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.

Support Thoughtful Threadz

Thoughtful Threadz, the brainchild of Nicole Lynn Jones, is expanding its debut collection with the InnovaTees line, which will feature more categories and the works of more artists. The brand prides itself on offering “causal clothing”, which means that it

…would have a positive impact on society, encourage intelligent discourse, promote open-mindedness, allow for different perspectives and ideas to be expressed, celebrate the human spirit, and inspire greatness.

The shirts send out positive messages–literally–and are American-made. They’re also printed through an eco-friendly process, and the designs use water-based inks.

You have just over three weeks to help out, so get yourself over to Thoughtful Threadz’ Kickstarter page! You can donate a minimum of $1.

Support verrrde, an eco-friendly affordable clothing boutique project.

Spotted on Indiegogo: a fundraising project for verrrde.com. Michelline Fedele, the woman behind verrrde, is looking to establish a clothing story that carries eco-friendly, but affordable clothing, and she needs some extra help to ensure that every item is indeed eco-friendly and costs under $100. She says on verrrde’s Indiegogo campaign page:

With your generous contributions, we will have enough to buy our merchandise (with a focus on dresses, tops, and accessories) for the first quarter Spring 2014.

I have done a lot of research finding wholesalers who offer clothing using renewable resources, recycled materials, and who are also committed to making the planet a better place to live. All items sold will be under $100, making eco-friendly clothing more accessible to the everyday woman. I have been in the retail business for over 7 years and I am a master at being thrifty and fashionable.

This definitely sounds like a great idea. We could all do with stylish eco-friendly clothes that won’t break the bank, and we need more people and stores that carry them.

There are only six days left to go for this campaign, so go on and lend your support! As of this writing, she’s already raised $3,031, exceeding her $3,000 goal, but a little extra help wouldn’t hurt!

Organic rice by Malasimbu Agricultural Cooperative

Malasimbu Agricultural Cooperative, organic unpolished riceI really like how some things are changing here in the Philippines. Last year, more cities have implemented a ban on plastic bags, charging P2 for every plastic bag, switching to paper bags, and encouraging people to bring reusable bags. It took some time to get used to, but more people are bringing reusable bags now, from what I’ve observed.

I’ve also noticed some people taking more interest in organic food, and that would definitely be great for the country’s agriculture industry. More local dairy farms are coming out with products like yogurt, cheese, and ice cream, all locally produced. Brown rice is also becoming more common, though I’d love to see more restaurants offering that option and making sure they get the rice from Philippine farmers.

I got a kilo of rice (P50 or $1.22) a while ago from a place near the yoga studio I go to. The rice was produced by the Dinalupihan, Bataan-based Malasimbu Agricultural Cooperative. I wish I could find more information about them, but all I’m getting is details from 2009. I hope the cooperative continues to thrive, because such success will encourage more farmers to go organic and hopefully increase the popularity of organic rice in the Philippines.