Make that the UK’s first 100% vegan hotel. Saorsa 1875, the project of co-founders Jack McLaren-Stewart and his mother Sandra McLaren-Stewart, officially opened on June 15. This boutique hotel in the Scottish Highlands breathes new life into a Victorian gothic baronial house built in 1875 and promises a luxurious stay within its stylish 11 rooms and carefully crafted vegan dishes by chef Luca Sordi.
Every effort was made to ensure that the establishment is truly vegan, with beddings using fabrics such as linen, cotton, and manmade fibers, and a totally plant-based menu, which includes a vegan take on haggis and locally sourced ingredients. Even the toiletries are vegan, showing that the hotel is committed to its goal of ethical luxury. Moreover, Saorsa 1875 runs on green power with the help of Ecotricity.
Another plus: Saorsa 1875 is a pet-friendly establishment, so feel free to take your pets along with you if you’re planning to holiday in the area.
Overall, Saorsa 1875 offers something different but probably overdue for vegans who want more than just a handful of options available to them. And from the looks of the hotel, even non-vegans may find themselves falling in love with its setting and its offerings.
Berlin-based company Kaffeeform has figured out what to do with all the coffee grounds produced by the city’s numerous coffee shops. Instead of simply disposing of them, they’ve teamed up with Crow Cycle Collective, who bike around Berlin to collect coffee grounds and then drop them off at Kaffeeform’s workshop, where the grounds are then cleaned. The grounds are then transferred to another location for processing—from drying to blending with other eco-friendly materials. They are then shaped into cups and saucers.
These cups are dishwasher-safe and are sturdy enough to survive falls on hard surfaces, according to their FAQ.
The biodegradable cups are now being used in coffee shops in Berlin and are also sold across Europe. Kaffeeform is even making these cups available for wholesale purchases within the European Union.
The International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) 500 employees will now be housed in a new building in Lausanne, Switzerland–and it just might be the most sustainable building in the world at present.
So what makes this building eco-friendly?
a green roof
95% of the building materials are reused or recycled
a rainwater collection system
self-shading, meaning it’s designed in a way that reduces the need for air conditioning while still allowing daylight in
Construction on the building, which was designed by Danish firm 3XN and built in collaboration with IttenBrechbühl, began in May 2016 and cost $147 million. 3XN provides more details about their idea for the IOC’s headquarters on their website.
We’ve all seen how terribly plastic pollution is affecting the world’s oceans. For example, plastic six-pack rings have been found around the necks of turtles, which is why we’ve all been told to snap off the rings so no animal would ever get caught in them. But there has to be other, better ways of doing things, and US company Footprint has come up with a fiber-based six-pack ring that is made of recycled materials.
The Denver, Colorado, company’s new product promises to be as sturdy as plastic rings, having been subjected to extensive testing, and is recyclable and compostable. In an interview with Recycling Today, Jeff Bassett, vice president of marketing at Footprint, says,
“Our goal is always to find the best ways to eliminate the need for plastic in common-use products. With the introduction of Footprint’s six-pack ring, we are changing the game for beverage packaging and distribution by delivering a plastic-free solution that is applied in high volume and performs.”
This is not the first attempt at making eco-friendly six-pack rings. E6PR claims to be the first in this field, and Corona announced in late 2018 that it will be piloting plastic-free six-pack rings of its own. We say the more companies try to find ways to make going plastic-free easier for all of us, the better.
They said it couldn’t be done, even though Lego promised a few years ago to phase out acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS, derived from petroleum) bricks by 2030. But yesterday, the Danish company announced a breakthrough, sharing that their botanical elements, such as leaves, bushes, and trees, will be made from plant-based plastic sourced from sugarcane and will be available later this year.
“At the LEGO Group we want to make a positive impact on the world around us, and are working hard to make great play products for children using sustainable materials. We are proud that the first LEGO elements made from sustainably sourced plastic are in production and will be in LEGO boxes this year. This is a great first step in our ambitious commitment of making all LEGO bricks using sustainable materials,” said Tim Brooks, Vice President, Environmental Responsibility at the LEGO Group.
The company joined a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) program to ensure that its sources are sustainable. Let’s hope that we’ll be seeing the company’s entire range of products turn green someday.
Okay, so we might be a little obsessed with clothes made out of recycled materials. You can’t really blame us, though. It’s a brilliant idea, like the one athletic apparel company Rumi X has. Their activewear is made from recycled water bottles and upcycled coffee grounds. The materials are first gathered and then sent to recycling facilities, where the materials are then recycled, converted, and then transformed into yarn, which is then combined with their signature fabric. The result? Soft, stretchy, sweat-wicking clothes that look great.
The coffee grounds even help with odor control, so that’s an added bonus, and the material made with the coffee grounds features what is called S. Café® technology, which increases the clothes’ moisture-wicking ability and also offers five times more UV protection than your usual workout wear.
The World Economic Forum Facebook page shared this video of a water bottle that decomposes once you finish drinking from it. Made from algae jelly, the water bottle was invented by Ari Jonsson, a student from Iceland.
The aesthetics have some room for improvement, but this is nevertheless a great idea.
Large retailers in England, namely, Asda, Marks and Spencer’s, Sainsbury, Tesco, The Co-operative Group, Waitrose, and Morrisons, have been required by law to charge customers 5p for plastic bags, and now the outcome of that measure has finally been published. Overall, the seven retailers issued 83% fewer plastic bags in 2016 to 2017 than they did in 2014. Retailers have also shifted to using either paper bags or reusable bags.