Upcycled Birdhouses

coffee-birdhouse

Online media has been fairly extensive in its coverage of arboreal retreats for humans. These branch supported houses are prolific for a reason, offering up alternate accommodations that are as intriguing as they are environmentally aware. But, perhaps due to the traditional sentiment of the season, I feel inclined to take a more conventional route and write now of avian spaces for our feathered friends instead. Why, what could be exciting about birdhouses that are for, well, birds? Are they not self-explanatory already? Let me tell you, these are no ordinary hideaways on sticks and poles. Though conventional in concept,… read more

World’s Largest Bio-Wall Created In London

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To combat flooding, and to attract even more tourism, designers in London created a “living wall” on the side of a luxury hotel. Over 10,000 plants have been added to the tapestry–16 tons worth in total. One of the lessons in this tapestry is that it shows how nature is both functional and artistic. www.fastcodesign.com The total mass of the tapestry covers 3,770 square-feet. You can check out a quick video below showing you more angles of the tapestry than we have pictures of. To learn how to make your own “living wall”, visit Plants On Walls.

Crafty Uses for Take-out Containers

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Even when thoroughly cleaned and let to dry, Chinese takeout containers, due to their wax and plastic coating, are often unacceptable donors to the recycle bin. But with annual orders of Chinese takeout peaking above the billions, most don’t wish to idly stand and let the stacks of container waste rise, let alone participate themselves. So, while by no means a solid solution, as it doesn’t put a stop to the creation of new, equally un-recyclable food containers, up-cycling does allow you to put a creative dent in your own waste. And, in many cases it serves to reduce additional… read more

Microgreens May Be Your Kitchen’s New Best Friend

Microgreens May Be Your Kitchen’s New Best Friend

Microgreens, or the seedlings of herbs and vegetables, have concentrated flavors and colors and are rich in vitamins and phytochemicals. One study that examined 25 varieties of commonly found microgreens concluded that a range of nutritive levles could be found in them. Researchers discovered that the cotyledon leaves of the microgreens contain amplified amounts of nutrients, more than the nutritional value of fully grown leaves of the identical, fully grown plant. Because they are not fully developed, the initial leaf contains highly concentrated nutrients. Not to be confused with sprouts, microgreens can be fairly easily grown without much care or… read more

Window Farming

Window farms

Window farming is a new movement among urbanites who want to grow their own food but lack outdoor space. Many people living in city centers would love to grow fresh produce but don’t have access to a garden or even a paved outside space where they could place containers. Window farms, which are space-efficient indoor hydroponic growing systems, enable city dwellers to turn their sunny windows into productive food gardens. Window farm plants grow in vertical columns of containers that hang from a pole at the top of a window. There are stylish window farm kits available for sale, though… read more

World Food Day – Celebrating Sustainable Foods

Celebrating Sustainable Foods

Food is center-stage in festivals around the world. It is often a staple in celebrations to gather around, from small parties to community events. Leaning about events that are held in honor of food and its essential role in nourishing the world helps to foster an appreciation for those who grow and catch our foods. Food festivals with sustainably and ethically grown edibles as the emphasis occur throughout the globe. The following are a few annual eco-centric food assemblies that are for great causes. Every March 22nd is International World Water Day. This event began in 1993 and seeks to increase awareness… read more

Who Would Guess Cilantro Could Be Used For This?

Who Would Guess Cilantro Could Be Used For This?

Undergraduate researchers conducting a study have discovered an interesting bio-absorbent material that can draw contaminants out of polluted water. Faculty and an undergraduate research team collaborated with a group of scientists to investigate more inexpensive means that could be utilized to filter contaminated water. Examining water samples from the Tule Valley region near Mexico City, it was determined that cilantro was an effective bio-absorbent material that was also wildly grown in the region. The area was selected because there are no readily available water filtering systems in place to remove some of the contaminates that they inspected, making it representative of… read more

Making Alcohol Organically with Apples

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The resources required to produce and transport liquor results in an extensive 6.30 pounds of carbon dioxide per 750-milliliter bottle. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t enjoy a warm spirit in the drinking vessel of your choosing on occasion. But there are ways in which you can make your own, organic brew instead. And, with the passing of the autumn equinox, what better choice than hard apple cider? Beyond cutting the carbon footprint of your liquor consumption, you’ll be informed of your drink’s origins and find the cost of concocting your cider-y brew to be favorably scant by measure of… read more

A Boat That Won’t Float

The Boat That Won't Float

I recently offered to help a friend remove some duckweed from her dam. During our discussions, I recommended using a dinghy to get onto the water to rake up the weed and physically remove it, rather than using sprays or hiring a small harvester. My friend does not own a dinghy, and so the question was raised where she might source one. Surprisingly, a “hippy” friend of ours proclaimed with much enthusiasm that she had recently seen a brand new $20 dinghy at a nearby discount department store. It was made of PVC, came with plastic oars, and would be an… read more

Avian Invitations

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Attracting birds to your home can bring music to your ears and improve the health of your yard or garden. To invite flocks of feathered gems, you can begin by offering tokens of appreciation in the form of tasty treats. Of course, the exterior of your property should also be pesticide free. Since many a park bench is filled with breadcrumb tossing patrons, for which urban pigeons are devoted, we will start with grain-based treats. When it comes to baked goods, birds’ palettes are as varied as the color of their plumage. That said many breads and pastries entice multiple… read more