Stefano Boeri Architetti is at it again with its vertical forest towers. One of its latest such project is Nanjing Towers in China, but an even newer one is being planned in the city of Utrecht in the Netherlands. Called the Hawthorn Tower, the building is to be a part of the Wonderwoods development and is planned to be a 90 m tall structure that houses 200 apartments, with a façade that features 10,000 plants of different species (360 trees, 9,640 shrubs and flowers), which is equal to 1 ha of woods. The ground floor will be home to the Vertical Forest Hub, a research center on urban forestation worldwide. Once the structure is complete, Hawthorn Tower is expected to absorb approximately 5,400 kg of CO2 and fine particles, and producing approximately 41,400 tons of oxygen a year.
Daniel Neeson, Liam Neeson’s younger son and a junior at Tulane University studying theater and digital media, is venturing into the world of fashion, launching Pine Outfitters, a clothing line featuring sporty, yet fashionable outdoor wear. In an interview with People, Daniel shared that he came up with the idea for Pine Outfitters while sitting in class and thinking about coming out with a line of hats “because I wear hats every day.” In developing the company, Daniel was helped along by a friend in Los Angeles, who guided him in learning the workings of the fashion industry.
Aside from offering stylish clothing, giving back to the environment is the main goal of Pine Outfitters. That’s why they’ve partnered with the National Forest Foundation; for every item sold, Pine Outfitters will plant a tree.
Pine Outfitters recently offered its products at a pop-up store in New York City from July 13 to 19. Its online store will open in early September.
Vinyl’s been experiencing quite the resurgence, and some great new players have been popping up as well. Take Tri-Art’s Sprout turntable as an example, which is mostly made of bamboo, known as an eco-friendly material and is soaked in hemp oil and sealed in beeswax. Of course, it’s not made entirely out of bamboo; it comes with a bronze collar bearing with steel ball bearing and an aluminum sub platter with steel shaft.
The turntable is available for $650, and the version with the cartridge and MM phono costs $995. Check out more of Tri-Art’s products on their website.
We’re supposed to throw out makeup once they’ve been on our dressers a little too long, whether we’ve used them up already or not. It seems like such a waste, but apparently, if we keep makeup for too long, it’ll be crawling with bacteria sooner or later. So into the bin they should go.
If you’re feeling a bit guilty about cluttering up the landfills with your used makeup, the Appalachian Wildlife Refuge has a good idea how you can put your makeup, specifically your mascara, to better use. To support the effort they’ve dubbed Wands for Wildlife, they’re encouraging people to save and wash their old mascara wands and send it to them. They use the mascara wands to brush away fly eggs and larva from the fur of the animals they rescue, grooming them back to health.
A curious contraption has been keeping the river in Baltimore clean since 2014. Dubbed “Mr. Trash Wheel,” the machine is found in the city’s Inner Harbor, and it works just like a water wheel, using the current of the river to move and pick up trash from the water. The trash is then placed in a dumpster barge, which is replaced by a new one once it’s full. If the current isn’t strong enough, solar energy is used to power Mr. Trash Wheel.
Mr. Trash Wheel got a new colleague in December last year: Professor Trash Wheel, located at the end of Harris Creek.
If you’ve ever wondered what happens to the soap that you didn’t fully use up and left behind in your hotel bathroom, you’re not alone. The same issue crossed the mind of Shawn Seipler, so while staying at a hotel, he decided to ask about the fate of leftover soap bars in hotel bathrooms and learned that they just get thrown away. Upon learning this, Shawn did his research and found that there was another way to save all that soap and keep them from being wasted: through rebatching, which involves melting down old soap and then reforming it into new soap.
And thus, Clean the World was born. The organization works with approximately 5,000 hotels, who pay them 50 cents per room to gather and recycle the leftover soap. The soap rebatching process is done in Clean the World’s plants in Orlando, Las Vegas, Hong Kong, Montreal, and India, and the soaps are packed into hygiene kits that are then distributed throughout the world. Essentially, Clean the World’s goal is to help promote proper hygiene and the implementation of a sound sanitation program to help eliminate diseases caused by poor hygiene, effectively having a hand in saving lives.
While Clean the World doesn’t accept soap donations from individuals and small groups, anybody can participate in their efforts in different way. They welcome financial support to help them keep their recycling efforts going, and they also encourage people to undertake their own projects to create hygiene kits and donate them to shelters.
Food waste is a major problem throughout the world, and people need to keep coming up with ways to reduce it or use it. At the same time, petroleum use continues to grow and keeps people dependent on foreign sources of oil. Fortunately, Dr. Katrina Cornish, an Ohio Research Scholar and Endowed Chair in Biomaterials at Ohio State, may have hit upon a way to solve both problems: make tires using eggshells and tomato peels as filler. Tires are currently made with 30 percent carbon black, which makes the tires appear black and also has to be sourced overseas. Making tires out of locally available fillers and materials not only reduces petroleum use, but also reduces emissions associated with shipping the material to US tire manufacturers.
According to Cornish, “The tire industry is growing very quickly, and we don’t just need more natural rubber, we need more filler, too,” she explained. “The number of tires being produced worldwide is going up all the time, so countries are using all the carbon black they can make. There’s no longer a surplus, so we can’t just buy some from Russia to make up the difference like we used to.”
Her team has found that eggshells don’t break down in landfills, and commercial tomatoes have thick skins, which are often discarded when the tomatoes are used to make tomato sauce and the like. Their various properties help rubber become more flexible as well.
The tires produced with eggshells and tomato skins tend to have a reddish brown color, but her team is continuing to explore ways to make the tires appear black.
Surfboard manufacturers these days are trying to find ways to make surfboard more eco-friendly. One of the latest efforts is made by Gold Coast farmer Meg McDougall, who is developing surfboards made from lemongrass. She has been growing lemongrass for the past five years at Rocky Point, north of the Gold Coast, and has been making small surfboards first for testing. She chose lemongrass because it has a foam-like structure that floats when processed and is waterproof. She is teaming up with a company called Currumbin to develop a full-size prototype, which is set to come out soon.