Gorgeous, low-maintenance home comprised of dual farmhouse-style buildings

November 22, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Gorgeous, low-maintenance home comprised of dual farmhouse-style buildings

When architect Tim Sharpe and his wife Rani Blancpai decided to build their own home, they knew they wanted a design that would be low-maintenance in terms of energy and upkeep for years to come. To create their ultra-durable and low-energy home, they combined two extended barn-like volumes, clad in both galvanized steel and Australian spotted gum wood, to create a modern farmhouse installed with various passive features . Located in Byron Bay, Australia, on a large lot surrounded by hoop pines, the two farmhouse-style buildings make up the main four-bedroom home and a “granny flat”. Both structures have large gabled roofs, covered in a bright galvanized steel, which will patine over time. The rest of the structures are clad in a Australian spotted gum wood that contrasts nicely with the steel roofs. Not only were these two materials chosen to give the home a modern farmhouse aesthetic, but they are also known for their low-maintenance qualities. Related: A net-zero modern farmhouse kicks off a sustainable community in Texas The main home is a massive 3,600-square-foot space with four bedrooms. With its large steep-pitched gable ceiling, the interior is spacious and inviting throughout. To make the most out of natural light and solar gains , the main living space and bedrooms in the home were oriented to the north and east, “This results in minimal need for summer cooling and winter heating, and assures a pleasant, light-filled, comfortable space,” says Sharpe. Indeed, the interior living space is bright and modern, flooded with natural light thanks to an abundance of large windows and a few strategically-placed skylights. A simple, neutral color scheme and natural materials give the space a contemporary, yet homey and aesthetic. Sharp designed a lot of the furniture himself, including the dining table and chairs. To create a comfortable and cost-effective temperature control year round on the interior, hydronic heating and cooling systems, sustained by a 23 KW solar PV system , were installed underneath the polished concrete floors. There are also multiple fans to enhance natural ventilation throughout the home. + Sharpe Design Construct Via Dwell Photography via Andy Macpherson via Sharp Design Construct  

Read the rest here: 
Gorgeous, low-maintenance home comprised of dual farmhouse-style buildings

6 environmental topics to spark discussion at the Thanksgiving dinner table

November 22, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on 6 environmental topics to spark discussion at the Thanksgiving dinner table

Nothing sparks political discussion and debate more than a family dinner during the holidays. In this explosive political climate, chances are the conversation will run wild during Thanksgiving even more than it has in the past. To give you some ideas for the upcoming holiday season, here are some environmental topics to help spur your political discussion while you enjoy your turkey dinner. Elections With a major midterm election happening just this month, politics will be a hot topic at Thanksgiving dinner tables across the country. In addition to Republicans who doubt climate science being voted out of the House of Representatives, there were also many environmental measures on the ballots in states across the nation. But  the results on these key issues sent mixed messages that are sure to get people talking. Food waste One-third of all globally produced food ends up wasted, and that makes food waste a huge problem . Americans throw away more than 40 percent of the food they buy, which is also a major factor in climate change. To tackle this problem, some cities are passing laws banning restaurants from throwing out food , and that is a step in the right direction. But making changes at home will help just as much, if not more. If we don’t change our food waste habits, a new study says the problem will continue to increase, and we will be throwing out 66 tons of food per second by 2030. What better time to bring this up than during your Thanksgiving feast? It’s a great time to encourage everyone to take home leftovers . Climate change The latest UN report on climate change has revealed that we are not on target to maintain the Earth’s temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius or less. If we want to avoid more extreme weather events and species’ extinction, we need to make some major changes to hit that goal. During the 2015 Paris Agreement, nearly 200 nations pledged to keep the ceiling for temperature rise at 2 degrees Celsius, but that isn’t enough to avoid irreparable damage to Earth’s ecosystems. While discussing climate change , you can add a new twist on the topic and bring up the new study on barley production , which says that beer prices will soar in the near future because of climate change. Plastic bans The ban on single-use plastics is starting to trend all over the world , and the word “single-use” just became Collins Dictionary’s 2018 Word of the Year . States are banning plastic straws and other single-use items to reduce the waste, and the European parliament just supported a major ban of single-use plastics that member nations will implement over the next few years. Let everyone at the dinner table know it’s time to ditch straws or stock up on reusable options. Related: Plastic straws are a thing of the past, but which reusable straw is best for the future? Veganism, vegetarianism and flexitarianism The meat industry has taken a big hit in recent years thanks to the diet trend of veganism , vegetarianism and flexitarianism. Vegetarianism has been popular since the ’90s, but veganism have become mainstream in recent years, with new vegan-only restaurants popping up in cities across the world. Now, flexitarianism is on the rise, which is a diet that is mostly plant-based but does have some select meat dishes incorporated on a limited basis. Related: 12 plant-based recipes for a vegan or vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner With this growing trend away from meat, a third of the people in the U.K. now have little to no meat in their daily food intake. But we still have a long way to go if we want to avoid a climate crisis . Perhaps it’s time to swap out the turkey for a vegan option. Animal welfare There are many different issues making headlines on the topic of animal welfare —  including Trump’s border wall , which is threatening the National Butterfly Center. This year, California became the first state in the country to ban animal testing for cosmetics, and Los Angeles also put a stop to the sale of fur . Burberry also vowed to stop using fur in its products, and an entire Fashion Week went fur-free . Encourage friends and family at the table to do the same. No matter where the discussion takes you, try to keep the environment in mind for every topic of your conversation. One of the most important things we can do is spread awareness about the major problems that are harming our planet and educate our loved ones on how to help. Happy Thanksgiving! Images via Aaron Burden , Patrick Hendry , Sagar Chaudhray , Simon Matzinger , Tamara Bellis and Shutterstock

See more here:
6 environmental topics to spark discussion at the Thanksgiving dinner table

Beech Architects convert 125-year-old windmill into a modern guesthouse

September 26, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Beech Architects convert 125-year-old windmill into a modern guesthouse

Beech Architects converted a 125-year-old windmill in Suffolk, England, into a modern guest house for rent. Complete with a metal-clad observation pod on top, the new guesthouse is well insulated and features custom-made furniture that fits its constraining circular layout. The 60-foot high windmill was built in 1891 and had a role in agricultural production at the time. However, the building had been disused for decades–until Beech Architects restored it. The owners, a surveyor and his wife who live in the house next door, plan to rent out the new guesthouse for extra income. Related: This windmill converted into a beach house is the perfect waterfront getaway “The biggest design challenge was the reinstatement of the cap or ‘pod’, which was not intended as a faithful historic reconstruction, but rather as contemporary and innovative interpretation that would also serve as the principal living and viewing platform ,” Beech Architects told Dezeen. Related: Rothschild Foundation Moves Into Beautifully Renovated Windmill Hill Dairy Farm The architects added insulation panels to the exterior walls and topped the entire structure with a wooden observation pod. The flexible timber rib system, manufactured by MetsaWood , is covered by 200 panels of zinc. This particular element of the conversion is why some locals complained that the structure doesn’t fit into its surroundings and looks “alien”. Nevertheless, the conversion project has recently received a RIBA award nomination. + Beech Architects Via Treehugger

Read the original post: 
Beech Architects convert 125-year-old windmill into a modern guesthouse

Bill Gates gives away $4.6 billion worth of Microsoft shares

August 15, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Bill Gates gives away $4.6 billion worth of Microsoft shares

Time and time again, Bill Gates has proven himself to be quite the philanthropist . In his latest charitable act, Gates has donated 64 million shares of Microsoft – which is worth a total of $4.6 billion. The donation will reduce Gates’ stake in Microsoft to just 1.3 percent (compared to 24 percent in 1996). Bloomberg reports that the donation is the biggest since he gave away $16 billion worth of shares in 1999 and $5.1 billion in 2000. The news was revealed in a filing to the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) on Monday. The filing doesn’t reveal the benefactor of Gates’ donation. Each year, Gates donates approximately 80 million Microsoft shares. The latest gift means that he has just 103 million shares left. The filing reveals that his wife, Melinda, holds nearly 425,000 Microsoft shares. If Gates continues to give away the shares, the philanthropist could reduce his stake in Microsoft to zero by 2019. To date, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is the largest holder of Microsoft Stock, followed by Gates, then the current Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Related: Bill Gates launches $1 billion clean energy fund to fight climate change Even though the contribution is a massive sum in monetary terms, Bill Gates still holds the title of the richest person in the world. In fact, Bloomberg values Gates at $86.1 billion (down from $90 billion). Fortunately, he and Melinda have used their wealth to further progressive initiatives . They also intend to give away 95 percent of their wealth by the time they die — and that is commendable. Via Bloomberg Images via Flickr , Pixabay

Read more here: 
Bill Gates gives away $4.6 billion worth of Microsoft shares

The Ocean Cleanup raises $21.7 million to begin ridding the Pacific Ocean of plastic

May 3, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on The Ocean Cleanup raises $21.7 million to begin ridding the Pacific Ocean of plastic

Last fall The Ocean Cleanup found 1,000 large pieces of plastic in two hours in the Pacific Ocean during their first aerial reconnaissance mission. Today the Dutch foundation announced they’ve raised $21.7 million, and can now begin large-scale trials of their passive plastic capturing technology – in the Pacific – as soon as this year. The Pacific Ocean, plagued by the Texas-sized Great Pacific Garbage Patch , desperately needs to be cleaned up. The Ocean Cleanup is ready to tackle the problem with their plastic gathering technology tested in the North Sea thanks to new funding amounting to $21.7 million. Investors include Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and his wife Lynne Benioff and entrepreneur Peter Thiel . Related: World’s first ocean trash recon mission is complete – and the results are way worse than we thought Founder and CEO Boyan Slat said in a statement, “Our mission is to rid the world’s oceans of plastic, and this support is a major leap forward towards achieving this goal. Thanks to the generous support of these funders, the day we’ll be returning that first batch of plastic to shore is now in sight.” The Ocean Cleanup’s technology draws on ocean currents to collect trash and could reduce the theoretical cleanup time of plastic in the Pacific Ocean from millennia down to years – their Ocean Cleanup Array could scoop up almost half of the patch’s garbage in 10 years . When they launch their technology in the Pacific later this year, it will be the first experimental cleanup system in that ocean, according to the foundation. The Ocean Cleanup will share more details at the Werkspoorkathedraal , an exhibition in the Netherlands, on May 11 at 2:00 PM EST. According to their website the talk will unveil The Next Phase and share “what we’ve been working on for the past two years, and what will be happening next.” They’ll be live streaming the event on their website . + The Ocean Cleanup Images courtesy of The Ocean Cleanup

See the rest here:
The Ocean Cleanup raises $21.7 million to begin ridding the Pacific Ocean of plastic

Jon and Tracey Stewart celebrate Anna and Maybelle’s "rescueversary"

July 11, 2016 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Jon and Tracey Stewart celebrate Anna and Maybelle’s "rescueversary"

You know Jon Stewart used to work for The Daily Show, but do you know about The Daily Squeal! ? This is where Jon’s wife Tracey blogs about their New Jersey branch of Farm Sanctuary , a loving forever home for farm animals . For now the blog is mostly populated with adorable videos of two not-so-little pigs named Anna and Maybelle, the Stewarts’ first official adoptees. A video about their rescue was recently updated for the pigs’ one-year “rescueversary” and it’s a squeal. Take a look after the jump. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJzhbN_oPu4 Anna and Maybelle most likely fell off a transport truck, and the pair were so terrified, it took two days before they could be coaxed onto a rescue vehicle. When the Stewarts met the two ladies at Farm Sanctuary in New York, they fell in love, and Anna and Maybelle soon moved to their new home in New Jersey. The video shows them chasing after Tracey, playing with the kids, and Jon Stewart even steps in for some piggy love. Related: Jon Stewart and his wife turn an NJ farm into a sanctuary for animals Tracey wrote on The Daily Squeal, “Well we couldn’t stop there…they needed friends. Goat, sheep, and horse “siblings” followed. Our new family will be the first residents of Farm Sanctuary’s New Jersey branch! There are sure to be many triumphs, challenges, and laughs along the way. We’ll let kindness be our inspiration and we’ll share it all with you. Come along for the ride! Love is fun!” + The Daily Squeal Via One Green Planet Images via screengrab Save

See the original post: 
Jon and Tracey Stewart celebrate Anna and Maybelle’s "rescueversary"

Magical New Zealand cave is illuminated by luminescent glowworms

June 2, 2016 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Magical New Zealand cave is illuminated by luminescent glowworms

Jeffers, who is an official Hobbiton photographer, frequently captures incredible landscapes for tourism companies. He snapped some glowworm photos for Discover Waitomo , a company that organizes cave visits, rafting, and tours of the Hobbiton Movie Set. To obtain the images, Jeffers had to spend six to eight hours submerged in chilly cave water. Related: Biofluorescent sharks glow bright green in the depths of the sea According to his Bored Panda post on the experience, he said, “When the headlamps are out and all you can see are the glowworms, you can’t help but feel like you’ve stepped into James Cameron’s Avatar Pandora; it’s just unreal!” Discover Waitomo says the glowworm ” is unique to New Zealand .” The caves were first explored back in 1887, when Maori Chief Tane Tinorau and English surveyor Fred Mace entered via a raft on the river that runs into the cave. According to Discover Waitomo, the Maori knew the caves were there but hadn’t yet explored far into their depths. Chief Tane and Mace were the first to discover the now-famed Glowworm Grotto. In 1889 tourists began venturing into the caves using the other entrances Chief Tane found, led by the chief and his wife Huti. The government started managing the caves in 1906, but in 1989 management was given back to the Maori. Discover Waitomo says many of the staff that guide tourists through the enchanting caves today are ” direct descendants ” of Chief Tane and Huti. Jeffers said, “Something quite special dwells beneath the surface of New Zealand and these images prove that the country is just as beautiful below ground as it is above!” + Shaun Jeffers Photography Images courtesy of Shaun Jeffers , Shaun Jeffers Instagram , and Shaun Jeffers Facebook

Originally posted here:
Magical New Zealand cave is illuminated by luminescent glowworms

There’s More To Zero Waste Than Being Green

March 30, 2016 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on There’s More To Zero Waste Than Being Green

I consider myself pretty green. I am a vegetarian and grow much of what I eat in my home garden. What my wife and I don’t eat we compost, which gets cycled back into the garden. We’re a one-car family, which works for me as I bike to work every…

Read more from the original source:
There’s More To Zero Waste Than Being Green

Bill Gates claims climate-saving energy breakthrough is only 15 years away

February 25, 2016 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Bill Gates claims climate-saving energy breakthrough is only 15 years away

At the start of every year since 2009, Bill Gates has released an open letter along with his wife Melinda, naming their foundation’s biggest goals — and explaining how they hope to achieve them within the next 15 years. In past years, they’ve tackled issues ranging from curing AIDS and polio to increasing the role of technology in education. This year, Bill used his letter to answer a question posed to him by a group of teens: “If you could have one superpower, what would it be?” His answer: ensure global access to cheap, clean energy. Read the rest of Bill Gates claims climate-saving energy breakthrough is only 15 years away

Read the original here: 
Bill Gates claims climate-saving energy breakthrough is only 15 years away

James Cameron asks us to fight climate change by eating less meat and dairy

November 20, 2015 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on James Cameron asks us to fight climate change by eating less meat and dairy

James Cameron, most notable for his direction of award-winning films and deep-sea diving endeavors, is wearing a new hat in the public arena as an avid environmentalist. Not only does he have plans to ensure the production of the Avatar sequels is entirely net energy neutral , he recently spoke at the Greenbuild conference about replacing conventional building construction with more environmentally responsible methods as the world’s population grows. Yet, Cameron’s latest mission is to educate the public on how something most folks do every day is contributing to global warming: eating meat and dairy . Read the rest of James Cameron asks us to fight climate change by eating less meat and dairy

Go here to see the original:
James Cameron asks us to fight climate change by eating less meat and dairy

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 803 access attempts in the last 7 days.