La Casa Verde

Want to own an eco-friendly guesthouse in Ecuador?

Doug and Rebecca Greenshields began traveling in South America in 2005, and, thanks to the rich culture and the pace of life, found a new place they could call home: a half-finished construction a mile and a half away from Baños, Ecuador. This was where they raised their two kids and got started on a greener life, even opening their own eco-friendly guesthouse, La Casa Verde. Rebecca has even shared her thoughts and experiences as an expat in an interview with Stuff.

The time has come for the family to move on, however, with Doug about to explore a new career. Which is why La Casa Verde is currently up for sale for the low, low price of $29. All you need to do is buy Doug’s e-book, Back to Earth, and you’ll be entered into a raffle to win the guesthouse. They’re even throwing in $10,000 to help you get started on your new life.

Sounds like worth a shot, to be honest. And hey, even if you don’t win the guesthouse, at least you’ll have a good green living resource.

Photo from the La Casa Verde website

Eco parking lot, MS

New environmentally friendly parking lot completed in Mississippi

The United States Naval Construction Battalions or the Seabees have completed work on a low-impact 98-slot parking lot for NAS Jacksonville Building 919, the headquarters of Commander, Navy Region Southeast, in Jacksonville, Mississippi. The new parking lot uses permeable paving to absorb storm runoff, and it will be illuminated with LED lights.

Photo from JaxAirNews

Hickman's egg carton

Arizona egg farm uses egg cartons made from 100% recycled PET

Hickman’s Family Farms, an egg producer in Buckeye, Arizona, has made the switch to egg cartons made from 100% recycled PET from water and soda bottles thanks to the help of California-based recycler Global Plastics Inc. The company recycles four million bottles a day, and one of the issues to which it needed to find a solution was what to do with the green and amber bottles that they pick up for recycling. And that’s where the idea for a recycled egg carton was hatched. Dan Bahou, whose father started Global Plastics, pitched the idea to Hickman’s, who were receptive to the concept of the egg carton.

Five bottles are needed to make an 18-count egg container, and a 12-count egg container can be made from three bottles, with a 24-egg carton on the way, too. Aside from being eco-friendly, the carton is also carefully designed to reduce egg breakage and to ensure convenience for customers.

Working with a packaging designer, along with Billy Hickman and his brother Glenn from Hickman’s, Bahou developed the 100% post-consumer RPET egg carton. The innovative design for the egg carton includes “lock-in” support pillars that offer protection for the eggs by allowing them to be fully beneath the lid of the package. Additionally, the bottom of the egg rests in a perfectly formed raised indentation for added protection. Additionally, the transparent package eliminates the need for the customer to open the carton to inspect the eggs. These features have reduced egg breakage as well as damaged packaging. Read more.

Given that Hickman’s is able to break, pasteurize, and package 100,000 eggs per hour, and that they donate truckloads of eggs to food banks throughout the state and even to Korea, they’re definitely bound to use their new egg cartons quite a lot and help save the planet in the process.

Emma Watson on IG

Emma Watson highlights eco-fashion on Instagram

Emma Watson is always involved in important causes, and one of her advocacies is the environment and eco-friendly fashion. She’s currently on a press tour for the upcoming live-action version of Beauty and the Beast, and she’s also using Instagram to feature the sustainable, environmentally friendly, and socially conscious clothing brands and beauty products she’s using on the tour. Her posts contain descriptions of what she’s wearing and what makes them different–and good for the planet.

Check out her latest post and follow her too–maybe you’ll get inspired to not just cop her looks but also find out how clothing brands can be green and ethical.

Hello USA! Brilliant day visiting @theellenshow and attending the @beautyandthebeast world premiere. Such a privilege to share the evening with the actor who brought the original Belle to life, Paige O’Hara, the very talented writer of the animated film Linda Woolverton, and the legend that is Celine Dion! 😮🇺🇸🌹 Ellen outfit jewellery by @article_22. Peacebomb, its first collection, is handcrafted in Laos from Vietnam War shrapnel. Each piece helps clear unexploded ordnance, making land safe and providing new metal to artisans. Article22 began working with a village in Laos in 2009, that now has 15 families, husbands and wives making Peacebomb jewellery. They work part-time and earn at least 5x the local hourly minimum wage, providing them with the disposable income for books, school, fuel and medicine that their subsistence farming livelihoods can’t. @burberry pumps handmade in Italy with organic silk #30wears Trousers are @oscardelarenta and were worn in Paris during the Beauty and the Beast press tour #30wears Fashion info verified by @ecoage #ecoloves Skin prepped with Heritage Store Rosewater Glycerin Water (a US brand who have been making natural products for over 41 years). Foundation and concealer is @rmsbeauty "Un" Cover Up and “Un” Powder, who avoid using refined, bleached, deodorised and high-temperature, heat treated ingredients in their products. Contour was created with @tataharper Very Bronzing. Bronzing is @VitaLiberata Trystal Minerals Self Tanning Bronzing Minerals and Tata Harper Lip & Cheek in Very Sweet. Tata Harper is made in the brand’s US-based manufacturing facility. It is not outsourced to another company as most skincare manufacturing is. @janeiredale Brow Gel and Eyeliner in Brown were used and lips are @absolution_cosmetics Sweet and Safe Kiss Lipstick in #19 Rose Franc. Absolution give 2% of their profits to the international charity @careorg who support a number of initiatives including gender equality. All brands are cruelty-free. Beauty brands verified by @contentbeauty

A post shared by The Press Tour (@the_press_tour) on

Mumbai airport

Mumbai airport toilets are being cleaned by bacteria

Instead of using your usual chemicals and cleaners to disinfect toilets, the Mumbai International Airport (Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport) has enlisted the help of bacteria and various microorganisms to clean 200 toilets, urinals, and a total of 4,000 square meters of surface area in Terminal 2. Flush a toilet and green chemical is released instead of water; water is used only when the toilets are being cleaned manually. As a result, the airport is saving 100,000 liters of water a day.

Photo from APAO India

The Growroom

IKEA’s Space10 teams up with architects to design an indoor food-growing garden

Urbanization was once a major goal of many cities around the world–until everyone saw the havoc that it wreaks on the environment and how dense and crowded urban areas become. And then there’s the fact that resources become pretty scarce in cities, leaving urban dwellers reliant on far-flung rural agricultural areas for food. Living green and bringing nature back to cities are now the key goals, and different cities and organizations are now working to figure out how best to create a more sustainable way of life.

IKEA’s Space10 recently collaborated with architects Sine Lindholm and Mads-Ulrik Husum to create The Growroom, an indoor garden designed to have the capacity to grow enough food to feed a neighborhood. The Growroom is a multi-tiered structure that actually doesn’t take up too much space, which means that it not only helps people grow food locally, but it also takes into consideration the space constraints in many residential buildings in cities.

The best part about The Growroom is that you can build it yourself. The design is open source, and the instructions are available here, while the cutting files can be downloaded here.

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.