashion. As such, Archivist is the brainchild of partners Eugenie Haitsma and Johannes Offerhaus, Dutch designers who reached out to European hotels and quickly received 200 kilos of fine Egyptian cotton sheets. Although they were worn enough to be pulled from the hotels, these high-quality sheets still has plenty of performance life left. Archivist moved quickly to disrupt the flow of hotel sheets to landfills, instead creating a men’s leisure shirt and a women’s work shirt, two initial releases in what the company hopes to be a growing line of sustainable clothing options. Related: This biodegradable T-shirt is made from trees and algae The duo is busy reaching out to additional luxury hotels across Europe in a plan that helps them source materials while also extending an eco-friendly way for the hotels to get rid of old sheets. Transport distances are short because the hotels, located across Europe, send linens directly to a workshop near Bucharest. There, a family-run atelier thoroughly washes, cuts and manufactures the material into shirts. While there may be minor defects in the fabric, the team aims to minimize cut-off waste. Equally important, the shirt designs are timeless, offering a long lifespan instead of the disposable nature of trendy items. The men’s leisure shirt, made from 100% upcycled hotel linens, is offered in three sizes, which the company describes as flowy and oversized. The women’s work shirt is also created from sheets, but the design incorporates a subtle stripe woven into the fabric for a classic look that can be paired with a suit, slacks or jeans. It is also available in three sizes. Both shirts ship free within the EU and are priced at 150 euros (about $164). If you happen to get a shirt with a defect, Archivist will happily send you free patches. + Archivist Photography by Arturo Bamboo via Archivist

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Archivist releases shirts made from recycled hotel sheets

ChopValue recycles 25 million chopsticks into furniture and decor

March 19, 2020 by  
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A Canadian-based company called ChopValue has found some unique ways to reuse single-use chopsticks — think of it as upcycling food utensils into chic, sustainable decor and housewares. The process starts in coordination with restaurants by collecting used chopsticks. The wood then goes through a micro-manufacturing process, which turns it into usable material for other products. ChopValue keeps the production carbon-neutral while maintaining an overall carbon-negative status for the company. Consumers can select products with complete transparency regarding the overall carbon footprint and number of recycled chopsticks that were used to make a specific item. Related: Kwytza chopstick art transforms single-use chopsticks into stylish home decor The founder of ChopValue, Felix Böck, developed and engineered the innovative material while earning his PhD. The idea came one night while having sushi, when Böck and his partner were discussing their frustrations over construction waste in the city. They looked down at their chopsticks and were instantly inspired; the rest is history. Taking an interest in the environment and corporate responsibility, Böck hopes to lead by example and inspire others to rethink resource efficiency. The company offers a variety of decor items, including a hexagonal display shelf and honeycomb-shaped pieces that can be used as a single unit or in conjunction with other tiles for a geometric look. There is also a selection of cutting board options with designs specialized for charcuterie boards, cheese and cracker displays or butcher blocks. There’s even a zero-waste kit that comes with a cheeseboard, coasters, key chains, toothbrushes, chopsticks, stainless steel straws and straw cleaners; the kit comes in a box that can be used to donate used chopsticks back to the company. As an incentive, the company will get you a product equal to the amount of chopsticks you donate. For example, 75 chopsticks will net you a 75-chopstick coaster. In addition to the standard selections available on the website, ChopValue can produce custom wood furniture and other items. For example, a community table created for Little Kitchen Academy diverted 33,436 disposable chopsticks from the landfill. Another big project saw the creation of wall paneling, restaurant tables and entrance flooring for Little Bird Dim Sum that utilized more than 330,000 disposable chopsticks. According to the company, its efforts have recycled more than 25 million chopsticks to date. ChopValue has created a virtual interactive trade show booth in partnership with WireWax as a result of the many canceled trade shows stemming from the COVID-19 outbreak. Check it out while scrolling through the website, and it might just inspire the designer in you. + ChopValue Images via ChopValue

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ChopValue recycles 25 million chopsticks into furniture and decor

Earth Day 2020 goes digital

March 19, 2020 by  
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Earth Day will take a surprising turn this year by relocating to the internet. Due to the global coronavirus pandemic, events for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22 will be digital. “At Earth Day Network, the health and safety of volunteers and participants in Earth Day events is our top concern,” said Kathleen Rogers, president of Earth Day Network. “Amid the recent outbreak, we encourage people to rise up but to do so safely and responsibly — in many cases, that means using our voices to drive action online rather than in person.” Related: How Earth Day began and how it helps the planet To keep track of the global Earth Day conversation across several digital platforms, participants will use the hashtags #EarthDay2020 and #EarthRise. Interested people can follow Earth Day Network’s social media accounts (@earthdaynetwork) for live coverage. Individuals and groups may also participate in environment-related online teach-ins, virtual protests and social media campaigns. Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson founded Earth Day in 1970 after a devastating oil spill off the Santa Barbara coast. He wanted to capture the energy of the student antiwar movement to shift public awareness and policy around the environment . His coalition originally chose April 22 because it fell between spring break and final exams. At the first Earth Day, 20 million Americans, or 10% of the country’s population at that time, participated in events related to environmental science. “Our current pandemic demonstrates that governments must embrace science early,” Rogers said. “As we see now, many governments were slow to respond or even indifferent about the science of the coronavirus pandemic. But the last few weeks have also demonstrated that our society, even at the international level, is capable of mass shifts across all sectors to meet a crisis head-on. We must apply the same scale and urgency of our response to climate change .” Because the pandemic is affecting regions in different ways, some people might choose in-person gatherings to celebrate Earth Day. People should take precautions and check current guidelines from the World Health Organization before planning or attending gatherings. + Earth Day Image via NASA

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Here’s how you can recycle and upcycle your yogurt containers

June 4, 2019 by  
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We all want to do the right thing when it comes to recycling. After all, it makes us feel good to know we’re diverting materials from the already-overflowing landfills . But sometimes we inadvertently cause more problems than we solve when we toss items into recycling that contaminate the rest of the goods in the bin. For example, when a material that has come into contact with food rolls down the conveyor belt at the recycling plant, workers have to pull other perfectly acceptable recyclable items from the line simply due to cross-contamination. Yogurt containers are one such item that leave us feeling a little helpless in our efforts to do the right thing. While they do come into contact with food, they may still be recyclable. Then again, they may not. Even if you understand the policy regarding single-use food containers in your area, you have the added ongoing conflict surrounding those little numbers on the bottom of plastic containers. Can you recycle a number 4? Are the containers of one yogurt brand recyclable while others are not? The answer is not black and white. In fact, almost no two recycling centers have the same standards when it comes to what they will or will not accept. The good news is that you can erase the question mark regarding the best way to deal with yogurt containers in your area. Related: DIY: Make delicious homemade yogurt in your slow cooker Step 1. Know your plastic The first step in the process is to investigate the identifying number on the bottom of your container. Yes, these are likely different from one brand to another. Beyond that even, some brands have more than one plastic type for different products. Numbers one and two are commonly recyclable. Number three is rarely recyclable. Number four is commonly recyclable, but perhaps not via curbside pickup. Number five is hit and miss for mainstream recyclability. Number six is rarely recyclable or recycled and is bad for the environment . Finally, number seven is a mixture of plastics that is rarely recyclable. Yogurt containers are most commonly number 5 or 6 plastic, which does nothing to answer the question as to whether you can recycle it or not. Step 2. Contact your recycle center The most accurate answer to your query will come directly from your local curbside recycling provider. While some will accept packaging labeled one to seven, some will only take non-food plastic . Yet, others only commit to the cleaner numbers one or two. Check out the website or send them an email. You can also give them a call, but note that many times the centralized call center won’t have reliable information about the recycling in your area. Facilities vary widely from one location to the next. Plus, protocol is constantly changing based on many factors, most recently the limitations implemented by China. Step 3. Alternatives The short answer here is that there is no easy answer, and it depends on both the capabilities of the facility and the plastic used in the production of the yogurt container. If your curbside service doesn’t allow it, look for a local facility that does accept lower grade plastic. If you have a Whole Foods in your area, look for Gimme 5 drop boxes near the front of the store or mail your clean, empty yogurt cups back to Preserve . Step 4. Other alternatives If you don’t find a viable way to recycle your plastic yogurt containers, it might be time to switch to a brand that serves it up in glass instead. Alternately, you can easily make your own yogurt with recipes that allow it to sit in the oven overnight. Or you can rely on a yogurt maker or Insta-pot for the same effect. Of course, yogurt containers can be useful around the house, too. Here are just a few ways you can put them to work: If they have a lid, use them to store paper clips, thumb tacks, hair bands, buttons, cotton balls, jewelry when you travel and any number of other small items throughout the house and garage. Used yogurt containers can also be used for other food items. Pack your nuts, berries or Goldfish in them, or take your dressings, sauces and dips on the road. Due to the size and shape of yogurt containers, they’re great for pantry items like flour and also cleaning products like the bucket of Oxy-clean or dishwasher detergent . For gardening , poke a few holes in the bottom, fill with soil and add seeds. Yogurt cups make a great small and available planter when you’re starting out plants prior to transplant. If you have children, yogurt containers might be the only bath toy you need. Prepare for endless filling and dumping or drill holes in the bottom so your child can watch it run through. They are also great in the sandbox when building a castle or just watching the sand cascade to the earth. Crafting— yogurt containers can reign in small supplies like tiny clips, stickers or googly eyes. Plus, they make great containers for Play-doh or fingerpainting when the kids are looking for an artsy outlet. Even without a clear cut answer as to whether your yogurt containers are recyclable, you can have a plan to make conscientious purchases (avoid number 6 and buy glass if you can), locate more information about local recycling resources and find ways to upcycle your containers to provide more than a single use. Via Preserve , LifeHacker Images via Shutterstock

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Studio Roosegaarde wants to turn space waste into shooting stars and 3D-printed housing

January 25, 2019 by  
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At the Space Waste Lab Symposium in Almere, Netherlands, artist and innovator Daan Roosegaarde of Studio Roosegaarde announced his creative new solutions for reducing space waste. The main project of his ambitious proposals will be Shooting Stars, a collaborative effort between Studio Roosegaarde and the European Space Agency that will pull floating space waste through the Earth’s atmosphere to create a sustainable alternative to traditional fireworks. The second solution will explore repurposing space waste as the building blocks for 3D-printed structures to house future space societies. Space waste includes natural debris generated from asteroids, comets and meteoroids as well as man-made debris generated from artificially created objects in space, particularly old satellites and spent rocket stages. In a bid to solve the space waste problem — Studio Roosegaarde estimates there are approximately 8.1 million kilograms of space waste — the team has worked together with experts from the European Space Agency and students to launch the Space Waste Lab, a multi-year program to capture and recycle space waste into sustainable products. Streamed live in Dutch , the Space Waste Lab Symposium that was held on January 19 put forth two sustainable proposals for eliminating the currently 29,000 objects larger than 10 centimeters floating in space. The first, called Shooting Stars, would pull the waste through the Earth’s atmosphere, where it would burn and create artificial shooting stars in a new spectacle of light and sustainable alternative to polluting fireworks. The second project aims to design and 3D print innovative structures made from space waste for operation in-orbit and on the moon. Related: Studio Roosegaarde’s laser light art tracks floating space waste in the sky “Although the Netherlands is small, we can make a huge impact in playing a role to clean up the space waste, with new innovations and offering opportunities,” Adriana Strating, executive director at KAF (Kunstlinie Almere Flevoland), said at the symposium. The Space Waste Lab will travel next to Luxembourg . + Studio Roosegaarde Images via Studio Roosegaarde

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Studio Roosegaarde wants to turn space waste into shooting stars and 3D-printed housing

Nh Nhm Homestay is built from upcycled waste in Vietnam

December 19, 2018 by  
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Born from waste materials, the stylish Nhà Nhím Homestay is giving upcycling a good name with its smart eco-friendly design. Designed by Ho Chi Minh City-based architectural practice A+ Architects , the hotel comprises a series of contemporary structures built of locally sourced materials and positioned for optimal views over the landscape. Completed last year, the project is located in Da Lat, the capital of Lam Dong province in southern Vietnam’s Central Highlands. The long and narrow project site for the Nhà Nhím Homestay proved a challenge due to the dimensions and the sloped terrain. Rather than create a single structure stretched across the slender site, the architects split the hotel into a series of buildings strategically staggered and spaced apart to protect against cold winds and to encourage connection between units. The structures were also elevated off the ground for improved views and to create usable open space underneath. The sleeping areas—seven beds in total—are located upstairs while the communal spaces are on the ground floor. After the architects sketched out the initial design, they began to study the site surroundings in more detail. After multiple trips out to Da Lat, the firm found inspiration in the region’s abundance of waste material and decided to upcycle those materials to tie the design into its surroundings. Unwanted cutoffs from the local textile factories, for instance, were recycled into different parts in the buildings, while external wood cells were reused in the ceiling modules. Leftover pine branches were transformed into fencing and other old timbers were given new life as furnishings. Related: An old warehouse is remade into a stylish hotel with a copper chevron crown The architects add: “There were also test concrete blocks being thrown away. No longer garbage. We recreated a new purpose for them, when they were carefully aligned to recreate the iconic talus slope of Da Lat. In the end, this project was a story of giving so-called “garbages” a second chance and an architect’s adventure of creating something meaningful from trash.” + A+ Architects Images by Quang Tran  

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Nh Nhm Homestay is built from upcycled waste in Vietnam

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