Ashley Biden launches sustainable, socially conscious clothing line

With many clothing brands opting to produce their apparel in other countries, it’s always refreshing to hear about a US clothing company choosing to make its clothes in the US–and benefit communities at the same time. Ashley Biden, daughter of former Vice President Joe Biden, has launched Livelihood, an apparel company that carries weekend-wear apparel, and its first line features hoodies made from organic cotton, which are manufactured in the US. What’s even better is that Livelihood is also helping to support underserved communities in the US. According to their website,

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of these organic-cotton, Made in the U.S.A. hoodies, and 100% of the profits from the launch, will be deposited on a quarterly basis into a community foundation to be accessed by residents in two under-resourced neighborhoods: Riverside in Wilmington, DE, and Washington, D.C.’s Anacostia.

Livehood is available at Gilt.

Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for GILT

The 2020 Olympics goes green with recycled medals

Mobile phones contain metals such as gold. In fact, you can get 1 g of gold from 35 phones, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but not when you consider how many mobile phones are out there. The organizers of the Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, have sent out the call to people to donate their mobile phones and hopefully come up with 8 tonnes of metal–or 40 kilograms of gold, 4,290 kg of silver ,and 2,944 kg of bronze–with which to make the 5,000 medals for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the Paralympics. Apart from promoting sustainability, another goal is to help the citizens be more directly involved in the event.

A recycling bin created by students from a Tokyo Metropolitan Government-run industrial high school has been set up at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government headquarters, and collection has already begun. It will end once the 8 tonne goal has been reached.

Solar road unveiled in France

Who knew roads could do so much more than serve as paths for vehicles to get from one place to another? If Japan has roads that heat up to combat snow, then France has a solar road, which was launched in December 2016 in the village of Tourouvre-au-Perche in Normandy, France. The solar road, which is called Wattway, is only 1 km long and is composed of 30,000 square feet of solar panels–and costs €5 million. The goal of the road: to generate power for street lighting in the village. The concept is interesting, though it still remains to be seen whether this will be an effective endeavor. In any case, projects like this solar road can stir up a lot of interest and help people better figure out how to implement other solar projects in different, creative ways.

Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/Getty Images

Oasia Hotel Singapore

Oasia Hotel Downtown in Singapore

Eco-friendly buildings these days are setting themselves apart not only With their environmentally responsible materials, mode of construction, and facilities, but also with their unique looks. Oasia Hotel Downtown in Singapore is no exception. Completed in April 2016, Oasia Hotel Downtown in Singapore was designed by WOHA, an architecture firm in Singapore, and described as a “living tower.” In fact, WOHA says that the building “combines innovative ways to intensify land use with a tropical approach that showcases a perforated, permeable, furry, verdant tower of green in the heart of Singapore’s Central Business District (CBD).”

Furry, verdant tower. Who wouldn’t be interested in that kind of building?

The open areas of the building are cooled through cross ventilation. Each floor of the hotel has sky gardens, and the plants in each floor are planted in a way that makes them fairly low maintenance, and they help to cool the building as well. If the plants continue to grow well, then the building could be covered in them in about a year. According to Richard Hassell, cofounder of WOHA, in an interview with Curbed, “Examining the central business districts of so many cities is like looking at the moon from the Earth; one is filled with life, the other is just this collection of dead stone. With Oasia, we’ve seen so many birds and insects flying around the building. People respond so well to seeing a hummingbird flying right outside their office window.”

Detroit Zoo permeable pavement parking lot

Detroit Zoo unveils its new parking lot

“How could a parking lot be green?” some of you might be asking. In quite a few ways, if you do it like the Detroit Zoo did it. The zoo recently opened up a permeable pavement parking lot off of Woodward Avenue in Royal Oak, close to the Polk Penguin Center. With 215 parking spaces, this new parking lot features a permeable pavement, which is more porous than standard concrete. Water seeps through the pavement and is naturally absorbed by the soil beneath the pavement. Therefore, there’s less stormwater runoff that makes it to the sewer system, lessening the load of water during storms and preventing the sewers from overflowing as a result.

Moreover, the permeable pavement can also filter pollutants from the water. It’s also pretty easy to clean and maintain; some sweeping and vacuuming are enough.

The creation of the permeable pavement parking lot, which is the largest of its kind in the county, is the latest effort being made by Detroit Zoo as part of its Greenprint effort, which aims to implement sustainable business practices. As part of the Greenprint effort, the zoo no longer sells bottled water, and it also purchases its electricity from wind farms. A future project is the development of an anaerobic digester, which will convert animal manure into methane gas, which will power the zoo’s animal hospital.

Photo by Jennie Miller/The Detroit Zoo

The Tiny House of Slow Town, South Korea

Check out “The Tiny House of Slow Town”

Preparations for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, are underway, and such preparations include the construction of accommodations for guests to the county of Pyeongchang in the province of Gangwon, South Korea. The Plus Partners and DNC Architects have worked together to create a tiny house in the city of Gangneung, where the indoor events will be held. Such a tiny house will serve as a home to visitors who will be attending the Olympic events.

The tiny house is made of environmentally friendly materials, which complement the beauty of the local area, and it features a windowed living room, a bathroom, a kitchenette, and a loft that functions as a bedroom. More of such tiny houses are going to be built to accommodate more visitors and address the shortage of lodging in the province.

Photos by Moobum Jang

Bioscarf

Protect yourself with Bioscarf

Scarves are great for keeping you warm. But what if they did more than that? What if they could protect you from pollution too?

Businessman Carlton Solle became sick after a trip to Hebei Province in China as a result of complications caused by air pollution. His doctor advised him to use a mask, but it was Carlton’s wife Hazel who came up with the brilliant idea of a scarf that also functions as a filter against airborne contaminants.

Thus, Bioscarf was born. The scarf has an N95 rating, which means that can block non-oil based airborne particles with a size of 3.0 microns in size or larger. What’s more, the Bioscarf is made from 100% post-consumer recycled PET water bottles, and its labels are made out of recycled PVC.

The scarf comes in four understated colors at the moment–white, black, olive, and olive with black trim–and they cost $89, making it pricier than regular scarves, but then again, this is no ordinary scarf! Shop on the Bioscarf website, and check out their Facebook for updates! If you buy a scarf, you’ll be able to help different causes supported by the company. Under its PlusOne program, the company will donate one Bioscarf to an individual at risk for every Bioscarf sold, and part of its initial production run is allocated for the Standing Rock protesters and victims of the recent forest fires in the southern US.

Uitto Boards

Uitto Boards: waterproof, eco-friendly skateboards

Are you a skateboarder and keen on living a greener life? Your board can be just as green as the way you want to live with Uitto Boards. The company takes pride in its biocomposite skateboards that are recyclable and waterproof, and according to their Indiegogo page, “the wood fibers are sourced sustainably from nordic forests where the rate of tree growth outweighs the rate of forestry.” The deck comes in three colors, namely, bark, moss, and stone, and no two skateboards will look alike thanks to the different patterns of the material. And hey, it’s also a pretty eco-friendly way to get around!

Uitto takes its name from the Finnish word that means “log driving” and describes “a means of moving logs from a forest to sawmills downstream using the current of a river.” The company is based in Helsinki, Finland, and currently, boards are being shipped to the project’s backers, but you can pre-order your Uitto Boards skateboard now on Indiegogo.

We’re back!

It’s been a few years, but we’re back and we fully intend to resume posting here again and sharing as much good green news as we can. We’re keeping the old posts for your perusal, but we’re taking out some that link to pages that no longer and products that no longer exist. If you’re new to this blog, welcome, and if you’ve been dropping by every now and then hoping to see something new from us, well, we’ll do our best to not disappoint you and to give you more of what you want! Stick around and let’s keep the goodness flowing!

Throw and Grow Confetti

Throw & Grow Confetti

Parties, especially surprise parties, aren’t complete without confetti as they make everything look really festive. They’re definitely cute addons, but they’re not exactly the most eco-friendly items–just imagine all that glitter and paper that you won’t be able to use again, unless you’re the sort who’s really careful about sweeping them up and getting them clean again!

For your next party, you might want to check out a different type of confetti. Niko Niko is offering the Throw and Grow Confetti. The confetti is flower-shaped, handmade, and biodegradable. Best of all, each piece is filled with flower seeds, so after using the confetti, you can toss them in your garden and grow wildflowers.

The confetti giftbox contains 50 confetti and costs €11,95, shipping included.