Iceland is replanting its forests 1,000 years after vikings razed them

April 6, 2018 by  
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Iceland has become a popular tourist destination due in no small part to its breathtaking views and unique geological features, but it is also one of the worst examples of deforestation on the planet. When settlers first arrived in Iceland in the ninth century, up to 40 percent of the land area was covered with forests. The Vikings cleared these trees for fuel and to make space for grazing. Erosion from overgrazing and disruption from volcanic events left Iceland nearly without woods. Now, in collaboration with forest farmers and local forestry societies, the Icelandic Forest Service is working to regrow what was lost centuries ago and bring forests back in Iceland. Icelandic Forest Service director Þröstur Eysteinsson understands the true magnitude of what the organization he leads is trying to accomplish. “Iceland is certainly among the worst examples in the world of deforestation . It doesn’t take very many people or very many sheep to deforest a whole country over a thousand years,” said Þröstur . “To see the forest growing, to see that we’re actually doing some good is a very rewarding thing.” Þröstur is motivated by a driving desire to build ecological resilience . “My mission is to support growing more forests and better forests, to make land more productive and more able to tolerate the pressures that we put on it.” Related: Iceland makes it illegal to pay women less than men in world first The only native forest-building tree, the downy birch, has struggled to establish itself in new forests. With assistance from the Euforgen program, the Iceland Forest Service is introducing locally-tailored, non-native tree species, most of which are from Alaska , into Iceland woodlands. These newly mixed forests are “growing better than anybody ever thought,” according to Þröstur. The ultimate goal is to improve Iceland’s forest cover from the current two percent to twelve percent by 2100, with help from carefully curated non-native trees . Via Treehugger Images via Deposit Photos and  Icelandic Forest Service

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Iceland is replanting its forests 1,000 years after vikings razed them

Son builds modern dream cabin from recycled materials for his aging father

November 17, 2017 by  
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Retiring to a cozy cabin in the woods is a dream of many, and one that Josh Wynne helped his father fulfill when he built and designed Mike’s Hammock, a compact dwelling located on his property in Nokomis, Florida. Designed for handicap accessibility, the modern one-room was crafted for aging in place and prioritizes sustainability in its use of recycled materials and low-energy footprint. Stylish and sustainable, the 604-square-meter cabin was constructed with mostly local and recycled materials , including the Southern yellow pine salvaged from a nearby construction site. The careful use of resources resulted in less than one dumpster of waste for the project. To minimize site impact , Josh cantilevered the home above its foundation and planted three trees in place of the one he needed to remove. A custom-made central cooling and heating system helps reduce energy costs to an average of only $25 per month, even in summer, Wynne told New Atlas. Related: This cozy off-grid cabin shows beauty on a budget in upstate New York The facade is clad in vertically oriented corrugated metal siding to match the neighboring barn, while the interior is lined with Southern Yellow Pine that runs horizontally through the structure. The timber’s seamless lines, coupled with the large glazed sliding doors that frame outdoor views, gives the illusion of spaciousness. The small size of the home, as well as the layout and wheel-chair accessible features, cater to his father’s limited mobility without compromising aesthetics. + Josh Wynne Construction Via New Atlas

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Son builds modern dream cabin from recycled materials for his aging father

Stunning home fuses modern Scandinavian design with the Minnesotan outdoors

November 1, 2017 by  
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Nature takes center stage in the Northern Lake Home, a gorgeous luxury home hidden away in the Minnesotan woods. Designed by Strand Design , this 4,800-square-foot vacation retreat frames views of the forest in every room through large windows that let in natural light and blur the line between indoors and out. Natural materials , including oak and cedar, strengthen the connection with the outdoors, and are complemented with a clean and minimal Scandinavian-inspired interior design. Built for a young Minnesotan couple, the Northern Lake Home combines the clients’ love for active lifestyle with modern Scandinavian design . The large residence is split into two main volumes—one for communal areas and the other for bedrooms—connected with a glass core with operable glazed walls that combine the dining and private lounge. Darkened cedar clads the facade to help the home blend into the forested landscape, but is contrasted by a bright and warm light-filled interior with rift-sawn white oak finishes. Large panes of glass frame the landscape as well as views of the lake through the embankment. Related: Deceptively small home in Denmark hides spacious living quarters at the forest edge “Splaying out to the lake beyond and nestled into a natural swale , the public spaces contour along the landscape blurring the distinction between its built and natural environments,” wrote the architects. Daylight bounces off the home’s white walls, giving the interior an even greater feeling of spaciousness. The minimalist, Scandinavian-design can be seen in the choice of furnishings that gives the rooms a strong and elegant character. + Strand Design Images by Chad Holder Photogaraphy

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Stunning home fuses modern Scandinavian design with the Minnesotan outdoors

Why ExxonMobil’s new CEO, like the old one, backs a carbon tax

February 27, 2017 by  
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Darren Woods, who took the helm in early 2017, doubles down on oil giant’s commitment to drive down emissions.

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Why climate change is material for the cotton industry

February 27, 2017 by  
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The cotton industry is turning to innovation to help it weather challenging growing conditions ahead.

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Green Living Community Lets You Retreat To Nature

February 10, 2016 by  
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Nestled in the woods of North Georgia are 60 acres of sustainable living. Enota Mountain Retreat is a community of visitors and residents for conservation, educational and spiritual purposes, located in the tallest mountains of Georgia. Once sacred…

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Green Living Community Lets You Retreat To Nature

Deforestation is decreasing — or is it?

February 1, 2016 by  
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When it comes to forests, we’re far from being out of the woods.

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Deforestation is decreasing — or is it?

Why a carbon price would cut emissions more than we expect

February 1, 2016 by  
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Computer models forecasting carbon reduction after implementing a carbon tax may underestimate the real impact of stricter climate regulations.

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Why a carbon price would cut emissions more than we expect

Camouflaged Thoreau cabin in the woods of Utrecht has no running water or electricity

November 24, 2015 by  
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8 scrumptious vegetarian and vegan recipes for a cruelty-free Thanksgiving

November 24, 2015 by  
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